Do you ever feel unfocused, unmotivated, fatigued and just “not all there” mentally? In other words, do you feel like the lights are on but no one is home? If so, you may be suffering from a case of brain fog. Yes, that is the medical term for this group of symptoms and it impacts a great number of individuals. In fact, many people are seeking improved cognition, memory, and clarity.
Brain fog occurs for a number of different reasons but it can impact every aspect of your everyday life. Before battling the brain fog, you must discover the root cause of your brain fog.
Top tests to battle brain fog:
Brain fog refers to a set of symptoms that affect your ability to think.
Symptoms include but are not limited to:
You likely need more sleep- most people do! Aim for a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night. The optimal amount is somewhere around 8-9 hours. Go to sleep with the sundown and awake with sunrise like our ancestors. Sleep deprivation leads to a whole host of medical disorders including brain fog. The brain needs adequate sleep to regenerate itself. For tips on how to fall asleep and stay asleep check out our list here.
Stress can be a major contributor to brain fog. High levels of stress are associated with high cortisol levels, which impacts brain health. Excess cortisol can damage brain cells and cause the brain to age faster, work slower and feel foggy. Learn to better manage your stress, even in a hectic world. You can prevent numerous health problems (including brain fog) by mastering this one thing.
Just like a lot of other health issues, dehydration is often a top cause of brain fog. The brain cells, called neurons, need enough fluids and minerals to function properly and communicate with one another. Certain neurological processes will actually shut down as a result of dehydration. Drink enough high-quality water daily. We like Pristine Hydro, which has ten filtration stages and advanced mineral replacement.
The first thing you should do is get all of your B vitamin levels tested! We prefer to do the most advanced micronutrient lab testing to test for B vitamin levels in the blood and in the cell (where these nutrients belong). Often, individuals have sub-optimal or deficient levels of B vitamins and this is root cause for brain fog and decreased brain function. Activated B vitamins including B6 (P5P), B9 (L-MTHFR) and B12 are key to support methylation pathways and boost brain function. Choose an activated B complex vitamin to take daily or during that afternoon slump.
It is important to eat a healthy diet rich in foods that boost mental clarity. Highly allergenic foods that contribute to food sensitivities could be the main culprit in your regular brain fog episodes. Common food sensitivities include but are not limited to: gluten, dairy, soy and legumes. Food allergy triggers cause damage to the gut, which ultimately damages the brain. Additionally, the typical high-sugar, high-carbohydrate Standard American Diet is a causative factor in brain fog. Choose foods that support brain health. These include healthy fats, grass-fed meats, wild-caught fish and fresh vegetables and fruits. Eat the right diet for disease prevention. We believe in an organic, Paleo diet to support optimal health and a highly functioning brain.
Leaky gut syndrome can be a cause of brain fog. In fact, researchers have long referred to the gut as the “second brain”. When we want to heal brain issues, we should always look to the gut first. There is a gut-brain connection and it can lead to “leaky brain”. Often, the systemic inflammation that manifests as a result of leaky gut is what contributes to brain fog. If you want to rid yourself of brain fog you must heal your leaky gut first. Get tested for leaky gut to see if you have it. If so, follow a leaky gut protocol to essentially “heal and seal” up your gut lining. Your brain will be better off as a result.
Sunshine is the best way to naturally create vitamin D in the body. A vitamin D inadequacy or deficiency can contribute to brain fog and poor memory. Vitamin D helps to lower inflammation, enhances nerve signal transmissions in the brain and keeps blood vessels healthy. Getting adequate sunshine each day is imperative to naturally boosting vitamin D levels and improving mood and focus. Aim for 15-20 minutes of sun daily.
Exercise provides a host of benefits to your brain, including increasing mental acuity, improving memory and warding off brain fog. Regular physical activity also releases endorphins into the brain, which are the “feel-good” chemicals than reduce stress and revitalize brain cells. In fact, neurodegenerative disorders are more prevalent in sedentary populations. If 2 PM hits and you start to feel that brain fog coming on, lace up your shoes and take a walk.
Here is our protocol with key supplements to banish brain fog and boost focus:
Activated B vitamins are essential to improving brain function, protecting memory and fighting off the fog. B vitamin deficits like that of low B12 levels can lead to mental fogginess, depression and fatigue.
Take 1 capsule per day after lunch, or as directed by your physician.
Essential omega 3 fatty acids are needed to protect the brain, boost cognition and lower inflammation. They are “essential” meaning your body does not make them. Omega 3 fats are the primary fats in the brain cell membranes. They can improve communication of brain cells and increase the formation of new brain cells.
Take 1 capsule per day, or as directed by your physician.
This antioxidant provides fuel for brain cell mitochondria and is necessary for producing energy in the brain. It is also neuroprotective, meaning it protects the brain cells. CoQ10 levels naturally decline with age and stress, both of which are risk factors for brain fog.
Take 1 capsule daily with food, or as directed by your physician.
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