If you have brain fog, you can only take advantage of a tiny part of your innate intelligence: your brain is in survival mode.
Brain fog is real. Your brain isn’t firing, your brain isn’t working properly… it is half dead from… From what? And how can you change that? This is what this article is about.
I published this article before I realized that my own brain is misbehaving… that it was operating at a 10% capacity… and my IQ was way way way below what it could be.
I have used my own energy audio to fix it, and now it operates at 60%… Still not at full capacity… but the people I have tested, I have not found anyone with better than 10%… so my 60% is spectacular.
What did I actually do? I used my energy audio to keep my brain to stay connected to Consciousness and start repairing the damage that it ignored for too long. I also change my diet, temporarily, to an almost vegetarian diet: I eat fish and an occasional egg… as far as animal products go.
If you want to read about the energy audio… here is a link to all the articles that talk about my miraculous recovery… my brain, my heart, and my energy level… all due 60% to the energy audio, and 40% to the eating changes.
And you can buy it for yourself… if you feel adventurous.
Sometimes it is temporary: you didn’t sleep well, you didn’t have your morning coffee, you had too much coffee… you are tired.
But mostly it is a symptom… and a big issue.
Why I started to be interested in brain fog?
I planned to have 10 calls to help this dude replace his income and work from home.
I was quizzing him. He has been talking to me, at least once a week for 11 years… the results of the conversation were very eye opening: He was never really interested enough to learn from me. 11 years, more than a 100 hours… street value: $20 K.
I have gifted him courses, activators, I have gifted him with my famous health consultation… Result: he never used any of it, and of course he never benefited from what he didn’t do. He eats, thinks, lives exactly as he did 11 years ago.
Still has no idea much of anything. But why?
On one hand, he is not curious. On the other hand: if you have brain fog, you can only take advantage of a tiny part of your innate intelligence: you are in survival.
The below article, reprinted from selfhack magazine, is 10% truth value.
Meaning: 90% of it either not true, or even if it could be true, unless you have a system, where parts work in a synergistic way, you’ll learn nothing really useful.
I am someone who spent decades in brain fog. Decades. And with the slightest diet mistake, I enter Brain Fog even now. I am over 70 now…
There is no cure for brain fog, you can only manage yourself for highly efficient brain function.
Brain fog comes from the gut. 100%. It has nothing, or next to nothing to do with your brain or even brain health.
Of course if your diet and lifestyle has been killing brain cells, or forcing your brain to store pollution, toxic or not, your brain will not perform optimally.
For that I have been making my “energetic brain cleansing” available, it will help your brain fog as much as taking medication to help you poop… if you don’t change your diet and your lifestyle, it will be a little better, but not healed.
For brain fog to go away, and stay away, you need to change your diet, and you need to get your body out of survival, out of scarcity mode.
Neither is easy, and neither is too pleasant, but when a person follows my instructions, they all achieve a brain that is not foggy.
Ambition is impossible with a foggy brain. Ambition is the aspiration you are willing to go to bat for, work for, take on inconvenience for, maybe even pain. Ambition is the measure of your willingness to work for what you want.
People with an under-functioning brain have a low ambition score, and a disproportionately high desire score.
Desire is a delusional state for getting something without working for it, without knowledge, without learning anything.
Another aspect of the person who lives in scarcity and survival is that they live in their mind, listen/read through their mind, which is a filter. They TRY to understand, they TRY to learn… Trying is a survival activity.
When you live in survival, when you live in scarcity, everything is translated to personal, where everything seems to be supporting or threatening to imaginary self. Your precious “I”.
People who live in their mind are puny… have a narrow cone of vision, and live a small life.
So getting into a state where your brain fog doesn’t force you to live in your mind, where you are able to look around and actually see the world, where understanding is the consolation prize, and into a state where you can grow is probably the most important thing you can do for yourself. EVER.
Spirituality, self-realization, self-actualization is impossible and unattainable unless you have covered the more essential elements of a human life, specifically be well, and be able to use your body, including your brain, to the max it can be used.
Scarcity, survival, in a day to day language, is the way you are when you are afraid… Not at all intelligent, not at all looking at what is going on: you pull back, and your only concern is your survival. You make decisions that will be disastrous… because who made those decision is a person in surivival.
