Brain fog refers to a condition in which an individual suffers from bouts of forgetfulness, becomes detached, and experiences difficulty concentrating. The term “fog” is used when referring to the condition because it seems like a cloud is blocking the way for mental clarity.

Brain Fog Causes

Fatigue : Getting inadequate rest and sleep can cause brain fog. People who do not get the recommended 6 to 8 hours of sleep a day find it harder to concentrate than those who get enough sleep. Fatigue can affect your ability to concentrate and can leave you struggling with your memory making it harder for you to complete everyday tasks.

Alzheimer's Disease : Older people are more susceptible to mental illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, which affects the memory. The warning signs of Alzheimer’s such as struggling to remember names and faces, are more frequent in people with frequent brain fog. The only difference between Alzheimer’s and brain fog is that the former becomes worse over time. The earlier Alzheimer is caught, the easier it is to slow its progress. If you notice your loved one having frequent brain fog, talk to your doctor immediately. 

Pregnancy : Some pregnant women experience brain fog, especially those in their final trimester. However, there is no definitive scientific conclusion on why some pregnant women experience brain fog. Medical experts argue that brain fog in pregnant women occurs because pregnant women are often overwhelmed by the prospect of how the baby will change their lives. Therefore, brain fog is nature’s way of simplifying the process by having them process the bare minimum of information. The brain fog often subsides once the pregnant woman has had the baby. 

Stress : Stress usually overloads people with thoughts of things they need to do, places they need to go and problems they need to solve. Having so many things to think about makes it harder to concentrate on everyday tasks. People who do not handle stress well are likely to suffer from stress-induced brain fog. 

Chemotherapy : Chemotherapy can cause brain fog, otherwise known as chemo brain. Cancer patients undergoing aggressive chemotherapy treatment often find it difficult to memorize names and remember faces. These problems often subside once the chemo sessions stop. 

Nutritional Causes : The foods in your diet can leave you with a brain fog. Anemic people often find it difficult to concentrate and think when they are low on iron. The same happens to diabetics when they are high or low on sugar. 

 

 

Brain Fog Treatment and Prevention

Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Vegetables and fresh fruits supply the body with the vitamins it need for a healthy brain. You will find it hard to think or concentrate if your body lacks essential nutrients. Avoid eating junk foods because they lack essential nutrients. Eat foods that revitalize your body and boost your energy levels such as eggs, bananas, and oat meal. Be consistent with a healthy diet to achieve significant results.

Drink at least eight glasses of water each day. Like other body organs, the brain requires hydration. Water is the main component of the blood and provides transportation for oxygen and nutrients to the brain and other organs. Water also plays a vital role in the removal of waste from various parts of the body. Dehydration makes it harder for the body to remove wastes effectively, which leads to an increase in toxicity levels in the body. This may contribute to brain fog. Avoid drinking tap water due to its high chlorine levels, which is harmful to the urinary tract.

Exercise for at least half an hour each day. Engage in sports or go to the gym to get your blood pumping. Exercise improves blood circulation facilitating the supply of blood and oxygen to the brain for optimal performance.

Take at least two tablespoonfuls of cod liver oil each morning as part of your breakfast. Cod liver oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which improve brain function and promote healthy brain cell development.

Include whole food multivitamin and mineral supplements in your daily diet. Make sure the whole food multivitamins are made of food and not chemicals. Read the label carefully and avoid buying multivitamins that are full of chemicals. The bottle should say “made from food” or “whole food”. However, be sure to get a substantial amount of the vitamins you need from vegetables and only take supplements to provide additional vitamins and nutrients.

The best way to prevent brain fog is by eating healthy foods. Like other body organs, the brain needs lots of vitamins and minerals for peak performance. Staying away from processed foods will go a long way to improve your diet. These includes frozen foods and pre-made meals like microwave dinners. 

Keep an eye out for sugar, sodium and fat in the food that you are eating. 

Sugar

Sugar is heavily added in our foods and we should be wary of these added sugars regardless of whether they are natural or unnatural. It is a given that you should stay way from high-fructose corn syrup which is commonly added in soft drinks but you should also be careful with too much natural sugar as well. 

