If you have been keeping up with the news then you must be familiar with Brain Fog.
It is a side effect of Covid-19 that people undergo after they are cured of it.
People have trouble focusing and thinking properly. It is not a physical condition but one in which the patient is unable to concentrate or be sharp.
Hence, it is usually a symptom or side effect of some other disease and recently Covid-19.
This article discusses what causes it and what can cure and treat it. Keep reading to know more!
What is Brain Fog and How Does It Happen?
It is a cognitive dysfunction that puts your mind in a blank state.
You have fuzzy thinking, are unable to recall things and maintain a memory. Moreover, your focus and concentration diminish, plus you do not have any mental clarity and think sluggish.
It may also affect your ability to calculate and figure out things and problem solving. Plus, it can affect the way you understand languages and visually recognize shapes or space.
Many people ignore this by thinking it is normal, however, it is not.
In fact, it may indicate serious health issues in your body that needs to be addressed soon.
You can usually treat it once you know the cause. The most common ones are:
If you get less sleep and function on fewer hours of sleep then your thinking can get fuzzy.
Your sleep quality matters to your health and brain function. If you get less sleep then it will be tough to concentrate.
There is a reason why health practitioners recommend that you should get at least 7 to 8 hours of consistent sleep regularly.
Your diet determines the health of your body and brain. If you have an inadequate diet and don’t take nutritious meals, you will inevitably have cloudy thoughts and less concentration.
Vitamin B-12 is good for your body and health but especially for your brain function, cognitive function and nervous system. A lack of that can disrupt your brain sharpness and activity.
Though you may also get it due to certain allergies. If you are allergic to foods such as peanuts, MSG, dairy products, and aspartame, you may have cloudy thoughts after eating them.
Hence, you should consume a good healthy diet and eliminate these foods that may trigger your fuzzy thoughts and blankness.
- Medical Diseases and Conditions
Certain medical conditions can cause you to experience brain fog chronically.
Mental fatigue is tied to changes in glucose levels, inflammation and chronic fatigue.
Hence, you may feel foggy and these other symptoms on a regular basis if you have Diabetes, Anemia, Autoimmune diseases such as Arthritis, lupus, migraines, Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and also hypothyroidism and depression.
In fact, fogginess has a connection with the gut and thyroid and your doctor might first examine that to diagnose it.
If you regularly take stress then you have other issues like high blood pressure and depression.
Stress weakens your immunity, increases your blood pressure and throws you into a spiral of depression.
Obviously, all of this has a mental impact. As the brain exhausts it loses its ability to think and reason properly because of mental fatigue.
Your body may experience several hormonal changes as you age.
Especially a woman’s body undergoes these changes in pregnancy, menstruation and menopause.
Dropping estrogen after menopause is likely to cause fogginess and forgetfulness.
Also, a rise in progesterone and estrogen will cause temporary cognitive impairment and difficulty in recalling events or memory loss. These hormone levels increase during pregnancy.
You may get cloudiness and fuzzy thoughts after undergoing cancer treatments or chemotherapy. This is known as chemo brain.
Moreover, it may also be a side effect of your medications. Consult your doctor and replace them if it happens too often.
After recovering from Covid-19, people experience some damage to their brain and their other body parts.
Some of these can be extreme such as stroke but others can be mild such as inability to concentrate or sustain attention.
However, it can also cause other long-term damage to organs such as the heart and lungs, which induces fatigue, difficulty breathing and exercising, body aches, migraines, and inability to sleep.
Hence, these symptoms can affect your thinking and concentration resulting in fogginess.
Now that you know the causes, let’s find out ways to treat it.
Consistent lack of clarity is not normal, neither is it a good sign.
Therefore, you should get a few tests to see if there is an underlying condition that is causing this symptom.
They will first take your medical history and inquire about your medications.
Also, they might ask about your regular diet, your stress and mental conditions as well as any physical activities.
