I never would have said I had brain fog, not until now at least.
Brain fog is a term that is not typically recognized by most traditional health professionals, yet it is extremely prevalent.
It’s a phrase that basically sums up a collection of symptoms or feelings that can include:
· Forgetfulness or confusion
· Trouble concentrating
· Lack of focus or mental clarity
· Inability to handle stressful situations
· Difficulty recalling words or putting words together
· Feeling “frazzled”
· Mental fatigue
· Feeling “less productive” than before
· Struggling creatively
All of which are very common but NOT NORMAL.
As someone who is very active and loves to learn and work hard, having brain fog can be very frustrating. But I had it. It felt like cobwebs in my brain sometimes.
I simply kept working towards my personal and business goals, thinking it was normal to need so many lists or post-it-notes lying around to keep everything straight.
It wasn’t until my brain fog lifted that I realized it had been there.
These days I’m sharp as a tack, super clear, mentally tough and I’m bursting with creativity. I’m knocking out tasks left and right without feeling physically or mentally exhausted, and I have energy to spare for social activities. And if I don’t, I make sure I am taking the steps I need to get back feeling clear headed.
Sometimes we only know what we know until we experience something different. It took getting out of the fog for me to realize I had been in it for so long.
I had become so used to living in the fog, I didn’t even know it existed. I adapted to my less efficient ways of functioning and thinking by creating more lists, using more post-it-notes, engaging in less social activities and sleeping more during the day. Some days I just had to "write-off" all together in terms of productivity when my brain fog was really bad.
Typically we tend to brush off symptoms like brain fog and associate them with “just getting older.” But what we don’t realize is that these symptoms are NOT a part of getting older, rather they are a sign that something isn’t right in our body.
And you can have brain fog at any age.
These subtle signs of brain fog can actually be early indicators of brain inflammation, and left unattended to, they can increase our risk for dementia, Alzheimer's, other degenerative diseases and larger scale health conditions such as autoimmunity or even cancer.
Just like any other dysfunction, disease or condition, inflammation is at the core of brain fog.
It is believed that high levels of inflammation alter 3 primary hormones that dictate brain function:
1. Serotonin - your happy hormone
2. Dopamine - your wellbeing hormone
3. Cortisol - your stress, anti-inflammatory, energy, blood sugar and sleep cycle balancing hormone
And inflammation in the gut particularly has a huge effect on brain function since it can directly interfere with the gut-brain axis.
The key to lifting brain fog is figuring out what’s fueling the inflammatory fire.
Inflammatory factors can be different for everyone. For me, in my time of brain fog, food sensitivities and a variety of intestinal parasites, bacteria and yeast overgrowth was the culprit.
For others, brain fog and inflammation might be fueled by:
· Eating inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, sugar, soy and alcohol
· Unknown food sensitivities or reactions (not allergies)
· Hidden heavy metals, chemicals or other toxic contaminants
· A leaky and inflamed gut
· Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
· Various hormone imbalances
· Side effects of autoimmunity
· Over exercising when the body is already depleted
For some, lifting the fog can be as simple as avoiding the top 5 inflammatory foods, eating organic and getting to bed by 10pm.
And as I discovered, even once you start to lift the fog, there is an endless possibility for how much better you can actually feel. It is awesome.
Remember, you only know what you know until you know something different. So if you want to feel exceptional, then lifting the fog may just be the start of it and clearing the fog completely is your end goal.
Here are my 6 steps to bust through brain fog so you can think clearly and feel like yourself again…
1. Avoid the top 5 inflammatory foods: gluten, dairy, sugar, soy and alcohol
2. Be asleep by 10pm to balance cortisol and the circadian rhythm
3. Exercise at an intensity that is invigorating but not exhausting
4. Give your brain a break with a daily dose of meditation or deep breathing
5. Investigate and eliminate toxins in your home and work environment
6. Test your hormone, gut and liver function for hidden sources of inflammation and healing opportunities
If you take action in these 6 areas and find yourself still struggling with brain fog, then it just means you might need to dig deeper, investigate further and identify other contributing factors for inflammation like I did.
Don’t just suck it up and see signs of brain fog as “ getting older” OR let them get diagnosed as something else paired with a quick fix medication, leaving you settling for a lower quality of life or just getting by but still not feeling like yourself. And definitely don’t consume excess caffeine just to get through your day.
Do me a favor… don’t settle for anything less than what you deserve (which is the world plus some BTW) when it comes to your health and wellbeing.
Don’t let the signs your body is giving you go unnoticed.
If you need help getting your hands on the right lab tests and resources to lift your brain fog so you can feel like yourself again, then schedule a complimentary clarity call with me!
In health and happiness,