Nowadays sugar isn't just added into sweets but things such as bread, pasta sauces and cereal. The best way to keep informed is to look into your products ingredient label. 

Sodium

Sodium is added to many canned products including canned vegetables, soups and sauces. The sodium enhances the taste and works as a preservative. Most Americans are eating significantly more than the recommended 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. Most of the sodium we eat comes from processed foods and very little of it comes from simply added salt to food. So keep a lookout for sodium levels in the ingredient list of the products you buy. You are much better off simply buying low sodium products and sprinkling a bit of sodium on your food later. 

Fats

The biggest worry with added fat is the use of trans fat in foods. Trans fats lower our good cholesterol while raising our bad cholesterol.  Researchers at the University of California’s San Diego School of Medicine have found a link between trans fat levels and memory loss. In a study researches found that trans fat consumption was linked to worse memory in men. 

Memory supplements are one way to efficiently get the nutrients that we need. Lack of nutrients opens the way for infections and diseases to take root in the body, which can lead to brain fog. Getting enough rest, reducing stress, and drinking lots of water are good ways of preventing brain fog. 

Sleep and Brain Fog
Do you think your too busy to get enough sleep? Jeff Bezos the CEO of Amazon.com places a huge priority on sleep. In Wall Street Journal article from 1999 Bezos said that eight hours of sleep gives him the alertness and mental clarity needed to power through the day. 
 
If you recently learned something new one of the best ways to solidify that memory is by getting much needed sleep. Sleep helps solidify the new memories and helps to link earlier memories with new ones. It's also great to get some sleep before you are about to learn. In fact research suggests that a lack of sleep can cut down your ability to learn by as much as 40%.  
 
When you sleep your brain cycles through different sleep stages about every 90 minutes including REM (rapid eye movement) and non-REM sleep. The non-REM sleep you get helps to prepare your brain for future learning and a lack of it makes learning significantly more challenging. 
 
There is ongoing research in how deep sleep can help those over the age of 60. Studies have shown that after 60 we lose almost 70% of deep sleep compared to individuals aged 18-25. Restoring sleep in older people can significantly improve their memory. 
 
Reduce Stress 
Having chronic stress can significantly impact your memory and cause brain fog. An academic study from the Department of Psychology in Arizona State University found that chronic stress effects spatial learning and memory. In an another study researches found that the stress hormone cortisol effects short term memory in rats. So given that it is apparent that added stress can be a significant cause of brain fog: what are some effective ways to reduce stress?
 
Avoiding alcohol, cigarettes and drugs – It goes without saying that alcohol and drugs cause significant stress on our bodies and minds. 
 
Reducing sugar levels – Sugar only gives your body a temporarily high and can cause mood and energy issues when you come down from the sugar rush. 
 
Stop spending hours in front of the TV – Humans weren't meant to spend 4 hours seated on a couch watching a screen. Binge watching TV makes it more difficulty to fall asleep leading to less quality sleep. 
 
Instead of reducing stress through unhealthy ways try to manage stress with healthy techniques:
 
Add physical activity to your life – A sedentary lifestyle is a major cause of stress. Physical activity not only reduces your current stress levels it can prevent stress in the future. You can pick your favorite form of exercise and do it for about 30 minutes a day. By exercising your body is releasing endorphins that are natural mood boosters. Exercising with a partner can be a great way to make sure you stay motivated and committed in your routine.
 
Engage Socially- Communicating with and socializing is one of the fastest and easiest ways to reduce stress. Reach out to a friend, join a new group activity or meet new people by volunteering. If you are lonely and isolated you are increasing susceptible to stress. 
 
There is no quick and easy cure for brain fog but if you start taking postitive steps in your life you can make signficant improvements in your memory and mental clarity. First, try to understand where your brain fog symptoms are coming from. Are you fatigued, stressed or are there nutritional causes for your brain fog? Next, focus on giving your body the optimal sleep and nutrition. Spend some time reguarly excercising every day and don't forget to call a friend, stress only gets worse when you are isolated.