How To Eliminate Brain Fog
Brain fog is a common symptom of many medical conditions and can significantly interfere with daily activities. Symptoms may include difficulty concentrating, lack of mental clarity, difficulty remembering names and information, slowed thinking, or problems finding the right words. Brain fog is often associated with heavy metal toxicity, mold toxicity, toxic food, environmental toxins, chronic inflammation, and hormone dysfunction.
Classic medical literature indicates that certain lifestyle factors can contribute to brain fog including poor sleep habits, an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, stress, or certain medications. However, there is more to it than that. Here we will discuss the exact reasons for brain fog and solutions that will give you back your mental health.
Why Do I Have Brain Fog – Heavy Metal Toxicity
Heavy metal toxicity is a major source of brain fog. Heavy metals such as mercury, lead, arsenic, and aluminum can accumulate in the body over time and create neurological issues that contribute to cognitive dysfunction and confusion. Brain fog caused by heavy metal toxicity may include short-term memory problems, difficulty focusing or concentrating, depression, anxiety, headaches, and fatigue. Exposure to heavy metals can come from many sources including certain foods, contaminated water, air pollution, or occupational exposure.1
Why Do I Have Brain Fog – Mold Toxicity
Mold toxicity is often linked to brain fog. The symptoms of mold toxicity can range from mild to severe, depending on sensitivity to mold and the type of mold. Symptoms of mold toxicity include difficulty concentrating and focusing, lack of mental clarity, confusion, memory loss, headaches, and fatigue. People with extreme cases of mold toxicity may also experience neurological issues, such as depression, anxiety, and mood swings.2
Mold can grow in damp, dark places such as unfinished basements, crawl spaces, attics, and around water heaters or washing machines. It is important to take steps to prevent hidden mold from growing and spreading in your home by keeping high-humidity areas well-ventilated and controlling moisture levels with dehumidifiers.
If you suspect there is hidden mold in your home, it is important to have a professional mold inspector investigate and assess the situation. The inspector will take an air sample and look for visible evidence of mold growth. If any areas are found to contain high levels of mold spores, these should be professionally removed by a certified remediation company.
Why Do I Have Brain Fog – Toxic Food
Brain fog can be caused by a variety of factors, including diet. Eating foods that are high in sugar, as well as processed and refined foods, can contribute to brain fog.3 By now almost everyone knows that consuming excessive refined sugar is unhealthy, but there are some unhealthy foods that are still considered healthy by mainstream dietitians. These foods are leading to brain fog.
Glyphosate, the chemical in Roundup, is an herbicide that has been linked to the development of brain fog. Nearly every commercially grown grain has high glyphosate levels.4 Studies have shown that glyphosate can disrupt important hormones in the body, including those related to brain function.5 Glyphosate also has been found to interfere with the neurotransmitters responsible for concentration and focus.6
Additionally, glyphosate has been linked to inflammation of the brain, which can further contribute to symptoms of brain fog.7 Research has also suggested that glyphosate can accumulate in the body and cause long-term damage to the nervous system.8 As such, avoiding contact with this chemical is recommended if you are experiencing symptoms of brain fog.
Diet soda has been linked to brain fog and can cause mental confusion. Research suggests that the artificial sweetener, aspartame, in diet sodas inhibits an enzyme involved in learning and memory, disrupting normal brain functioning.9 10 Diet soda also causes dehydration, which can lead to cognitive problems such as difficulty concentrating and poor memory.
Why Do I Have Brain Fog – Environmental Toxins
Since World War II, over 80,000 new chemicals have been created and used in everyday products. Unfortunately, most of these chemicals have not been adequately tested for safety. Each year, an additional 1,500 new chemicals enter the market without testing for long-term safety.11
These manmade environmental toxins can accumulate in the body over time, leading to a variety of health issues and brain fog. Toxins such as air pollution, water contaminants, pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals are everywhere. Even if we try our best to avoid them, they still find their way into our daily lives.
These toxins can cause inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, which can lead to an impaired immune system, hormonal imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, and even mental confusion.12 13 14
Why Do I Have Brain Fog – Chronic Inflammation
Brain fog is a side effect of chronic inflammation.15 Chronic inflammation causes an increase in cytokines in the body, including interleukin-1b and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α).16 These cytokines can impair cognitive function, leading to brain fog.
