We’ve all experienced forgetfulness, not being able to concentrate, or getting frustrated when words are on the tip of the tongue but we really can’t remember them. These are all symptoms of brain fog. But what is brain fog exactly and are there any supplements for brain fog that can help to clear the mist? Let’s take a look.
Here, we delve deeper into brain fog and what exactly it is that causes our ‘brains’ to feel fuzzy at times. We’ll then explore how to get rid of brain fog, and look at our aguulp brain supplement along with its key ingredients to determine if it might just be what you need.
‘Brain fog’ is a common term used to refer to a range of symptoms that affect the ability to think clearly. Brain fog symptoms appear to be made worse by fatigue or periods of stress and can be both short-lived and of a chronic nature (long-term), lasting weeks, months or even years.
Brain fog symptoms are reported as being very similar to the effects of sleep deprivation and are often described as:
- feeling confused’ or out of it
- feeling sluggish
- fuzzy headed-ness
- feeling disorganised and/or having clouded thoughts
- Memory problems
- Inability to focus/concentrate
- Difficulties processing information or slowed response times
Brain fog is a common complaint that also accompanies medically diagnosed conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)/ME and fibromyalgia (FM), as well as depression, anxiety and dementia. Unlike dementia, however, brain fog does not cause any structural damage to the brain.
Whilst brain fog itself is not a serious medical condition, brain fog symptoms can be very frustrating and debilitating, potentially interfering with the ability to complete daily tasks or activities and can have a profound effect on quality of life, including work, family and social life.
what causes brain fog?
The causes of brain fog are not widely understood and there are many factors that may contribute to the development and onset of brain fog symptoms, including (but not limited to);
- Dehydration: Water makes up almost 75% of the brain. Just like the body needs water to function, so does the brain, so much so that it has recently been discovered by scientists that there’s a link between hydration and cognitive ability.
Research shows that dehydration has negative effects on aspects of cognitive function, including short-term memory and attention span, symptoms which are also characteristic of brain fog.
- Nutrient deficiencies: It is believed that several nutrient deficiencies could play a role in contributing to brain fog symptoms, including (but not limited to):
- Vitamin D: Plays a key role in several aspects of health, including brain function. Researchers have found that vitamin D is present in brain tissue and that people with higher concentrations of vitamin D in the brain have higher cognitive function.
- Vitamin B12: An important micronutrient that is required for the development and function of the central nervous system. Deficiency of B12 has been shown to cause deficits in many aspects of brain function including memory, thinking, and judgement-some of the common brain fog symptoms.
- Omega 3: 35% of the human brain consists of omega 3 fatty acids known as EPA and DHA. Both EPA and DHA support brain function by optimising communication between brain cells. DHA in particular plays an important role in learning and memory, whilst EPA helps to regulate inflammation in the brain.
- Iron: This is required for cognitive function and brain development. Iron deficiency is associated with impaired cognitive function and difficulty concentrating.
Other nutrient deficiencies that may be associated with brain fog include (but are not limited to); magnesium, choline and Vitamin C.
Minor head injury: Brain fog following a head injury is extremely common. According to research, brain fog is one of the most common symptoms of concussion.
Fatigue: It is believed that fatigue and brain fog have a synergistic relationship. Brain fog may be experienced by those with both acute (short-term) fatigue (perhaps due to a poor night’s sleep, for example) and chronic types of fatigue, such as in cases of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS – also known as ME) and fibromyalgia, of which brain fog is one of the most common symptoms.
Chronic stress (HPA dysregulation): Disruption, which can cause persistent and accelerated release of these stress hormones, can result in dysfunction of the HPA axis, leading to a condition known as adrenal fatigue, where the adrenal glands become overworked and underproductive.
Candida (yeast) overgrowth: an overgrowth of a type of yeast known as ‘candida albicans’ in the gut has been linked to a condition called dysbiosis (an imbalance of gut bacteria), which can cause gut inflammation. This inflammation is thought to inhibit the communication between the nerves in the brain, leading to brain fog.
Blood sugar imbalances: When blood sugar levels are out of the normal range, whether too high or too low, brain fog is a common symptom, according to research.
When blood sugar is low (hypoglycaemia), there is insufficient glucose to fuel the brain cells, which affects how the brain cells function. Confusion, inability to focus/concentrate, fatigue, headaches, and irritability are hallmark symptoms of low blood sugar levels.
When blood sugar levels are too high (hyperglycaemia), not only can damage occur to the blood vessel walls, resulting in poor blood circulation to the brain and a decline in cognitive function, but this also increases the risk of development of systemic inflammation.
Alcohol: Alcohol can have short and long-term effects on the brain, which can contribute to cognitive impairments that are associated with brain fog. Over time, frequent alcohol use causes structural changes to the brain, such as a reduction in the size of brain cells.
Infection: Viral infections have been shown to cause long-term changes to how the brain cells work. COVID-19 is a perfect example of this. One of the most common post viral symptoms reported following Covid infection is brain fog.
Hormone imbalance: Hormones such as oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, DHEA, insulin, and thyroid hormones play important roles in many aspects of brain function. Any imbalance of these hormones can lead to changes and alterations in brain chemistry and cognition that affect mood and cognitive abilities.
Declining levels of oestrogen for example in women going through the menopause may cause memory problems and mood fluctuations, whereas in men declining testosterone levels may cause mental fatigue.
