What Causes Brain Fog?
Are you struggling to focus and concentrate, have difficulty with your short term memory and feel confused and in a mental fog? You go upstairs and forget what for, you find things in the fridge that should be in the store cupboard and you lose your train of thought mid-conversation.
But what are the reasons this happens? It can signal hormonal imbalances such as thyroid or adrenal issues or the onset of the menopause. It can also be a sign of food intolerances, poor diet and not taking care of yourself. Let’s take a look at the symptoms of brain fog, the main causes and what you can do to reduce it.
Symptoms of Brain Fog
- Memory problems
- Inability to concentrate
- Low motivation
- Feeling emotional
These are the top 6 causes of Brain Fog in my experience……..
- Sugar Overload – Cutting back on processed and sugar-laden foods is the first step in reducing brain fog. Initially they give you a boost or energy and focus but the crash can make you feel fuzzy headed and long term it can have an effect on your memory and concentration.
- Stress – High stress levels impact how our body produces cortisol which can lead to physical and mental fatigue. Cortisol is the primary ‘stress hormone’ as it helps to keep you awake and alert so ensuring it is produced and released effectively helps reduce brain fog.
- Thyroid – A sluggish thyroid gland that produces less thyroid hormone slows everything down including neurological function. It can leave you confused, unable to concentrate with short-term memory problems and in a mental fog. Ensuring your thyroid is supported can help to reduce symptoms.
- Food Intolerances – Reactions to specific foods can affect your mental clarity and focus. It can make you forgetful, anxious and overwhelmed. Intolerances differ from person to person but common ones include dairy, gluten and artificial sweeteners.
- Menopause – Declining oestrogen levels affect the way neurotransmitters work in your brain, causing it to slow down. Fatigue, mood swings and insomnia (see below) also contribute to brain fog during the menopausal years.
- Poor Sleep – If you’re not getting enough sleep you’re most likely feeling tired and low in energy which impacts on your concentration and focus. Hormones in your brain stay in balance when you get adequate sleep and you’re able to retain information, focus more at home and work and reduce the mental foggy feeling.
Top Tips for Helping to Reduce Brain Fog and Increase Mental Clarity
- Improve your diet – a poor diet can contribute to forgetfulness and lack of concentration. Making sure you get plenty of protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and fruits and vegetables can help to boost brain function.
- Cut back on stimulants – reducing sugar, caffeine and alcohol will help to reduce brain fog and improve focus.
- Brain boosting nutrients – including more vitamins and minerals which help to enhance mental clarity can reduce a poor memory and fuzzy brain. Essential Fatty Acids, Magnesium, B vitamins (particulary B12), Vitamin C and Choline.
- Self-Care – taking time out to recharge, relax can reduce overwhelm and stress which contribute to brain fog and a lack of mental clarity.
If you recognise the symptoms and are struggling with managing your health and hormones on your own, why not apply for a Heal Your Hormones Strategy Call with me and find out how I can support you in making those changes.