Strictly speaking in medical terms, brain fog cannot be considered a serious medical condition. It is broadly used for several similar symptoms that act as an impediment to your capacity to think. It is generally a feeling of confusion and chaos. You are unable to concentrate on a particular matter and also find yourself unable to express yourself. The reasons may be varied and rooted in everyday causes.
If you are under sustained periods of stress, your blood pressure is the first to be affected. It spikes alarmingly while also compromising the immunity of the body. It contributes to mental fatigue which impairs the ability to think logically or act in a rational manner. You fail to focus on a particular task or subject for long periods of time.
Changes in hormones
Another reason is hormonal changes. An example is the early stages of menopause which sees a fall in the levels of estrogen. Women in this stage face discernable issues with cognition. They fare poorly in verbal learning and memorizing. Their motor function is affected and their attention span is low.
Pregnancy affects women’s ability to remember. Hormonal changes in a pregnant woman affect the ability to focus.
Medicine taken without proper medical advice can affect your memory. If you think any medicine is affecting your thinking process, consult the doctor immediately and give him the details of all the medicines you take.
Startling fluctuation in your blood sugar level is caused by refined carbohydrates such as processed sugar and corn syrup that contain high levels of fructose. This affects the brain which uses glucose as its main energy source. This fluctuation taxes the brain. Cut off the main source of energy to the brain and you invariably face brain fog, extreme fluctuation in mood, inability to make good decisions, extreme irritability, fatigue, and a confused mental state.
Most of us are allergic to certain foods. The main sources of calories, almost 2/3rd of the total calories for an average American, are wheat, soy, and corn. But these cause a significant number of allergies too and also lead to brain fog. Other common foods that are among the main causes of allergies are dairy products, different varieties of nuts, shellfish, and eggs.
Your body needs adequate sleep to compensate for the energy spent in the waking hours. The normal body needs at least 8 hours of sound sleep every day. Anything less than that and the brain functions are impaired. You find it difficult to concentrate on even the simplest of tasks.
More serious causes
The thyroid gland plays a vital role in maintaining mental health. When it functions below the required level, it affects the cerebral functions. Hypothyroidism, as the condition is called, can severely impair your memory and leads to loss of focus. It can ultimately lead to dementia. The main stress hormone in the body, cortisol, boosts energy. But if you are under constant stress and thus exposed to high cortisol or adrenaline levels, it can affect your memory and cause long-term damage.
Depression and anxiety
Your brain functions are at an all-time low when you are depressed. Signals from the brain are feeble and sluggish. It does not function with the same ease and power when you are energetic. Fall in the levels of neurotransmitters that include serotonin, adrenaline, and dopamine as a result of depression severely affects your capacity to remember or focus.
If your mind is constantly focussed on a particular problem you are distracted from the subject at hand. Anxiety thus affects your brain from the ease with which it normally processes new information.
Inflammation in the brain
Certain chemicals can cause brain inflammation. It can be the consequence of a virus infection or a hypersensitive reaction to a foreign protein. This dangerous condition causes a whole gamut of memory impairments like depression, anxiety, and dementia: all of which cause brain fog.
It is obvious that your brain has to stay healthy if it has to function normally. Anything that decreases or debilitates your mental ability will cause brain fog and this condition can even become permanent in extreme cases. It is imperative that we avoid, as much as possible, the causes that trigger brain malfunctioning like certain foods, inadequate sleep, and long periods of stress.