When you come out of survival, two things happen: 1. you will not get afraid that easily. 2. you will have all your intelligence available to you.
If your innate IQ is 100, this method won’t make you suddenly have a genius IQ, but in an environment of people with brain fog, you’ll be able to outperform geniuses with your 100 IQ.
I have recently graded my flagship class participants. Now, a few days later, looking at the results through the topic of this article, I can see clearly that the students with the low grades had very low cell hydration and health numbers, while the students with the higher grades had a higher level of cell hydration and health number. Health number is the level of your health compared of what it could be… so it compares you with yourself.
If you want a better functioning brain, with better performance, you can start with the simplest instructions: drink pure water, and remove grains and processed foods from your diet. Do not eat out, do not buy anything packaged. It will likely make a dramatic difference, and you’ll regain half of your lost brain power.
People who do that can have, according to my measures can have a 10% cell hydration and 20% health number. Most people who come to me have both numbers under 10%.
The next step up is increasing your cell hydration. When your cells cannot use the water you drink, they are in survival. If your cells are in survival, you are in survival, energetically, emotionally, cognitively.
My Water Energizer is an audio that can raise the water’s vibration to 653… at which point it becomes coherent.
Unfortunately most water you have access to is chemically unpure. Most filters remove stuff and puts some other stuff into the water.
Only reasonably clean water can be made coherent. I have only found one manufacturer whose filters leave the water clean, but even that manufacturer: if you use it in a three stage system… and the water has to go through three filters, becomes not energizable.
This is one of the reasons I only sell the Water Energizer with support: you will need me to hold your hand for a while, so you find the water you can energize, so you can find the filter for your sink, and so you can find your container, setup, etc.
I sell my Water Energizer with 30 days support. It will make a huge difference in how you feel, in your self-confidence, in your speed of uptake and processing … Seeing the results, you’ll be able to grow enough ambition to go all the way.
Getting the Water Energizer set up and remember to drink the water is beyond most brain-fogged people’s ability. They have no power, they have no energy. And honestly, unless you get on death row (a cancer diagnosis is a good way to get on death row) you won’t do it. I have seen this time and time again.
Most people will opt to the shotgun method: a little bit of this and a little bit of that. No commitment, no system, no improvement, no life.
But it allows you to remain a belligerent child who says: “Don’t tell me what to do”. And you’ll continue making decisions from half-mast brain… stupid as the stupid does.
There is no hope for you if you do that.
The second level of “cure” for chronic brain fog is to adjust your diet to your DNA, to first heal your body, and then settle on a maintenance diet.
I am still in the healing phase of my diet, given my serious mishaps last fall… food poisoning, a serious fall… but my health number is now 70%, so I am starting to add food items that are neither healing nor harmful: neutral.
I have had a lot of “health consultation” clients over the years. Few have understood or appreciated the importance of the way you eat, when you eat, what you eat.
The ones that have also have the highest scores in my courses… there is no accident there. The dietary information on the internet, of dieticians, of naturopaths is low. The highest comes from Joel Wallach: his information has a 30% truth value. My stuff is 60%… because i get my information from Source… Source is All-Knowledge, and I get the information with muscle testing.
A health consultation has several parts:
1. I need your Starting Point Measurements
2. I measure your potential nutritional deficiencies, your allergies, sensitivites, your intolerances, your disease tendencies, and your ideal eating way.
3. I measure a healing or a maintenance diet food list
4. You can buy a food-spotting service, where you have access to me to measure, advise, catch you when you mess up. If you opt for continuous food-spotting, then I throw in the re-measuring of your diet: the best diet considers the season and don’t include much of any “fancy”, imported, out of season products. what is great for Asians, may not be good for you if you are of European descent. Or what is good for white people may not be good for you if you are Black, or Indian, or Chinese.
I am currently running a special…
Summers: whatever is in season… and was good for your ancestry for thousands of years.
Get your summer food list measured… get your supplement list for free. A $50 saving. Consultation (talking on the phone) is extra… if you want it, you can ask for it.
