If you’re reading this article there is a good chance that you have experienced what you might describe as “brain fog”. Symptoms usually include forgetting names, unable to find words, forgetfulness and occasional light headed or even dizzy spells.
This symptom is often overlooked by many healthcare professionals and is leading to many other health issues. Another way to describe brain fog is to call it “tired brain”. When our brain gets tired all of our bodily systems become vulnerable to breakdown. Two in particular are your endocrine system aka your hormones. And also your digestive system aka gut health.
For many of my patients and maybe even you, in the back of your mind, may be wondering if these symptoms are the beginning signs of more serious conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia. Typically they are not. Although any undue stress on our brains for extended periods of time left untreated can increase brain dysfunction and lead to more problems.
The 3 most common causes of brain fog are the following.
- Poor sleep. For our brains to work properly we must rest and recover. Poor sleep has become a major health issue in our country. Many of the sleep remedies being used are not helping get to the root of the problem. Sleep meds and alcohol give us false sleep. You inhibit or completely miss out on your R.E.M. sleep. This is when you restore your short term memory. Although alcohol is often used by people to fall asleep easier it always inhibits short term memory.
- Stress. Our lifestyles generally are busier than ever. Multi-tasking with kids, family, work and play time have our schedules full from the moment we wake until we lie down at night. The challenge here is that we become deficient in the basic nutrients that our brains and bodies need to sustain this pace.
- Brain toxicity. Unfortunately, this is most likely partially or primarily at the root of it for most of us. This includes overall systemic inflammation, mold, heavy metals, industrial toxins including gmo’s, household products and the list goes on. Many of these toxins we are all exposed to on a daily basis with little or no recognition. It is the cumulative effect over years that is causing this brain toxicity.
So what can you do?
For starters do not ignore this symptom. If for no other reason brain fog is one of the fastest ways to increase the effects of aging. If your brain is tired or you are experiencing brain fog your entire body is being effected. Your skin, hormones, gut and energy will all be compromised. So I recommend you see a Doctor who is familiar with how to help diagnose and treat these symptoms naturally. Too often I see these symptoms being treated as adult ADD/ADHD and treated with drugs like Adderall. This may give the sense of a cure yet usually drives the problem even deeper.
Start with being sure that getting a good night’s sleep is happening easily. Early to bed and early to rise, put down your phone, iPad and shut off your t.v. These all stimulate your brain and inhibit the release of melatonin, a crucial sleep hormone that only releases when your brain is at rest. Avoid sugar and alcohol before bed. Adding some additional magnesium before bed will often help you stay asleep better. My favorite source is Magnesium Lactate from Standard Process, 3 capsules before bed.
Managing stress may be a bigger topic than I have room to write about in this article yet addressing your hormone balance and most specifically your adrenal glands to help you manage stress may be the most important first step. If you tend toward anxiousness a great herbal supplement is Kava Forte from Standard Process. I often teach my patients some very easy stress reduction breathing techniques that can be extremely effective for short and long term stress management.
For brain toxicity we perform two tests in our office that can identify if inflammation or toxins are at the root of your symptoms. These tests are easy to perform, non-invasive and relatively inexpensive. We utilize a Visual Contrast Sensitivity test (VCS) that identifies if you experiencing some type of brain toxicity. We also use a urine test called Meta-oxy that helps identify if you are experiencing cellular toxicity and/or systemic inflammation. Test results are usually provided in the same office visit.
Being sharp minded with clear and creative thinking can be life changing! Visit a health care professional that is experienced in helping these conditions and get YOU back!