Brain Fog: What Are Its Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
I’ve studied and researched a lot about the human brain, its functionality, anatomy and also all of those things that our brain is capable of doing. The human brain possesses more power than the world’s smartest and fastest computer and yet there’s a lot to discover about its limitless potential. Just like everything has an expiry date, sometimes our brain also fails to function normally and hence it suffers from several injuries and infections. Brain diseases come in different forms such as infections which includes meningitis, encephalitis or brain trauma that includes hemorrhage, concussion, traumatic brain injury or tumors like glioblastoma, pressure hydrocephalus and so on.
Have you ever heard about a brain disorder called “Brain Fog”? Yes, you read that right, Brain Fog. You guys might be thinking the possibilities of formation of fog inside your brain but don’t take the words literally! Technically, brain fog is not a medical condition or a brain disorder itself but a symptom of other disorder.
What is Brain Fog?
Have you been finding yourself feeling fatigued, lethargic, distracted, moody and distanced from everything? If that’s the case then you might be suffering from ‘brain fog’. As stated earlier, brain fog is not a disorder on its own but a symptom of other medical condition. In simple words, it’s also called as ‘mental fatigue’ where your brain just stops doing whatever it’s supposed to do.
Brain fog has become an unwanted side effect of our hustling and bustling, industrialized lifestyle. Unfortunately today, many of the convenient-but-processed foods and factory-farmed meats we eat and the various ways we spend our time do not support brain health.
Brain Fog Symptoms
The symptoms of brain fog vary depending upon the severity of other brain disorders. Our brain starts going foggy when we start to feel down, sad and stressed persistently. Researchers from the Departments of Physiology and Medicine at New York Medical College Valhalla describe brain fog symptoms as “an interaction of physiological, cognitive, and perceptual factors.” Some of the common symptoms of brain fog include:
- Unexplained headaches
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Lack of concentration
- Inability to focus
- Lack of motivation, feeling hopeless and depression
- Lack of Mental Clarity/Foggy mind
Now it’s clear that brain fog is a type of cognitive dysfunction, let’s move on to find out the possible causes of this unusual disease.
Brain Fog Causes
There’s no exact cause for brain fog as there might be several underlying causes of this condition. Some of the possible causes of brain fog include:
- Stress as chronic stress results in mental fatigue due to the weakened immune system, depression and increased blood pressure.
- Insomnia, because lack of sufficient sleep damages the brain cells, degrading its efficiency and functions. Poor sleep quality leads to foggy thoughts and low memory power.
- Imbalanced hormone levels also trigger brain fog. The cortisol and other stress hormones affect the memory power whereas the fluctuation of hormones estrogen and progesterone can also result in forgetfulness and cloudy thinking.
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency also can bring about brain fog. Haphazard eating and certain food allergies can also trigger symptoms of brain fog.
- Medical conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, anemia, depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s, Mastocytosis, autism spectrum disorders and other neuropsychiatric disorders can cause brain fog in the patients.
- Caffeine overdose and dehydration can also majorly impact brain function.
Brain Fog Treatment
There’s no exact treatment for brain fog as the treatment depends upon the cause behind the brain fog. Nevertheless, there are some preventive measures you can adopt to improve the condition of your brain fog. Sleeping enough (at least 8-9 hours of sleep), managing your stress level, eating a proper diet, avoiding excessive alcohol and caffeine can help you prevent brain fog. Exercising and meditation to improve your brain power is also another suitable treatment method because exercise lowers inflammation, help reduce stress and increase happy hormones like endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin.
Low thyroid function, adrenal insufficiency, and chronic fatigue syndrome can all increase symptoms of brain fog, hence try to eat a proper diet to balance your hormones naturally. Moreover, avoid eating processed and packaged foods or those foods with artificial sweeteners and preservatives as they can also cause an imbalance in your hormone levels.
If you want to keep your brain young and healthy, read 5 Easy Ways To Keep Your Brain Young