OK, here is the article. it’s from https://www.selfhacked.com
Please don’t forget, this article’s truth value is 10% only (Why so low? Joe Cohen, the author of this article doesn’t have access to knowledge beyond what many people know… So take it with a grain of salt… 90% not true!
After helping over 1,000 clients with brain fog and healing my own, I’ve figured out all of the causes and the most effective solutions. Read on to learn more about brain fog and how you can also find the solution to eradicating it.
What Is Brain Fog?
Brain fog is a collection of symptoms such as forgetfulness, lack of mental clarity, confusion, and inability to focus. It’s not a clinical term and is also referred to as ‘mental fog,’ ‘clouding of consciousness,’ or ‘cognitive dysfunction.’
It is generally caused by inflammation in the brain, stemming from some underlying cause.
Brain Fog Symptoms
- Fatigue and low energy (including chronic fatigue syndrome)
- Inability to concentrate
- Poor working memory and executive function
- Poor ability to memorize things
- Impaired ability to process new information and delayed processing
- Low motivation
- Mental confusion
- Wandering thoughts; inability to sustain a train of thought
My Brain Fog Story: Finding the Cure
I’ve suffered from brain fog as long as I can remember. Brain fog is what got me interested in health at an early age. At 12, I endeavored to stop eating any food with sugar and ate only whole grains.
I’ve always tried to eat as healthy as possible, yet I still had brain fog. I would always read about health when I got the chance, but nothing helped that much.
After many years of experimentation and research, I finally figured out what caused my brain fog and how to heal it. After having over 1,000 clients with brain fog (as of March 2018), I’ve identified the most common causes of brain fog and have helped others heal their condition as well.
How Long Does Brain Fog Last?
Brain fog can last anywhere from a few minutes to decades, especially if someone hasn’t found the underlying causes. It depends on what the causes of the brain fog are.
In most cases, brain fog is reversible.
The Cause of Brain Fog
An Imbalanced Limbic System
Brain fog is essentially caused by an issue in the area of the brain responsible for many functions, including executive function, general cognitive function, and emotional balance. This area is called the limbic system. Within the limbic system, the hypothalamus – often known as the ‘control center’– is most affected.
Brain fog can be caused by the limbic system being imbalanced, usually as a result of an injury or highly stressful event. A big bout of inflammation, free radicals, or emotional stress are the mechanisms by which these brain changes occur.
The limbic system is responsible for:
- Wakefulness (increases)
- Appetite (increases)
- Motivation (increases)
- Body warmth (increases)
- Gut flow by way of the vagus nerve (increases)
- Metabolism (increases)
- Blood pressure (increases)
- Emotional regulation
- Executive function
- Memory – short and long term
The hypothalamus, in particular, plays a critical role in the following:
- Thermal regulation
- Circadian rhythms (regulates sleep-wake cycle)
- Hunger, satiety
- Blood pressure, heart rate
- Gut function
- Sex drive and hormones
- Glucose regulation
- Vision [Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome – an oxidative stress disorder]
Inflammation and Free Radicals Can Cause Brain Fog
Inflammation and oxidative stress affect the limbic system and can cause it to be imbalanced.
In 2014, 2 studies found that the level of gene expression of the antioxidant SOD2 (MnSOD) was strongly correlated with cognitive performance [R, R].
The main SOD2 variant rs4880 GG is more common in my brain fog clientele, and there’s a lot of scientific research on it.
A study in 2014 found that the expression of another antioxidative enzyme gene that breaks down H2O2 .
Another 2014 study found that mutations in genes that code for (ASMT) – an internal antioxidant hormone– were tied to cognitive impairment [R].
Conditions Associated with Brain Fog & Caused by Oxidative Stress and Inflammation
Brain fog is much more likely to be experienced in conjunction with other conditions. This is the case with conditions that are heavily associated with oxidative stress and inflammation.
There’s evidence that chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are caused by oxidative stress and inflammation [R, R, R, R,R, R, R, R, R].
Inflammation hits the brain stem as well in CFS [R].
It’s no wonder that brain fog is commonly cited in people with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia – the same processes are driving all three.
