Brain Fog: Symptoms, Causes & Relievers

by Lisa Breitenwischer

March 22, 2023

Brain Fog: Symptoms, Causes & Relievers

Forgetting where you put your keys once in a while is normal. However, constant forgetfulness, confusion, and lack of focus and mental clarity could be brain fog. Brain fog is difficult to describe because it makes you feel fuzzy, and fatigued and can make it impossible to complete normal tasks. People suffering from brain fog may experience problems with attention, concentration, speech, memory, organization and other cognitive skills. They may be described as easily confused, unmotivated, or frustrated and if the condition persists, they could feel anxious or depressed about their circumstance. Some people can work through brain fog, others find it debilitating.

The good news is-you don’t have to live in a mental fog. Research shows that there are distinct reasons for  brain fog- and ways to overcome them.

Causes of Brain Fog

Losing just 2% of the water in your body (mild dehydration), can impair your cognitive performance, attentiveness, short-term memory, and may affect decision-making ability.

Psychological Stress
Psychological stress can range from demanding daily schedule to major life events. Stress can effect our brains, the way we think, process information, and retain that information-and brain fog is a common symptom.

Lack of Sleep
Sleep plays an important role in brain health, including the facilitating removal of brain waste, maintaining neuronal connections, and optimizing learning and memory functions. Lack of proper sleep can be a huge factor in brain fog.

A poor diet interferes with multiple system functions and brain fog may be an indication that something is not right. It’s important to feed the body healthy, nutritious foods and get enough vitamins and minerals so that the brain can function well.

Hormonal Shifts
Hormonal shifts occur in both men and women, for a variety of causes like changes in environment, age, or lifestyle. Big hormonal changes can have an impact on our memory and cognitive processes. Although an exhaustive list will not be provided here, pregnancy, thyroid imbalance, diabetes, and menopause may produce brain fog.

Medical Conditions
Medical conditions which include inflammation, fatigue, or glucose levels may affect thinking and cause brain fog. Conditions like: MS, fibromyalgia, anemia, depression,Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Chemotherapy, medication side effects, and restricted diets for weight loss.

Ways to End Brain Fog

Brain fog treatment depends on the cause, but lifestyle modifications can also help.
If your brain fog is the result of an underlying medical condition, seek help or advice from your doctor or medical professional. If your underlying condition is already being treated, or you’re looking for a home remedy for brain fog, here are a few suggestions.

Stay Hydrated
Drink half your body weight in ounces daily.

Balanced and Nutritious Diet
Eliminate sugar and processed foods. Eat regularly to keep blood sugar levels in check. Choose nutrient dense foods to get enough protein, vitamins and minerals to avoid deficiencies in the body. Fatigue may be caused by lack of vitamin D or B12, or not eating enough food.

Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and can go along way to improve symptoms of fatigue and brain fog. Exercise helps by pumping blood and hormones through out the body, which will help you feel energized and alert.

Reduce Stress
Connecting with nature, meditation and other stress relief techniques like Reiki can help clear the mind and improve cognitive abilities. Sometimes, an over active mind can make it difficult to focus or concentrate. Quieting the mind can help improve a too-active mind.

Enjoyable Activities
Stress can be relieved through hobbies and activities that are healthy for the mind and body. Yoga, art, garden, physical sports, sing, dance and other such hobbies can help relax the mind, relieve stress, and provide healthy exercise to lift brain fog.

Getting enough sleep is a big aspect of concentration and cognitive processes. Keep a regular sleep routine and go to bed at the same time every night. Aim to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. 

Brain fog can occur for several reasons. Some are medical, while others may include stress or unhealthy lifestyles. Whether you’re coping with an underlying medical condition, or in need of a healthier diet, I hope a few of these recommendations will help lift your brain fog symptoms, I know it did for me!

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