Is brain fog part of your life?
Struggling to focus, dealing with memory problems, or feeling like you have poor mental clarity are all signs of brain fog.
Maybe you can’t seem to find the right words during a conversation, or you walk into a room and forget why you’re there. Perhaps concentrating on simple tasks has become challenging, and you keep reading the same things over and over.
Brain fog is a common symptom that our clients experience. Unfortunately, many people just assume brain fog is from getting older and don’t realize there is a solution to the problem. Struggles like these are a sign that your body needs some support, and a symptom of deeper imbalances in the body.
If you want to get rid of the symptom, you must address the root cause! Here are the top three causes of brain fog that we see:
1. Blood sugar imbalances
Blood sugar (aka glucose) is a source of energy for your cells. The brain is the largest consumer of glucose in the body, so if your blood sugar crashes, your brain won’t be able to produce enough energy. As a result, you start to notice symptoms like brain fog, difficulty concentrating, and memory problems.
2. Gut microbiome
The health of your gut can affect your whole body because overgrowths of the wrong things can challenge cognition and inflame the brain. For example, yeast can create waste products that act on the brain and create dysfunction.
External toxins such as mold or heavy metals have a harmful effect on your body. They impair the function of cells and can lead to neurological symptoms, such as cognitive issues.
Brain Fog and Diet
What you eat affects your brain function, for better or worse. Symptoms like brain fog and mental fatigue are indicators that your body may benefit from some tweaks to your diet.
Are you . . .
1. Eating poor-quality fats?
Processed foods contain poor-quality fats that are harmful to the body. Fats like canola oil, margarine, sunflower oil, and corn oil increase inflammation in the body, which negatively affects brain function.
2. Avoiding fats?
Not all fats are bad! While we don’t want to be consuming inflammatory oils, incorporating healthy sources of fats like those found in eggs, salmon, avocado, and other whole foods is essential for health. Eliminating fats from your diet can create nutrient deficiencies and lead to brain symptoms.
3. Consuming enough protein?
Eating protein at every meal is important for regulating blood sugar so that the brain has a steady supply of energy. Protein also provides essential amino acids, which are important building blocks for neurotransmitters.
4. Lacking nutrient-dense foods?
A nutrient-dense diet is foundational for a healthy body that is free of symptoms. Whole foods contain a variety of wonderful compounds that continue to work for your body. For example, blueberries are rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, which help your body fight inflammation. We like to call them brain berries!
So how do you eat to support your blood sugar? Focus on balanced meals with protein, fats, and a small amount of starchy carbs. The combination of these foods will stabilize blood sugar by preventing spikes and crashes.
If you need some inspiration, here are some examples for each:
– Protein: fish, beef, eggs, poultry, legumes
– Fats: avocado, salmon, mackerel, nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, butter
– Carbs: blueberries, squash, beets, vegetables, sweet potatoes, legumes, gluten-free whole grains
Combining these three macronutrients will create a nourishing and satisfying diet. Together they will support optimal blood sugar levels so that your brain has plenty of energy and you can think clearly.
There are some additional key nutrients that can support a healthy brain. All these nutrients play important roles in managing inflammation in the body. When it comes to the brain, inflammation can cause symptoms like brain fog and difficulty concentrating.
– Omega-3 Fats: sources include salmon, mackerel, walnuts, chia seeds, olive oil
– Antioxidants and Polyphenols: sources include blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, dark leafy greens, brightly colored veggies
– Magnesium Threonate: this form of magnesium crosses the blood-brain barrier, which allows it to specifically lower inflammation in the brain. It must be taken in supplement form.
Lifestyle and Brain Fog
Just like your diet, the way you live can also have a significant impact on your brain health. You may be eating the healthiest diet, but if you have a chaotic lifestyle, it may be difficult to fully eliminate your symptoms.
Your brain is going to have a hard time functioning well if it is overloaded with endless tasks, worries, and other life stressors. It makes sense that after a while, a busy brain would struggle to think quickly and efficiently. Find ways to relieve stress and calm your brain down. Everything from meditation to writing down your thoughts (aka ‘brain dumping’) can help reduce the mental load your brain has to process. Getting plenty of sleep will also help to restore your brain power.
Lab Tests for Brain Fog
Have you tried everything but can’t get to the root of your brain fog and memory issues? It may be time to consider lab testing so that we can get clear on what is truly disrupting your brain’s ability to function.
We use a variety of assessments and testing to determine what is causing brain fog for our clients so that we can create a personalized plan to help them eliminate it. Many don’t realize how bad their brain fog was until it’s gone.
Three types of testing we use to help you improve your memory and think clearly:
1. Gut testing
Stool testing provides insights into your gut microbiome and identifies overgrowths that could be contributing to your brain fog.
2. Blood testing
Bloodwork gives a helpful overview of many areas of health, but for brain fog, we are primarily looking at markers for blood sugar regulation. The results will also indicate which meal timing strategies will likely be best for supporting mental clarity. Thyroid function is another key area that can have effects on brain function.
Checking hormone levels can be helpful, as estrogen levels start to swing as you enter perimenopause. The fluctuations in hormones during this time can contribute to brain-related symptoms.
If you need help getting to the root cause of your brain fog, reach out. By supporting and investigating all these areas, we can bring back the clarity you seek!