What is Brain fog?
Brain fog is a state of mental fuzziness and inactivity. It is not a medical condition, but rather it could be a symptom of some other health issues.
If your head feels foggy, dizzy or wary, you are most likely to be affected by brain fog. It is not a severe mental condition if it does not interfere with your day-to-day activities. However, it can indicate some other disease or health condition.
If brain fog occurs, your mind will rest; you tend to be more distracted, develop memory problems, lose concentration, etc. If it prevails for a long time, you may need to see a doctor.
What causes brain fog?
Most often, what causes brain fog is inflammation in the brain. However, there are numerous reasons for the occurrence of brain fog as follows:
Lack of sleep
Like food, sleep is essential for your healthy living. A sound sleep of 7 – 8 hours is required for the healthy functioning of your brain. Else, your brain’s energy will get drained, and you will feel tired and disoriented.
It also affects your concentration and leads to fogginess.
In today’s world, the cost of quality sleep is increasing. There are distractions, noise and sound pollution, and lifestyle routines that can alter your sleep and sleep patterns.
Hence, it becomes important to make your environment conducive to getting quality sleep and omit distractions at maximum.
Stress is a normal outcome of your mind from your life experiences. Stress is caused by anger, irritation, etc. However, being stressed for a long time is not good for your physical and mental health.
Stress leads to increased blood pressure and mental fatigue. Prolonged stress also leads to depression. It directly affects your brain’s ability to function healthily.
This leads to fuzziness and lack of clear thoughts, otherwise known as brain fog.
Diet plays a pivotal role in brain fog. Lack of certain nutrients, especially Vitamin B-12, can lead to brain fog. It also occurs if you have any allergy to a certain food such as dairy products, peanuts, aspartame, etc. and consume them.
Ensure enough Vitamin B-12 rich foods such as eggs, fish, salmon, tuna and fruits such as banana, berries and apple.
Hormonal imbalances, among others, affect pregnant women at most. Hence, they most likely succumb to brain fog.
Some hormones such as progesterone and oestrogen play a crucial role in this. Their levels tend to increase during pregnancy, which leads to a lack of concentration and forgetfulness.
Similarly, a fall in oestrogen levels during menopause also triggers brain fog.
Diabetes is a health condition in which the human body cannot produce enough insulin to convert sugar in the body into glucose for energy. Appropriate limits of blood sugar are essential for the brain’s normal functioning.
When this level gets disturbed, brain activity gets affected. This leads to brain fog.
For many, it is common to experience brain fog while taking prescribed drugs. This can be due to the fact that the drugs may be strong.
In such cases, you need to communicate with your doctor. Your doctor may also prescribe less powerful drugs or some alternate medications.
Other medical conditions
There are plenty of health issues for which brain fog is a common symptom. Some of them are:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Viral infections like COVID-19, H1N1, SARS
Does COVID-19 cause brain fog?
‘What is brain fog?’ becomes a common query among people in this pandemic situation. Because many studies show a close link between COVID-19 and brain fog. One main reason is that COVID-19 causes inflammation in your brain.
It affects the functioning of neurons in your brain, thus affecting the communication between neurons. This leads to brain fog.
It is presumed to affect the brain indirectly and cause brain fog. For instance, those who have tested positive for COVID-19 are isolated. This isolation and the fear of COVID-19 affect the mind and even cause anxiety.
How to treat brain fog?
As brain fog is a symptom of various diseases, its treatment depends on implicit health issues. For example, if brain fog occurs due to Vitamin B-12 deficiency, consuming foods rich in that particular vitamin cures the condition.
But some of the common ways how to treat brain fog are listed below:
- Sound sleep for 7–8 hours
- Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine
- Avoid smoking as smoking increases stress
- Indulge yourself in thought-provoking activities
- Consume enough nutrients
- Practise yoga and meditation
Word of concern
We often tend to ignore small things in this fast-paced world, ranging from tiny treasures to small problems. Some severe health conditions can sometimes cause brain fog, even the slightest side effect.
You do not always need to be alarmed by brain fog. However, it is essential to monitor your bodily and psychological changes and consult your doctor accordingly.
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The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.