Brain fog can be caused by a host of underlying health issues.
One of the most common causes of brain fog is thyroid dysfunction. The thyroid has a great influence over neurological function and therefore the occurrence of mental haziness. Unfortunately, a large percentage of people suffer from thyroid dysfunction without even knowing it.
The brain relies on a steady supply of thyroid hormone to function properly and if this supply is disrupted the brain begins to malfunction. Therefore, when the thyroid is not functioning properly, it can lead to symptoms of brain fog such as forgetfulness, poor focus, fatigue, difficulty thinking clearly, depression, difficulty concentration, slowed reaction time, and more.
Adrenal dysfunction is another common cause of brain fog. Adrenal issues cause imbalances in the body’s stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. This in combination with imbalances with the precursor hormone DHEA, can cause a variety of symptoms that seem to be mental health-related, including depression, anxiety, and insomnia. This chronic deficiency of stress hormones can cause brain fog as well as make patients feel sluggish, tired (even after sleep), moody, depressed.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is another underlying condition that is a frequent cause of brain fog. Individuals with this disorder have measurable hypothalamic, pituitary, immune, and coagulation dysfunction. These abnormalities then result in a cascade of further abnormalities, in which stress plays a role by suppressing immunity and hypothalamic-pituitary function. It is important to note that while CFS and adrenal fatigue are not the same, adrenal function may play a role in it. Those with CFS are often found to produce a low amount of the hormone cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal glands. Furthermore, CFS is a malfunction of the pituitary, a pea-sized gland at the base of the skull, which regulates all our hormones. This systematic dysfunction results in poor concentration and brain fog as well symptoms such as fatigue that doesn’t go away with sleep, difficulty getting restful sleep, pain, stiffness, tender spots in muscles and/or joints, headaches, sore throat, flu-like feeling, weight gain, and digestive problems.
Gut health is often an overlooked contributor to brain fog and other mental health issues. The gut microbiome is connected to brain health in numerous ways. can improve brain health in a number of ways. For example, certain species of bacteria help produce neurotransmitters, such as serotonin (the “feel-good” hormone). In fact, 95% of serotonin is made in the gut. Therefore, the gut microbiome does not just aid in the process of producing necessary chemicals in the brain, it also helps improve your mood and mental wellness.
Furthermore, the gut is physically connected to the brain through millions of nerves, meaning the gut microbiome has the ability to affect the brain by helping control the messages that are sent to the brain through these nerves. Studies have even shown that people with various psychological disorders have different species of bacteria in their guts, compared to the control group. Brain fog has been associated with gut disorders such as leaky gut syndrome, candida, SIBO, and more.
In order to treat brain fog, it is important to address underlying issues and get to the root cause of your symptoms. If you feel like you’re suffering from brain fog, contact a Holtorf Medical Group team member today.