Before we get into the article, I want to state that this article is by the people with brain fog, for the people with brain fog.
I as well as others conducted a survey for people with brain fog a few weeks ago to try and figure out a solution.
What Is Brain Fog?
Brain Fog is a complex feeling, some describe it as a physical feeling in their head, feeling as though their thoughts have a thick cloud over them preventing them from using their brain power to the fullest extent.
Brain fog not considered a diagnose-able condition, but a symptom of other medical conditions.
It is a symptom of a symptom.
Here is a list of how people describe having brain fog:
- Difficulty Focusing
- Short Term Memory Loss
- Not being able to recall words
- Having trouble structuring sentences
- Being in a dream like state
- Worsening problem solving skills
- Struggling to retain information
- Constant pressure in head
- Constant Daydreaming / Zoning out
My favorite description of brain fog, from a survey taker is:
-Anonymous Brain Fog Survey Taker
“I feel as though I’m thinking through a thick jelly, and like I’m piloting my body from a distant location.”
What Causes Brain Fog?
There is several causes to brain fog that are known, and each can be different for every person.
You may need to experiment, and pin point your cause of brain fog.
Further in the article is a list of a step-by-step guide you can take to help pin point your exact cause and then tackle the fog head on.
Common Reasons For Brain Fog
What is the most common reason for brain fog? This can prove to be a tricky question, as there are many common reasons for brain fog, that varies by types of people and how they live their lifestyle. But here is a few:
- Lack of exercise
- Poor Diet
- Social Media Use
Most of the common causes behind brain fog can be linked to an imbalance of neurotransmitters.
Brain Fog From Medication
Some medication can have very adverse side effects, so consult your doctor and let him know that you think your medicine is causing symptoms of brain fog.
Brain Fog From Adderall, Vyvanse & Ritalin
Though most people have never taken stimulants, it can still cause brain fog.
Adderall, Vyvanse, and Ritalin boost your levels of several neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These are all things that effect mood, coordination, and concentration, and can cause immense brain fog as well as other adverse side effects if one becomes deficient (and you will).
That is why most people report brain fog when going through withdraw, or a come down, because they are deficient.
Read this article, it’s specifically written for brain fog from ADHD medication.
Brain Fog From Depression
Though many people from this survey report to be happy, another question from this same survey reports that 36 people have been diagnosed with depression, and 17 people believe they have depression. That’s more than half.
Depression isn’t fully understood but is believed to be caused by low serotonin levels. Brain fog could be self induced this way, as a way to cope with the feelings of depression.
You can get a better idea on whether or not you show signs of depression with this free test here.
Brain Fog From Anxiety
With Anxiety, your mind is working in overdrive, constantly feeling as if there is a threat to you or your body.
Brain fog could be caused by overthinking, or as means to escape reality to cope with the anxiety.
If you are dealing with Anxiety and you believe it is causing your brain fog, reach out to a doctor.
Brain Fog From Masturbation
While most surveyees may disagree that masturbation makes brain fog worse, people over at the NoFap forum would tell you that it does indeed cause brain fog.
See, when you masturbate it releases dopamine in your brain, which can cause a significant deficiency. This can cause lack of focus, depression, social anxiety, insomnia, and low libido.
All things that can factor into brain fog.
Brain Fog From Alcohol
Alcohol has stimulant like effects, but it is considered a depressant because after what most think is normal consumption, it slows down vital functions in the body.
Alcohol is also well known for causing dehydration, depression, and anxiety. These can contribute to brain fog. No need to stack medical problems, so be easy with the alcohol.
If you do drink alcohol, follow it up and drink the same amount of water before you go to sleep that day.
Brain Fog From Multivitamins / Supplements
During the survey, I noticed a LOT of people taking multivitamins and supplements everyday.
If you are taking something, try to get your body back at a baseline and stop taking them for a week to see where it puts your brain fog.
Sometimes overloading your body with stuff you may already have or don’t need, can cause brain fog. For instance, I tried Omega-3 Fish oils, though many people reported success with getting rid of brain fog, it actually made mine worse.
It’s recommended to get tested for deficiencies before taking any supplements.
Brain Fog From Teeth Pain
There’s been many reports of people having brain fog due to teeth pain. The nerves that your teeth are connected to are in your head, very close to your brain.
Even people that did not report teeth pain, went to the dentist, found a problem, fixed it and haven’t had brain fog since. Here is a story of exactly that.
Go to your dentist and get a check up.
