What is Brain Fog and How To Clear it?
Do you or have you suffered from brain fog? You can’t concentrate, you feel like your head doesn’t belong to your body, you can’t recall/remember stuff or you think you’re going mad! You may feel confused, let’s face it, who doesn’t right now. Maybe you can’t put your thoughts into words or you go to do your weekly shop and leave your shopping list at home or your bags on the back seat of the car! Periods of brain fog can appear like huge waves and disrupt your life in many ways.
We are into our third lockdown and I think so many people are feeling frazzled, frustrated and are suffering with brain fog – it’s normal for the conditions we find ourselves in.
There are many reasons for brain fog (which is a collection of symptoms rather than a medical condition), so it’s important to speak to your GP, who may do some tests to see if it could be caused by other issues, such as thyroid problems, anaemia, or autoimmune disease. Brain fog can be memory issues, lack of mental clarity, poor concentration or inability to focus. A lot of people describe it as mental fatigue and can feel similar to sleep deprivation.
Lack of the Sunshine Vitamin – vitamin D
Current recommendations are to take 400mg of vitamin D between October and March, some people may need higher doses. Or you can get outside and get as much daylight as you can, in the garden, walking, cycling or running.
Oily fish is packed with omega 3s and fatty acids and you need to eat at least two portions a week e.g., trout or salmon. There are vegan options too, including seaweed, walnuts, linseeds, hemp seeds and chia seeds.
Could you be B12 deficient?
B vitamins are important for our nervous system, having low levels of B12 can leave you struggling with extreme fatigue. You can get it from red meat, poultry, eggs or fortified cereals.
Are you hydrated enough?
Your brain is around 75% water and your body is around 60% water. Dehydration is linked to issues such as fatigue and brain fog. Monitor your urine colour throughout the day, it should be pale yellow. Try to drink plenty of water, at least 1.5 litres and the rest tea, coffee, juice. The first thing to suffer when you are dehydrated is clarity of mind, cognitive thinking. You may develop a headache, feel tired and lethargic. Your blood becomes thicker so your heart has to work harder to pump your blood around your body. No wonder they say that water is so awesome.
Stress can increase your blood pressure and weaken your immune system which can trigger depression. Find out what causes you stress, what your stress triggers are. When you are stressed you release adrenaline and cortisol into your body and if you are in a constant state of stress, this can impact on your immune system and digestive system too.
A lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep can interfere with your brain function. Aim for 8 to 9 hours sleep every night as sleeping too little can lead to poor concentration and cloudy thoughts. Make sure that you have a good bed time routine, no phones, tablets or laptop use for 2 hours before going to bed. Ensure that you bedroom is cool and dark but comfortable. Oh and no TV in your bedroom!
Hormonal changes can also trigger brain fog. Levels or progesterone or oestrogen increase during pregnancy. This change can affect memory and cause short term cognitive impairment. Similarly, a drop in oestrogen level during menopause can cause forgetfulness, poor concentration and cloudy thinking.
Another thing to look at if you notice brain fog whilst taking medication, you need to speak to your GP as it could be a side effect of the meds you are taking.