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What have I got to do to beat this brain fog?
Experience low mental energy?
Feel like your living behind glass?
That lack of clarity.
The difficulty in focusing.
Everyone’s experience is different.
So, if you’re wondering how to bust out of this brain funk-feeling in your head, or you want to help someone who is suffering from these symptoms, then today’s podcast is just for you.
In today’s Brain Fog: Symptoms to Treatment episode, I address:
- What Does Brain Fog Feel Like
- What Are 5 Brain Fog Symptoms
- 12 Causes of Brain Fog
- Lack of Sleep Makes A Fuzzy Mind
- Chronic #Stress And A Tired Brain
- Hormone Changes Lead To Bad Memory
- Depression And Brain Fog
- Food and Nutrition Affects Brain Health
- Medication Can Make You Fuzzy
- Neurological Conditions Impact Clarity
- Poor Gut Health Means Poor Mental Clarity
- Fatigue Makes You Too Tired To Focus
- Toxins Are Toxic To Your Brain
- Alcohol Flooding Your Brain?
- Genetics May Up Your Brain Fog Risks
- Brain Fog Testing: What Do You Need To Do?
- Get Some Brain Clarity with #Treatments
- Recovery Is Possible
- The Biggest Takeaway About Brain Fog And Stress
How’s your concentration?
Pfft! Out the door and into the….uh. What was I thinking again?
Maybe you find yourself getting lost in a conversation and not in a good way.
You have to read things over and over.
How do you turn up in your life and for your family when everything feels like you’re living behind a pane of glass?
Simple everyday words seem like a struggle.
You might be experiencing the cognitive changes people often refer to as “Brain Fog”
Brain fog isn’t a medical condition.
But it is an experience lived by people. And it impacts their quality of life.
There are symptoms, a cluster of symptoms that indicate whether what you’re going through could be brain fog- but that’s not really the area to focus on- more so- what can you do about it.
The experience though varies from person to person.
One person’s experience of brain fog could be very different from another.
It could be very light and minor.
Or it could be so severe and significant that it’s already an impairment to your life.
How you are dealing with memory problems, poor concentration, and lack of mental clarity….
When it comes to your ability to do things such as drive a car, manage your finances, pursue your hobbies.
Have fun interactions and make conversations.
Know this one important thing.
Brain fog doesn’t have to be a permanent fixture in your life.
There are tests that you can do.
There are treatments available.
You don’t have to live the rest of your life behind that glass pane.
Life can become clear again!
So make your move.
If you know the cluster of symptoms associated with brain fog then you’ll know whether or not you’re experiencing it.
The next step is to understand what could be causing your brain fog.
Because when you know what’s causing it then you know what to do next.
It is often that the causes determine the action.
Address the things causing your mental fogginess.
Take charge of your brain health and get clear.
When your mental focus is taking a dive, that’s the signal for you to dive in as well.
Take things into your hands.
Attack the causes associated with it.
Because that’s what you have to be. You have to stay vigilant and safeguard your cognitive fitness for as long as possible.
So that you can get control and live your life on your terms.
About Our Host
David Norris is an occupational therapist who has been in this practice for 20 years.
He has dealt with a lot of clients who seek help with their memory loss problems. David began asking himself about how these people can get ahead of these problems. It is then that he started teaching his clients how to improve their brain health to prevent memory loss.
David Norris is also the director and founder of Occupational Therapy Brisbane.
Brain Fog And Stress
What Does Brain Fog Feel Like
- Philosopher Gilbert Ryle’s “Concept of Mind” is an argument against principles that the mind and body are separate.
- Brain fog is a cluster of different symptoms and experiences.
- It is a silent phenomenon. To others, the people who have it look normal.
- For those living with it, it is a pervasive experience. They have less energy, retreat more, and are a bit depressed.
- Some people feel hungover, some can’t think clearly, and others find simple words become such tongue twisters.
- One person’s experience of brain fog is entirely different from another’s.
What Are 5 Brain Fog Symptoms
- Memory problems.
- Lack of mental clarity or difficulty of putting things together.
- Poor concentration and attention.
- Inability to focus.
- Mental fatigue or an impairment to do things that matter.
12 Causes Of Brain Fog
Lack of Sleep Makes A Fuzzy Mind
- A lot of people aren’t sleeping properly. Broken, interrupted sleep means you don’t get the brain flushing benefits.
- When you get a deep nourishing sleep, your brain undergoes a wash and rinse cycle associated with mental health.
Chronic Stress And A Tired Brain
- Stress plays a role in impacting your immune system.
- It triggers a whole host of changes that ultimately lead to mental fatigue.
- Stress makes it harder for you to think and rationalise things.
Hormone Changes Lead To Bad Memory
- Thyroid dysfunction can manifest as brain fog.
