Have you ever wondered why your brain just doesn’t seem to work sometimes? Curious about what might be making you forgetful, mentally fatigued and unable to concentrate?
There are many factors that can contribute to the symptoms of brain fog. But there are 10 common causes that we see in our clients on a regular basis.
What is brain fog?
Brain fog is a general set of symptoms that affect the mind. You might experience:
Everyone experiences brain fog on occasion. But if it occurs frequently and starts to impact on your life, there could be some underlying concerns that need addressing.
Common causes of brain fog
Any factor that can influence the nervous system could contribute to brain fog. But there are 10 common causes that are more likely to blame for your symptoms.
Thyroid disease affects up to 10-15% of the population, and it often goes undiagnosed for years. Even if your doctor has said you have normal TSH levels, your thyroid could be dysfunctional and causing symptoms.
The cells of our brain rely on thyroid hormone to function. If you have too little or too much thyroid hormone, it can impair your cognition and leave you foggy.
Have you had trouble with hormonal fluctuations? Changes in our sex hormones can affect the whole body, including the brain.
Significant changes or imbalances such as menopause, PMDD and PCOS can lead to symptoms of brain fog. Even small fluctuations, such as those of the monthly cycle, can cause symptoms for those who are sensitive to changes.
Blood sugar fluctuations
The brain is fueled by the glucose in the bloodstream. If there are rapid fluctuations in blood sugar levels, the brain might not get the right dose of energy it needs to function properly.
This is common in people with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. But even the average person could experience this if they are eating the wrong types of foods for their body.
When was the last time you had a glass of water? If it’s been a while, now is the time to drink up!
Even mild dehydration can affect brain function. If you’re not drinking enough water throughout the day, it could lead to brain fog.
Low nutrient levels
The brain needs nutrients including omega-3s, B vitamins, magnesium and choline to function properly. If you’re not getting enough, it can affect brain function.
Low nutrient levels are typically caused by eating food that is low in nutrients. But it could also be due to other factors such as poor absorption of nutrients or a higher demand. For example, B vitamins and magnesium can be depleted during periods of high stress.
Poor circulation to the brain
Noticed that you feel foggy after sitting at your desk for hours on end? This can be due to reduced circulation to the brain.
Oxygen and other nutrients need to reach the brain for it to run efficiently. But if circulation is impaired, it can lead to brain fog. Luckily, a quick stretch or a walk around the block at lunchtime can help remedy this.
Inflammation & pain
Do you experience pain regularly or have an inflammatory condition? It could be causing your brain fog.
Pain and inflammation can cloud the brain, affecting its function. Therefore people with chronic pain conditions regularly experience brain fog when their symptoms flare.
Chronic or high-level stress
Many of us have been under more stress lately. But this isn’t just bad news for how we feel in our mind – it also affects how the mind functions.
Stress takes a toll on the nervous system, including the brain. It also contributes to other potential causes of brain fog such as poor sleep, digestive issues and pain.
Poor quality sleep
Ever had a poor night of sleep, then struggled to focus throughout the day? You’re not alone.
During sleep, the brain is able to flush out waste and reset for the next day. If you aren’t sleeping for long enough or deeply enough to refresh you, it can cause brain fog.
There is a close link between the gut and brain – brain chemicals are produced in the gut. If there is any type of imbalance in the gut, it could contribute to brain fog.
Bacteria in the gut can also influence other potential causes, including inflammation and blood sugar levels.
If it’s time to uncover the root cause of your brain fog, our naturopath Trish is here to help. Using holistic tools including diet and lifestyle, she can help to relieve your brain fog symptoms naturally. To book an appointment, call us on (07) 41522372