Do you not remember where you parked your car when you returned from shopping? Or when you send an email, you send it to someone else by mistake because you were thinking of someone else at that moment? Do you not immediately remember what you were doing after you started doing something?
Research shows that one out of every seven adults between 18 and 39 and one out of four adults over 39 usually suffer from short-term memory and concentration loss.
If this sounds familiar to you, then you and millions of other people worldwide are probably suffering from brain fog. The medical community knows a phenomenon as “mental fatigue.” Depending on the severity of the brain fog, a person’s work or academic status may also be affected. But you should know that brain fog will not become a permanent phenomenon in your life. Brain fog is a sign that your lifestyle and diet need to change.
Brain fog is usually described as confusion, forgetfulness, lack of focus, and mental clarity. This phenomenon can be caused by a lot of work, lack of sleep, stress, and long-term computer work. Medically speaking, brain fog is caused by severe inflammation and changes in the release of hormones that determine your mood, energy, and concentration levels. Hormonal imbalance causes all body mechanisms to be disrupted. In addition, brain fog syndrome can lead to other problems, such as obesity, abnormal menstruation, and diabetes mellitus.
Brain fog can be very frustrating or confusing, but there are ways to deal with it. Here, we have prepared for you what brain fog is, what factors cause it, and tips on controlling it. Stay with us.
What is brain fog?
Brain health is important for maintaining mental abilities and is essential to human emotional and emotional health. Human feelings and thoughts are actually closely related, and in order to feel good, it is first necessary to be able to think well.
Brain fog causes a person’s thought processes, perception, and memory to be disrupted and their performance to decline.
Brain fog is not a disease or disorder; Rather, it is a general term that describes symptoms. For example, these symptoms may include impaired short-term memory, lack of focus or mental clarity, or an inability to stay focused on a problem.
We’ve all experienced these symptoms, but if you’re experiencing frequent brain fog, you may have an eating disorder or an underlying medical condition. Mental fog can make the decision-making process very difficult for a person and interfere with his daily affairs of life and relationships. But once the cause of brain fog is identified in a person, then he can take steps to minimize its harmful effects.
Brain fog can be caused by MS, as part of the side effects of pregnancy, or even due to various lifestyle factors, such as stress, lack of sleep, or an unhealthy diet.
This phenomenon can affect the following processes and functions;
- The memory includes the ability to retain and recall information
- Language abilities, including production and comprehension
- Ability to process and understand information
- Visual and geometric skills necessary for design, shape recognition, and geographic orientation
- Ability to perform calculations and solve problems
- Functional and executive ability to organize, manage and plan
If one or more examples of these abilities and functions are disturbed in a person, then the person’s perception, concentration, and memory will be complex. This issue can lead to mental stress and fatigue.
Causes of brain fog.
Various conditions can lead to the occurrence of brain fog, which is mentioned below;
People with MS usually experience changes in their ability to make decisions, process, and remember information.
These changes are usually mild to moderate and do not affect a person’s ability to live independently. However, they can lead to frustration and difficulty doing everyday tasks like finding your house keys or grocery shopping.
2. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome
Fibromyalgia causes pain in the body and can affect a person’s concentration and memory.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is another chronic or long-term illness. This disease can lead to severe fatigue and problems in a person’s thinking ability.
3. Depression and stress
Depression can lead to decreased concentration. Depression is a severe mood disorder affecting a person’s thoughts and feelings. Problems related to memory, concentration, and decision-making, which are the effects of depression, can also contribute to the feeling of brain fog.
In the case of depression, problems may also occur in the person’s sleep schedule, and he may face a lack of energy, making it more challenging to concentrate and perform daily tasks.
Stress and anxiety can also impair the clarity of thoughts and make a person face problems.
4. Iron deficiency
Suppose the red blood cells cannot deliver enough oxygen to the organs and tissues of the body. In that case, the person may experience mental and physical fatigue and other symptoms such as shortness of breath and brain fog.
5. Hormonal changes
Changes in a person’s hormone levels can affect brain function, especially during pregnancy or menopause.
A 2013 study found that hormonal changes during menopause make women unable to remember new information and focus on challenging tasks.
Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism can also lead to hormonal imbalance. Problems with memory and thinking that have an effect similar to brain fog are also common in thyroid disorders.
6. Postural tachycardia syndrome
Some people experience unusual changes in their heart rate and blood pressure when standing; doctors know this disease as postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS).
A study conducted in 2013 showed that adolescents with this syndrome often experience symptoms of brain fog, such as feeling confused, forgetful, clouded thinking, and difficulty concentrating, thinking, and communicating.
7. Alzheimer’s disease
Symptoms of brain fog can accompany Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Alzheimer’s occurs when protein plaques accumulate in a person’s brain. This accumulation affects brain function with various cognitive symptoms.
8. sleep apnea
During sleep, the muscles at the back of the throat relax. Sometimes, this issue can lead to problems in people’s breathing at night.
If a person’s breathing is interrupted at night, this issue will disturb his sleep quality. That is a state called sleep apnea.
Treating sleep apnea can improve the resulting brain fog.
Obese people may also experience brain fog. Scientists believe there is a connection between brain fog, obesity, and inflammation, which is one of the complications of obesity.