Additionally, chronic inflammation can affect the digestive system by increasing gut permeability and allowing toxins to enter the bloodstream, further contributing to brain fog.17
Why Do I Have Brain Fog – Hormone Dysfunction
Hormone dysfunction can be a major contributor to brain fog. Our hormones have a significant impact on our body, influencing our appetite, sleep patterns, energy levels, and even cognitive performance. Hormonal imbalances can manifest themselves as fatigue and difficulty concentrating or focusing, which are both common symptoms of brain fog.
A disruption in the levels of hormones such as thyroxine, cortisol, epinephrine, testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone can have a negative impact on cognitive functions.18 When these hormones are either too low or too high they cause a disruption in the body’s natural balance resulting in confusion, exhaustion, and difficulty concentrating.
Brain fog is a common symptom of thyroid dysfunction. It is often seen in people with an underactive thyroid, known as hypothyroidism.19 Thyroid hormones help regulate many bodily functions, including mood, energy levels, cognitive ability, and metabolism. When the thyroid is not producing enough hormones or producing too much, it can lead to brain fog and other neurological symptoms.
How To Eliminate Brain Fog
The keys to eliminating brain fog all involve reducing exposure to toxins, removing heavy metals from the body, dealing with mold toxicity, reducing chronic inflammation, and restoring hormone function.
After that, a combination of intermittent fasting, a low-carb diet like my Cellular Healing Diet, adequate rest, and the proper nutrient protocol will build the body back up to a state of good health.
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a type of eating pattern where you cycle between periods of consuming and not consuming any calories. It can involve periods of eating, followed by extended fasts (16-48 hours). This pattern of eating has been around for centuries, and it’s gaining popularity as a way to improve mental clarity and focus.
IF increases the production of ketones, which can improve cognitive function. IF also improves insulin sensitivity, which helps the body use sugar more efficiently and aids in mental clarity. Finally, IF reduces inflammation, which is linked to brain fog and other cognitive issues.20
To eliminate brain fog, start by following a low-carbohydrate diet.21 Low-carb diets eliminate high-sugar and processed snacks, white pasta, bread, and rice as well as starchy vegetables like potatoes and yams.
Instead, focus on consuming healthy fats and proteins, like organic grass-fed meats, wild fish that lived in a clean environment, nuts and seeds, low-sugar fruits, and non-starchy vegetables. Additionally, low-carb diets may also include grass-fed dairy and fermented foods like yogurt and kefir.
Adequate sleep is essential for maintaining mental clarity and eliminating brain fog. Studies have shown that getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night can help reduce fatigue, improve productivity, and sharpen your focus.22 Additionally, make sure you stick to a consistent sleep routine. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day helps your body and mind stay in a healthy rhythm.
Brain Fog Nutrient Protocol – Melatonin, DHEA, B12, D3, CoQ10, Zinc, ALA
Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by the pineal gland that helps regulate our circadian rhythm and controls when we sleep and wake up. It also helps to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress on the body. Taking a daily supplement of melatonin can help improve sleep quality and reduce fatigue, which in turn can help reduce brain fog.23
DHEA is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands that help regulate energy metabolism and is important for brain health. Low levels of DHEA can lead to feelings of fatigue and mental fog, making it an important supplement to include in your brain fog protocol.24
Methylcobalamin is a form of B12 that helps to support energy production and improvement in overall health. It is important for healthy nerve and brain function and can help reduce the symptoms of brain fog.25
Vitamin D3 helps to support healthy bones, teeth, and joints, as well as healthy brain function. Low levels of Vitamin D3 have been linked to an increased risk of brain fog, so it is important to make sure you are getting enough of this vitamin in your diet.26
CoQ10 is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage and supports healthy brain function. It helps to reduce fatigue and reduce symptoms of brain fog.27
Zinc is an essential mineral for healthy brain function, and it has been found to reduce symptoms of brain fog. Zinc helps to keep hormones balanced, which can help reduce fatigue and improve cognitive function.28 29
ALA (alpha lipoic acid) is an antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage and supports healthy brain function. It can help improve memory, concentration, and overall cognitive function.30
Brain Fog – Causes And Solutions
There is a solution to brain fog. Not only will the protocol above target the root cause of brain fog, but it will also address other health problems as well. Brain fog is a symptom of other health issues and must be addressed by removing toxins from your life. It is only after addressing the toxins within that true health can be achieved.