Brain Fog From Posture
1 out of every 10 people said their brain fog is caused or was triggered by bad posture from the survey.
Lot’s of people forget how important posture is for blood flow, mindset, and overall health. Start practicing good posture and make it a habit to always check yourself.
Brain Fog From Marijuana (Weed)
Looks like most people with brain fog do not smoke weed, however, it can still cause brain fog in some users.
When smoked, THC attaches to sites called cannabinoid receptors on nerve cells in the brain, affecting parts of the brain that regulate movement, coordination, learning and memory. Marijuana also increases dopamine in the brain.
People who report anxiety or paranoia while smoking weed, are more likely to have feelings of brain fog.
I used to be a heavy THC user, it was very enjoyable, then almost all of the sudden, it would cause anxiety, slight paranoia, and sometimes even panic attacks, ultimately leading me to have brain fog for a few days afterwards.
Brain Fog From Psychedelics
This one shouldn’t have to be explained, I mean, doing psychedelics is like traveling to a different universe, of course it’s going to be worn out when you come back from a trip, and you may have brain fog.
Many people report anxiety, depression, and low energy after tripping on psychedelics, which can in turn cause brain fog.
Try detoxing your body as soon as you come back.
Brain Fog From Lack Of Sleep
Sleep energizes the body’s cells, clears toxins from the brain, ultimately recuperating the brain and body. You don’t want to deprive your body of sleep.
Sleep deprivation is scary, and I highly regret staying a wake for almost two days straight back in high school. I believe that day contributed to me developing brain fog, anxiety and OCD. I had major brain fog for weeks after waking up the day after staying up almost two days. Just go to sleep.
If you feel you don’t get the deep sleep you need, try taking Melatonin before bed. I know when I take Melatonin, I wake refreshed, clear headed and ready for the day, with no brain fog.
Brain Fog From Inflammation and Headaches
Inflammation is an immune response. Infections, scratches, or cuts could not head without an inflammatory response. Headaches are normally caused by over activity of pain sensitive structures in the head.
Sometimes when I am in the middle of experiencing brain fog, I think to myself that it almost feels like inflammation in the head.
I personally take BC Powder every morning now, which has Aspirin, and caffeine in it. Aspirin can treat pain, fever, and inflammation. While it isn’t the best habit, I notice that my brain fog is almost nonexistent most of the time now.
Associated Diagnosed Conditions
I see a huge correlation here, Lots of people that took the brain fog survey have, or think to have anxiety and or depression problems.
Though there are other conditions that is sometimes associated with brain fog such as:
- Multiple Sclerosis
The one thing though that can be noted from the survey above is that no one with brain fog that took this survey has been diagnosed with Schizophrenia.
I know that will relieve a lot of people, as brain fog can make you feel like your going “crazy” at times.
How Long Does Brain Fog Last?
Most people have reported to have brain fog for longer than 1 year. Though there is still lots of reports of people only having brain fog for only a few days, or a few weeks. We will hope that you are one of those people, and will recoup quickly from what ever is causing your brain fog.
For those of us that have been experiencing brain fog for a very long time like me, and haven’t found a real solution, we will figure this out, I promise. That is why I started this website.
Treating Brain Fog
Figuring out what you can do to treat your brain fog may require experiments with lifestyle changes, supplements, nootropics, and doctor visits. I wrote out an extensive list of things you should try that will put you closer to living a better life. Here is step one:
Pin Point Your Cause Of Brain Fog
In order to find your brain fog fix, you may need to try and pin point a primary cause first.
There are several test, trials, and procedures you can do to hep pin point what is causing your brain fog. For some people it may just be diet, and others it may be more complex. Here below is a few of the ways I used to pin point my brain fog.
Log Your Days: (very important)
I would suggest buying a notebook, and start logging your days before you get in bed. Here is a list of things you need to track everyday:
- Medications, Vitamins, Supplements taken that day
- What time you get in the bed (this is why you should log right before bed)
- What you ate that day
- What your mood was throughout that day
- Any ideas, goals, or worries
- When your brain fog started to happen and why you think it happened
- Any activities you did and random thoughts such as working out, or complaining about work
Tell yourself to do it just for 5 days in a row to make this task seem less intimidating.
Logging your days will help you spot patterns, experiment and figure out what may be causing your brain fog.
Put Your Body At A Baseline:
What I mean by this is, take a break from any multivitamins, supplements, or drugs you may be doing, until you are through with the withdraws that may come from it.
I understand that some people just simply will not be able to do this, as they may be required to take medicine from a doctor. But if you can, quit putting stuff into your body and get back to a natural baseline.
