Brain fog, though extremely common, is not normal. Unfortunately, the disorder is not yet widely recognized among medical professionals, and is often misdiagnosed or ignored. Brain fog may be described as feelings of confusion or lack of mental clarity. Brain fog may include difficulty concentrating and paying attention, low mental energy, feeling spacey, confused, forgetful, tired, and difficulty thinking. Some of the real comments patients share are: I’m so dingy, I am not time-efficient mentally; I can’t recall driving directions I should know; and say “I used to be sharp as a tack but now my brain gets tired.”
Brain cells and nerves need three things: stimulation, oxygen, and glucose. Stimulation is important for neural health because when brain and nerve cells are not stimulated, they become unhealthy and begin to lose the ability to transmit a nerve signal. This makes for hyper-excitability without endurance. Hence, the old axiom – Use it or lose it!
However, inflammation is the number one underlying cause of cognitive dysfunction. And if your gut is on fire, your brain is on fire. New research proves that almost all issues related to the brain are connected to or caused by inflammation. The causes of inflammation are complex and intertwined. The contributing factors are: adrenal stress, gut infection, insulin surges, food sensitivities, environmental toxins, hormonal imbalances (including thyroid hormones) and pregnancy.
Oxygen, glucose and inflammation are connected to brain fog; with gastrointestinal dysfunction playing a major role. Stress impairs the stomach lining from producing the intrinsic factor needed to produce healthy red blood cells, thereby limiting oxygen-carrying capacity. Gut infections cause imbalances of stomach acid and microbial overgrowth. Microbes take advantage of stomach acid imbalances, creating a malabsorption of nutrients. Some microbes steal carbohydrates needed for cellular glucose. The result is often craving carbs, sugar and breads, which causes insulin surges and inappropriate weight gain. All of this occurs incrementally to rob oxygen and glucose needed for every cell in the body, but most importantly, the brain. To complicate the problem even more, I frequently find evidence of an autoimmune disease, which arises from an overactive immune response of the body, such as Hashimoto’s Disease.
Do you experience brain fog and/or unexplained gastrointestinal distress? Is your brain on fire? Do you spend most days just ‘coasting on auto-pilot’, wondering what’s up, and thinking getting old is mentally exhausting?
Make brain fog evaporate.
At Wellness Alternatives, I use lab testing to diagnose low oxygen levels, blood sugar issues, and inflammation (including autoimmune diseases and their underlying causes.) I look at the patterns of involvement and provide a plan to correct symptoms and promote health.