Everyone’s heard of the notorious ADHD drugs, Adderall, Vyvanse or amphetamines in general. These medications are widely used in America, prescribed and un prescribed unfortunately. I am currently prescribed adderall, which brought me to this question, because I do experience some pretty heavy fog. Sometimes adderall makes it even worse for me, and sometimes it makes it go away completely. But writing this article will help me, and you dive deeper into the connections between brain fog and amphetamine.Before we figure out if Adderall or Vyvanse causes brain fog, first we must figure out what adderall does to the brain.
What does Amphetamine do to the brain?
Adderall and Vyvanse “boost” to these chemicals in the brain:
Serotonin: This is your “Happy” neurotransmitter, it promotes a feeling of well-being and happiness, it also helps your sleep cycle and digestive system, surprisingly!
Dopamine: This is your “Pleasure” neurotransmitter, it gives you a feeling of pleasure when getting something done, it boost motivation and is one of the biggest reasons behind addiction, because people tend to chase things that release dopamine in their brain, to make them feel good. People with ADHD, that are not medicated are believed to have an abnormally low amount of natural dopamine levels in the brain, amphetamine works by boosting this to what is considered “normal” levels.
Noradrenaline or “Norepinephrine”:This chemical is your concentration neurotransmitter. It affects attention and how fast your brain reacts to action. It’s involved in your body’s “fight or flight” mode, which can sometimes be the reason why medicated people are jumpy., it also contracts blood vessels, therefor causing your body to have to increase blow flow.This is the reason why when you don’t have your medication, or have a “skip” day, you feel tired, not motivated, and sometimes show symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Most common symptoms of Brain Fog
What are the symptoms of brain fog? What are the symptoms of brain fog? Here are the most commonly ways people describe it:
- Difficultly focusing
- Slight mental decline
- Short term memory loss
- Dreamlike state
- Vision unfocusing
Those are just a few of the symptoms, as described by other people, and myself. Now, obviously you want to get checked out by a doctor first if you really have severe symptoms, because brain fog is not entirely understood yet, there could be multiple causes to it.
Based on a survey from 70+ people with brain fog, only 36.4% have ever been prescribed Adderall, Vyvanse, or Ritalin.
Survey summary from 77 people with brain fog. That survey leads me to believe that no, These particular ADHD medications don’t exactly cause the brain fog, but the come down, or withdraw from the medication may, because I and many other people experience copious amounts of brain fog during the come down. Lets dive into a few ways that other people, and myself have said to have help brain fog with Adderall.
HOW DO YOU FIX BRAIN FOG WITH ADDERALL?
SWITCH GENERICS/MANUFACTURES: There is quite a few generic manufactures and brands of adderall/amphetamine, the biggest ones being Teva, Barr, Dextrostat. Some companies may use different filler, and different mix of amphetamine salts. There has been reports of these brands having different side effects, including brain fog.
You can check and see where your generic came from, it should be listed on the prescription pill bottle. If you decide to try another manufacturer/brand, just simply notify your pharmacy, they should have another version, if not they can usually order it.
ANXIETY: This brings us to the neurotransmitter serotonin, and dopamine, which in low levels can cause anxiety. When ever I have anxiety, I’ll grab my notebook and write down the list of why I am in a bad mood. By writing down why I’m in a bad mood, depressed, or stressed, it helps me gain control over my thoughts a little bit, and most of the time come up with some sort of solution, calming my nerves. other methods include:
- Reducing Caffeine Intake
- Reducing or adjusting your prescription mg
- Deep breathing
- Make sure your environment is clean and friendly.
- Get Social
- Eat Healthy
- 5-HTP (Precurser to Serotonin)
- Get quality sleep!
DEPRESSION: Once again this could be blamed on the serotonin and dopamine. I was diagnosed clinically depressed not so many years ago, so I know how it feels to be depressed, like, really depressed. These days I’m forced to be in front of people at my job and have lots of enthusiasm ALL – DAY, which can be annoying sometimes but it’s made me a better person, mentally and emotionally. I combat incoming depression by being social, taking a jog every few days (that really helps) and just being annoyingly optimistic at times. Other methods include:
- Eating healthy
- Being creative
- Taking 5-HTP (Precurser to Serotonin)
- Limit sugar intake
- Going outside and getting sunlight (Vitamin D)
- Listening to music
- Get quality sleep!
Summary: Make sure you are living a healthy lifestyle, and in a healthy environment, Adderall and Vyvanse can deplete serotonin levels ultimately causing anxiety and or depression, which I believe can trigger brain fog.
Bonus info: Taking ADHD medicine can put a strain on your brain, so you want to make sure your brain is in the best of health so you don’t damage it possibly making the brain fog worse. Doing a few of these things have actually helped me, and others with our brain fog.Have you heard of Neurogenesis? Well, it is a topic we could go on and on about, but I will give you the summary and a few ways to make it happen.
Here is 10 ways I’ve got for you that promote the growth of new brain cells:
Eating Dark Chocolate: Eating dark chocolate contains flavonoids, helping your body grow new neurons, it will boost your mood, help your heart and actually help you live longer! Obviously you want to eat it with consideration. Don’t get to carried away!
Eating Blueberries:Blueberries are blue because anthocyanin dye, which is a flavonoid, which like chocolate, has been linked to neurogenesis.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Walnuts, Avocados, Flaxseeds, Egg yolks, Salmon, and white fish are just a few of the great tasting foods that have great amounts of Omega-3 in them. If you don’t find anything appealing that has Omega 3 in it, then you can always take supplements!
Jogging: Exercise in general is good for you, but I put Jogging here because lots of people (including myself) get intimidated by exercising. You don’t have to go out and by a monthly membership at a gym just because you have brain fog. It only takes ten minutes to go jogging around your block real quick!
Turmeric Spice: You can find this at your local grocery store, It’s a very distinct yellow spice. It’s helps neurogenesis and new studies show that it may contribute to the regeneration of a damaged brain. Just take a teaspoon in the morning or at night, and see how it works for you!
Green Tea: The compound epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG is found in green tea and has been linked to growing new brain cells.
Vitamin D: Obviously you could supplement this but nothing beats getting the real thing, all natural sunlight. Vitamin D increases the levels of BDNF (a protein) just like jogging, and it promotes neurogenesis!
Have Sex: Having sex boost several neurotransmitters in the brain, for a good little bit.
Fasting: Try fasting for a day, maybe eat 2 or 3 healthy snacks, like an fruit, or a cereal bar. Fasting can put your body into a sort of survival mode, boosting neurons in the brain to help search for food, like a wild animal.
Give your brain a challenge: Be adventurous, go to new places, drive somewhere where you’ve never been. Get social and talk to people you normally wouldn’t talk to. Learn a new skill, and overall just get out of your comfort zone.
Article Conclusion: Right now I believe there is a lot of factors that go into brain fog, the biggest ones being anxiety and depression, up above are a few ways to help combat those symptoms ultimately relieving your brain fog a little bit, if not completely! Comment below if you think I missed something!