Reasons for Brain Fog and Ways to Overcome it

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Do you often feel confused and disorganized to the extent that it becomes difficult for you to put your thoughts to words? Do you feel as if some one has robbed you of your ability to think? This cloudy and lost feeling could be brain fog-a term yet to find a place in medical lexicon, nevertheless an important constituent of everyday health conversations of individuals leading unhealthy and  stressed lives.

Brain fog can be described as a byproduct of our industrialized, technologically advanced and fast paced life. It can be defined as the feeling of distraction, fatigue, mood swings, forgetfulness, confusion and inability to focus. It may not be a condition that has been recognized medically, but it is also not a normal health condition and can prove to be a disturbance in your daily life. You might believe that this is a condition common only in senior citizens, but it is not true. Brain fog can affect at any age, as it depends on your overall health.

The symptoms of brain fog can be any of the following:

• Anxiety
• Headache
• Irritation
• Forgetfulness, where you cannot recollect important information
Mild depression
• Insomnia
• Difficulty in concentrating
• Difficulty in exercising

Reasons For Brain Fog:

a. Lack of sleep

It is a fact that sufficient amount of sleep can cure a lot of your problems. You are more likely to develop brain fog with a continuous feeling of tiredness if you do not get enough sleep. An average person requires 7-9 hours of sleep to think clearly and function efficiently.

b. Change in your hormones

There are primarily three hormones that play a role in determining your mood, focus and energy – dopamine, cortisol and serotonin. Serotonin and dopamine help in keeping you joyful, calm and motivated whereas cortisol keeps you alert and awake. These hormones are interrelated and together, they help in the smooth functioning of your body. If there is a fluctuation in any of these hormone’s levels, it can affect the balance of the system, causing brain fog.

c. Inflammation

Inflammation is caused by the over-activity of your immune system and is often related to several mental disorders such as dementia, insomnia and depression. Theoretically, it is believed that a higher level of the inflammatory molecule can stimulate microglia (cell located in the spinal cord and brain) activation which may be a reason for developing brain fog.

d. A poor and unhealthy diet

The quality of your diet can be a reason for developing brain fog. Inadequate nutrition in your body, with high amounts of caffeine, alcohol, sugar and refined carbohydrates can majorly impact the functioning of the brain.

e. Pay attention to your diet

What you eat has a major role in deciding your health. Unhealthy food habits can be a reason for your daily suffering. For instance, a study has revealed that you are more likely to develop brain fog if you are consuming too much of gluten in your diet. Gluten free foods help to improve your focus, memory as well as verbal fluency. Apart from this, too much of high-fat diet can decrease the focus of your brain. Drink adequate amounts of water and ensure that you have a protein and vitamin rich diet.

f. Supplements can help

Antioxidants play an important role in keeping your brain healthy. Apart from the foods with high antioxidant content, you can also take Vitamin B and D supplements which are necessary for efficient cognitive function. These compounds will supply your body with the essential nutrients required for cleansing, rejuvenating and healing of your body and mind, eventually clearing your mental fog.
The Ayurvedic herb ‘Brahmi’ is also said to help improve your memory, and clear your brain fog.

g. Choose sleep over your phone

Getting sufficient amount of sleep is essential for both your physical as well as mental well-being. The more you sleep; the better will be your mood, memory and concentration power. However, it should also be kept in mind that excessive sleep can also be harmful for your health. 7 to 9 hours of sleep for an adult is sufficient to maintain good health and remedy brain fog within a week. Avoid spending too much time on your phone when you are in bed, and catch up on your sleep. At the same time, ensure that you do not drink, smoke or have a heavy meal just before bedtime.

h. Exercising is the key

You can easily eliminate mental fog by regular exercises. When you work out, it results in the opening of your blood vessels, allowing the blood to flow easily. This results in the increase of the oxygen levels and drastically enhances the body’s ability to function, both mentally and physically. You will notice a great improvement in your brain’s health if you walk for 40 minutes three times in a week. You can choose any form of exercise that you like, be it walking, running, yoga, aerobics or any other type. Just make sure that there is some activity that you are involved in.

i. Relax

Life in today’s time is mostly about running around the clock, meeting deadlines and over stressing yourself. This face-paced hectic life often takes a toll on your personal relationships too, resulting in sleeplessness, depression, inability to focus, all of which ultimately lead to brain fog. Therefore, it is very important to calm your mind and relax if you want to cure a brain fog. You can choose to meditate, which helps in lowering your blood pressure and reduce stress. Apart from that, listening to music is supposed to be a great stress buster. A change in your daily routine will help you to relax and add positivity in your life. So, make some time to go backpacking or spend a day at a spa resort to rejuvenate yourself.

j. Detoxify

You are always exposed to a high level of toxins that are found in the air, water or food. These harmful toxins gradually accumulate in your kidneys, liver and other parts of the body. This can result in mood swings and a feeling of disorientation. To avoid these symptoms relating to brain fog, you need to detoxify your body. It can be done by following a detox program, drinking lots of water, improving blood circulation, refuelling your body with essential nutrients, fasting or bringing a change in the daily diet.

If you are unable to get rid of your brain fog even after following any or all of these remedies, you must consult a doctor. In some cases, it can be a symptom of some underlying serious conditions like fibromyalgia (musculoskeletal pain), yeast infection, diabetes or Lyme disease (caused by a tick that can result in rashes and joint pain). With proper guidance, you can always protect your brain health, no matter what age group you belong to.

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Dr Rahul has Masters in Maxillofacial Surgery with an overall experience of six years. Since the last 2 years, he is working in the Medical operations team of Portea. An Alumni of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health and Science, he has previously worked with Nationwide- The Family Doctors while as their Chief Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon and Implantologist. He has a special interest in Facial Trauma Surgery, Dental Implantology and Facial aesthetic surgery. It is not only medicine that fascinates Rahul. He is a die-hard sports enthusiast with a strong passion for Football, Basketball, and Cricket and occasionally strums the guitar, too.

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