Where are my glasses? I just had them!
Twenty Years Ago No One used the term Brain Fog
Several years ago, my practice manager Donna and I spent our lunch break searching the clinic for her glasses. I was 35 and didn’t need readers . . . yet. I had a terrific memory and amazing mental clarity back then. So I teased her, “every other time you think you’ve lost them, you find them right on top of your head.” The afternoon’s schedule was full. Luckily she had a spare pair in her desk.
If you are like the women I see, I know the kind of future you imagine for yourself.
Life Lessons. You want to share your wisdom and stories with your grandchildren
Memories. You look forward to more special times with your friends
Adventure. You plan to continue to enjoy new and exciting activities
Life Purpose. You have become your Authentic Self. You have so much more to give.
Caring for your brain is worth the effort.
Brain Fog Is . . .
Mental fatigue, memory gaps, diminished alertness, difficulty focusing and slowed down response time.
Here’s what Part 1 of this Series on Brain Fog will cover:
The symptoms of Brain Fog
What is going on in your brain if you feel this way
When you should take your Brain Fog seriously
Is Brain Fog REAL?
Just because you won’t find the term Brain Fog listed in conventional medical or psychological terminology, doesn’t mean it isn’t real. It is a functional disorder, meaning your brain is operating at less than its optimal potential. It is not a disease. Brain Fog is a set of symptoms which can vary from person to person. Lack of mental clarity, short term memory loss and an inability to remain focused. Some people report feeling slightly light-headed, almost dizzy. Symptoms can come on gradually or suddenly. It is typically intermittent, lasting for a few hours to several days or even months. The fogginess may get better for a while. However, if it is severe and long-lasting, it can lead to frustration. And, chronic Brain Fog can lead to depression. Many people experience anxiety and worry that it may indicate a serious health issue.
The symptoms of Brain Fog may be indications that your brain is aging prematurely. How does that happens? Some of your brain cells (neurons) begin functioning abnormally. The rate at which new neurons are made slows down dramatically. And existing brain cells begin to die.
Conventional Medicine Has Little to Offer
Perhaps you decide to mention your Brain Fog to your traditional doctor. Since other diseases can cause symptoms that are similar to those of Brain Fog, they must be ruled out. A physical exam, often rather perfunctory, and standard blood tests may be performed. Unless something “serious” jumps out, the evaluation will stop there. Your doctor may have a hard time getting to the bottom of your complaints. And that’s simply because your brain cells have to be functioning so poorly, or your neurons must actually begin to die, before conventional tests will be positive for a disease process.
The Danger of “Wait and See”
You may realize that you are not functioning as well as you should be mentally and you just don’t understand why. So it’s likely that your issues will be passed off as “normal aging”, stress, overwork or fatigue. No prescription pad will be wielded since no drug exists to improve the symptoms of Brain Fog. Drugs only come into play later, after the brain Unfortunately, our healthcare system operates via a paradigm that simply does not offer preventative options. Treatment doesn’t begin until an end-stage neurodegenerative disorder such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s develops. So read on to learn more about what’s causing your foggy brain. I’ll be sharing specific action steps that you can implement to take matters into your own hands.
Since it is technically not a disease, there is no specific way to measure or test for Brain Fog directly. It is subclinical (no measurable disease-state) brain dysfunction. What CAN be determined and evaluated through a comprehensive history and testing are the root-causes. I’ll expand on them in Part 2 and Part 3.
How Concerned Should You Be?
Perhaps you have been working overtime or have had a recent bout of insomnia. You might think that the symptoms that we have been referring to as Brain Fog are simply due to fatigue. Maybe you have been skipping meals. So you may wonder if you are having episodes of “low blood sugar”. It’s true, rest and good nutrition are crucial components of caring for your brain. However, if your difficulties with focus, memory and mental sharpness are severe and frequent, it’s quite possible that your brain is not functioning optimally.
These are the early signs of the disease process in the brain. Unless reversed, your brain cells will continue into a downward slide. Reversing this trend is not that hard, as long as you know what the body needs. It is possible to build up your brain’s capacity for optimal function. You can reclaim your mental vitality.
Can Fatigue, Depression and Digestive Disorders be Brain-Based Problems?
In the book Why Isn’t My Brain Working, Datis Kharrazian explains that, “Not all brain-based problems come down to Alzheimer’s disease, autism, or Parkinson’s disease. In fact, three of the more common outcomes of brain degeneration problems are fatigue, depression, and gastrointestinal problems, though they are rarely treated as such¹.” Perhaps you have Brain Fog and you ALSO suffer from fatigue, depression (maybe just feeling less motivated than you used to) or poor digestive function with symptoms such as gas, bloating, indigestion or another gut issue. Quite often, the people I work with have seen other health care practitioners. But unfortunately, none have ever connected the dots in this way. What this means for you is that the brain’s malfunction may indeed be the root-cause of your fatigue, mood or gut issue. (Or it can go the other way, an inflamed gut can cause brain inflammation.) For many digestive disorders, the brain is overlooked as the cause. In that case, attempts to treat only the gut may never resolve the digestive symptoms.
So, What Happened to Donna’s Glasses?
Turns out that they WERE on top of her head, until they fell off . . .
After lunch our first patient was a varsity high school tennis player with a freshly sprained ankle. One of our therapy aids opened the top of the chest-style freezer to grab a cold pack. There she discovered Donna’s eyeglasses. We all broke out into roaring laughter.
Well thank goodness that today Donna has an amazing brain. It’s due to her healthy lifestyle, which stems from her commitment to being there for her family. She needs all the energy and mental clarity she can muster. She takes pride in spoiling her grandchildren.
The Good News . . .
You CAN heal your brain. You just need to uncover your root-causes and then take action. There are plenty of natural solutions available to you.
Come back for Part 2.
Part 2. Physical Causes and How to Uncover Them
The physiological root-causes.
How we determine your personal root-causes.
comprehensive history; personal, family, symptom exploration, lifestyle habits
labs (Functional Labs, Electrical Meridian Imaging) and questionnaires (Psychological)
Part 3. Psycho-Spiritual Causes and Strategies for Healing Your Brain
The psychology (including STRESS) and spiritual (Prime of Your Life) aspects of brain health
What you can do to improve your brain’s health today and how to prevent future problems.
¹ Why Isn’t My Brain Working by Datis Kharrazian