The feeling when you grapple for words, try desperately to remember someone’s name, or even remember something you knew few seconds ago, is nothing but a brain fog. You could think its aging but it happens to individuals across all ages. This feeling could be caused by underlying health issues, but since it’s not taking our breath away, we overlook it as an unimportant thing. There are five common conditions that affect thinking skills which are; medication side effects, inadequate vitamin B12, excessive anxiety and depression, underactive thyroid gland and obstructive sleep apnea. The good news is that these conditions are treatable. Brain fog deprives you of concentration and even causes mental fatigue.
The causes of brain fog are listless but once you understand the cause of your brain fog, the process of fixing it becomes simpler and less arduous. The causes of brain fog include; stress, lack of sleep, hormonal changes, diet, medication and medical condition. Other medical causes of brain fog include; anemia, depression, migraines, Alzheimer’s disease, hypothyroidism, diabetes, dehydration, arthritis, sclerosis etc. food allergies also causes brain fog, especially foods like peanuts, diary or aspartame. It is also a symptom of severe fatigue syndrome.
Medication Side Effects
Some medications impair thinking skills for instance, taking anticholinergic; a medication that blocks the effect of a neurotransmitter that is responsible for the activity in the brain may cause confusion. Other drugs include oxybutynin, Benadryl which works for allergies, Elavil which is used for depression, flexeril for muscle spam etc. Medications with sedative side effect will makes concentration a very difficult task, these types of medications are pain or sleep medications.
Anxiety and Depression
If you experience an acute feeling of sadness for more than two weeks or have anxiety disorder, there is a very high chance of having brain fog that may persist over time. These mental conditions make you unfocused, unable to concentrate, start or end a simple task, recollect a piece of information or are unable to have clear and sharp thoughts. They interrupt your daily activities, your lifestyle, mental and physical activities, and even have a psychological ability. Once brain fog persists over time, even decisions will be hard to make. It is advisable to consult a doctor for the purpose of getting treatments before it worsens.
If brain fog persists, it is best to see a doctor who would perform a physical test to diagnose your brain fog and check for underlying health issues that triggers it. The physical test will examine your mental health, diet, physical activity and current medications. If you have other symptoms, it is advisable to let your doctor know. Brain fog sometimes comes with hair loss, dry skin or weight gain. A blood test can also help detect the causes of brain fog like infections, inflammatory diseases, poor liver and kidney function and abdominal glucose levels. The results will determine whether to go further into identifying other causes or not. However, other tests that can be performed are X-rays, MRI, CT scans, allergy tests, or a sleep study.