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What Are Five Common Reasons of Brain Fog?

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5 Typical Causes of Brain Fog

You must stop at the grocery store on the way home to pick up two essential goods. One of the products is coffee, but you cannot recall the other for the life of you.

Every time you sit down to complete this report for work, you cannot concentrate and make substantial progress.

Better wait to stroll to the end of the driveway to retrieve the mail, as your neighbor, whose name you cannot recall, is in his yard. You know you know it, but your brain cannot access it.

Does this sound familiar?

While you may feel like you're losing your mind, it may be brain fog. After determining the cause of the haze, you can thankfully take measures to wipe it away.

What Is Mental Fog?

Fog of the mind is not a recognized medical term or diagnosable illness. However, it is a frequent term for various symptoms impairing your thinking capacity. Memory issues, a lack of mental clarity, and difficulty concentrating and verbalising one's thoughts may all be brain fog symptoms. Some folks characterise it as mental tiredness.

The mental tiredness compels you to tell yourself, "If I can just make it to the weekend, I'll rest." That should be helpful. Next week will be easier. The trouble is that there are a billion extra things to do and obsess about on the weekend. Consequently, you do not obtain the necessary rest. Or, if you do, it seems to have no effect on the situation.

This is because, to eliminate brain fog, the underlying cause must be identified and treated.

On a molecular level, it is believed that brain fog is caused by high levels of inflammation and alterations to three critical hormones: dopamine, serotonin, and cortisol. In addition, higher amounts of inflammatory chemicals, such as adipocytokines and histamines, are thought to increase the activation of microglia, which may be the underlying cause of brain fog symptoms.

Five Common Brain Fog Causes

One study found that the most often reported causes of brain fog were exhaustion, lack of sleep, lengthy periods of standing, dehydration, and feeling faint. Occasionally, a trigger cannot be avoided. However, if persistent brain fog is a problem, examining and modifying your living choices may be necessary. Let's look at some common causes:

1. Stress

Stress can cause temporary irritability, anxiety, distraction, and forgetfulness. Over time, increased amounts of the stress hormone cortisol can deteriorate your physical, mental, and emotional health. Chronic stress indeed causes brain damage. Memory-critical dendrites are shrunk, neurons are killed, and new cell development in the hippocampus is inhibited by stress. While doing so, it increases the size and activity of the amygdala, the fear and emotional centre of the brain. This makes it more difficult for your brain to learn and retain new knowledge.

2. absence of sleep

Sleep deprivation can have severe short- and long-term effects on your physical and mental health. After one night of inadequate sleep, reaction speeds, glucose levels, emotions, headaches, impaired memory, and hormone balances are affected. Recent research indicates that insufficient sleep can really shrink the brain. You should strive for between eight and nine hours of sleep per night. But don't forget that quality is also essential.

3. Diet

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Diet can also contribute to brain fog. Regarding the brain, you are literally what you consume. What you put in your mouth has everything to do with what you think. The enteric nervous system in your gut is a "second brain" that communicates with the brain in your head.

To get the most brainpower out of your diet, you should consume fatty fish, foods containing probiotics, healthy grains, leafy greens, and a substantial amount of lean protein. Your brain performance will reflect the deficiency of essential vitamins and minerals. For instance, a deficit in vitamin B-12 might cause brain fog.

Additionally, food allergies and sensitivities might cause mental fog. The most typical offenders are:

  • Cured and preserved beef (sodium nitrates)
  • Dairy
  • MSG
  • Alcohol
  • Synthetic sweeteners
  • Dehydration may also lead to mental sluggishness.

4. Hormonal Alterations

Changes in hormones can also cause brain fog. The brain and the rest of the body rely on a complex symphony of hormones that work to maintain balance. The entire system, including brain function, can be thrown off when hormone levels are either low or too high.

During pregnancy, the levels of the hormones progesterone and estrogen grow significantly. This alteration can impact memory and result in temporary cognitive impairment. Similarly, a decline in estrogen levels during menopause can result in forgetfulness, poor attention, and hazy thought processes.

5. Medication and Health Problems

Brain fog is a frequent adverse effect of numerous medications. Consult your doctor if you experience side effects from a drug. Reducing your dosage or switching to a different medication may alleviate the issue. For example, chemotherapy is well-known for causing brain fog, often chemo brain.

Mental weariness can also be caused by medical disorders connected with inflammation, fatigue, or changes in blood glucose levels. For instance, brain fog is a sign of:

Chronic tiredness syndrome

  • fibromyalgia
  • anemia
  • depression
  • diabetes
  • hypothyroidism

Lupus, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis are examples of autoimmune illnesses.

Treatment and Diagnosis of Brain Fog

Regardless of what you believe is causing your brain fog, it might be prudent to see a doctor. However, there is no specific diagnostic test for the illness. Instead, you can anticipate a routine physical examination followed by follow-up questions at your doctor's appointment.

Your doctor may determine that more blood tests are essential to rule out the possibility that brain fog is a symptom of a more severe condition. This is because blood tests can determine the fundamental health indicators, such as glucose levels, dietary deficits, organ function, and hydration.

Your doctor can then provide potential solutions based on the exam, questions, and tests. Treatments vary depending on the identified aetiology. For example, your doctor may recommend that you sleep more, switch medications, begin taking nutritional supplements, or something else. You may need to try multiple therapies before discovering one that works.


Brain fog is a bothersome condition that can result from various causes. There are many techniques to rouse your brain from its slumber, although it may feel like you'll be imprisoned in this slumber forever. Try various therapies until you discover one that works. Then, make the required adjustments to avoid the situation from recurring. Finally, one day, you will dispel the haze, and the sun will shine again!

© 2022 Khuram Shahnawaz

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