1 Ijomone OM, Ifenatuoha CW, Aluko OM, Ijomone OK, Aschner M. The aging brain: impact of heavy metal neurotoxicity. Crit Rev Toxicol. 2020 Oct;50(9):801-814. doi: 10.1080/10408444.2020.1838441. Epub 2020 Nov 19. PMID: 33210961.
2 Cheryl F. Harding, Carolyn L. Pytte, Kimberly G. Page, Kelly J. Ryberg, Edna Normand, Gregory J. Remigio, Richard A. DeStefano, David B. Morris, Julia Voronina, Ariel Lopez, Lauren A. Stalbow, Erin P. Williams, Nohely Abreu,
Mold inhalation causes innate immune activation, neural, cognitive and emotional dysfunction, Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, Volume 87, 2020, Pages 218-228, ISSN 0889-1591, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2019.11.006.
3 Sugar and the Brain. (2016). Harvard Medical School. https://hms.harvard.edu/news-events/publications-archive/brain/sugar-brain
4 Glyphosate Contamination in Food Goes Far Beyond Oat Products. (2019, February 28). Environmental Working Group. https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news/glyphosate-contamination-food-goes-far-beyond-oat-products
5 Muñoz JP, Bleak TC, Calaf GM. Glyphosate and the key characteristics of an endocrine disruptor: A review. Chemosphere. 2021 May;270:128619. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2020.128619. Epub 2020 Oct 19. PMID: 33131751.
6 Cattani D, de Liz Oliveira Cavalli VL, Heinz Rieg CE, Domingues JT, Dal-Cim T, Tasca CI, Mena Barreto Silva FR, Zamoner A. Mechanisms underlying the neurotoxicity induced by glyphosate-based herbicide in immature rat hippocampus: involvement of glutamate excitotoxicity. Toxicology. 2014 Jun 5;320:34-45. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2014.03.001. Epub 2014 Mar 15. PMID: 24636977.
7 Winstone, J. K., Pathak, K. V., Winslow, W., Piras, I. S., White, J., Sharma, R., Huentelman, M. J., Pirrotte, P., & Velazquez, R. (2022). Glyphosate infiltrates the brain and increases pro-inflammatory cytokine TNFα: implications for neurodegenerative disorders. Journal of neuroinflammation, 19(1), 193. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12974-022-02544-5
8 Rueda-Ruzafa L, Cruz F, Roman P, Cardona D. Gut microbiota and neurological effects of glyphosate. Neurotoxicology. 2019 Dec;75:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2019.08.006. Epub 2019 Aug 20. PMID: 31442459.
9 Choudhary AK, Pretorius E. Revisiting the safety of aspartame. Nutr Rev. 2017 Sep 1;75(9):718-730. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nux035. Erratum in: Nutr Rev. 2018 Apr 1;76(4):301. Erratum in: Nutr Rev. 2018 Nov 1;76(11):860. PMID: 28938797.
10 Choudhary AK, Lee YY. Neurophysiological symptoms and aspartame: What is the connection? Nutr Neurosci. 2018 Jun;21(5):306-316. doi: 10.1080/1028415X.2017.1288340. Epub 2017 Feb 15. PMID: 28198207.
11 Scialla, M. (2016, June 22). It could take centuries for EPA to test all the unregulated chemicals under a new landmark bill. PBS NewsHour. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/it-could-take-centuries-for-epa-to-test-all-the-unregulated-chemicals-under-a-new-landmark-bill
12 Suzuki T, Hidaka T, Kumagai Y, Yamamoto M. Environmental pollutants and the immune response. Nat Immunol. 2020 Dec;21(12):1486-1495. doi: 10.1038/s41590-020-0802-6. Epub 2020 Oct 12. PMID: 33046888.
13 Canipari R, De Santis L, Cecconi S. Female Fertility and Environmental Pollution. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Nov 26;17(23):8802. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17238802. PMID: 33256215; PMCID: PMC7730072.
14 Hahad O, Lelieveld J, Birklein F, Lieb K, Daiber A, Münzel T. Ambient Air Pollution Increases the Risk of Cerebrovascular and Neuropsychiatric Disorders through Induction of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress. Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Jun 17;21(12):4306. doi: 10.3390/ijms21124306. PMID: 32560306; PMCID: PMC7352229.
15 Theoharides TC, Stewart JM, Hatziagelaki E, Kolaitis G. Brain “fog,” inflammation and obesity: key aspects of neuropsychiatric disorders improved by luteolin. Front Neurosci. 2015 Jul 3;9:225. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2015.00225. PMID: 26190965; PMCID: PMC4490655.
