How to get rid of brain fog?
You may sometimes find yourself at an unexpected loss for words, struggling to describe or provide information about something you know well, only to have the details pop back into your mind out of nowhere later the same day.
Or you maybe you have a tendency to suddenly go blank mid-sentence, frozen by an unseen distraction that pulls you into off-course, derailing your train of thought.
These are examples of a phenomenon known as “brain fog.”
What is brain fog?
Brain fog can most easily be explained as momentary lapses in thinking and concentration which make people feel uncomfortable or queasy.
Also known as a clouding of consciousness or mental fog, it is a “term used in medicine denoting an abnormality in the regulation of the overall level of consciousness that is mild and less severe than a delirium. The sufferer experiences a subjective sensation of mental clouding described as feeling ‘foggy’.”
Sometimes, rather than being capable of responding immediately, our brain needs time to process our own requests for information.
Those who work in healthcare sometimes refer to brain fog lapses as “senior moments.”
What are some causes of brain fog?
Brain fog is often a symptom of mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, stress and anxiety, and may also occur as the result of medical conditions or personal experiences that place stress on the brain.
Personal Traumatic Experiences Resulting in Brain Fog
For a period of time, after my mother passed away, my brain shut down to process my feelings of grief.
My normally excellent memory went on the fritz. I lost car keys and house keys forgot appointments and burst into tears at any moment. Each night I dreamed about rescuing a white dog I later realized through counseling was me.
At the time I was concerned my memory would never return.
Watch out this video to know the relation between brain fog, depression and gut health:
I was comforted by a therapist who told me that the brain fog I experienced was allowing me to process my grief over my mother’s death. Family caregivers experience similar symptoms of grief related to witnessing aging parents or spouses experience health declines.
When a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease no longer recognizes you as a spouse, son, or daughter, this is also a traumatic experience that requires extra brain effort to process. The feeling that you can’t anything to change a situation may result in extreme stress and anxiety.
Other such traumatic events including losing a job, the death of a pet, or breaking up with a loved one. These events are disturbing to the brain and may result in short term brain fog. Personal problems result in concentration problems at work. While we may not want to admit that we bring personal problems to work or work problems home, this occurs on a regular basis.
Health Diagnoses and Treatments Resulting in Brain Fog
Health conditions like low or high thyroid, cancer treatments, low blood sugar, fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome may result in brain fog.
The causes are many, the resulting condition of experiencing brain fog is worrisome.
If you feel consistently tired you may have unidentified medical concerns that need to be addressed. Make an appointment with your doctor for blood work to make certain your thyroid, adrenal balances and other levels are normal. An irregular thyroid, high or low, wreaks havoc on the entire body.
Changes in medications or taking a new medication may also result in brain fog or lapses in memory. For older adults, urinary tract infections result in mental delirium and severe disorientation.
Hazy thinking or a lack of concentration during personal conversations or business presentations can be understandably embarrassing.