Brain fog is a sensation we have all felt – like inertia. Its commonality has grown exponentially, so society normalizes the experience.
Brain Fog is NOT Normal
We should not accept brain fog as normal. Several strategies are available to cut thru the fog. As I have experienced, one of the best things to hear from a client is “I just feel so clear-headed!”
What Causes Brain Fog
A decrease in energy is the underlying culprit across all the sources we can discuss. It all comes down to the ability to crank out cellular energy (ATP), mainly from the mitochondria. The brain consumes 20% body’s entire energy
Unfortunately, you won’t find any official medical diagnosis, so presenting with brain fog at the local doctor’s office won’t yield consistent approaches or results.
It is not a bad word – chronic inflammation is behind many diseases and symptoms. Conversely, inflammation is part of an amazing process to fix an insult, but we should only use it
We relate inflammation to energy because it takes an enormous toll on mitochondria, which produce most of the energy we use. With high levels of energy diverted to dealing with the inflamed environment, less is available for cellular consumption.
Below are some starting points for investigation, but it can take some digging to find the cause for some. You know you are on the right track when you
Many foods can directly contribute to brain fog. Unfortunately, they are most often the ones recommended by standard governmental guidance. For instance, sugars, grains, and vegetable oils are notorious inducers of inflammation, although by different mechanisms. Alcohol is a definite contributor as well – hangover anyone?
Short-term stress, like inflammation, is beneficial. Chronically though, problems set in. Despite being considered an anti-inflammatory, cortisol (the main stress hormone), can contribute to inflammation if present chronically.
Sleep is essential for health. Bad sleep will present often as brain fog. Unfortunately here we have a conundrum. Stress can reduce sleep – chronically both outcomes increase inflammation. With sleep, it can seem as a vicious circle; too little sleep increases inflammation, and too much inflammation can decrease sleep quality. You stuck anywhere in here?
We need proper levels of hormones to maintain proper energy balance. Sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and more) will unleash a cascade of symptoms if out of balance. I write about my general approach to hormone balance here
Sure you get
Toxins and Heavy Metals
We encounter a
Heavy metals are pronounced
Toxins can include certain medications, either in the wrong dose, wrong application, wrong duration, or wrong combinations. As a pharmacist, I see this all the time.
How do we cure Brain Fog?
We can’t turn to any standards of care to get relief – there are none. We can however, work thru the triggers detailed above. For most, it will include looking at many areas. It may also be worth
Reducing Brain Fog – Where to Start
- Dietary strategies including critical avoidances (grains, added sugar, and vegetable oils) and meal timing (here is a paper I wrote on Why When To Eat Matters.)
- Stress Management. Going thru the certification process to become a Human Potential Coach provided many tools to share on this topic.
- Medication Evaluation. This is right up my alley as a pharmacist, medications are amazing tools but some can contribute to brain fog. We can look at alternatives or other modifications if discontinuing is not an option.
- Exercise. Perhaps the most powerful activator of brain health. Start wherever comfortable, but keep challenging yourself. The most beneficial effects from exercise come from continual improvement. Jogging the same 2 miles in the same time routinely, while helpful
no doubt,is not as beneficial as shaking up the routine and the intensity.
- Supplements. Yes, they can help. No, they are not magic bullets. I recommend the steps above first, then adding in supplements. Easy choices are fish oil, turmeric, and a variety of mitochondrial boosters. The most effective brain fog agent I have seen though is a compounded nasal spray Island Drug makes with an ingredient called Synapsin, which attacks brain inflammation from two angles – it has been remarkable. Read more about it in the paper discussed below, and/or reach out for a free consult.
Clearing Brain Fog – A Team Approach
If you find a solution from this brief intro, excellent! Just the simple food avoidances of grains, added sugar, and vegetable oils coupled with exercise has a high
I describe my initial approach in this FREE 20+ page paper, please have a read.
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