What is brain fog?
Have you ever felt like you would lose your head if it wasn’t attached? Ever walked into a room to do something and promptly forgot what you were going to do? Forgotten the simplest of words? Or even just not been able to think clearly?
You, my beauty, have experienced brain fog.
It can happen to all of us at one point or another, especially women, during certain parts of our cycle or even at times in our lives. Men and children can be affected by it as well. In fact, children that experience brain fog often perform poorly in school and have a problem forming social attachments. Brain fog doesn’t discriminate and we can even have it for most of our lives and think it’s normal. Have you ever labeled someone a “ditz” or assumed that they were just stupid? Yep. There is a chance they just had adapted to having brain fog.
When it starts happening on a regular basis and is affected by what we eat, our state of hydration or even our stress levels, that’s when we have to address it head on through nutrition and lifestyle. If left unchecked, brain fog can be debilitating. It can cause depression, detachment, and a constant feeling of helplessness.
Many people assume it is just a normal part of aging. The fact is, if you are experiencing it, it is not normal, at any age!
What causes brain fog?
Bowel detoxification issues, candida, leaky gut, food intolerance and slow digestion/transit time can all contribute to brain fog. We talk a lot about the gut/-brain connection and brain fog is clear evidence that this connection exists. When food is improperly digested or, worse, is left to rot inside the intestines (or leaky gut is present wreaking havoc on the immune system) it can cause bowel toxicity and a tremendous amount of inflammation and that inflammation (which we will be talking a lot about in the very near future) can affect cognitive function. Constipation can magnify the situation as the toxins that are slated to be eliminated by a bowel movement sits in the colon being reabsorbed into the blood stream.
So here you are, with slow digestion and leaky gut. The leaky gut is causing you to react to all kinds of food, (gluten and modern wheat is a major contributor to these reactions) giving you low level intolerance symptoms including excess histamine release (more on that later), inflammation and immune responses. Brain fog is one huge chain reaction.
Toss in gut dysbiosis or bacterial overgrowth (including but not limited to candida), H. pylori in the stomach, and the lack of proper digestive enzyme levels and you have a recipe for disaster.
Hydration levels can contribute to brain fog as well as drinking the wrong kinds of fluids (sodas, too many caffeinated beverages, the wrong kind of fruit or other juices not properly balanced with salt, alkaline water (which are, by and large made by platinum-titanium filters which can cause platinum toxicity), can overwhelm the kidneys and keep them from carrying toxins out of the blood. This, like the above, can lead to inflammation which can lead to brain fog.
Heavy metal toxicity can contribute to brain fog and many heavy metals affect brain function.
High levels of copper, (especially when unopposed by zinc) can contribute to feelings of confusion, anxiety, mood swings and disorientation. In women, right before her period, blood and cellular levels rise as do estrogen levels. (High levels of copper also lead to estrogen dominance as does estrogen dominance lead to copper toxicity.)
Just as an aside, it is thought estrogen becomes carcinogenic when oxidized by copper. Once oxidized, estrogen forms volatile hydroxyl radicals and the associated DNA damage and “mutagenesis”. Nice picture?
Bear in mind, birth control pills and patches can make copper toxicity much worse causing elevated copper on a regular basis. Because copper toxicity can affect the thyroid which affects energy production you can see how it can exacerbate brain fog.
Incidentally, zinc deficiency can raise copper toxicity because zinc opposes copper.
Because of their essential roles in neurotransmitter synthesis, low zinc and high copper levels can directly effect cognition, behavior and thought processes.
By the way, vegetarian diets are high in copper and low in zinc, a mineral that balances copper. (Green veggies and nuts are high in copper)These diets are also often low in other nutrients essential for the brain such as taurine, carnitine, essential fatty acids, alpha lipoic acid, B-complex vitamins and others. Stay away from vegetarian diets if you have brain fog, and be sure to eat meat every single day, at least at one meal.
Copper toxicity can also lead to a phenomenon called a calcium shell whereby levels of calcium increase in the soft tissue of the body. Calcium is meant to combat copper toxicity but can lead to calcification and immobility of the spine, decreased cellular permeability, bone spurs, arthritis and many other issues. This can also lead to brain fog.
Mercury, aluminum, cadmium and lead can contribute to brain fog. Mercury toxicity is extremely common, as it is found in large fish like tuna in high amounts, and in dental amalgams. Aluminum is added to table salt and drinking water, and found in anti-perspirants, anti-acids and many cosmetics. Aluminum toxicity has been linked to cognitive decline in such diseases as Alzheimer’s Disease.
Exposure to other toxic chemicals can contribute to brain fog. They are everywhere, from car interiors, to upholstery, to plastic equipment, to lawn chemicals, paints, inks, insecticides on food, and always in the water supply. In cities, the air is often contaminated as well.
Most chemicals are innocuous, but some severely affect brain function in some people. Chemicals like MSG, aspartame, and even soy lecithin can cause brain fog in some people.
Estrogen dominance or sharp decline (perimenopause) and pregnancy can also cause temporary brain fog due to the imbalance of hormones, especially an imbalanced estrogen to progesterone level.
Stress, stress and more stress. This cannot be ignored. Whether you are a multi-tasker or just go “mach three with your hair on fire” all day every day, this takes a toll on your brain being able to reset. It can leave you confused, upset, out of sorts , and just plain foggy brained. If you are one of those who is never without her smart phone, has a zillion tabs open on her computer, can pay bills, eat lunch, and chat with a friend on the phone all the while reading the news…. It may be time for a little Headspace!
Finally, your posture can affect brain function. Yep, you heard me right. If you stare at a computer or smart phone all day or just slouch all the time this can affect your cognitive function!
The spinal cord is encased in your spinal column. A no brainer. The cord is tethered to the bottom to the sacrum (tail bone) and it’s attached to the brain stem up top, which is attached to the brain. We have this very sensitive and very important nervous system tissue that’s protected by the skull and vertebra. The problem is that the vertebra can move and get misaligned which stretch and distort the cord.
The thousands of nerves in the spinal cord that are being distorted DO NOT like to be stretched. In fact, they hate being stretched. Nerves are not like wires. If you stretch wires they conduct electricity until they break. Nerves on the other hand can stretch a lot without breaking. If it’s a mild stretch, they simply don’t conduct every impulse, which leads to mild problems or even disease. If the stretch is increased, they stop working all together. Luckily, if the stretch is removed, they start working almost instantly.
When there’s enough stretch in just the right spots, you get Brain Fog.
Brain Fog can last for short periods of time if your spine isn’t too twisted, but can last for years if your spine is very twisted. In fact, people get used to it. These people can perform daily functions just fine although it’s harder to concentrate. They think it’s a part of life and don’t give it much thought.
When your mother told you to “sit up straight” perhaps you should have paid more attention?
Do you suffer from brain fog? How do you combat it?
Wishing you health, beauty, and elegance,