Brain fog can be exacerbated by mood disorders such anxiety, OCD, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar, andalcoholism because it is widely believed that oxidative stress plays a role in these disorders [R, R, R.
In fact, science is discovering now that many antidepressants work by combating oxidative stress [R].
I’ve noticed a strong correlation with these disorders – especially OCD, anxiety, and depression- and brain fog in my clients. I had all three when I used to have brain fog.
It’s not surprising that all of these conditions also have a connection with inflammation.
In multiple sclerosis, Sjogren’s, and lupus, brain fog is a common feature. In all of these disorders, inflammation and oxidative stress are increased.
Female hormones such as estrogen and estradiol tend to display antioxidant activities and lower oxidative stress, which is why women with menopause sometimes develop brain fog.
When a woman goes through menopause, a reduction of these hormones shifts the oxidant-antioxidant balance in favor of oxidants.
Symptoms of Limbic System Problems
The limbic system is responsible for many things, so if you’re having brain fog, it will often go together with other symptoms. The hypothalamus is the most impacted part of the limbic system.If you have a handful of these symptoms, it could mean that you’re having limbic system problems:
- Circadian rhythm issues – tired in the day, awake at night
- Lower motivation
- Suppressed appetite and often weight loss
- Memory problems
- Cold hands and feet, problems with tempature regulation
- Gut problems, including constipation
- Lower thyroid and sex hormones
- Overstimulated HPA axis
- Lower blood pressure
- Frequent urination
- Procrastination – Overambitious, but not enough motivation to implement the ambition
- OCD/problems letting go of thoughts
- Attention problems
- Hormonal issues
- Lower libido and sex drive
- Visual problems
The Most Common Brain Fog Triggers
I’ve had clients with brain fog from all of the following causes. I’ve ordered them from most common to least common. These can cause brain fog either by causing inflammation or by causing long-term changes in the brain.
- Lectins and inflammatory agents in plants
- Anxiety or chronic stress
- PTSD or a very stressful event
- Drug-induced (usually THC, LSD, MDMA, alcohol)
- Sleep problems (bad quality or not enough)
- Night shift work/circadian disruptions
- Not enough light or sun
- Imbalanced hormones
- Obesity or a terrible diet
- Lack of exercise
1) Brain Fog and Diet
There are many other possible sources for brain fog. However, I’ve only listed the most common ones that wouldn’t be diagnosed by your doctor.
If you get brain fog after eating, then you must look more carefully at your diet.
Brain Fog After Eating
The most common causes of brain fog are lectin and food sensitivities. When people consume a food that causes inflammation, it will often cause brain fog.
Lectins are plant proteins that induce an immune response.
Plant lectins resemble certain tissues such as the joints (synovium) and the thyroid.
People with lectin sensitivity will most often experience inflammation in their gut, joints, thyroid, and brain (hypothalamus). Sometimes they’ll go on to develop an autoimmune condition eventually.
In some cases, people only have to stay away from specific proteins or foods and they’re fine.
However, lectins are not the only problem in food.
Some common triggers of inflammation are:
- Lectins (every food has lectins, but we can be sensitive to different lectins)
- Gluten (wheat, spelt, rye, barley, and oats)
- Casein (all dairy products)
- FODMAPs (short-chain carbohydrates that are often poorly absorbed by the small intestine)
- Trypsin inhibitors
- Yeast (in gluten-free breads)
- Food additives like carrageenan (in rice milk, almond milk, etc.)
You can be allergic to any other food as well. Egg and fish allergies are quite common, so pay attention to them.
Read this post on 19 antinutrients in plant based foods that can cause inflammation.
You should try out the strict version of the Lectin Avoidance Diet, which has helped a lot of clients with brain fog.
In some cases, brain fog can simply come from a horrible diet. High glucose levels can cause a threefold increase in free radicals, which can damage human cells .
If you’re living on a Standard American Diet, then that is likely a significant contributing factor to your brain fog.
Check out these markers for lectin sensitivity and listen to my interview with Dr. Gundry.
2) Brain Fog and Sleep
Not sleeping well is another common cause of brain fog.
If you have sleep apnea, that will most likely be the cause of your brain fog. Sleep apnea causes hypoxia (lack of oxygen) at night, which increases ROS/oxidative stress [R].
