The Seven Common Causes of Brain Fog
"Brain fog is often a controllable condition. You just have to address the potential underlying causes, which could be happening not just in your brain but in your gut as well."
Do you have days when feel like you’re walking around in a fog? You have difficulty thinking, concentrating, or forming thoughts, and your thinking feels muddled or slow? If so, then you have brain fog and increasing bouts of it can become serious over time.
In Part I of a two-part video series on brain fog, Dr. Nancy discusses six well-known and one less well-known causes of brain fog.
- 00:32: What brain fog is
- 01:52: The underlying causes of brain fog must be addressed
- 02:49: Cause 1 - lack of sleep
- 03:24: Cause 2 - neurological disorders
- 03:47: Cause 3 - stress
- 04:34: Cause 4 - menopause
- 04:51: Cause 5 - diabetes
- 05:10: Cause 6 - side effects from medications
- 05:49: A less commonly known cause: the brain-gut connection
- 06:57: Inflammation is the most common cause of a leaky gut or leaky blood-brain barrier
- 07:19: How to fight inflammation
- 07:48: Balance of good-to-bad gut bacteria
- 09:00: How to restore healthy gut balance
Six Causes of Brain Fog
- Lack of quality sleep: the brain needs sleep in order to function properly, so if your sleep is regularly interrupted, you're more likely to experience brain fog throughout the day. This is especially true of those who suffer from a sleep disorder, for whom a simple cup of coffee in the morning may not be enough to clear the fog.
- Neurological disorders: Brain fog can be a side effect of certain disorders such as fibromyalgia, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, and multiple sclerosis, as well as certain cancers.
- Stress: Stress is extremely powerful, and can negatively affect the body in many ways, including contributing to brain fog. Brain fog is especially common in times of severe stress, such as after the passing of a loved one, but if normal everyday stressors are causing brain fog, this could be a sign of a deeper problem.
- Menopause: women often experience brain fog during menopause due to fluctuations of hormones, but as the hormones start to be restored to their proper balance, the brain fog should clear.
- Diabetes: Since glucose is a primary source of energy for the brain, fluctuating glucose in the blood can cause brain fog symptoms.
- Side effects of medications: certain types of medications such as those for high blood pressure, pain management, and allergy relief can cause mental confusion and brain fog.
The Lesser Known Cause of Brain Fog
Recent research suggests that a major source of brain fog may be something called the "Brain-Gut Connection". That's right! Your gut could be causing brain fog. This can happen in two ways.
The lining of your intestines become porous as you age, causing toxic particles from undigested food, and pathogens, to escape the gut and leak directly into the bloodstream. These toxins go straight to the brain. But that's not all. Like the intestines, the brain is surrounded by a lining, called the blood-brain barrier, which can be compromised. This lining protects the brain from pathogens, toxins, and other contaminants.
The most common cause of a leaky gut and leaky blood-brain barrier is... you guessed it! Inflammation. An inflamed gut can lead to an inflamed brain, which leads to brain fog. Not a healthy picture!
Fortunately, you can fight inflammation by making dietary changes. Download Dr. Nancy's anti-inflammatory diet ebook here.
Also, try taking Smarter Curcumin daily to fight inflammation in the gut and the brain.
Balance between good to bad gut bacteria
Have you heard of the microbiome in your intestine, or "vast army of microbes", some friendly, and some less so? The microbiome behaves as a second brain. In fact, some researchers are arguing that it has even more control over your physical and mental health than the brain itself. Your gut is actually jam-packed with millions of tiny neurons, very similar to those found in your brain! This nervous system has a direct connection to your brain and if your gut bacteria is off due to things like poor diet, medications, excess alcohol, or other lifestyle factors, it can leave you feeling mentally dull and sluggish. It can also affect your mood.
To increase the level of good bacteria in your gut, you can eat more fiber-rich and fermented foods, and take a good probiotic that's strong enough to change your gut balance from unfriendly to friendly.
I like Smarter Nutrition's Gut Health formula, with both the prebiotic formula, and three strands of the most powerful probiotics you can get.
The takeaway today is that brain fog is often a controllable condition. You just have to address the potential underlying causes, which could be happening not just in your brain but in your gut as well.
Tune in tomorrow as Dr. Nancy goes through simple steps to get rid of brain fog for good!