Sunday, May 20, 2012

Brain Fog

"Brain Fog" is not listed as a diagnosis or health condition in medical text books, but it is very real. Today's health and beauty buzz is on brain fog.
Brain fog is like a thick fog or cloudiness affecting your ability to think clearly. It is not the same as dementia. You just know that you are not functioning well, are forgetful,sometimes detached and have difficulty thinking and concentrating. Having a "senior moment?" You are not alone! Brain fog is fairly common and some people have had it for most of their lives. Sometimes it comes on slowly with age and over time.
Causes of brain fog
There are many causes of brain fog although the most common are nutrition deficiency and chemical imbalances.
Other causes include:-
  • Dehydration- Proper hydration is required at a cellular level.
  • Hypoglycemia- Hypoglycemia can starve the brain of fuel needed to function.
  • Candida (yeast) The yeast releases various toxins which cause brain fog.
  • Chronic fatigue- The brain requires lots of energy and fatigue from any source (especially stress) can cause mental confusion.
  • Infections and diseases drain energy and produce toxins which cause brain fog.
  • Nutritional imbalances are a common cause. The brain requires many nutrients including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids. Vitamin B deficiency is known to cause confusion.
  • Electrolyte imbalance caused by excessive sweating and vomiting. 
  • Toxins- Many types of toxins result in brain fog. Common toxins include mold, mildew, fungi, chemicals and even insect bites.
  • Metal toxicity- Copper in particular. Causes of copper imbalances result from stress, fatigue, zinc deficiency, some birth control pills and IUD's. Some women experience brain fog with menstruation. Vegetarian diets are high in copper and low in zinc (balances copper) and may be lacking in other vital nutrients for brain health.
  • Hormones- Imbalances in the endocrine system cause a wide range of health issues including brain fog. Women have complained about menopause and brain fog for eternity.
  • Reduced oxygen to the brain- This may be caused by clogged arteries or shallow breathing.
  • Misaligned spine or pinched nerves can cause brain fog.
  • Medications- Prescription as well as over the counter medication. Many different drugs can cause brain fog. Taking multiple drugs may have unforeseen side effects.
  • Depression and anxiety is linked to brain fog. Exercise, sufficient sleep or medication may help.
Help for Brain Fog:
Here are a couple of things one can try after ruling out the above:-
  1. Oils- Try adding some coconut oil to your diet. Make sure you have enough Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet obtained from fatty fish such as salmon or through a supplement.
  2. Lay off the alcohol- As you age, intolerance to alcohol increases.
  3. Rule out any illness or disease.
  4. Vitamin B12 injections are highly thought of in the medical profession.
  5. Be active. Exercise aids in oxygenation.
  6. Get a good night's sleep. (Ways to aid sleep naturally will be covered in a later blog)
  7. Don't take on too much. Say no!
  8. Iron- Make sure you have sufficient iron in your diet. Iron is critical for memory function.
  9. Vitamin E has been found to decrease Alzheimer's by 67%.
  10. Have your thyroid checked.
Some other supplements which may help boost memory:
  1. Vinpocetine- Take 10mgs 3 times a day. Vinpocetine is thought to be the most important supplement for "brain fog".
  2. Green tea extract. Must be 98% with 50% catechins. Take 200mgs daily.
  3. Omega 3 fish oil or krill oil with high DHA/EPA. Take 2grams per day.
  4. Acetyl L Carnitine- Take 300 to 1000mg per day
  5. Huperzine A- Take 5 mg per day.
  6. Sage oil- 60 drops or pill form-33mgs for memory issues.
  7. Bacopa is said to enhance learning, reduce brain stress and improve memory-300mg per day.
  8. B complex supplement.
  9. Zinc is important for memory.
  10. Pumpkin seed oil.
  11. Blueberry concentrate- around $7-00 from health food stores.
  12. Use raw brown cane sugar in coffee/tea.
Gingko Biloba contrary to popular belief, is wonderful and increases circulation to lower body extremities, but is not useful as a brain supplement.

Challenge your brain!

*Remember to discuss all medications including over the counter drugs and supplements with your physician prior to use.* Many supplements interact adversely with prescription drugs. Do not self diagnose.

Stay healthy, happy and safe.

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