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What is Brain Fog and How Do You Recover From It?

Brain fog is a symptom often caused by stress, sleep changes, and medication. This is a term used for certain symptoms that can affect your ability to think. A person with this condition may experience extreme confusion, and memory loss, and may find it difficult to concentrate.

What exactly is brain fog?
It is not a medical condition itself but a culmination of symptoms of other medical conditions. Brain fog comes under cognitive dysfunction, characterized by an inability to concentrate as well as a lack of mental clarity. It is also often referred to as mental fatigue, depending on the severity of the condition. While it can affect and disrupt one's work or school life, it is not permanent.

Brain fog is believed to be caused by high levels of inflammation at the cellular level. Changes in the hormones that determine your mood, energy, and focus also affect it. When one is experiencing an imbalance in their hormones, their entire system gets thrown into disarray. Since brain fog syndrome is more than a psychological condition, it can lead to other conditions such as obesity and diabetes due to behavioral changes. If you think you may be experiencing brain fog, it is best to get in touch with your primary healthcare providers.

Covid-19 and Brain Fog
This term has become more popular in the last couple of years during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been found that COVID-19 causes neurologic symptoms by worsening pre-existing symptoms. It also triggers a new set of symptoms which leads to brain fog.  The research found that entirely new, painful, small-fiber neuropathies and cognitive impairment were triggered by COVID-19 infection in many patients across different age groups.

With brain fog, the communication between various parts of the brain becomes compromised either directly from the virus or from an immune system overactivation. A COVID-19 infection and its aftermath affect the intricately coordinated neural networks and interrupt the flow of information. This ends up affecting people in a way where they might take longer than before to remember a person’s name or a new phone number. Though the information gets there, it is not as reliable as before.

What causes brain fog?
Brain fog is usually rooted in a lifestyle that promotes hormonal imbalances and is exacerbated by stress. While a compromised immune system plays a major role in this, basic lifestyle habits can also lead to it. This also includes:

1. Exposure to electromagnetic radiation from your computer or mobile phone.
2. High levels of stress reduce blood flow to the brain causing poor memory.
3. Lack of sleep and a sedentary lifestyle.
4. Not having an inclusive diet with good amounts of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

How can you reduce the effects of brain fog?

1. Quitting tobacco should be number one on the list because the chances of recovery for a smoker are very less.

2. Cutting down on your alcohol intake and limiting it to occasional use is best for an easier recovery.

3. Any type of activity, even walking for 20 minutes every day, increases blood flow to the brain, which heals.

4. Take a good diet. You are following a diet that is full of nutritious food and not processed foods or sugary sweets, which work against the healing process.

5. Taking a vitamin D supplement once daily may aid brain and nerve function.

Every brain changes with age, and mental function changes along with it. Mental decline is common, and it is one of the most dreaded consequences of aging. Sometimes brain fog is caused by lifestyle factors such as diet, stress, or lack of sleep and exercise. Other times, it is caused by an underlying health condition or is a side effect of a medication. Be proactive about adopting a brain-healthy lifestyle and managing your health and medications.

Brain fog can be frustrating, but recovery is not impossible. It is important that you recognize your symptoms and start taking action for them. Leaving it untreated will only affect your quality of life. The first several months should be spent trying to resume as many former activities as possible. Remember that the brain takes months to heal, so try not to get impatient. Contact your doctor and get a list of medical services provided by him which can help you during this period.

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