Hypoxia drives psychiatric conditions by causing neurons to get overexcited (glutamate excitotoxicity). This excitation causes increased levels of free radicals and mitochondrial breakdown.
Even if you don’t have sleep apnea, bad sleep is still a significant cause of brain fog, but may not be the whole story.
Sleep loss increases oxidative stress in the hypothalamus, by the loss of glutathione [R].
Sleep deprivation for even one night exacerbates brain fog by increasing inflammation in the hypothalamus as well as in the rest of the body [R, R].
People with morning brain fog should particularly watch out for this. Adequate sleep in my book means getting the amount of sleep you’d get if you didn’t have an alarm clock.
- I suggest doing a sleep study and checking how much slow wave and REM sleep you’re getting.
3) Brain Fog and Infections
Science is increasingly becoming aware of the link between various autoimmune conditions and infections – usually earlier in life.
When someone was healthy their whole life and suddenly comes down with brain fog after an infection, an effort should be made to identify and get rid of the infection. In the case of viral infections, you should take steps to control it.
Infections can cause chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, leading to brain fog.
Sometimes, infections such as viruses can be latent and then be reactivated by some stressor (lack of sleep, poor diet, etc.)
People with >Th2 dominance often can’t control viral infections well and experience chronic inflammation. This is likely the case with >chronic fatigue syndrome.
The Epstein-Barr Virus is a common viral infection that causes harm. Even if it’s another virus, controlling viral infections have common themes.
People with severe immunodeficiency struggle with controlling viral infections.
Since you can’t rid yourself of a virus, you want to instead make sure your immune system always keeps it at bay.
- If you’re Th2 dominant, then you want to rebalance your immune system.
I’ve seen cases where brain fog was caused by a bacterial infection.
If you can identify that you have a bacterial infection, then targeted drugs such as antibiotics would be a better option than herbs.
Gram-negative bacteria are also known to cause overproduction of inflammatory cytokines (TNF, IL-1, and IL-6) [R].
Only gram-negative bacteria have lipopolysaccharides, which is a significant reason why they cause inflammation.
Some common infections include Lyme, Mycoplasma pneumoniaeand H Pylori.
I’ve seen other cases where candida or fungal infections were the sources of the brain fog.
Candida comes from an immune deficiency. Environmental triggers include refined carbs, stress, low stomach acidity (could be from antacids), and antibiotics.
Anybody with brain fog after antibiotic treatment and/or a particularly stressful period should look into candida as being the cause. People with candida or bacterial infections will often have a chronic type of brain fog. Candida increases TNF, IL-1, and IL-6 [R, R]. Candida and bacterial infections can usually be cured through conventional and alternative means.
d-e) Parasites and Protozoa
Although less common in the developed world, parasitic infections can also be problematic. Blastocystis hominis, tapeworm, roundworm antibodies, tissue worm, and toxoplasma are common parasitic infections.
4) Brain Fog, Heavy Metals, and Toxins: The Role of Mold
Any kind of toxins can stimulate the immune system and cause inflammation and oxidative stress. Heavy metals and toxins increase oxidative stress in the body. Since heavy metals accumulate in the body, they may cause increased levels of oxidative stress in the body. Even necessary minerals can also accumulate in the body and cause oxidative stress in the long term. Toxins such as pthalates and BPA pesticides and others also cause oxidative stress. However, these are usually contributory in a minor way, but not the main cause. People exposed to mold or other biotoxins and who go on to develop Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS) develop a certain kind of brain fog. These inflammatory markers will often be elevated if exposed to toxins:
I discuss mold-induced illness and what to do about it in a different post.
5) Brain Fog and Low Acetylcholine
People with chronic inflammation and brain fog (often from chronic infections) sometimes exhibit a mix of symptoms that almost exactly match symptoms from drugs that inhibit acetylcholine. People with toxin issues will often fit into this boat.
Acetylcholine inhibits inflammation/cytokines and modulates the immune response [R, R].
Cytokines (TGF-b, IL-1, IL-17) can also decrease acetylcholine [R, R].