Based off of the survey we took, well above more then half of the people were putting some type of substance, vitamins, or supplements into their body regularly.
I won’t be the first to say that certain multivitamins that I made the bad habit of taking everyday, thinking it was doing me good, made my brain fog re-appear after a long departure. And yes, you can have withdraws from multivitamins.
Takes These Test:
Take the depression test here.
Take the Anxiety test here.
Test your Neurotransmitters here. (Requires doctor visit)
Test Your Vitamin Deficiency, Thyroid, Cortisol, Hormone Levels, Etc:
You can find a multitude of home test you can take to cut out the cost of a doctors visit, so if you think you have hyperthyroidism, vitamin deficiency, or something like off balanced hormones, you can find a home test for it here.
Get A Check Up:
Sometimes your vision, or sinuses may cause brain fog, or even a tooth ache that you haven’t noticed, so schedule an appointment and mark these off of your list just to be safe:
- Eye Doctor
- ENT Doctor
Last but not least, visit your family doctor and tell him what’s going on, he or she will guide you on the right path to figure it out.
Medicines To Treat Brain Fog
This is something we can not speak on. We highly recommend visiting your proffered doctors office to see if they can drill down on anything that may be causing your brain fog.
Doing that may required trial and error with prescriptions that may have adverse side effects, which you may or may not be comfortable with.
Vitamins & Minerals To Treat Brain Fog
The most recommended vitamins for brain fog are Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K. Also consider trying Magnesium, and Zinc supplements.
Though this isn’t the best method as you may not know what know what Vitamins you may be deficient in, if you got to the point where I was, everything is worth experimenting.
One multivitamin I still use to this day is Super B-Complex, it contains all of the essential B vitamins which helps with cellular energy production, antioxidant support, and metabolism.
Nootropics To Treat Brain Fog
A nootropic is a drug, or substance that may improve cognitive abilities, precisely memory, creativity, focus, or motivation. Since brain fog causes what some describe as a cognitive decline, we found a few nootropics that people report to have positive results when combating brain fog.
Adrafinil metabolizes in the liver into Modafinil, which is a US Prescription that is used to treat narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, and sometimes ADHD. In laymen terms, it simply turns off the “sleepy” chemical in your brain, leaving you feeling clear minded, able to focus and ready to tackle the day.
This is considered to be the best nootropic for new users. Piracetam is the first, but not last of the “racetam” nootropics. The original. Users report feelings of stimulation, mental clarity, focus, motivation and reduced anxiety. A plus for those experiencing brain fog due to anxiety! You can also opt for Phenylpiracetam, which is piracetam’s big brother, most racetam users preffer Phenylpiracetam over Piracetam.
This is a strong one, so user beware. This nootropic produces many effects like piracetam, and is actually considered to be stronger. Expect feelings of stimulation, intense focus, motivation, and a boost of energy. Many users with brain fog report massive success with this one. Noopept was specifically created to help attentive disorders for brains that may have damage to them.
N-Acetyl-Cysteine, or more commonly known as NAC, is an antioxidant and precursor for the antioxidant glutathione. In laymen terms, it helps reduce oxidative stress, maintains cellular health, Most users report reduced depression, and anxiety, while having improved focus and motivation. Great for brain fog caused by emotional distress.
Other Natural Remedies to Brain Fog
Exercise For Brain Fog
Go buy some running clothes, and go jog around the block. Blood flow brings the brain oxygen and nutrients, so exercising even in the slightest, will help promote a healthy brain.
Studies show aerobics and resistance training is best for helping boost cognitive function, promoting the growth of new neurons and blood vessels in the brain.
Pro Tip: To get yourself started, tell yourself your only going to run for the next five days in a row, just to see what it does. Running during sun down or sun up is 10x better and more relaxing then a treadmill. Add work-out music to make your running more bad-ass feeling.
Meditate For Brain Fog
Every now and then we need to sit down, and hit the red ex on the 200 tabs that we have going on in our head, and reset. This will help your mindset and focus, aswell as many other things.
Meditation can actually rebuild your brains grey matter as well, a Harvard study shows.
Fasting For Brain Fog
Fasting is commonly known, not only for helping brain fog but for losing weight because your body pulls energy from your fat versus food, other benefits include heightened metabolism, focus, and stable energy.
I tend to try to do this almost everyday. eating only 1 meal, and small snacks through out the day. I notice that when I fast, my focus is better, versus when I eat a relatively normal meal, that I get lazy, and don’t want to do anything at all for the rest of the day.
