Brain fog can lead to misunderstanding and disorientation. It can make a person feel confused and as if the cognitive functions such as thinking, understanding and remembering are not working in a proper way.
The lines above must have made you understand that brain fog in itself is not a medical condition. It is rather a term implying a number of other symptoms linked with the functions of brain.
Let’s understand it better.
What is Bain Fog?
Brain fog is the state where a person feels that process of thinking, understanding and remembering are not working as they usually do.
Brain fog can impact a person’s memory making it difficult to store and recall information. The confusion caused can result in inability to focus or put your thoughts into words as well as understand what others are saying.
It can further affect their:
- visual and spatial skills for drawing, recognizing shapes, and routing spaces
- ability to calculate and work things out
- Inability in organizing or solving problems
These cognitive inefficiencies can prove stressful and cause fatigue to a person.
Now let’s have a look at the possible causes of brain fog.
Causes of Brain Fog
Brain fog has been associated with multiple causes. Knowing the underlying cause can help you fix it without much delay.
- Inadequate Sleep – Sleeping too little can lead to concentration issues causing cloudy thoughts. Proper functioning of brain needs good quality sleep.
Difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep known as insomnia is also a part of it. It can affect your overall health. Do share it with your doctor if you feel that you suffer from insomnia.
- Stress – Prolonged stress has seen to be a definite cause of various health issues including majorly, high blood pressure, weakening of the immune system and depression. It can also cause mental fatigue.
When your brain is tired, it becomes tougher to think, reason and focus.
Medications – If you ever notice symptoms like brain fog mentioned above during the course of some medication, do talk to your doctor about it. He may advice changing the medicine or altering its dose.
Also brain fog can take place during cancer treatments.
- Changes In Hormones – Hormonal changes can also be a cause of brain fog. Levels of the hormones progesterone and estrogen increase during pregnancy which can affect memory and cause short-term cognitive impairment.
- Some medical conditions – Like mentioned above, cancer can lead to brain fog. Apart from it, conditions like below can also experience brain fog:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, arthritis and multiple sclerosis
How it is identified?
Brain fog can’t be diagnosed easily with a simple test. In case you feel a persistent lack of cognitive ability, discuss it thoroughly with your doctor who may advise you a couple of tests along with knowing information on aspects like your lifestyle habits including diet, exercise, your ongoing medications or supplements and the status of your mental health.
Your doctor may then advice a blood test which is helpful in diagnosing any kind of:
- Functioning of your thyroid, kidney and liver
- Inflammatory diseases
- Nutritional Deficiencies or abnormal glucose levels
Based on the results, your doctor will be able to decide for the medication or if it requires further tests like X-rays, MRI or CT scans.
It may also call for allergy testing or a sleep study to check for a sleep disorder.
Treating Brain Fog
There are different reasons or causes for brain fog. So what treatment will work for you depends on the underlying cause.
For example, if it is caused due to medications, then change of medicine will help. On the other hand if it is due to being anaemic, then iron supplements can make it less.
However, one can take care of certain general factors that can help you combat brain fog in a better way:
- Taking sufficient sleep for around 8 to 9 hours per night
- Manging stress by knowing your limitations and avoiding excessive alcohol and caffeine
- Exercising Regularly. Opt for yoga and meditation too.
- Enhancing your brain power. Try solving some brain puzzles.
- Increasing your intake of protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats