Brain Fog – Is it normal or is it a symptom?
Brain fog is a common symptom that a lot of people walk through our doors with, but they don’t always know the cause. There are a large number of causes to brain fog, including some very common ones that we work with on a common basis to help correct and improve.
Environmental exposures/toxicities – There are a number of very common chemical and environmental exposures which inhibit brain function. These range from heavy metals like lead and mercury, allergic responses to things like mold and pollen and exposure to solvents and pesticides to name a few. These all come from different sources but they can all contribute either directly or indirectly to decreased mental function aka “brain fog.”
Inflammation from poor lifestyle – Like all things, brain fog has a number of causes which are lifestyle related and can improve by changing bad habits into good ones. The first major contributor is poor diet which can contribute to brain fog through nutrient deficiencies, inflammatory reactions from food sensitivities and even decreased neurotransmitter production through an imbalanced microbiome which I discuss in another article. The next lifestyle factor is poor sleep, sleep has one of the most immediate and strongest connections with mental function – you simply have to get enough sleep and it needs to be high quality for healthy brain function. The last lifestyle factor is exercise – which can help improve brain function through improved circulation, production of hormones and neurotransmitters and more.
Genetic predisposition – When we talk about genetic mutations and predispositions it’s important to note that just having a problem with a gene doesn’t mean you’ll have a problem. Often time having some of these gene mutations can lead to a minor or major decrease in some biochemical function, the good news is this can almost always be improved by knowing about the problem and addressing through lifestyle and targeted support of the problem gene. A few genes that we often look at that can impact mental function are the MTHFR, COMT and VDR genes all of which can directly or indirectly impact neurotransmitter production and function.
The hardest thing for most people is that they don’t know if their brain fog is just normal, or if it’s a sign of a problem. In my experience, unless you’re already living a healthy lifestyle that addresses at least the causes mentioned above, then there’s probably room for improvement.
If you’re dealing with brain fog and want to learn more about the causes and the options available, please call us at 916-351-9355.