What is brain fog? It’s not a medical condition in itself, but it’s a symptom we frequently see attached to other medical conditions. Are you experiencing an inability to focus? Struggling to remember things? Generally lacking mental clarity? Finding it hard to think of the right word? These are all classic symptoms of brain fog, which is also sometimes described as mental fatigue. You might simply feel like something is stopping your brain from lighting up and working as it should.
The good news is that we can help you treat it. Here at Tri-Cities Functional Medicine, we take a holistic approach to restoring each person’s health and well-being. Everything in our bodies is linked and there’s usually a good reason your mind is feeling cloudy, so we’ll help you find the root cause and make the changes you need to get your health back on track and blow the cobwebs away.
Our functional medicine practice is based in Johnson City, Tennessee, and we work with people from all over the Tri-Cities area. This includes Kingsport, Knoxville, Greenville, and Abingdon in Virginia.
Want to start now? Schedule a free discovery call.
What Causes Brain Fog?
There are lots of different factors that can cause fuzzy thinking. If any of these feel familiar, we welcome you to call us so we can talk you through our process and start finding answers.
Modern medicine is an amazing thing, but many drugs have known side effects. If you take a new drug and you notice that your brain isn’t functioning as it should, or your head is feeling a little cloudy, talk to your doctor. It may be common occurrence with that particular medication, or it may be reacting with another medication you’re taking. You can talk to your doctor about lowering your dosage, trying a different option, or finding an alternative treatment to address your concern. Just make sure you bring a full list of everything you’re taking so your doctor can advise you properly.
- Lack of Sleep
Quality sleep is a beautiful thing. We’ve all heard the saying, “You can sleep when you’re dead,” but the truth is that good rest is vital to having quality of life. The American Sleep Apnea Association estimates that about 22 million people living in the United States suffer from sleep apnea, which is a condition that makes your breathing repeatedly stop and start throughout the night. If you’ve been told you snore loudly and you often feel tired even after a full night of sleep, you may be at risk. This is a highly treatable condition and your doctor will create a plan to help you reclaim your rest.
Lifestyle also plays a huge part when it comes to sleep. Creating a routine, eating a healthy diet, exercising daily, avoiding caffeine, and removing electronic devices such as phones from your room may help. However, if you’re experiencing insomnia, it’s worth checking in with your doctor.
- Thyroid Disorders
Thyroid disorders can be difficult to diagnose because they treat a range of issues that fit under the banner of generally just not feeling well. However, they can affect almost every aspect of your well-being, from your energy levels to your skin, mood, digestion, and more. In addition to cloudy thinking, you might be experiencing increased sensitivity to heat or cold, depression and irritability, joint or muscle pain, muscular weakness, digestive issues, and unexplained weight gain or loss. This means there could be a medical explanation for your tiredness, forgetfulness, and depression. If you’d like to find out how to treat a thyroid disorder and regain your health, please click here.
- Autoimmune Diseases
An autoimmune disease is a condition in which your body starts mistakenly attacking healthy cells. There are lots of different types – for example, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis and Crohn’s disease are just a few. These diseases commonly cause chronic pain, digestive disorders, stubborn weight, chronic fatigue, inflammation, and yes, brain fog. It’s really important to work closely with your doctor to identify the triggers so you can start to control your body’s response. To learn more about treating autoimmune diseases, watch our free webinar.
- Hormonal Changes
Hormones are the chemical messengers that tell our organs how to run our bodies. The levels fluctuate all the time, depending what our brains are asking our bodies to do, and this can cause symptoms such as forgetfulness and trouble concentrating. These are especially common during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, because your body is releasing hormones in large volumes, but they can occur at any stage of life. The good news is that we agree that life is too short to live with a foggy brain that stops you from experiencing it to the fullest, so we’ll help overcome your symptoms.
- Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation occurs when the body keeps trying to fight an illness or heal from an injury even when the issue has been resolved. It can last for several months, or even years, and cause a considerable amount of pain. In addition to the physical symptoms, inflammation can cause brain fog, fatigue, migraines and headaches, depression and anxiety, and loss of energy. If you’re interested in learning more about this, watch this video in which we discuss some common triggers that could be making you feel unwell and talk about things we can do to help regain your health.
- Anxiety or Depression
Anxiety is a medical condition in which people experience intense and persistent fear about everyday situations which doesn’t go away when stressors are removed. It’s more than just being nervous of worried and it’s often accompanied by physical symptoms like a fast heart rate, rapid breathing, and fatigue. Depression, on the other hand, is a medical condition characterised by low mood and a chronic feeling of sadness. It can significantly affect your ability to function in daily life, affecting everything from sleep to behavior, energy levels, concentration, and self-esteem. Both of these conditions are associated with brain fog and are best treated with professional help.
- Low B12
Nutrition is essential to maintaining health and well-being. There’s nothing surprising about this. Many health problems can be solved (or at least alleviated) with a balanced diet containing lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, quality protein, and good hydration. However, there are times when diet can actually cause symptoms of brain fog – for example, if you develop any food allergies or intolerances, or if you develop a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Vitamin B-12 is essential to healthy brain function and it’s commonly found in protein, including lean meat, fish, milk, cheese, and eggs.
Chronic stress can negatively impact your wellbeing in a number of ways. Stress hormones put your body in fight-or-flight mode, which requires an enormous amount of energy and causes fatigue. It can also increase your blood pressure, weaken your immune system, and cause depression and anxiety. Brain fog is a common symptom of being totally exhausted, so it’s important to examine your lifestyle and figure out exactly what’s taking up so much of your brain power.
How Can I Treat Brain Fog?
The first step to treating brain fog is to schedule a free discovery call with Tri-Cities Functional Medicine. In this call, we’ll discuss what you’re going through, how you’ve tried to address your symptoms in the past, how our physician and support team can help, and make a plan of action for your first appointment. We’re here to give you actionable steps towards reclaiming your health.
When you come to visit, our doctor will take the time he needs to do a thorough examination, take a detailed history, and have an in-depth conversation about your symptoms and your health goals. We won’t rush you through; we’ll get to know who you are as a person so we can find the root cause of your health issues. Our goal is to help you get back to feeling your best physically and mentally.
Ready to get started? Click here and talk to our team today.