Caught yourself saying, “where the hell did I park the car again?”, “what did I come into this room for?”, “where did I put my keys?” of late.
Well, this is a sign of brain fog. Rest assured you’re not alone, I hear it often these days. It can last a few hours, days or weeks, depending on the cause. I liken brain fog to trying to operate through a smokescreen. It’s depleting and physically drains your energy because your just brain isn’t working as well as it should. Everything seems so much harder!
Is it time to clear your smokescreen?
What causes brain fog?
- Lack of sleep
- Food intolerances or sensitivities
- Gut infections
- Hormonal issues – menopause, low thyroid function, insulin resistance
- Low in essential nutrients – especially those that help to oxygenate the brain – iron, B12.
- Poor detoxification pathways
How do I get rid of brain fog?
I say start simple and if that doesn’t clear it, go deeper.
7 simple hacks to clear brain fog are –
- Good night sleep – aiming for 8 hours uninterrupted, restorative sleep aligned with your circadian rhythm. Which means waking at a similar time each day. For instance, wake at 6am, best to be in bed by at least 10pm each night. Some people need slightly more or less sleep.
- Hydration – drinking at least 2 litres of water a day, and more if exercising or over 60kg. Ideally, your urine is a very pale yellow. If you feel like the water isn’t being taken up by your body, add a 1 teaspoon of sea salt or celtic salt (high in minerals) to your water or food over the day. It can make a huge difference for some people.
- Eat quality carbohydrates often, such as vegetables, fruit, legumes (chickpeas, lentils, bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts….), seeds (quinoa, chia…) instead of lots of refined carbohydrates (cakes, biscuits, bread…) and high sugar foods (lollies, dried fruit, cordial, soft drinks, too many dates…).
- Add good quality proteins (eggs, chicken, fish, nuts, seafood, tofu…) and healthy fats (avocado, nuts, chia, leafy greens, oily fish…) to your meals to even out blood sugar levels, which keep your brain powering through the day.
- Daily exercise – pump blood through your brain to oxygenate your cells, energise, clear the rubbish, lower your stress hormones and normalise your blood sugars. Everything counts, so it can be a 10 minute high intensity workout, 20 min walk or an hour PT session or gym session. Do what you can often, since on the whole we eat too much and move too little.
- De-stressing – schedule in daily self-care daily (hot bath, barefoot walk through the park, meditation, deep breathing…). Chronic stress leads to low DHEA, brain fog and memory problems.
- Check your iron stores and B12 levels – with a blood test. These ingredients are essential to transport oxygen to your brain.
Brain fog still no better after doing the 6 hacks above? It’s time to see someone to help you work out why and set a plan in motion. Causes could include:
- Detox needed. Your liver is your internal filter that keeps your blood clean. Been drinking too much alcohol, eating more junk food than you would like? It may be time for a detox to clean out your filter. I recommend a good one every 6 to 12 months. Book in to get started on a detox today.
- Food intolerances. Big brain fog culprit. Along with possibly fatigue, diarrhoea or constipation, reflux, sinus, blocked nose, stomach pain, bloating and gas. Have any of these symptoms click here to arrange food intolerance testing and get that brain fog cleared.
- Gut infection. Anything that damages your gut affects brain function, because more unfiltered components are getting into your bloodstream and hence your brain. Been overseas or had a stomach bug and haven’t felt quite right since? Struggling with recurrent thrush? Click here to get tested.
- Sex hormone imbalance – low oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone all cause brain fog and poor memory. Irregular period, no periods, PMS, mood swings. Suspect this is where it’s all going wrong? Click here to book in for testing.
- Sluggish thyroid. Constantly tired, brain fog, craving sugar, feeling down, cold, constipated? Thyroid issues often run in a family, happen after having children or from chronic stress. Click here to book in for testing.
- Thyroid meds not quite right. No matter what you do the brain fog won’t clear until you get it sorted. Thyroxine (Oroxine, Eutroxsig) or bio-identical hormones (NDT or natural dessicated thyroid, Armour, Biothroid) supply T4, your inactive thyroid hormone, but it still needs to be converted to the T3, your active thyroid hormone, which works at your tissues (brain, muscles, gut…). T3 requires co-factors, energy, optimal gut, liver and adrenal function, addressing autoimmune antibodies and much more to get it firing at capacity. Feel you need help sorting it all out. Click here to book now.
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