Are you ready to banish brain fog for good? If you or someone you love has ever dealt with brain fog, you know how debilitating it can truly be. Sure, we can all walk out of the room and forget our car keys laying on the counter, but true brain fog can be much more serious. It not only leaves you feeling disconnected, but it also keeps you from being the best version of yourself. If you’re feeling spacey, removed from yourself and others, forgetful, moody, or fatigued, you may be dealing with brain fog. Often, this can be a clue that there is more to the story…
What causes brain fog?
There are many different things that can cause symptoms of brain fog, and for each person it’s different. It is really important to think about this as a symptom, not the problem.
This subject hits pretty close to home for me. Several years ago, my wife Michelle had a very personal experience with debilitating brain fog. When her symptoms really started to ramp up, we knew we had to get answers. We actually found she had been dealing with Lyme, mold exposure, and autoimmune issues that were directly affecting her brain. Her healing journey lead us to six steps that will actually help you stop the damage and start the rebuilding process.
Six things you can start doing today to help:
1. Stabilize Blood Sugar:
At the expense of sounding like a broken record here, you have to start with balancing your blood sugar. If you are below 85 or hypoglycemic, this can create a lot of brain fog symptoms. It can make it difficult to concentrate, think clearly, and even interferes with the decision-making process. Ever felt ‘hangry’? That is because low blood sugar can also create changes in mood, often making you feel agitated or anxious. This is one of the first places we start when addressing brain fog.
All exercise can be beneficial and helpful to the brain. However, one of the specific programs that we see the most improvement with is called ‘HIIT’ or ‘High-Intensity Interval Training’. When Michelle began interval training, her brain started to heal. Even though she was still being exposed to mold.
Why HIIT? Scientists who have studied the connection between HIIT and the brain have actually found that during muscle contraction, molecules are released that actually cross the blood-brain barrier and stimulate a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). BDNF not only influences brain and peripheral nervous system function, but it also stimulates and manages the process of neurogenesis. In short, it actually helps create, repair, and sustain healthy brain cells. HIIT not only stimulates this powerful protein but most sessions can actually be done in less than 20 minutes.
HIIT can be a great tool when it comes to reversing the effects of brain fog, but it is important to keep your heart rate in a lower range (180 minus your age). This not only maximizes benefits, but it also keeps cortisol in check, lowering the risk of added stress to your entire body. Cortisol not only increases inflammation but also decreases the production of BDNF. Check your heart rate often while exercising and keep the intensity in the medium range.
3. Check For Anemia:
If you are anemic, this means that your red blood cells are not carrying the amount of oxygen your body and brain need. There are two types of anemia: low iron and low B-12.
The most common we see is a low iron state. Both of these markers can be checked with a simple blood test. Your brain needs oxygen and glucose to function optimally. If you’re anemic, your brain is simply not getting the oxygen it needs…leaving you feeling tired and foggy.
If you’ve had a poor night’s sleep, you’ve likely noticed the brain fog that follows. The reason is, when we sleep our brains get a break from the daily critical processes and move into clean-up mode, removing waste from brain cells. Poor sleep affects overall brain plasticity and contributes to overall fatigue. This can leave you feeling more foggy, anxious, and irritable.
Since sleep is so foundational to brain health and repair, I always recommend using a sleep tracker to keep tabs on the quality of your sleep and brushing up on sleep hygiene often.
5. Balance Autonomics:
This step focuses on rebalancing the autonomic nervous system (some even call it the automatic nervous system). There are two parts to this system. You can either be in ‘fight or flight’ mode or in ‘rest and digest’. If you are in constant ‘fight or flight’, your thoughts will feel more scattered and you will notice a significant increase in brain fog symptoms.
Some tips for balance: meditation, prayer, being outdoors, and deep belly breathing. Work to relax your shoulders and fill your belly as you breathe in deeply. This significantly reduces the stress response and brings your body back down into balance. Another great way to help your body relax is by practicing progressive muscle relaxation. Contract and relax muscle groups, starting with the feet and moving upward.
6. Feed Your Brain:
The simple truth is this; there are just certain nutrients that are going to be better for the brain than others. Even though fat has gotten a bad rap over the years, your brain needs healthy fats. In fact, your brain is made up of about 70% fat. Most patients we see are just not getting enough of the healthy fats that the brain craves. Some good fat examples: avocadoes (and avocado oil), coconut oil, grass-fed butter, MCT oil, and even some saturated fats in moderation. Walnuts are also jam-packed with brain-healthy fats.
An abundance of leafy greens, organic vegetables, and even some extra vitamin support can help tremendously. Vitamin D3 and E have been shown to improve brain fog symptoms, as well as some other supplements. However, if you are dealing with brain fog, it is best to get to the root cause.
If you’d like a copy of my book Rebuild Your Brain Stop the Damage, you can find it here: https://amzn.to/3JnfqbW
If you’d like a copy of Michelle’s Book Interval Train for a Healthy Brain, you can find it here: https://amzn.to/3JcHiQe
If you are dealing with brain fog, stop the guesswork and get the answers you need. Reach out to our team today by following the link below. bit.ly/f8wellcenters