6) Brain Fog, Insulin Resistance, and Hypoglycemia
People with brain fog often get hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) because the limbic system helps control blood glucose balance. But, hypoglycemia can in turn cause brain fog. Insulin resistance is when insulin doesn’t do a good job at bringing glucose into cells. When you are insulin resistant, you’ll experience more significant blood glucose fluctuations, which is even worse than sustained high levels of glucose [R]. These swings in blood glucose levels result in oxidative stress and inflammation and, therefore, even more, brain fog [R, R]. Fix: Read my post on how to fix insulin resistance and what causes insulin resistance to occur in the first place.
7) Brain Fog and Hormonal Imbalance
A deficiency of hormones such as pregnenolone, progesterone, melatonin, luteinizing hormone, oxytocin, DHEA, testosterone, estrogen and IGF-1 can contribute to brain fog. Melatonin, progesterone, estrogen, DHEA, luteinizing hormone, and oxytocin all have antioxidant effects [R, R]. Genes that resulted in lower melatonin, for example, were found to be associated with cognitive dysfunction [R]. More specifically, these hormones inhibit superoxide (and other free radicals): Melatonin, pregnenolone, progesterone, DHEA, testosterone, estrogen, androstenedione, DHT, IGF-1, and oxytocin [R, R, R, R, R, R, R]. All of these listed hormones are anti-inflammatory as well. Brain injuries from car accidents, being in the military, being a competitive athlete, fighting (professionally or not), or any kind of hit to the brain can lead to low hormones. If you’ve received head blows from any source, you must check your hormones. Fix:
* I believe the most common, fundamental causes of low hormones are generally chronic inflammation, circadian imbalances, sleep problems, or chronic stress.
Brain Fog and the Thyroid
With regard to thyroid hormones, low or high thyroid hormones can cause oxidative stress [R]. People with brain fog often have low levels of thyroid hormones. However, low thyroid hormones are a result of inflammation, not the cause of it. In fact, having a high level of thyroid hormones increases inflammation. [R, R, R].
8) Brain Fog, Leaky Gut, and Dysbiosis
With regard to gut health, intestinal permeability or “leaky gut” and/or an imbalance of your gut microbiota (“gut dysbiosis”) can increase inflammation, thereby contributing to brain fog. Lectins are the most common reason for having a leaky gut, in my opinion. To prevent microbial imbalance or dysbiosis, the gut needs the right ingredients to work well (like prebiotics), which is also why the right foods matter. Probiotics can also be great at helping to modify inflammation. I’ve noticed that many people with brain fog also have IBS (including my former self). This is because inflammation of the gut contributes to IBS [R]. Also, the limbic system is important for gut function. Fix:
* Hi-maize/resistant starch
* Consuming leafy greens
9) Brain Fog, Allergies, and Histamine
People with asthma and allergies commonly report brain fog, which is in part from the production of histamine. Allergies and asthma are as a result of Th2 dominance. Histamine can be produced from lectins or allergic reactions as a result of an elevated Th2 immune system. People can also consume foods with histamine – mainly fermented and cured foods and beverages. If you don’t have enough of an enzyme to break histamine down, then this can be the cause of your brain fog. I’ve found this to be the case for some people. The mechanism by which histamine causes brain fog may be as a result of oxidative stress [R]. Otherwise, when mast cells activate, they release superoxide, which supports my central theory of brain fog (that superoxide is responsible) [R]. Fix: Read my post on reducing histamine. Also read my post on reducing Th2 dominance.
10) Brain Fog, Anxiety, Chronic Stress, and Depression
In almost all cases of brain fog, people experience anxiety and often depression/bad moods. This is mainly because inflammation increases our stress response and causes anxiety. This also lead to depression. This certainly happened with me. Indeed, that’s why cognitive dysfunction, depression, and anxiety often go together (also because they’re all influenced by the limbic system) [R]. Inflammation (TNF, IL-1) activates the stress pathway and causes us to be more anxious and depressed. Cytokines also degrade the hippocampus and other areas of the brain, which causes depression.
Oxidative stress can also cause anxiety [R]. Chronic stress can elevate inflammation in the long run (by causing glucocorticoid resistance) [R]. Depression can be caused by inflammation and oxidative stress [R, R]. Read my post on why stress is bad and my post on Corticotropin Releasing Hormone (CRH).