10. taking medication
Some of the following drugs can affect a person’s mental performance;
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Sleeping pills
- Anxiety medications
- Some housing
It is better for people who take medicine to consult their doctor about any side effects of their treatment. If it is not possible to change medications, the doctor can help the person learn strategies to cope with the brain fog state.
Brain fog can sometimes be a result of lifestyle factors. such as the following factors;
- Too busy and not enough rest
- lack of sleep
- Diet problem
- Lack of mobility
Lifestyle changes can help a person overcome this problem.
Correct diet management can increase a person’s energy level and improve mental focus.
A diet that consists mainly of processed foods and is rich in unhealthy fats and sugars can contribute to brain fog.
Replacing these foods with fresh fruits, vegetables, and fresh plant foods can help you think more clearly and focus more.
Foods containing vitamins A, B, C, and D and omega-3 oils can also benefit brain function.
You should also drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration and limit caffeine and alcohol consumption, as these can significantly affect your sleep and energy levels.
Exercise can help you feel better and think more clearly.
A study conducted in 2018 showed that exercise can be physically and psychologically beneficial for the brain. The authors recommend practice to enhance thinking ability and improve mood.
Physical education experts recommend that adults do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week and do exercises to improve strength and flexibility.
Sleep and stress
Observing the following tips can help;
Observing the principles of “sleep hygiene,” including observing a regular bedtime and leaving digital devices in another room
Having fun and spending time with family and friends to reduce stress
Practicing mindfulness as it can improve relaxation and self-awareness.
Tips for managing daily tasks.
A few strategies can help you manage your day-to-day affairs when brain fog strikes, so you can think more clearly and make better decisions.
Avoid distractions: Find a quiet space to focus on tasks and take regular breaks to strengthen your focus.
Get help and support: Explain your feelings to family and friends and ask them to speak more calmly. This issue allows you to process the information thoroughly.
Organizational techniques: Having a notebook or a to-do list can significantly help you. Smartphone reminder applications can also remind you to do your tasks on time and without forgetting—such as taking medicine or seeing a doctor.
Always put things in one place: Find a fixed and memorable place in the house to store easily lost items, such as keys.
In a situation where brain fog is a chronic and permanent condition for a person, strategies to help memory and improve concentration can make the situation controllable for him to a large extent.
When should you see a doctor?
If lifestyle changes do not help, the doctor may recommend medication for the problem.
In the following situations, a person should see a doctor;
In addition to brain fog, the person has symptoms that indicate an underlying disease.
Brain fog has suddenly or significantly worsened.
Do not see any improvement despite making lifestyle changes.
The doctor usually checks the mental health status, diet, and other symptoms of the person before conducting medical tests.
Brain fog has many causes, and its treatment depends on the grounds.
The doctor may prescribe a complete treatment plan, including medication, physical therapy, and self-care strategies through diet and exercise.
In situations like the following examples, the doctor may prescribe certain drugs to help the person’s mood and mental functions;
- Mood changes
For example, the drug donepezil, which is prescribed to patients with Alzheimer’s disease, can help people with MS who experience brain fog.
Brain fog can occur for various reasons, including underlying diseases, stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, or the use of certain medications. If an infection causes brain fog, it will improve after the disease is treated.
Tips related to memory and concentration problems usually include making a list, sticking to the correct procedures for doing things, and talking to family and friends about the situation you are experiencing and asking for their help and cooperation.
What is Brain Fog?
Brain fog is a phenomenon characterized by confusion, forgetfulness, lack of focus, and mental clarity. It’s not a disease but a collection of symptoms that can affect thought processes, perception, and memory.
What Causes Brain Fog?
Brain fog can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, lack of sleep, hormonal imbalances, obesity, certain medications, and underlying medical conditions like MS, fibromyalgia, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.
How is Brain Fog Related to Lifestyle?
Lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management play a significant role in managing brain fog. A healthy lifestyle can help alleviate symptoms and improve mental focus.
Can Brain Fog be Treated Medically?
Yes, in cases where lifestyle changes are not sufficient, medical treatment may be necessary. Medications, physical therapy, and self-care strategies may be prescribed depending on the underlying causes.
How Does Brain Fog Affect Memory and Concentration?
Brain fog disrupts a person’s thought processes, perception, and memory, leading to a decline in performance. It can make decision-making very difficult and interfere with daily life and relationships.
Is Brain Fog a Permanent Condition?
No, brain fog is not usually a permanent phenomenon. Identifying and addressing the underlying causes can minimize its harmful effects.
How is Brain Fog Related to Hormonal Changes?
Changes in hormone levels, especially during pregnancy or menopause, can affect brain function and lead to symptoms similar to brain fog. Thyroid disorders can also cause similar effects.
Can Obesity Lead to Brain Fog?
Yes, obesity may lead to brain fog. Scientists believe there is a connection between brain fog, obesity, and inflammation, one of the complications of obesity.
What are Some Strategies to Manage Daily Tasks When Experiencing Brain Fog?
Strategies include avoiding distractions, seeking help and support, using organizational techniques like notebooks or reminder apps, and finding fixed places to store easily lost items.
When Should a Person See a Doctor for Brain Fog?
A person should see a doctor if lifestyle changes do not help, if brain fog suddenly or significantly worsens, or if there are symptoms that indicate an underlying disease.