Brain fog - modern epidemic?
Brain fog affects countless millions of people and almost everyone experiences it from time to
time. It can include feeling spacy, confused, forgetful, lost, tired, along with difficulty thinking,
concentrating, focussing, and completing tasks.
Although brain fog is not recognized as a disease or disorder, it is a "condition" or form of "cognitive
dysfunction" that most people can identify with. A surprisingly large number of people live with brain fog and
think that because they regularly (or constantly) feel foggy that it must be normal.
Brain fog is not normal, it is an outward expression of one
or more imbalances due to impaired cellular functioning.
Although the brain weighs about 3% of our body mass, it uses about 30% of the calories. It requires a
significant amount of energy, oxygen, and nutrition. It is also delicate and sensitive. Impaired energy production,
allergies/sensitivities, changes to "fuel supply" (nutrition) or oxygen supply can profoundly affect brain
functioning and cause brain fog.
Brain fog can be caused by a wide range of "forces":
Dehydration / Insufficient Hydration
Metal Toxicity and Mineral Imbalances
Liver, Kidney, and Bowel Toxicity
Problems with the endocrine system
Dehyration / insufficient hydration can cause brain fog
Almost every function in the body is monitored and tied to the efficient flow of water within the body and
proper hydration at a cellular level. Water plays the key role in transporting hormones, chemical messengers,
nutrients, and range of other processes.
Most people are chronically dehydrated but do not know it nor understand the importance of proper
Coffee, tea, sodas, and juices are simply not substitutes for water. In fact, many flavored drinks are
Thirst is not an early-stage signal of dehyration, it is a late-stage signal. It takes several weeks of
drinking sufficient amounts of good quality water to attain proper hydration at a deep cellular level.
Hypoglycemia can cause brain fog
Hypoglycemia can starve the brain of fuel triggering brain fog. Unlike muscles, the brain does not store fuel -
it must have a steady fuel supply. The brain is very sensitive to changes in fuel supply. If the fuel supply
varies, it is somewhat like changing the voltage to a computer or sensitive piece of electronic equipment.
Common symptoms of hypoglycemia are confusion, irritability, forgetfulness, and even blackouts. When affected, a
person may not be able to remember important details like their name, address, or phone number. Symptoms usually
occur several hours after a meal, and may come on suddenly. Eating a piece of fruit or something with sugar can
often relieve hypoglycemia symptoms within 10 or 15 minutes.
Many people, including young children and adults of all ages, experience large blood sugar swings throughout the
day. A breakfast of sweetened cereal, pastry, or juice drives up blood sugar. This is followed by a mid morning
drop in blood sugar which many attempt to relieve with a sweet snack, juice, soda, or sweetened drink. This pushes
blood sugar back up again, followed by another drop around noon.
Lunch may include soda pop, sweetened sauces (ketchup, salad dressing), bread rolls, pastas, chocolate milk, and
other food which contain sugar or affect blood sugar.
Blood sugar then rises, and falls again at mid-afternoon. Blood sugar swings can make it very difficult, if not
impossible, for people to think clearly. Blood sugar swings are also closely tied to energy levels and mood
Candida overgrowth can cause brain fog
Brain fog symptoms can be due to the production of alcohol and acetaldehyde by the Candida organism (yeast
organism). Although no alcohol is actually consumed by the person, it causes them to behave as if slightly
inebriated. Acetaldehyde is also toxic to the brain.
Fruit, juices,and other sugars feed Candida and can bring on symptoms rapidly in susceptible people.
Carbohydrates break down to sugar in the intestines. Excessive carbohydrates in the diet can also cause symptoms,
usually of a more chronic nature.
Brain fog can also be caused by a yeast die-off triggered by a dietary change, cleanse/detox program, or even a
shift in metabolism. As the yeast die, they release various toxins that can induce symptoms of brain fog.
Chronic fatigue can cause brain fog
The brain requires a lot of energy. Impaired energy production or reduced oxygen upatake can significantly
affect brain function and cause chronic fatigue-like symptoms.
Regardless of the cause, fatigue can cause mental confusion and symptoms of brain fog. This is particulary true
of chronic stress and adrenal fatigue but also includes infections, illnesses, nutritional deficiency/imbalance,
toxins, and other diseases.
Infections not only drain overall energy, they produce toxins that can cause brain fog. Illness(es) can impair
normal metabolism which then affects brain function.
Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of brain problems. Toxins from insect bites, impaired digestion,
exposure to molds, mildews, fungi, chemicals and many other sources affect energy production and cause brain
Food intolerances / sensitivities / allergies can cause brain fog
Food sensitivites and allergic reactions can directly affect energy production, leading to brain fog. Food
reactions can cause histamine release within the nervous system. Nervous system allergies can be severe, including
extreme irritability, confusion, and even psychotic behavior.