11) Brain Fog and Drugs
There are many drugs that can cause or contribute to brain fog. Alcohol is a neurotoxin and increases inflammation and oxidative stress [R, R, R]. If you’re an alcoholic, then that will most likely be the cause of your brain fog. I’ve seen brain fog induced by alcohol, marijuana, LSD, MDMA, cocaine, and ayahuasca. The mechanism is almost certainly related to limbic system dysregulation. I’ve also seen brain fog induced by antibiotics, which can produce free radicals and may damage your mitochondria [R]. All 3 bactericidal antibiotics induced a dose- and time-dependent increase in free radical production: Ciprofloxacin (a fluoroquinolone), ampicillin (a ?-lactam), and kanamycin (an aminoglycoside). The fluoroquinolone antibiotics and some other antibiotics can damage the mitochondria and produce free radical leakage.
12) Brain Fog and Genetics: MTHFR, CNR1, SOD2, APOE4, and Other Mutations
There are a whole bunch of genes that don’t interact with our current environment well. Three significant ones are CNR1, MTHFR, and SOD2 mutations. There are many others, but that’s beyond the scope of this post. Genetic mutations interact with the environment in very significant ways. Knowing you have a mutation can help guide you on a more focused course of action for your brain fog. The CNR1 variation can cause a lot of problems with the limbic system and your gut. Having the MTHFR mutation can hamper your ability to ‘detox’ and can result in inflammation and oxidative stress. The SOD2 mutation causes a 33% decrease of the enzyme (MnSOD) that breaks down superoxide in the mitochondria. Superoxide production can cause of brain fog. Obviously, your genes are only a part of the story. It’s usually the case that you need to have these mutations and other factors that increase oxidative stress. The good news is that genes can be overcome with lifestyle and supplement choices. Is your brain fog from lectins, an infection, or something else? The genetic data can help you figure that out. It’s a significant piece of the puzzle. Therefore, you want to check your 23andme and upload it to SelfDecode, by far the most powerful genetic analyzer and the most innovative and largest company on the market. Just spit in a tube and send it out.
Other Factors That Contribute to Brain Fog
The following are biological factors that make brain fog worse and are a contributory cause of brain fog.
* Low NAD+ levels
* Low oxygen (hypoxia)
* Low cyclic AMP
Brain Fog and Adrenal Fatigue
The Limbic system/hypothalamus directs the adrenal glands. Adrenal fatigue is a misconception and the root cause of fatigue has to do with the hypothalamus, not your adrenal glands.
Brain Fog and Derealization/Depersonalization
People who have strong levels of depersonalization and derealization have a bit of a different category of brain fog. See my post on the biology of depersonalization and its potential solutions.
Brain fog and EDS, G6PD, Thalassemia, Anemia, and Gilbert’s Syndrome
Some conditions like Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency and Thalassemia increase the risk of brain fog for somewhat different reasons. G6PD deficiency results in higher levels of oxidative stress because of less reduced glutathione. Thalassemia results in lower red blood cells and hemoglobin, which means less transport of oxygen. This increases the risk of hypoxia in various tissues. Anemia will also increase the risk of brain fog for the same reason: increased risk of hypoxia in various tissues. Gilbert’s Syndrome is associated with brain fog possibly because it’s often caused by low glucuronidation, which limits the ability to detox. Euler’s Danlos Syndrome (EDS) is associated with brain fog because of its effects on collagen formation, which affects many systems in the body.
4 Brain Fog Treatments, Fixes, and Cures
1) Get Sunlight and Fresh Air
Sun is great for decreasing inflammation. Although uncommon, I’ve had a few cases of brain fog that were relieved simply by being outside and getting more sun. Sun is capable of suppressing inflammation and preventing autoimmune disease [R, R, R]. Keep in mind that sunlight can make some autoimmune conditions worse. Sun also suppresses seasonal allergies, which are IgG and IgE related allergies. [R]. Besides UVB rays directly suppressing autoimmunity, vitamin D, which is a byproduct of UVB, also decreases Th1 and Th17 immune responses. The sun makes sulfated vitamin D, which is better than supplemental vitamin D. With regard to oxidative stress, UVB increases our body’s internal antioxidant defenses [R]. People think that taking a vitamin D supplement will make up for not getting sun. This is false. In my opinion, most of the benefits from sun don’t involve vitamin D. The most beneficial ingredient of the sun is probably not even the vitamin D, but the infrared that it provides. I recommend an hour of sun on most of your body (don’t exceed an hour for any spot). If you can’t get sun, then use infrared sauna and low-level laser therapy (LLLT).
