Have you ever experienced moments where you just couldn’t seem to think straight? You wonder where you left your phone and turns out you are already holding it. Your calendar is marked for today’s date but you cannot recall why you marked it in the first place. You misplace things here and there. As you go through your daily schedule, it becomes a constant struggle to concentrate and finish your work.
These are all examples of brain fog. This happens when your brain experiences mental fatigue. Because it feels exhausted, it will not function as it should and it will affect your ability to think clearly, ability to focus, and remember things.
For this reason, it might feel natural to reach for anything caffeine when your brain feels foggy. Yes, it may be beneficial for a quick mental boost but ultimately, caffeine does not address the root cause of your brain fog. No matter how many cups of coffee you take, you cannot force the brain to perform its best when it’s in a fatigued state. So the better way to address this is to determine what really caused it and take action from there.
Here’s a list of the most common causes:
#1 Stress – This is probably the No.1 culprit for brain fog. Physical, emotional, and environmental stressors can increase your blood pressure and cause mental fatigue to occur. Because exposure to stress is impossible to avoid, it is essential that you have your own ways to counter it. Learning to reduce your stress over time through interventions like meditation, exercise, or dietary changes, may help when your brain feels foggy.
#2 Poor sleep – Sleep plays a ‘housekeeping’ role that removes toxins in your brain that build up while you are awake. So imagine if you just sleep for 4 hours a day, how will your brain clean itself thoroughly? If you want your brain to function 100%, then you need to start working on your sleeping habits NOW. Set a sleeping schedule, rest in a good sleeping position, and make sure you set the gadgets away at least an hour before bedtime.
#3 Vitamin deficiencies and food triggers – Vitamin B12 and D3 supports healthy brain function so a deficiency on either one or both can decrease your energy levels and impair cognitive function. Also, ingesting certain foods may trigger brain fog such as aspartame, refined carbs, gluten, dairy and alcohol. These are just the most common ones, but there can be other unidentified food intolerances. If you suspect you have one, try eliminating these foods or do a food intolerance test to see if any of these could be contributing to your brain fog.
#4 Medication – There are cases where brain fog can be a negative side effect of a medication you are taking. This is why here in our practice, we suggest changing lifestyles habits first to see if that can solve your underlying issues before turning to medication. But if medication is necessary, talking with your medical doctor can help you determine how to address the brain fog while taking medication.
#5 Hormonal Changes – Hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are all working together to help keep your mind feeling clear. However, just one hormone being out of balance can cause the opposite, which is brain fog. As levels of the hormones progesterone and estrogen change during pregnancy and menopause, it may result in forgetfulness, poor concentration, and cloudy thinking.
#6 Medical conditions – Some conditions associated with inflammation, fatigue, or changes in blood glucose level can also cause mental fatigue. Some of these include anemia, dehydration, depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, and autoimmune diseases.
#7 The spine is out of alignment – this is probably the one that is often overlooked among all other things on this list. If the spine gets out of alignment, (whether it’s because of normal wear and tear, poor posture or an accident) the spinal cord gets pulled and pinches nerves along with it. When this happens, there will be stress placed on the spinal cord and nerve signals that should travel to the brain to the body and vise versa will be interrupted. This is how brain fog happens as a result of stress along the spine.
The best way to address this is correction through chiropractic care.
One of the most common benefits we hear from our clients is the improved energy and mental clarity after their adjustments. So whenever your brain feels foggy… you know where to find us!