Depression: According to studies, depression is associated with deficits in memory, inability to focus and/or concentrate, slowed reaction times, and difficulty in processing information.
Medications: Many medications interfere with how hormones and neurotransmitters transmit signals between brain cells.
How to get rid of brain fog
Knowing how to get rid of brain fog could help to support your mental clarity and optimal cognition. Try the recommendations below to help improve your brain fog symptoms;
Stay hydrated: the recommended amount of water intake for the average adult is 2 litres per day (equivalent to approximately 8 small glasses). If you’re not currently consuming this amount, it is important to build up to this amount gradually.
Get enough sleep: research shows that brain fog symptoms are made worse with lack of sleep. The recommended amount is a minimum of 7 hours per night for an adult. Read more about how to improve your sleep.
Regular exercise: exercising regularly induces structural and functional changes in the brain that have positive benefits on cognitive function and wellbeing, according to studies. Exercise has been shown to help improve energy levels, sleep, and mood, alongside reducing stress and anxiety.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet: make sure you’re consuming important nutrients to support your energy levels and brain function. Your diet should be based around whole foods with a focus on healthy protein, such as white meat and fish, nuts and seeds, beans and pulses, as well as wholegrains, fruit, and vegetables (dark green leafy vegetables in particular).
Eat plenty of protein: the body uses the amino acids found in protein to generate neurotransmitters such as Serotonin, Adrenaline, Noradrenaline, and Dopamine, all of which help improve mood, motivation, concentration and memory, and contribute to stress management. Low levels of these neurotransmitters can leave you feeling lethargic, distracted, and unmotivated.
Blood sugar management: Eating little and often and consuming plenty of healthy protein and fibre can help to keep blood sugar levels balanced. It’s important to avoid going for lengthy periods of time without eating, since this can increase the release of stress hormones, namely cortisol.
Alcohol intake: From a general health perspective, it’s recommended not to drink more than 14 units per week. For adults who drink as much as 14 units per week, it is best to spread this evenly over 3 days or more.
Correct any nutritional deficiencies: for example, if you’re anaemic and low in iron, taking iron supplements may increase your production of red blood cells and reduce your brain fog symptoms.
Support your gut health: Probiotics can help to redress the balance of microbes in the gut, and reduce proliferation of yeast and, therefore inflammation in the gut. Read more about the link between your gut and brain.
Brain fog supplements
You might like to try our aguulp for brain formula as a brain fog supplement, as it’s designed to support your concentration levels and improve your cognitive focus. Improve brain fog symptoms with our easy-to-take supplements, which include:
B vitamins play a key role in energy production and are directly involved in metabolic reactions to produce energy. Deficiencies of these nutrients can affect the rate at which energy is produced.
- B2, B6 & B12: play a role in the conversion of Serotonin, the neurotransmitter that’s involved in regulation of mood and sleep. Low levels of serotonin can lead to emotional disturbances, depression, and poor cognitive function.
- Vitamin B2: contributes to the normal function of the nervous system. It is involved in many bodily functions, including the absorption of vitamin B6, which is critical for normal brain function. Research suggests a deficiency of this vitamin may result in delayed or slowed mental response.
- Vitamin B6: may help prevent mood and anxiety-related problems. There is also some evidence that deficiency of this vitamin may result in lower than average memory performance in some people.
- Vitamin B12: deficiency has been associated with neurocognitive disorders. Some studies have also shown supplementation with B12 can reverse impaired mental function as a result of B12 deficiency.
Magnesium: is essential for the health of the nerves because it plays an essential role in nerve transmission and neuromuscular conduction. It also plays a protective role to the brain cells. The brain contains high concentrations of magnesium. Deficiency may result in confusion, insomnia and depression, irritability, and chronic fatigue. Magnesium may also help reduce stress and improve mood, according to studies.
L-Carnitine: plays a vital role in fatty acid metabolism, which is converted into energy. A deficiency can lead to reduced energy production. L- carnitine has been shown to help improve low mood and memory and has also been shown to be useful for chronic fatigue syndrome and brain function in addiction disorders, such as in alcoholism.
L-theanine: an amino acid which is believed to have a positive effect on mental performance. It is described as a relaxing agent without the sedative effect. It is also reported to exert stress relieving properties and improve attention span. Research suggests L-theanine helps regulate aspects of brain function in humans.
L tyrosine: a precursor of adrenaline and neurotransmitters involved in mood regulation. It has been shown to prevent cognitive decline, to a certain extent in response to physical stressors.
Citicoline: a brain chemical that occurs naturally in the body. Citicoline is believed to increase chemicals in the brain that are involved in brain function, including specifically, cell communication.
Phosphatidylserine: this is vital for the maintenance of the brain cells. It supports human cognitive functions, including the formation of short-term memory, the consolidation of long-term memory, the ability to create new memories, the ability to retrieve memories, the ability to learn and recall information, the ability to focus attention and concentrate, the ability to reason and solve problems, language skills, and the ability to communicate – exactly what you want from a brain fog supplement
Lemon balm: has been shown in some studies to be useful for the treatment of anxiety, stress, and neurodegenerative disorders. It is believed to contain chemicals that seem to have a sedative, calming effect without causing drowsiness.
From helping you to get rid of brain fog symptoms to improving your chance of a good night’s rest, aguulp liquid supplements are designed to help you look after yourself better, so you can keep feeling like your best self. Shop our full collection today.
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