- It can impact your sense of arousal, memory, and mood.
- Memory loss and hormonal changes are both associated with menopause.
- Hypothyroidism or not having enough hormones can lead to difficulty with concentration and also affects verbal memory.
Depression And Brain Fog
- People with depression experience a cognitive dysfunction.
- Reaction times are slower. The ability to solve complex problems and have a sense of clarity are affected.
- Comparing 2005 with 2015, there’s been an 18% increase in people living with depression.
- Older people ages 65 and up are living with the profound impacts of depression.
Food and Nutrition Affects Brain Health
- Brain fog can be a symptom of the lack of a nutrient rich and diverse diet.
- A healthy thriving brain needs vitamin Bs such as vitamin B12.
- Allergies and your consumption of food with preservatives or additives have been documented to be associated with brain fog.
- A MTHFR genetic mutation leads to low folate levels in the body and impacts methylation, which is responsible for allowing people to operate at high levels.
- Lifestyle factors set you up to experience brain fog.
Medication Can Make You Fuzzy
- I put together some time ago a ‘Fuzzy 17’ list of medications associated with brain fog.
- Blood pressure lowering drugs have gained notoriety for that.
- Too little, too much, or too much of a multitude of different vitamins can be a factor for you to experience brain fog.
- People who undergo cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation report having a foggy brain.
Neurological Conditions Impact Clarity
- Having anxiety impacts cognitive dysfunction.
- Neurological disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis and Dementia, autoimmune diseases like arthritis and lupus, dehydration, and conditions such as Meniere’s, all contribute to poor cognitive fitness.
Poor Gut Health Means Poor Mental Clarity
- We’ve already looked at the relationship between the gut-brain access.
- Sensitivities in the gut and the immune system response affects your cognitive well-being.
- Gut health is an important variable contributing to your brain fog.
Fatigue Makes You Too Tired To Focus
- Fatigue can be due to too much physical exertion or a lack of incidental movement
- Obesity and grief are both associated with fatigue.
Toxins Are Toxic To Your Brain
- Toxins are in our environment. Some mimic the functions of hormones. Some block and mimic the activities associated with sugar regulation.
Alcohol Flooding Your Brain?
- Alcohol has after effects and your liver has to deal with it.
- Sustained alcohol consumption and abuse will impair your cognitive performance.
Genetics May Up Your Brain Fog Risks
- The MTHFR snip or single nucleotide polymorphism is a genetic variable associated with cognitive dysfunction.
Brain Fog Testing: What Do You Need To Do?
- How is your mental health?
- What is your diet like?
- Are you getting enough physical activity? Or is it too much?
- Are you taking any medications or supplements? Are they doing the job they need to do?
- Check for symptoms such as hair loss, changes in skin moisture, weight gain, or changes in your nail conditions.
- Get some blood work done. Check your fasting glucose levels, any underlying infections, or nutritional deficiencies.
- Test your kidney, liver, and thyroid function.
- It might be worthwhile to get an MRI or CT Scan.
- Investigate your allergies or consider getting a sleep study.
- It might be worthwhile to get an MRI or CT-scan.
- Start a diary of your symptoms, the things happening in your life, your stress, your mood can help you keep a track record that could be the start of a relevant conversation later with your GP.
Get Some Brain Clarity with Treatments
- The causes determine the actions needed to be taken.
- For example, if low iron levels are causing your poor cognitive function then add iron supplements or change your diet.
- For medication problems, work with your GP to determine what’s best for you.
- Get some good quality sunlight exposure.
- Connect with others and find joy and pleasure in the activities you do in your life.
Recovery Is Possible
- Brain fog does not need to be an ongoing life condition.
- You can do something about it.
- Pay attention to the signs and be vigilant about safeguarding your cognitive fitness.
- You can tackle this, cut your risks down, and gain control.
- Put together the right team to develop a personalised action plan relevant to your particular situation.
- Get right to it now and cut down your experiences of memory health loss and brain fog.
Previously Recommended Resource
- Cognitive impairment in depression: recent advances and novel treatments: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520478/
- Beyond Blue: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/media/statistics
- The role of cognitive dysfunction in the symptoms and remission from depression
- Ghost In The Machine “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_in_the_machine“
- Charlie Brown “ Wah Wa” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxC_AjFxS68
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The Biggest Takeaway about Brain Fog and Stress
Let’s cut up our “wah, wah” feeling and start to get more clarity in your life.
Quotable “Rather than feeling like a passenger to the symptoms, experiences, we can start to do something about it.” – David Norris
What was your BIGGEST takeaway from this episode?
All the best
P.S. Did you get the free guide? If not, here’s the link.
Disclaimer: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.