Integrative treatment of brain fog

Peggy Marco/Pixabay

Peggy Marco/Pixabay

Fumbling for the right words can be frustrating. Why do I feel this way? It’s never been this hard to think before. Memory problems and head fog are distressing symptoms for many people, making everyday life more difficult. Head fog comes and goes. It can change from day to day and even hour to hour. Its episodic nature can make it difficult to capture, treat and study. When many people talk to practitioners, the fog they talk about is often dispelled. But brain fog is real.

What is memory?

How do experiences become memories? It starts with paying attention. If you can’t focus on something, your brain can’t understand and remember it. Lack of sleep, anxiety, depression, trauma, and inflammation can all exacerbate attention. What we think of as a memory problem can be an attention problem.

Once an experience is taken in with attention, it is stored in short-term memory. Short-term memory is more often forgotten than transferred to long-term memory. Prioritized memories are often memories associated with new experiences or with emotional significance.

Your state of mind has a big impact on whether your short-term memory is stored long-term. When we feel that there is an imminent threat or that we have more important things to pay attention to, our brain will not prioritize thinking and learning.

When you try to remember something, you have to get that memory out of storage. Your memories are strategically distributed throughout your brain and not all are stored in one place on her. Finding where memories are stored requires some organization. When this memory retrieval is slow, we call it a speed problem. There is some evidence that processing speed can be slowed down by a variety of factors common to long-term illness, including increased inflammation and depression.

Most of the time, brain fog impairs attention and affects processing speed. Brain fog is the same as foggy weather. Fog obscures details and slows down everything.

What is Brain Fog?

Brain fog generally refers to attention and memory problems. However, the details vary from person to person. Some people have trouble multitasking, are slow to respond to questions, or have trouble paying attention at work or school. Improving brain fog requires a holistic approach. why? Because brain fog is a symptom. This is thought to be the brain’s response to imbalance, overload and inflammation. We need to target the root of the problem: multiple problems.

It is not yet known why some people’s brains are prone to fog. For some, it’s a way of mentally telling them they’re overloaded. For others, brain fog can be triggered by something specific, such as the food you eat. Here are some causes of brain fog.

  • Malaise
  • inflammation
  • pain
  • drug effect
  • allergy
  • intestinal problems
  • trauma
  • Migraine
  • hormonal imbalance
  • changes in blood pressure
  • concussion
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • ADHD
  • dehydration
  • Lack of sleep
  • food sensitivity

Brain fog vs. dementia

For the most part, brain fog and dementia are completely different conditions. Think of your brain as a computer. As we said before, brain fog is a software problem. Fog slows everything down, software runs slower, but the hardware, the structure of the brain, is fine. Dementia, on the other hand, is a hardware problem. Dementia damages the brain more and more over time, resulting in impaired thinking and memory. We worry about dementia not only because someone has difficulty thinking quickly and paying attention, but also because they are unable to manage their normal daily activities and may inadvertently put themselves in dangerous situations. in some cases. This differs from normal age-related memory changes. As your brain ages healthily, you can expect to find it harder to remember details and names, but this doesn’t impair your ability to take care of yourself.

Brain fog clearing and memory optimization toolkit

Once you’ve identified the underlying cause and understand your unique brain’s strengths and weaknesses, you can develop an integrative medicine recovery plan. Some large medical centers offer cognitive rehabilitation, a type of rehabilitation aimed specifically at strengthening thinking and memory. If this service isn’t available in your area, your health care team can design a recovery program for you.

Maximize neuroplasticity

The adult brain is able to develop new abilities and make new connections, even in the face of disease. This is called neuroplasticity.

Neurological recovery depends on what is happening in an individual’s brain. With right brain training and environment, you can clear the fog and tap into your neuroplasticity. Even one activity a day is a great place to start and can help your brain grow. Here are some helpful tools and ideas.

Note Important Reading

play a card game. Start with simple games like War and try Go Fish or Uno. Keep your brain focused even with simple games.

deals with numbers. Do some simple math in your head. Try Sudoku or check your checkbook balance.

Enhance spatial reasoning. You can put together a puzzle, draw a map of your neighborhood from memory, or sketch the fruit on the table.

Strengthen your memory. Try to remember meaningful events in your life. Tell a friend or write it down. Try to remember as many details as possible.

Engage all senses. Look for experiences that combine sound, taste, smell, sight and touch. For example, visit a farmer’s market or an interactive museum.

Try something new. New activity forms new networks in the brain. Go and explore your neighborhood or another part of town, learn a few words in a new language, or listen to new music.

move your body Exercise increases neuroplasticity, prevents cognitive decline, and supports thinking.

Be social. Loneliness takes a toll on the brain. When you socialize, you use multiple parts of your brain to process language and catch social cues. Studies have shown that social interaction protects against dementia. Thinking of it as a tool for neurological recovery motivates me to find a way to socialize that works for me.

Stay hydrated and follow the MIND diet. Studies have shown that the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Delayed Neurodegeneration (MIND) diet improves brain health, slows cognitive decline, and protects brain function. For most people with brain fog, he targets 2.7 liters of fluid per day for women and 3.7 liters for men. Check with your doctor to see if these are the right goals for you.

go outside Being in touch with nature has anti-inflammatory effects and reduces stress hormones. Being in nature enhances memory and attention. The more time you spend in nature and further away from urban environments, the better the results.

Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness can be a powerful tool for balancing your nervous system and reducing brain fog.

This post was reprinted from The Long Sick: A Practical Guide to Surviving, Healing, and Thriving.

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