Food reactions commonly irritate the intestine, causing leaky gut syndrome and the absorption of toxins into the
bloodstream. Many people are sensitive to wheat and cow milk products (the problem is, most do not know that they
are). Anyone experiencing brain fog should eliminate these foods from their diet to see if the symptoms diminish.
This reduces or eliminates brain fog for a surprising number of people. Gluten containing foods such as wheat, rye,
oats, and barley can also cause reactions in susceptible individuals.
Some food and water-borne substances are neurotoxic. This includes pesticide residues, fungicide residues, heavy
metals, bacterial toxins, fungal toxins, fluoride, chlorine, and other water contaminants. Any of these may
contribute to brain fog.
Nutrient deficiencies can cause foggy brain
Significant improvement in brain function is a common side effect of proper nutrition.
The brain requires many nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids,
antioxidants, and other nutrients. Among the most important nutrients are calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper,
L-glutamine, L-taurine, choline, thiamine, B6, B12 and other B vitamins. B-vitamin deficiency is known to cause
confusion, irritability, stupor, and even death.
Brain fog can also be caused by an electrolyte imbalance, which often occurs after excessive physical exertion,
sweating, or vomiting.
Metal toxicity and mineral imbalances can cause brain fog
Brain fog and other more serious brain problems can accompany heavy metal toxicity. All toxic metals are neuro
toxins, meaning they are toxic to our brains (in addition to our bodies). This includes lead, mercury, cadmium,
arsenic, aluminum, nickel, beryllium, and others.
While many foods including most kinds of ocean fish contain small amounts of toxic metals, a healthy body is
able to eliminate most of these toxins. It is the progressive accumulation of metals in the system which leads to
health issues including brain fog.
High levels of trace elements such as iron, manganese, and chromium can also affect brain activity and give rise
to brain fog.
A common cause of brain fog is a copper imbalance. Copper induces the production of the biogenic amines,
epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. Copper also affects the thyroid gland and female hormone levels.
Excessive copper or biounavailable copper can result in mood swings, spaciness, racing thoughts, and excessive
Causes of copper imbalance include stress, fatigue, weak adrenal function, zinc deficiency, birth control pills,
copper intra-uterine devices, and copper contamination of food and water. Some women experience brain fog inline
with their menstration.
Vegetarian diets are particularly high in copper and low in zinc (a mineral that balances copper). Vegetarian
diets tend to be low in other nutrients essential for brain function such as taurine, carnitine, essential fatty
acids, alpha lipoic acid, B vitamins, and others.
High tissue levels of calcium and magnesium frequently cause reduced awareness, mental fatigue, and brain fog.
The condition is sometimes called a calcium shell, as the person may feel slightly numb. Elevated tissue calcium
raises the voltage at which nerve cells fire, leading to mental heaviness and a feeling of numbness.
Liver / kidney / bowel toxicity, and/or poor digestion can cause brain fog
Toxicity can cause eliminative organs to be sluggish, resulting in brain fog. If our eliminative organs are not
able to do their job properly, toxic chemicals such as ammonia remain in the blood stream. As the brain is delicate
and requires a lot of blood flow, it is one of the first organs to be affected by toxins in the blood stream.
Sluggish eliminative organs are common due to the enormous amount of chemicals we are now exposed to on a daily
basis. Liver diseases such as hepatitis, alcoholic cirrhosis, and others also impair liver function.
Stress, poor eating habits, weak digestive tracts, and intestinal infections, can cause food to putrefy and
ferment in the intestines. Some of these toxins may be absorbed into the bloodstream. This can overwhelm the
detoxification ability of the liver and kidneys. Constipation makes this problem significantly worse.
Not drinking enough water, or drinking soda pop, excessive coffee, and other irritating beverages can damage the
kidneys and reduce their ability to remove toxins from the blood. Liver, bowel, and kidney function are also
affected by emotions.
Liver and Kidney cleansing programs may temporarily relieve symptoms but they do not deal with issues such as
food allergies, toxic chemicals in the diet, toxic environments, and nutrient deficiencies. Weekly Far Infrared
saunas are excellent for detoxification. Daily skin brushing in the shower is a good detoxification method helpful
Problems with the endocrine system can cause brain fog
Hormones are produced and regulated by the endocrine system. This system of glands throughout the brain and body
regulate mood, growth, sexual function, reproductive processes and metabolic activity.
The endocrine system includes the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, thyroid, parathyroids, adrenal glands, pancreas, ovaries (women) and testes (men).
The brain and endocrine system are tightly linked together. Brain functioning relies on endocrine functioning.
Endocrine functioning relies on brain functioning.
If the endocrine system has problems producing or secreting one or more hormones, in the appropriate amount, at the appropriate time, then a
person may experience a wide range of "baffling" health issues including brain fog.
Problems with the endocrine system can cause problems with energy levels, moods, blood sugar levels, body
temperature, sleep, sexual function, digestion, appetite, weight, and much more.
