What Causes Brain Fog?

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"Brain fog" is a term that is often use to describe a muddled, forgetful thought pattern. Everyone experiences a brain fog now and again, and most of the time, it's harmless. It could be caused by a serious medical condition, so if you feel like you are have constant brain fog, bring it up with your health care provider, so he can decide whether to screen you for something more serious than just occasional forgetfulness.

Fatigue

Those who get less than the recommended 6 to 8 hours of sleep per day may have a harder time concentrating than those who get a restful night's sleep. Fatigue can hurt your ability to concentrate, leaving you struggling with your memory or even in completing everyday tasks. A 20-minute nap might help to perk you back up.

Alzheimer's Disease

As you grow older, you grow more susceptible to mental illnesses such as Alzheimer's, which affects your memory. You can see the warning signs of Alzheimer's in those people who have frequent brain fog, trouble remembering names or faces or daily, habitual forgetfulness. Alzheimer's only becomes worse over time. The earlier that it is caught, the easier it is to slow its progression. If you notice frequent brain fog in yourself or a loved one, talk to your doctor about it.

Pregnancy

Brain fog afflicts some women who are pregnant, especially those in their final trimester. While there are no definitive studies on the subject of why pregnant women suffer from brain fog, the pregnancy website Babycenter.com hypothesizes that it occurs when women are overwhelmed by the prospect of their changing lives and having a baby, making it nature's way of simplifying life by processing only the bare minimum of information. The brain fog will subside once you've had the baby.

Stress

Stress can cause brain fog by overloading your thoughts with things that you need to do, places you need to go and people you need to see. When you have so many details and appointments to keep track of, you may find that it is harder for you to concentrate on everyday tasks. Those individuals who have a hard time dealing with stress in general are specifically at risk for stress-induced brain fog. Learn new ways to deal with stress through relaxation and simplify your life so that you aren't so stressed out.

Chemotherapy

The Mayo Clinic cites chemotherapy as a cause for brain fog, otherwise known as "chemo brain," a condition that can affect thinking and memory skills in those who are undergoing aggressive chemotherapy treatment. For the most part, this is a short-term problem; once the chemo stops, so do the cognitive problems.

Nutritional Causes

The way you eat can leave you in a brain fog. Those with anemia may find that when they are low on iron, it is hard for them to concentrate or complete tasks. Those who have problems with fluctuating blood sugar, whether it is high or low, may also find that their thoughts are muddled.

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