16 Feghali CA, Wright TM. Cytokines in acute and chronic inflammation. Front Biosci. 1997 Jan 1;2:d12-26. doi: 10.2741/a171. PMID: 9159205.
17 Mou Y, Du Y, Zhou L, Yue J, Hu X, Liu Y, Chen S, Lin X, Zhang G, Xiao H, Dong B. Gut Microbiota Interact With the Brain Through Systemic Chronic Inflammation: Implications on Neuroinflammation, Neurodegeneration, and Aging. Front Immunol. 2022 Apr 7;13:796288. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.796288. PMID: 35464431; PMCID: PMC9021448.
18 Ghosh-Swaby OR, Reichelt AC, Sheppard PAS, Davies J, Bussey TJ, Saksida LM. Metabolic hormones mediate cognition. Front Neuroendocrinol. 2022 Jul;66:101009. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2022.101009. Epub 2022 Jun 6. PMID: 35679900.
19 Samuels MH, Bernstein LJ. Brain Fog in Hypothyroidism: What Is It, How Is It Measured, and What Can Be Done About It. Thyroid. 2022 Jul;32(7):752-763. doi: 10.1089/thy.2022.0139. Epub 2022 May 5. PMID: 35414261; PMCID: PMC9469742.
20 Mattson MP, Longo VD, Harvie M. Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes. Ageing Res Rev. 2017 Oct;39:46-58. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2016.10.005. Epub 2016 Oct 31. PMID: 27810402; PMCID: PMC5411330.
21 Hawkins MAW, Keirns NG, Helms Z. Carbohydrates and cognitive function. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2018 Jul;21(4):302-307. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000471. PMID: 29851417.
22 Liu Y, Wheaton AG, Chapman DP, Cunningham TJ, Lu H, Croft JB. Prevalence of Healthy Sleep Duration among Adults–United States, 2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016 Feb 19;65(6):137-41. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6506a1. PMID: 26890214.
23 Thangwong P, Jearjaroen P, Govitrapong P, Tocharus C, Tocharus J. Melatonin improves cognitive function by suppressing endoplasmic reticulum stress and promoting synaptic plasticity during chronic cerebral hypoperfusion in rats. Biochem Pharmacol. 2022 Apr;198:114980. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2022.114980. Epub 2022 Feb 24. PMID: 35219702.
24 Rutkowski K, Sowa P, Rutkowska-Talipska J, Kuryliszyn-Moskal A, Rutkowski R. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA): hypes and hopes. Drugs. 2014 Jul;74(11):1195-207. doi: 10.1007/s40265-014-0259-8. PMID: 25022952.
25 Pavlov CS, Damulin IV, Shulpekova YO, Andreev EA. Neurological disorders in vitamin B12 deficiency. Ter Arkh. 2019 May 16;91(4):122-129. doi: 10.26442/00403660.2019.04.000116. PMID: 31094486.
26 Nakajima S, Gerretsen P, Takeuchi H, Caravaggio F, Chow T, Le Foll B, Mulsant B, Pollock B, Graff-Guerrero A. The potential role of dopamine D₃ receptor neurotransmission in cognition. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2013 Aug;23(8):799-813. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2013.05.006. Epub 2013 Jun 20. PMID: 23791072; PMCID: PMC3748034.
27 Pradhan N, Singh C, Singh A. Coenzyme Q10 a mitochondrial restorer for various brain disorders. Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2021 Nov;394(11):2197-2222. doi: 10.1007/s00210-021-02161-8. Epub 2021 Oct 1. PMID: 34596729.
28 Jafari F, Mohammadi H, Amani R. The effect of zinc supplementation on brain derived neurotrophic factor: A meta-analysis. J Trace Elem Med Biol. 2021 Jul;66:126753. doi: 10.1016/j.jtemb.2021.126753. Epub 2021 Apr 1. PMID: 33831797.
29 Baltaci AK, Mogulkoc R, Baltaci SB. Review: The role of zinc in the endocrine system. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2019 Jan;32(1):231-239. PMID: 30772815.
30 Tanbek K, Ozerol E, Yilmaz U, Yilmaz N, Gul M, Colak C. Alpha lipoic acid decreases neuronal damage on brain tissue of STZ-induced diabetic rats. Physiol Behav. 2022 May 1;248:113727. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2022.113727. Epub 2022 Feb 4. PMID: 35131301.