If you do not fast with the guidance of a nutritionist or doctor, then you may run into trouble, so be careful!
Caffeine For Brain Fog
Have you tried caffeine? Caffeine works by stimulating your central nervous system, boosting dopamine, and giving users a pretty good boost of energy.
Other stimulants such as adderall or vyvanse have similar effects but have far more side effects then caffeine. The recommend maximum dose of caffeine is 400mg per day, so don’t be like me and drink almost 6 energy drinks every day. (I’ve since cut back!)
Green Tea For Brain Fog
Where can I start? Green tea has antioxidants, alkaloids, caffeine, b vitamins, Polyphenols, catechins, vitamin C, and L-Theanin (which can be good for serotonin and dopamine), It can also increase your GABA activity!
Ginko Bilobila For Brain Fog
This is a plant, typically found in pill form at your local grocery store. It promotes a healthy circulation, memory and metal focus. This supplement you can actually feel, but its not a stimulant, you just feel lighter, almost like you can feel that your brain is getting more oxygen. It also may help with hand-eye coordination and focus, and sometimes even libido!
Dark Chocolate For Brain Fog
Be on the look out for 70-85% Cocoa chocolate. Though it may not taste the best, it’s super good for you!
Dark Chocolate is loaded with Antioxidants, Vitamins & Minerals, and improving blood pressure. A study showed that people that healthy individuals that ate high-flavanol cocoa for five days improved blood flow to the brain, which in turn can improve brain function. (Read Study Here)
Give Your Brain A Challenge
People with brain fog tend to be stuck in their heads sometimes. What’s the best way to get out? Self stimulation. Even if you don’t feel like it, drive somewhere where you’ve never been, get lost, play a brain game online, Talk to strangers, people you normally wouldn’t talk to. Evening learning a new skill will help. Not only will challenging your brain help the growth of new nervous tissue, it will get you out of your comfort zone, and out of your head.
Mental and Physical Detox
In order to really figure out what may be causing your brain fog, you may want to get at a baseline and not put any substances into your body, if at all possible.
Detox your body:
There’s tons of food, supplements, or practices that can help you detox your body, I’ve tried multiple things, and so far Detox Tea by Yogi Tea has been the best. I tend to drink it around 7pm every now and then, It taste great and you can actually feel it working, it helps brain fog and helps me feel great the next day.
Detox your mind:
The most important thing besides your body is your mind. Be careful what you feed it. By detoxing the mind, I am referring to limiting social media use, negative people, negative thoughts, and anything that takes you off track. Cut back on Television, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter. Not only do they crowd your mind with useless thoughts, you may also burn out your dopamine, and cause you to compare yourself to others and make you unproductive, all things that may trigger brain fog.
Step 1: Delete your social media app for a week, and log your days. See the difference. After that, you can re-install them, but once re-installed, begin to make it a habit to not check your phone for the first hour of the day. Doing that will allow you to better plan your day, reducing stress and helping cure brain fog.
Step 2: Cut out Television or YouTube for a week straight, and log your days. If you absolutely have to have something to entertain you, then watch something informative, positive, or motivational. You will see that when you stop keeping up with other peoples lives and achievements, you will focus on your own, which could be enlightening to some,
I practice both Step 1 and Step 2, It really does help.
[IMG OF THINKING PERSON]
Best Food To Help Fix Brain Fog?
What are we looking for when it comes to the best food for brain fog? We’re looking for something that helps you focus, gives you energy, reduce anxiety and depression, balance your mood, and boost some of your neurotransmitters. Helping blast the brain fog out of your head.
Above is a list of several Mains, Sides, Snacks, and Drinks that you can pick up at virtually any grocery store to help fix your brain fog.
I don’t want to break down each one because that would just be a wall of text, but please incorporate at least a few of these items into your diet, experiment, and figure out what makes you feel best. That is the only way.
Extra Infographics / Results From Surveys
Here is some pretty interesting results from researcher Amanda J. Ross, Marvin Medow, Peter Rowe, and Jualian Stewart, regarding brain fog in postural tachycardia syndrome:
Brain Fog Triggers:
Improving Brain Fog Vs. Making Brain Fog Worse
Source of these results:
If you’re looking to fix your brain fog, you’ve came to the right place. Because brain fog can be different for everybody, you need to evaluate yourself, get check ups, do self experimentation and start living a healthy lifestyle all around.
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Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments and I will add it! I hope at least one person can help their brain fog with this post.