WHAT IS BRAIN FOG?
In children, brain fog is associate with zoning out. We commonly see this in ADHD and autism cases. In adults, brain fog often take the form of having difficulty engaging in cognition, learning or memory. Examples of this include: forgetting names/dates/events, hearing someone speak but not understanding, difficulty staying on task, etc.
Various health challenges can lead to brain fog including the following (and more):
- Thyroid disorders
- Cognitive impairment
- Adrenal fatigue
- Blood sugar imblances (hypoglycemia and diabetes)
- Toxix reactions to molds and chemicals
- Food sensitivities or food allergies
Learning how to battle brain fog is an important discussion and for this article, I will reveal five ways to battle brain fog.
HERE ARE JUST A FEW, BUT VERY POWERFUL WAYS, TO COMBAT BRAIN FOG:
1. Watch your blood sugar. Blood sugar (alson known as blood glucose) is an important power or fuel source of the body, fats are even more important. Many of us develop low blood sugar at certain times of the day.; mid-morning (around 10 am) and mid-afternoon (around 2-3 pm) are notorious times of brain fog due to low blood sugar. It is important to know your fasting glucose and HA1c levels. To explain on a basic level, HA1c levels measure the average blood sugar over a 3-month interval (the average lifespan of a red blood cell). The ideal range for fasting glucose levels for optimal brain function is 85-99. The best range for HA1c is 5.0.
Make these measurements a part of your yearly check up, or more often, if either fasting blood sugar or HA1c are found to be out of range on your blood test.
2. Get some exercise. Early morning exercise can be very valuable in combating brain fog. Getting the blood moving really is important for many reasons, including focusing the brain. Exercise also combats stress and lowers inflammation in the body. A study done by the University of British Columbia found aerobic exercise helps grow an area of the brain involved in memory and learning (the hippocampus).
The concept of aerobic exercise is a very important one. Most people over-exercise based on the Maximum Aeurobic Function (MAF) concept as explained by Dr. Phil Maffetone. Everyone should read his MAF concept white paper, entitled; “An Introduction to MAF – Maximum Aerobic Function“. By following the concept of MAF you will end up burning more fat for fuel instead of glusose.
“The MAF Method assesses and intervenes in the aerobic system to reduce risk of poor health and chronic disease, while simultaneously expanding a person’s athletic potential. To that end, this method relies on a variety of unique and simple assessment tools that individuals can use to measure the aerobic system, helping to ensure optimal fat-burning. By improving both health and fitness, the MAF Method is highly conducive to sustaining fitness gains that would otherwise be lost to illness, injury or overtraining.”
3. Consider your gut health. Infections or leaky gut syndrome (intestinal barrier damage) can drain our energy levels and cause brain fog. Bacterial and yeast overgrowth are known to cause these issues. Poor food choices and food sensitivities matter. Researchers at Oregon State University reported changes in gut bacteria can impact cognitive function.
When the intestinal barrier is damaged, the body is at risk for autoimmunity. Autoimmunity is a pathological state in which your own immune system targets some area of your body for destruction. Autoimmunity can have devastating effects on overall health and the function of your brain.
4. Eliminate food allergies and sensitivities. When most of us think of allergy, we think of common symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, hives, asthma and nausea. These are all immediate physical reactions but there are many different types of allergic responses possible. Some reactions take several days to show up, and some allergies don’t necessarily affect the respiratory system, digestive tract or skin.
While true food allergies are a reaction by our body’s immune system production of IgE antibodies and subsequent over-production of histamine, a food sensitivity is quite different. Food sensitivities also involve the immune system and instead our body produces IgA and or IgG antibodies. Food sensitivies can also cause significant health challenges, which are typically harder to identify as the reaction to a food can occurs hours to days after the offending food is consumed. Specialized blood testing can identy such foods.
Did you know that food and/or chemical allergies and sensitivities can create emotional, behavioral and mental symptoms such as panic attacks, compulsive behavior, depression, psychotic episodes, or hallucinations? They can also contribute to many less severe mental and emotional symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, inability to concentrate, or feelings of being in a mental “fog”. A surprising number of people have been able to eliminate such troubling symptoms simply by removing the allergens from their diet or living environment.
In our office we use Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technigues (NAET) to help make the food they eat compatible with their body, thereby eliminating the unwanted symptoms, including brain fog.
5. Get a brain map. Head traumas, toxin exposure and food reactivity can all cause high delta waves. Delta waves, 1-4 hertz, are only supposed to be high when we sleep. When these levels are high in a wakeful state, brain fog is common. Brain maps can tell us the level and location of delta waves in the brain. This is valuable for the targeted treatment of the problem area with neurofeedback.
A Brain Map is a non-invasive tool we use to identify the problem areas of the brain. There is no more accurate tool available today for identifying irregular brainwaves. It also generates a set of protocols that can correct your specific brainwave irregularities using neurofeedback and other modalities.
The Brain Map process is painless, safe, accurate and non-invasive. There really is no better tool for analyzing brainwaves and collecting customized data for each individual. A brain map involves scanning the brainwaves on the surface of the scalp using a nylon cap. This method is known as an Quantitative Electroencephalogram (QEEG) and provides the most accurate recording of your normal brain function. The system then compares your brainwave activity to a database of established standards of normal brain function to determine if problems are present. It does not identify specific conditions: It shows a map of problem areas in the brain that we can use to expertly determine likely neurological conditions.
GETTING TO THE ROOT OF BRAIN FOG
In conclusion, brain fog, also commonly known as brain fatigue, can be a mild to severe episode of mental confusion that can strike without warning. When this occurs, it is common to experience a lack of focus, poor memory recall and reduced mental acuity.
If the underlying causes of the brain fog are not addressed, then the condition can continue to occur to the point that it can negatively affect one’s professional and personal life.
As with all health challenges, the key factor is to find out what is the underlying cause of brain fog. Only then will you have a clear plan of handing it.
If you would like some help from Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC, just click on the case review link below.