2) Take Care of Your Sleep and Circadian Rhythm
The circadian rhythm is deeply connected with inflammation and both can cause the other to get out of balance. I explore this subject a bit in my post about why we get tired even with enough sleep. Circadian disruption increases inflammation (Th1 and Th17) [R, R]. The circadian rhythm is also tied to oxidative stress [R]. Disrupting your circadian rhythm will result in brain fog, as happens during jet lag. Some people are more sensitive to circadian disruptions. Researchers have shown that the 24-hour circadian clock also influences cognitive performance in a wide variety of areas, including verbal reasoning and working memory. Researchers conclude that factors that disturb circadian rhythms can also affect cognitive performance. Circadian disruption can come about for a variety of reasons, but the most common is a lack of light in the day, too much light at night, disrupted sleep patterns, and chronic inflammation. Disrupting circadian rhythms can also lead to heart diseases, neurodegenerative conditions, and cancer [R]. People with brain fog are often wired but tired at night, fatigued in the day, and lack a cortisol spike in the AM. They can be hot at night and wake up to pee multiple times. These are all symptoms of circadian disruption. I used to have these symptoms, but getting better meant my metabolism increased in the day and slowed at night. I now get tired at night and am awake in the day. I feel warmer in the day and cooler at night. I don’t get hypoglycemic at night. My vasopressin release has normalized so I don’t wake up to pee. I am alert and awake in the day and get tired at night, and have a good amount of energy until right before bed – when I crash out. I wake up refreshed and ready to hit the day when my circadian rhythm is working properly. Read my post on how to take care of your circadian rhythm.
Too much or too little exercise can contribute to inflammation and oxidative stress. I’ve never had a client whose brain fog was solely related to exercise, but it can be a contributory factor. Moderate exercise brings down inflammation and oxidative stress. Interval exercise is particularly good. Yoga is also particularly good because it balances the HPA axis. However, endurance exercise increases inflammation (Th17 immune response) [R]. Don’t confuse endurance exercise with moderate aerobic exercise. Although not as good as interval exercise or yoga, aerobic exercise can decrease inflammation as well (Th1, Th2 and Th17 immune responses) [R]. Recommendations: Push-ups, yoga, pull-ups, walking, and sprints. Short sprints running as quickly as possible for 30 seconds make me feel really good, yet not worn out after 3 sets.
4) Stimulate the Vagus Nerve
One common theme with people who have brain fog and chronic fatigue is lower vagal tone, which means lower vagus nerve activation. Vagus nerve activation is important for relaxing us by decreasing norepinephrine and increasing GABA, and lowering inflammation (such as TNF) by stimulating acetylcholine. Removal of the vagus nerve or desensitizing it with capsaicin increased brain oxidative stress and decreased glutathione following a stressor [R]. Overall, the vagus nerves are important in maintaining the antioxidant status of the brain [R]. Vagus nerve stimulation decreased ROS/free radicals in response to stressors such as during an animal model of a stroke (via AMPK-PKC-Nox pathway) [R]. The bottom line is that the vagus nerve is important for optimal brain function and directly combats the underlying causes of brain fog. See my post on the vagus nerve and ways to stimulate it.
Supplements and Vitamins for Brain Fog
These supplements get rid of inflammation and oxidative stress and help the limbic system.
5. CBD oil
7. Olive leaf extract
9. Nicotinamide riboside
10. Vitamin B6 (P5P)
Other Brain Fog Posts
* An In-Depth Look at Brain Fog
* Supplements for Brain Fog
* Brain Fog: Definition, Causes, Solution (guest post)
* The Cause of Brain Fog
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