Do you ever find yourself unable to think clearly? Does work ever seem difficult due to foggy thinking? You may be experiencing brain fog.
What’s brain fog? Brain fog is characterized by a lack of clarity and ability to think critically. During brain fog, trouble with people, projects, and motivation may arise. Also, a sense of irritability at not being able to think straight may occur.
There are many factors involved in brain fog. These range from disease to poor lifestyle choices. It can even be caused by hormonal issues, lack of exercise, and lack of a healthy diet. Whatever the case, let’s get into specifics concerning potential causes of brain fog and how to finally heal from this.
What’s Brain Fog? Causes and Solutions
With all the potential causes of brain fog, I’m not surprised you’re here wondering: what’s brain fog? To help you get to the bottom of what’s causing this unnecessary affliction, I’ve compiled a resource of potential causes. We’ll start with some basics and eventually move into more technical reasons.
Are you exercising enough?
The verdict is in, exercise is, in fact, necessary for maintaining optimal brain health. Exercising helps our brains by reducing inflammation, encouraging the growth of new neurons, and by enhancing memory, learning, and coordination.
A good rule of thumb is to exercise every day. It doesn’t need to be strenuous every single day. For example, some days you can run or weight lift, while other days you can walk or go for a light swim. The main point is that you move your body every day. This body was made for moving.
Are you eating enough plants?
Eating enough fresh produce is also essential for maintaining a sharp, healthy brain. According to Harvard Health, foods such as berries and green, leafy vegetables help the brain function at its best.
For example, leafy, green vegetables are filled with important brain-enhancing nutrients that can slow cognitive decline. Berries contain flavonoids, the color pigmentation that makes them bright. These flavonoids have been shown to improve memory.
Eating a wide range of fruits and vegetables is key to consider when you’re asking yourself: “What is brain fog?” and “How do I get rid of it?” It’s easy to add fruits and vegetables into every meal. You can eat berries with many breakfast options, leafy greens in a salad or sandwich for lunch, and asparagus, broccoli, or artichoke with dinner.
Are you practicing stress management?
Stress is a cause of brain fog that exists in many of our lives. Unfortunately, stress is also detrimental to brain function. While under stress, the brain perceives an imminent danger. To cope, the brain changes its pace of function. The amygdala becomes very active. This part of the brain governs our survival. In turn, other areas of the brain involved with memory and critical thinking become less active to preserve energy for the amygdala.
You can begin to bring peace to your life by organizing your days, meditating, and practicing cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This form of therapy is proven to heal stress. It contains exercises ranging from forms of meditation to effective forms of reflection such as journaling and deeply questioning sources of stress and fear.
Are you going through hormonal changes?
If you’re experiencing brain fog, you should definitely consider hormonal change as a possible cause.
During these times, be sure to eat well and exercise, and most of all, be easy on yourself.
What medications are you taking?
Certain medications are known to cause brain fog such as those prescribed for sleep, anxiety, and other psychiatric disorders.
If you’re experiencing brain fog and are on any medication, be sure to check in with your doctor to go over potential causes and solutions.
Do you have any medical conditions?
Brain fog can be a possible complication and side effect of an existing medical condition.
For example, people with multiple sclerosis (MS) commonly experience brain fog. MS is a disease that corrodes the protective covering of nerves. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, “a change in cognitive function or cognitive dysfunction is common in MS — more than half of all people with MS will develop problems with cognition.” Specific symptoms include problems with information processing, memory, attention, executive functions, and verbal fluency (finding the right words).
Meanwhile, many elderly may be wondering: “what is brain fog?” Cases of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, can also cause brain fog. These diseases are neurodegenerative and therefore can definitely cause cognitive impairment. For seniors experiencing brain fog, be sure to follow up with your doctor to potentially have dementia testing done.
Finally, talk to your specialist if you have any digestive disorders and are experiencing brain fog. Certain ailments categorized as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) can interrupt the digestive system’s ability to absorb nutrients properly. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to brain fog.
What’s brain fog?: Implementing what you’ve learned
So you’ve asked yourself: “what’s brain fog?” and learned some causes as well as preventative techniques. Now I want to offer some overarching tips for implementing a brain fog-free lifestyle. Here they are:
- Eat well and exercise daily. This is the core and basis of maintaining a sharp mind. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables while limiting heavy, greasy foods. Exercising daily will promote brain health by promoting the growth of new neurons and by decreasing stress.
- Try maintaining a consistent meditation practice. Do your brain a favor by taking some time to tune in to your breath. This will deal with the stress that’s detrimental to brain function.
- Check-in with your doctor when needed. If you’re experiencing brain fog, your doctor may be able to help you figure out the cause. They’ll aim to connect the issue with any medications you’re taking, your history with any medical conditions, as well as any specific hormonal changes you may be experiencing.
You can heal your brain fog, especially given what researchers know about brain maintenance. The next time you’re wondering: “What’s brain fog?”, you’ll have plenty to tell your peers who may be experiencing it themselves.
Looking for more science-backed wellness info? Explore the TelMD Upstream Blog!
Let’s Make Wellness Contagious!™
April 02, 2019
Why you must schedule stress reduction shouldn’t even be in question. Yet somehow our culture makes it difficult to set aside the time to relax, restore, and recharge
September 17, 2019
When we have two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or when we engage in a behavior that is in conflict with our beliefs, we feel a sense of uneasiness.