How to deal with brain fog – Clear your head.

by | Dec 17, 2016

Brain fog

Knowing how to deal with brain fog is difficult when you are in the midst of it. Here are some simple ways of preventing it and dealing with it when it strikes.

It was a full moon the other night and consequently I didn’t sleep well. I am generally a good sleeper, but when sister moon is shining in her full brightness, my dreams are plentiful and I wake and turn in my bed endlessly. Before Christmas my energy was very depleted and I knew that I was not getting enough outdoor time and sunshine. We were close to the Winter Solstice and it had been very overcast for the previous week.
So my energy crashed. I had been using up more than my allocated spoons in the run up to Christmas and I just flopped. Thankfully my husband came home from work and was able to feed the kids and get them to bed but I was completely unable to communicate or think clearly. So when he offered to make dinner for me, I was unable to make a decision or a suggestion for what I could eat (on my very specific diet) so I just said I would cook it later.
After a microsleep and a few glasses of water, I was actually able to make myself a stir fry but it just made me wonder how I would cope if I lived alone. Visions of descending into deep hypoglycaemia, unable to construct or carry out a plan of action to get food into my belly. Due to my restricted diet, emergency snacks can be hard to come by! It is this type of brain fog that has become a regular visitor to me in the last five years. A haze descends, usually when very fatigued and even the simplest tasks seem impossible.
Last week when the fog descended, my youngest son decided to write a Christmas joke where the answer consisted of letters encoded by numbers. He loves maths and writing complicated missions on endless reams of paper.  In order to “enjoy” the punchline you had to solve simple maths questions and then convert the numbers to the letters. After I postponed this activity a number of times, I couldn’t resist him anymore, I had to give it a go. He was shocked by my struggling with these simple sums and by the end when I was struggling even to add single figure digits my husband came to the rescue sensing my embarrassment. My clever son just looked at me in faint disgust.

 

Children are remarkable for their intelligence and ardour, for their curiosity, their intolerance of shams, the clarity and ruthlessness of their vision.

Aldous Huxley

I have to say, I am not completely incompetent at maths, I even have a few A grades lurking in my teenage years, but when the fog strikes, it is like the synapses in my brain are filled with marmalade. Also, the more I try the worse it gets.

How to deal with brain fog:

So I was so pleased with myself yesterday when I actually remembered that acupuncture is a lifesaver for me in this situation. Acupuncture has always been helpful for me in balancing my hormones, helping the symptoms of endometriosis, reducing inflammation and boosting my immune system. However, this morning was amazing. As I tried to find the words to explain my symptoms and recent history, my brain was freezing, and the words stumbled out of my mouth incoherently. After just a couple of needles were placed, I could feel a rush of energy around my body. My eyes brightened and suddenly I could communicate again. What a relief! I have always found acupuncture very helpful but on this occasion the improvement was instant!
Consequently, I am here typing at my computer at 9 PM; it is a miracle of ancient medicine!
Brain fog
So what is Brain Fog?
It is an inability to focus and concentrate, difficulty remembering little things, slow reactions and possible confusion. It can cause anxiety and is intimately linked with low energy and fatigue.
Common reasons for brain fog are a lack of sleep, dehydration, hypoglycaemia, hormone imbalances, food intolerances (especially gluten), chemicals in food or environment, nutrient deficiencies and autoimmune disorders.
If you want to read a more comprehensive post about the causes and management of brain fog, I direct you to this post by Dr Lam which gives a very comprehensive explanation of the causes and management of brain fog.
As the causes for each person may be different and often are multi-factorial it is definitely advisable to get a health professional to help you with this if it is a serious issue for you.
Some simple solutions to try if your brain fog is mild and just occasional are:
  • Drink more good quality water.
(The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends an intake of 2.5 litres of water for men and 2.0 litres of water for women per day, via food and drink consumption. Of this, they suggest that 70-80% of the daily water intake should come from drinks, and the remaining 20-30% should come from food.)
  • Exercise regularly to get more oxygen flowing to the brain.
  • Manage stress see my post on peacefulness
  • Eat a nourishing diet rich in protein, healthy fats and vitamins.
  • Avoid refined sugar as much as possible.
  • Check out if you have food sensitivities.
  • If your energy feels really scrambled, do the daily energy routine regularly with cross-crawling to encourage your energies to run harmoniously.
  • If possible, schedule some acupuncture sessions with a recommended practitioner.
Some helpful supplements:
Please make sure that these supplements are personally suitable for you before taking them.
Tulsi ( Holy Basil..Pukka make a delicious Tulsi tea)
Ashwaganda
Maca
Good quality omega 3 fish oils
Turmeric (to reduce any brain inflammation)
Vitamin B12 (Methyl form)  to improve mental functioning
Vitamin D
Magnesium

I really hope that some of these tips will help you gain clarity and focus in your life if you are suffering from brain fog. Please don’t just put it down to getting older or being forgetful. Our lives in this century are fast and busy and we need to be sharp and functioning well mentally to keep up and enjoy the ride!

Try this:

Keep track of your water intake this week and see if it improves your clarity and focus.

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