Poor oxygenation can cause foggy brain
A common cause of brain fog is reduced oxygen to the brain. This can be due to clogged arteries, improper
breathing, or health conditions that impair oxygen uptake at a cellular level.
Shallow breathing is far more common than acknowledged and can cause spaciness, confusion, and impaired
cognition. When under stress our natural breathing pattern is affected - people do not breathe as deeply and
regularly. Fear and anxiety often cause restricted breathing patterns.
Physical diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema can impair respiration.
Although not widely known, repeated exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide (chronic CO poisoning) can infuse into tissues in the body. The carbon monoxide becomes
"locked" in the tissues, occupying oxygen carrying locations. This impairs oxygen uptake capacity.
Structural misalignment can cause brain fog
A misaligned spine or pinched nerves may cause brain fog. The cause may be a head or body trauma. Sleeping in
the wrong position, lifting incorrectly, and normal daily activities can also contribute to a nerve impingement
that affects the brain. Chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation, physio therapy, and craniosacral therapy can be
very helpful in dealing with structural misalignments, trauma, and the resulting brain fog.
Medication can cause foggy brain
Prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause mental confusion, irritability, and other brain fog symptoms.
This includes drugs for allergies, pain, high blood pressure, heart arrythmias, glaucoma, infections, depression,
anxiety, inflammation, and others. Many people take more than one drug at a time which can have a wide range of
Electromagnetic pollution can cause brain fog
Electromagnetic fields (EMF's) from desktop computers, laptops, televisions, household appliances, cordless
phones and wireless/mobile devices can [seriously] affect a percentage of people.
It is thought that up to 5% of the population is highly sensitive and up to 30% are moderately sensitive to
electromagnetic fields. While the percentage of people affected by exposure to electromagnetic fields is up to
debate, there is a growing body of evidence showing that far more people are affected by EMF exposure than
In all but the more serious cases, people affected by electromagnetic fields are usually unaware that
EMF's are the cause.
All forms of "brain stress" can cause brain fog
Anything that causes a person to feel stressed - whether it be physical, emotional, financial, or environmental
toxicity - all place stress on the brain and body.
While the brain and body is designed to handle and respond to limited amounts of stress, it is not designed for
long periods of ongoing stress (especially if multiple stressors are occuring at the same time).
Chronic ongoing brain stress is thought to be a major contributor to the brain
Other causes of brain fog
- A foggy brain can be caused by a range of illnesses: a brain tumor, epilepsy, meningitis, encephalitis and
others are potential causes.
- Of special note is Lyme Infection which could be a silent pandemic. Some experts suggest that as many as 2
out of 3 people in the US population carry the bacteria (but do not necessarily show symptoms). Everyone who
experiences symptoms should be tested for it.
- Brain fog can be tied to brain fatigue.
- Brain fog is one of the most common brain injury symptoms.
- It can be tied to genetics (but only a small percentage of cases).
How to reduce brain fog
Brain fog affects millions of people and contributes to misery, poor productivity, failing school grades, crime,
job loss, accidents, relationship and social problems.
- Anyone experiencing brain fog can begin by improving diet and lifestyle. Reduce, or preferably, eliminate
junk foods, heavily sugared foods, and highly processed foods.
- Try taking a cognitive enhancer.
- Reduce, or preferably, eliminate wheat, dairy, and other commonly consumed foods that may be causing
sensitivities or allergic reactions.
- Rather than soda pop, coffee, or a sugared juice drink at least 6 glasses of quality water every day
(preferably room temperature water as it is easier for the body to process).
- Be sure to get enough sleep, take time to relax, and make a point to breathe deeply throughout the day.
Detoxification methods like cleanses, colonic irrigation, and saunas can be very helpful - for many, radically
- In some cases, testing for allergies, illnesses, and brain diseases may be necessary. Brain fog caused by
diet, lifestyle, toxicity, medication, spinal misalignments, and blood sugar imbalances does not show up in
conventional medical tests.
- Visit a chiropractor or osteopath to rule out structural causes.
- Reduce levels of brain stress. Many people find meditation extremely
helpful to feel calmer, more focussed, and have a stronger sense of well being.
Brain balance programs can also be exceptionally effective
It is now possible to "train your brain." Real measurable improvements can be achieved in weeks and without
special knowledge or effort.
We have seen many clients with brain fog and it has become one of our specialties. With our brain training
programs we balance the brain to help it self-regulate and function more efficiently.
In many cases this relieves clients of brain fog as well as other "symptoms" however, we do not "treat or cure"
symptoms, we simply balance the brain.
Clients frequently experience an increase in confidence, an improved sense of well being, and more hope for the
Once the brain self-regulates more efficiently it positively affects all aspects of the person; issues that are
psychological, physical, mental and emotional. There is no limit to the extent our brains can heal and grow.
Look to a brain train program, brain support
program, or even a meditation retreat.
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