Beating Brain Fog
By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Chances are you have experienced brain fog at least once in your life. It’s hard not to suffer from the brain sluggishness brought on by our modern world full of processed foods, sugar overload, and high-stress lifestyles. But fear not: if you are tired of the mental slowdown that is brain fog, we are going to discover some of the common causes and ways to banish brain fog for good.
SYMPTOMS OF BRAIN FOG
Brain fog can manifest itself in many ways. Most commonly, signs of brain fog include:
- Low energy
- Headaches, trouble concentrating
- Low motivation
- ADHD symptoms
CAUSES OF BRAIN FOG
Lack of sleep: Brain fog often leads a person to feel tired, and when addressing the cause of brain fog, it’s important to first ensure that you are sleeping enough.
Nutritional deficiencies: Paired with overconsumption of sugar, alcohol, and refined carbs, a poor diet lacking in vital nutrients is going to have a negative impact on your brain function.
Hormone imbalance: Our cortisol, serotonin, and dopamine all keep each other in check. When even one of these hormones rises or falls by too much, the whole system is thrown out of balance. Working with a functional medicine doctor can help you determine where your levels are at, and how to get them in a harmonious balance.
Inflammation: Inflammation, at the root of most modern diseases, is once again a leading culprit behind brain fog. Inflammatory molecules stimulate microglia activation, which is commonly found in brains of those with psychiatric diseases, such as those of children with autism.
Lipopolysaccharides (LPS), or endotoxins: Bad gut bacteria produce toxins, LPS, which trigger inflammation. These bacteria can make their way to the gut lining and cross the blood-brain barrier, causing brain fog as well as a host of other issues.
TREATMENT FOR BRAIN FOG
Diet: Avoiding processed sugar and artificial sweeteners, eating healthy fats, ensuring you are well-hydrated, and eating anti-inflammatory foods will all help keep you and your brain in top shape!
Supplements: Magnesium helps your body keep its internal clock in check, which in turn helps regulate proper hormone production throughout the day.
Adaptogens such as ashwagandha and holy basil lower cortisol, reducing fatigue and stress.
Curcumin Supreme is a powerful antioxidant containing three different bioactive forms of curcuminoids from the spice turmeric, which is very anti-inflammatory.
Lifestyle: We know that getting good sleep is vital, as is keeping stress low. Getting exercise and getting vitamin D straight from the source (the sun!) are also important in maintaining a healthy brain and body. Avoiding EMFs will help reduce brain fog, as will grounding, by walking in the earth barefoot, or with a pair of grounding shoes such as Earth Runners.
Get tested: Hormone imbalances, food allergies, and infections are all hard to detect. With the help of a functional medicine doctor, you can test for food sensitivities, hormone levels, and address any parasites or bacterial/fungal infections that might be dragging you down without your awareness.