How do you know if you have brain fog?

Symptoms include anxiety, irritability, inability to remember names, inability to retrieve words, forgetfulness, low mood, difficulty sleeping and chronic headaches.

When you tell your doctor you have brain fog, you’re  often told you’re depressed or just getting older. Brain fog is a common symptom in so many chronic health conditions including thyroid issues, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure and inflammation. Different autoimmune conditions also present with brain fog. It is so ubiquitous that I see this symptom in almost all of the patients that I see in my office.

The first reason you have brain fog is inadequate sleep

Sleep is important for restoration and so many functions in our body!

When you go to sleep, your body detoxifies from all of the chemicals and byproducts that you’ve ingested in the day. When we don’t get adequate sleep, our detoxification processes can be impaired. That can lead to inflammation in the body. In turn, this can lead to brain inflammation. It is this brain inflammation that is causing your brain fog.

Major detoxification in our body happens between 10pm and 2am in the morning. If you’re not getting adequate sleep and you’re not sleeping between these times, you’re not detoxifying.

The second way sleep is causing your brain fog, is because adequate REM and deep sleep is imperative when you are sleeping. Your body takes all the information that you learned in the day, consolidates it and files it away. When you get less sleep, it affects this process. This effects your ability to remember things and cognitive function decreases.

The second reason you have brain fog is because your hormones are out of whack.

Many people have thyroid conditions that are undiagnosed. When you have a thyroid condition, it can really affect how your brain works. In fact, brain fog is a common complaint I see in my patients. If you haven’t tested your thyroid, and your thyroid hormones are imbalanced, it will impact the way your brain works. Traditional testing for thyroid is not enough. What you want to make sure you do is complete a full thyroid panel. This complete panel will give you an idea of how your thyroid is functioning. This will let you know if an imbalance in your thyroid hormones is causing your brain fog.

The third reason you have brain fog, is because you’re being exposed to toxins in your environment.

There are so many toxins in our environment that we inhale throughout the day. As we inhale them, they can actually affect the way our brain functions and inflame it.  You could be exposed to mycotoxins (which are mold toxins) that you don’t see and you could be exposed to them for a long time.

There are also toxins in our environment and in our air. For example, you could live or work in an older building that has lead in the paint that is inflammatory. You could also work in an area where there are chemicals and pesticides that you’re inhaling. All of these hidden environmental triggers and mycotoxin triggers can lead to inflammation in your brain.

If you suspect that something in your environment is causing your brain fog, get it looked at! A mold inspector can come in and check to make sure that there aren’t any unseen molds in your house. This will make sure that you’re not being exposed to any pesticides or chemicals outside or inside your house.

The fourth reason that you have brain fog is your food intolerances.

So often in my practice I see people who have brain fog. When we uncover foods that are inflaming their gut, it goes away. There is a connection between the gut and the brain! When you’re eating  foods that your body is intolerant to, it creates inflammation in your gut.

The most common foods that I see that causes brain fog are dairy and gluten proteins. If you think that food intolerances are causing your brain fog, you can do an elimination diet for 4 weeks and take gluten and dairy out of your diet. If you’re not quite sure at the end of the four weeks, have some of that dairy and gluten. See how your brain feels. If these foods are causing your brain fog, you’ll notice it right away.

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