Brain fog is not a clinical disorder. If anything, it’s merely another term coined for the state of being ‘scatter-brained.’ Just by these names alone, you probably have an idea how brain fog can affect a person.
Much like how fog behaves, brain fog hinders the person from having a clear mind in performing tasks. This can be seen when the person experiences symptoms such as memory loss, inability to focus, and confusion while doing basic activities.
Because of these signs, brain fog can significantly impact your duties. And doing so could disturb your typical day-to-day.
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Why People Get Brain Fog
Despite how straightforward it is, brain fog can result from many factors. However, you’ll notice how all of them are linked to your health one way or another.
Taking medication is meant to neutralize a health condition or reduce its symptoms within manageable levels. Although its purpose is to accommodate the patient’s comfort, some medicines can still result in side effects that could cause dire changes in your body.
The only exception to this is supplementing, which Wholistic Research says could stimulate your cognitive process. Other than this function, various supplements were already engineered and tested to determine their effectiveness to fulfill more health deficiencies.
Medicine for pain relief or sleeping pills are examples whose purpose is to alleviate the mind. Doing so slows down your brain functions for rest to take over and begin the body’s natural healing process. But in some cases, complications might come up depending on what kind of medication you’re prescribed.
For example, chemotherapy is an ongoing treatment for cancer patients. Because of its unspecified duration, patients need to endure their treatment since chemotherapy could bear good results and bad ones, namely brain fog. As mentioned earlier, complications might occur during the treatment. So, instead of focusing on helping the patient cope, you also have to monitor how their body reacts to it.
- Health Condition
Being ‘under the weather’ can wear anyone down physically and mentally. Even something as simple as the common cold is enough for some people to shut down and stay in bed until they recover. Unfortunately, many medical conditions cause damage beyond what the common cold has in store for you.
Cancer is one of the worst diseases in medicine that most people would deem hopeless to recover from. And no one could blame them since cancer can spring upon anyone in any case because of defective information stored in your deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).
But despite having various types, cancer fulfills one purpose: to spread and wear down the patient. Physically, it disables you until you’re designated to remain on bed rest. Because of this, your muscles will fail even further without proper stimulation.
The same goes for your mental health. Staying inactive in one place for a long time can severely affect your mind. And given how treatment can take a long time to bear results, the patient will be more familiar with their bed by then.
Without their usual hobbies to fall back on, cancer patients are prone to having their unstimulated minds go dull over time. Moreover, the stress from going from one appointment to another would make anyone exhausted. What more if the patient’s already being worn down by a disease?
Despite their optimism, there’s always doubt lingering in the back of the patient’s mind about how they might not survive this disease after so much time and resources. After all, diseases like cancer tend to bear anomalous results. So, regardless of how long they had treatment, there’s still a high possibility it could fail the patient. And it doesn’t help how your loved ones might be thinking the same thing.
With these thoughts weighing you down, you’re bound to be distracted and listless from what goes on around you, ergo contributing to brain fog.
- Substance Abuse
Most people who turn to substance abuse only have one goal in mind: to chase after that high they felt the first time they tried it out. However, little did they know, this urge stems from their addiction to that substance. And because of this, their cognitive functions could dull the more they keep receiving a staggering amount of stimulation, which they can get from drug use, excessive alcohol intake, and smoking.
Providing a surplus of stimulation could easily overwhelm the rest of their brain functions until all they can think of is when’s their next session with apparent disregard for their body’s needs.
- Hormone Imbalance
Metaphorically, the human body is nothing but a puppet. But instead of having strings to control people, the brain does that while receiving information on how the body would react. This way allows communication between what’s supposed to be a ‘puppet’ and its ‘master,’ which urges a mutual relationship to form over time.
The brain’s way of communicating is by sending out signals. Once it receives feedback, it secretes sufficient hormones throughout the body to perform the tasks required. Therefore, you could see how even the slightest change in hormone production can affect your bodily functions.
Although it sounds unlikely, hormone imbalance is common for most people, particularly women. While they’re pregnant, female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone increase. In contrast, once they undergo menopause, their ovaries will gradually stop producing these hormones. Despite being designed for female functions, they can still influence the rest of your body.
- Lifestyle Changes
Regardless of how impactful they are, changing one’s life takes time to adjust. However, adjusting could be a challenge when these changes are related to your health. Changing your diet and sleep schedule are the best examples of this.
Although it plays an essential role in keeping a fit body, trying a new diet for a workout session is likely to cause brain fog, especially if you need to cut off certain nutrients to achieve your goal. After all, as mentioned earlier, nutrients are necessary for your body to remain in quality shape. Removing some food groups (like carbohydrates) eventually influences your cognitive functions.
As for sleep, humans aren’t nocturnal. However, because of work or other commitments, they’re expected to adjust to what’s required from them. And since sleep is a must, depriving oneself of it will likely leave you with brain fog during the adjustment period.
- Mental Disorders
Every health condition is both a pain and an inconvenience; the same applies to mental disorders. People with mental illnesses have different cognitive functions from what’s ‘normal’ due to the chemical levels found in the brain, like what happens with hormone imbalance. Having different chemical levels can affect how your brain works. Hence, many disorders would leave the patient with chronic fatigue to keep up with life’s demands.
How To Prevent Brain Fog
Although brain fog isn’t the same as the common cold, some ways can help prevent it from happening down the line.
- Take Proper Medication
If you have picky tastes, turning to medication would be your best option. Because now, instead of having you go through the trouble of handling produce, pharmacies already have concentrated nutrients stored in a capsule or syrup. Ideally, supplements could help produce more red blood cells to optimize oxygenation.
But for those who are diagnosed with cognitive problems, make sure to consult a doctor to be prescribed appropriate medication.
- Exercise Regularly
Typically, brain fog occurs due to an unresolved mental burden. With this as a weight in your mind, it’s likely to serve as a distraction from your day-to-day. To help relieve some of that burden, wear yourself out by exercising. This way, not only will it help your blood rush, but you can also release any lingering stress you might have.
If you’re not too keen on pushing your physical limits, meditating might be closer to your preferences. After all, one of the reasons why you want to exercise is to find release. You could see it bearing the same results in meditating since this is meant to relax you. However, this can only happen with proper meditation exercises. So, make sure to consult with experts for guidance.
Having a distracted mind is inevitable, albeit inconvenient, with how busy life gets. However, if this ‘distraction’ goes too far as to have you neglect hygiene or eating, that’s when action is needed. And the best place to start is by acknowledging that brain fog’s not a condition anyone should underestimate.