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Unfortunately, even resolutions made with the best intentions lose steam when the brain isn’t working.
Brain fog describes the feeling of living in a hazy reality, where you feel disoriented, scattered, and dull.
Signs of brain fog include trouble concentrating and forgetfulness. Recurring brain fog may leave you:
- Feeling groggy or confused
- Unable to focus
- With a poor memory
- Stuttering or stammering when speaking
- Processing information slowly
What Causes Brain Fog?
Brain fog can be a common occurrence and a sign of inflammation in the body. You may experience symptoms like confusion, poor memory, difficulty processing information, and an inability to focus.
Datis Kharrazian, bestselling author and a leading expert on autoimmune diseases, recently published a book about the brain called Why Isn’t My Brain Working? He explains that brain fog doesn’t just involve the brain. (1)
Brain fog is a sign of leaky brain or brain on fire. In other words, brain fog is a sign of inflammation.
Inflammation in the brain causes neurons to fire more slowly, slowing down mental acuity, recall, and reflexes. Sluggish neurons also shut down the production of energy in the cells. This means that cells fatigue easily, and you may lose your ability to focus for long periods of time.
Dr. Kharrazian explains that the immune system in the brain is composed of cells called microglia. Microglia “turn on” and release inflammatory messages when:
- There is head trauma.
- Your blood sugar is unregulated, such as diabetes or insulin resistance.
- There is poor blood circulation to the brain.
- There is inflammation outside the brain, such as an inflamed gut.
- You have a marked sensitivity to environmental pollutants, perfumes, and chemicals.
The bad news is that once microglia are activated, they feed inflammatory messages to the brain for their entire lifespan. They are like dominos—once one is activated, a string of microglia “turn on.” This can create a vicious cycle of brain fog that not only muddies your thoughts but can also destroy brain tissue.
4 Ways to Say Goodbye to Brain Fog
In order to alleviate persistent brain fog, it’s crucial to take broad steps to control overall inflammation. While your whole body will benefit from less inflammation, you will also find that you may boost your energy, clarity, and motivation.
1. Sleep and Stress: Get enough sleep at night and stick to a reasonable bedtime. Also, find ways to manage mental and emotional stressors, such as conscious breathing or purposeful exercise.
Lack of sleep, poor sleep quality, and stress can all interfere with the body’s ability to ward off inflammation and brain fog.
2. Blood Sugar: If you find that you skip meals or binge on sugar, it is essential to shift your eating patterns. Skipped meals and sugar binges can spike blood sugar, leading to the release of pro-inflammatory stress hormones. Spikes in blood sugar can also interfere with hormone signaling. Adrenal fatigue, estrogen dominance, hot flashes during menopause, and disorders like PCOS are all signs of a hormonal imbalance. Brain fog is often on the list of symptoms that accompany these disorders.
You can improve blood sugar regulation with an herb called stevia—a natural, sugar-free sweetener.
Also, try incorporating small amounts of intentional movement into your day. Exercise not only helps control blood sugar but also improves the circulation of blood flow to the extremities, including the brain.
3. Low-Grade Infections: Binging on sugar will also feed any low-grade infection in the body. Whether it is Candida yeast or bacterial overgrowth in the gut, a low-grade infection slowly drains the body’s energy by repeatedly tapping into your stress response system.
These low-grade infections accelerate the release of pro-inflammatory messages.
You can control and eliminate infections in the body by eating fermented foods and drinking probiotic beverages. For further support, follow The Body Ecology Diet, which is sugar-free, gluten-free, casein-free, and probiotic-rich.
4. Environmental Toxins: Environmental pollutants and chemicals can place undue stress on the body and its regulatory systems. Donna created LivAmend to support your detoxification pathways with cleansing herbs like milk thistle, wasabi, sarsaparilla, and artichoke leaf.
These herbs buffer the network of antioxidants that work together to transform the pro-inflammatory pollutants we encounter on a daily basis.
What To Remember Most About This Article:
Brain fog may be a familiar feeling. If you've ever had difficulty concentrating, struggled with poor memory, stammered when speaking, or noticed yourself processing information more slowly, you may have had a case of brain fog.
Brain fog is otherwise known as a "leaky brain," or a sign of inflammation in the body. Inflammatory messages may be released in the brain as a result of head trauma, unregulated blood sugar, poor circulation, an inflamed gut, or chemical sensitivity.
Use these 4 tips to alleviate recurrent brain fog and take control of chronic inflammation:
- Get enough sleep at night and address mental and emotional stress. Stress and sleep deprivation make it harder for the body to fight off inflammation.
- Take your blood sugar seriously. It's never recommended to skip meals or binge on sugar, which can trigger spikes in blood sugar and the release of pro-inflammatory stress hormones. Use naturally sugar-free stevia for a sugar craving instead.
- Eliminate low-grade infection. Sugar binges will also feed low-grade infections like Candida and bacterial overgrowth in the body and release pro-inflammatory messages. Fight infection naturally with fermented foods and probiotic beverages on The Body Ecology Diet.
- Cleanse environmental toxins. You can use LivAmend to support detoxification and shield the body from the burden of environmental pollutants and chemicals.
- Kharrazian, Datis. Feb 05 2013. Why Isn't My Brain Working?. Elephant Press. Kindle Edition.