Contributed by – Preksha Buttan
If you are someone who has difficulty concentrating on tasks and needs a lot of coffee to function then you might be dealing with brain fog. Though brain fog isn’t a medical condition in itself, it often is a sign of a number of health issues that affect your mental capacity. Besides, your thoughts and feelings are interlinked, which means that brain fog can also influence your emotional wellbeing. Considering how important it is to have a clear and attentive mind to do the smallest of daily tasks, ignoring brain fog isn’t an option. The truth is that there can be various reasons that you may have brain fog. Understanding them will bring you a step closer to resolving the root cause.
What is brain fog?
Brain fog is a symptom of various medical conditions. It can make you feel as if your process of thinking, understanding, and remembering is not working the way it should. It can affect your:
- Use and understanding of language
- Ability to process information
- Visual and spatial skills
- Ability to calculate
- Executive functioning abilities
[Also read – With these 6 ways you can keep your brain healthy]
Causes of brain fog
Although stress is a normal part of life, chronic stress can wreak havoc on your body. It can increase your blood pressure, weaken the immune system and trigger depression. It can also exhaust your brain and refrain it from functioning properly and as a result, you experience brain fog.
[Also read – Stressed? Take the serum cortisol test]
Lack of sleep
You must have noticed this – whenever you are not well slept, concentrating on tasks gets difficult. Irregular bedtime, not getting enough sleep, blue light exposure before bedtime, everything affects your quality of sleep negatively and in turn, leads to brain fog.
Changes in hormone levels are another common cause of impaired brain functions. It is mostly seen during pregnancy and menopause. Levels of estrogen and progesterone increase during pregnancy and drops during menopause. These two hormones can affect your memory and cause forgetfulness, poor concentration and cloudy thinking.
Vitamin B12 promotes the formation of red blood cells and the maintenance of the central nervous system. That is why its deficiency is associated with low energy levels and fatigue. Low levels of vitamin D also have similar effects on the body. These deficiencies eventually impair your cognitive functions and contribute to the foggy head feeling.
[Also read – 9 signs of vitamin B12 deficiency]
Many medications – both prescribed and over-the-counter – come with brain fog as a side effect. Though having a cloudy head is considered normal when you are on medications, it shouldn’t be ignored if day-to-day activities get affected.
Various medical conditions cause inflammation, fatigue and changes in the blood glucose levels which may eventually lead to mental fatigue. Anemia, diabetes, migraines, hypothyroidism and arthritis are a few such illnesses that have brain fog as one of their many symptoms.
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome is more than just feeling tired. It is a complex disorder wherein fatigue may last for months and the underlying cause cannot be explained. Even resting doesn’t help in this condition. Cognitive problems are one of its many results.
If you have been dealing with brain fog for a long time now, then consulting with a doctor and getting a health checkup done is recommended.
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