If the following sounds like you, you may be experiencing brain fog.
You might not be able to concentrate on work tasks, conversations, or even on the words you’re reading right now. You may have difficulty making up your mind, small decisions are a big deal, you need more coffee to focus, more snacks to stay awake, and more booze at night for temporary relief from the fog. In more severe cases, you might have headaches, problems with your vision or even nausea.
What your feeling is called brain fog! And it sucks! What causes it and how can you start to clear the fog and feel better?
Brain fog can be a symptom of a nutrient deficiency, sleep disorder, bacterial overgrowth from overconsumption of sugar, depression, or even a thyroid condition. Other common brain fog causes include eating too much and too often, inactivity, not getting enough sleep, chronic stress, and a poor diet.
What Can Cause Brain Fog?
The two big culprits of brain fog: sugar and hormone imbalance.
Certain foods, like sugar and alcohol, can throw off the microorganisms that live in our gut, impacting how we think, feel and perform every day. Sugar and refined carbohydrates feed bad bacteria and yeast in our gut which can lead to a whole host of symptoms ranging from allergies, acne and joint pain to major brain fog. Studies are now suggesting that diets high in refined sugar reduce the production of a brain chemical called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). When we don’t have enough BDNF, our brains struggle to form new memories and commit to new information. Some research is even linking low levels of BDNF with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
A hormonal imbalance, or when your body is producing too much or too little of a specific hormone, is a common cause of brain fog. Thyroid hormone imbalances are frequently linked to brain fog. This is especially true with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune immune disease where your immune system attacks your thyroid, inhibiting it from producing enough thyroid hormones and creating an inflammatory state. Low thyroid hormone aka hypothyroidism can lead to decreased cognitive function and a blood sugar imbalance that contributes to low levels of glucose that lead to brain fog. All of your hormones and imbalances start in your gut! Which is why we need to really take a closer look at what we eat and feeding our gut microbiome.
How Can I Increase Mental Clarity and Feel Better?
SLEEP: Since brain fog is sometimes caused by fatigue, one of the most assured ways to cure a serious case of brain fog is by getting a good night’s rest. This means aiming to get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night! Try listening to pink or white noise to fall sleep faster. I found mine on Youtube and iTunes! There are also a lot of free apps you can download!
PRE & PROBIOTICS: If you want to beat brain fog, both prebiotics (aka, high-fiber foods that healthy gut bacteria feed on) and probiotics are naturally found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods you can find at pretty much every grocery store. Our fave company is Plexus which carries everything from supplements to the famous pink drink loaded with probiotics and fiber for a healthy gut microbiome.
DESTRESS: Just ten minutes of mindful meditation a day can improve cognitive function. 5 minute guided meditations on YouTube are my favorite! You can check out one of our latest blog posts about breathing exercises to help destress here.
Ready to Get Rid of Your Brain Fog?
Your brain fog won’t go away overnight. It will TAKE TIME!! Follow these 4 steps daily to help reduce brain fog and other symptoms that come with it. Are you having any of these other symptoms with your brain fog?
- Memory problems
- Chronic fatigue
- Sleep problems
- High anxiety
- Lack of concentration
- High sugar, alcohol and carbs cravings
- Headaches and migraines
- Increased irritability
It’s possible your gut is out of balance! You are experiencing candida overgrowth which is affecting your healthy gut microbes and healthy bacteria. If you want to see faster results and stop brain fog and other health issues, take our health questionnaire here! We can help you get your gut health back into shape!
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