A blood test can help identify the cause behind the fogginess. It can diagnose lower or higher glucose levels, infections and inflammations, the functionality of liver, thyroid and kidney also any deficiencies in nutrition.
If blood tests are not enough, they will further ask you to get imaging scans(X-ray, MRI) and allergy tests.
They might also observe a sleep study and check your food journal to look for a sleep disorder and nutritional deficiencies respectively.
Also, let your doctor know if you feel symptoms other than cloudy thoughts. This will help them recognize if there is another serious underlying condition or is an after-effect of diseases such as Covid-19.
Brain Fog Treatment
The treatment depends on the cause. If it is an underlying medical condition then your doctor will begin treatment for that disease first and that may cure the fogginess together.
Iron supplements for anemia will increase the number of red blood cells in your body. Corticosteroids for autoimmune disease will help curb the disease hence, they will also take the symptom of fogginess away.
Similarly, if you have lack good nutrition then they may refer you to a nutritionist that can help improve your eating habits.
Though, you can also try these lifestyle changes and home remedies to make yourself feel better.
Aerobic exercise, brisk walking, pilates or extensive exercise choose your pick.
Exercise can help improve the brain’s health physically as well as psychologically. What’s more, is that it can also improve your cognitive thinking ability.
Exercise can make you feel instantly fresh which drastically improves your mood. Hence start with easy exercises for 10 minutes a day to gradually increase it to 30. You should ideally exercise for 150 minutes a week to see any improvements.
Manage Sleep and Stress
While exercise also helps to relieve you of stress, you should also engage in activities you like and with the community to see changes in yourself.
No matter how much of an introvert you are, human beings are eventually social animals. We need to engage with the community to thrive and feel better.
Doing social activities and community work can help your thinking, mood and memory while de-stressing you.
You need to do something other than your work and job to engage with people around you.
While you improve your social life it is also of utmost importance that you sleep well.
Inadequate sleep is one of the main reasons for fogginess and fuzzy thinking. Maintain proper sleeping habits by fixing the time of getting eight to nine hours of sleep regularly. This will allow your body to relax and clear any toxins.
Eat Foods that Improve Brain Health
Nutritional deficiencies are behind your memory issues and lack of concentration.
If you eat nutritious and healthy foods then you can avoid any brain issues.
Thinking and memory improve gradually by consuming olive oil, nuts, whole grains, fruits, beans and vegetables.
Furthermore, plant-based foods will increase your energy compared to processed foods that lead to fogginess.
Also, foods with minerals and vitamins, A, B, C and D help improve focus and brain function.
Drink plenty of water in a day to prevent any dehydration.
Water and juices are fine but avoid alcohol and caffeine. Not only do they alter your energy levels and sleep pattern but alcohol and drugs are detrimental to your overall health and brain.
If you engage yourself in cognitively stimulating activities, you are less likely to get fogginess.
Keep yourself in the present and appreciating it by practicing mindfulness and being grateful.
Distract yourself by listening to music and always have a positive outlook on things.
This will help remove the stress in your life and improve your mental health.
Other than a good diet you can also take supplements to improve your brain’s function. These include:
- Fish Oil: It contains omega 3 fatty acids that are known to improve brain function as well as vision. You can find this in salmon, sardines and other seafood.
- Ginseng Extract: It regulates the hormonal changes happening in the body due to stress. It also helps deal with psychological and physiological diseases related to stress.
- Vitamin C: It is a good ingredient in skincare but it also regulates hormones and provides the bones strength. Furthermore, it prevents damage in cells so it is a good supplement to take for fogginess and fuzzy thinking.
If you have Covid-19 related Brain Fog, consult your doctor about its treatment.
Though taking enough sleep, exercise and having a good diet will help, you may need additional supplements to cure it completely.
If you have persistent brain fog, do not shrug it off. It needs to be cured in time for you and your brain to function properly.
Improve your quality of life by getting necessary treatment soon.