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Brainfog: Cognitive Dysfunction

Updated on April 11, 2016
Photos on this article are my own. Article copyright 07/27/09.
Photos on this article are my own. Article copyright 07/27/09.

Reading through the mental confusion.

Brainfog does exist and for those who suffer from its symptoms it can be a very frustrating syndrome to deal with.

Cognitive dysfunction as this phenomenon is more professionally termed is a state of mental fuzziness or confusion that is generally caused by an underlying health issue.

Similar to the mental confusion that a normal person might suffer if they were extremely fatigued, or ill with a very bad head cold, brain fog is no laughing matter. In fact, it can be extremely disabling.

What Causes Brain Fog?

Brain fog feels similar to the symptoms of a bad head cold and the causes of this syndrome are many. It may develop because of an underlying illness such as Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, or Thyroidism. It may also occur if you suffer from heavy metal poisoning, extreme fatigue, brain injury, tumor, or menopausal symptoms.

Although a person may not always discover the cause of their brain fog they certainly know all too well the many symptoms and hardships which this illness causes.


Brain fog is similar to this image. The immediate objects of attention are clear but as there is more to acknowledge it becomes more difficult to perceive.

Source

So what is this foggy feeling in my brain?

Brain fog is usually not classed as a distinct illness although many people spend their lives suffering from this feeling of fogginess.

Doctors are often puzzled by the symptoms of brain fog and many times will just pass them off as being imagined. Don't believe it. Brain fog is real and it can make life very difficult for those who suffer from this syndrome.

The cloud or fog that exists within the brain can make it extremely difficult to function at a normal level in day to day activities. The dopiness or brain fog as it is more commonly termed, comes with an extreme inability to focus on tasks or to remember small details.

Concentration levels can be reduced to the point that driving a motor vehicle or operating other heavy machinery can be hazardous. When driving a person might suddenly find that they don't remember where they are going, or how to use the gearshift, or even how to operate the gas and brake pedals (or for that matter which pedal is which). The effects of brain fog can be so severe that this illness can make even maintaining part time employment difficult.

Lacking the ability to concentrate can make it difficult to read or to remember what has been read. For students or those who require these skills in their job brainfog can make completing the required tasks almost impossible.

For those who suffer from brain fog its effects are all too real.

Highlighted reading strips keep you on track:

Eye Lighter
Eye Lighter

Reading highlight strips can help guide you along the page and prevent your eyes from wandering away from what you are reading.

 

What are the symptoms of brain fog?

1. An inability to concentrate or to focus on details.

2. A feeling of mental fuzziness or cloudiness.

3. A lack of mental clarity.

4. An inability to remember things, events, names, or details.

5. A decreased attention span.

6. Mental fatigue.

7. A feeling of being emotionally distanced or of not caring as much as you normally would in any given situation.

In addition to the above listed symptoms, the individual may also suffer feelings of depression, frustration, or anxiety because of his or her reduced mental capabilities caused by the brainfog.

Autoimmune illness, Fibromyalga, Thyroid, and brainfog.

How Brain Fog affects the reading process.

A person who suffers from Brain Fog can find the basic processes of reading to be extremely difficult. Not only is there a very strong inability to concentrate on what you are attempting to read but you may also not remember your subject within minutes afterwards.

I was twenty six years old and taking University Courses towards a degree in Social Work when I became disabled by a rare illness. One of the added symptoms of my illness was brain fog.

Rather than moving my gaze along the remainder of each page that I was reading, I suddenly found myself reading the same lines over and over again. In an attempt to repair this I began to set a guide ruler or blank piece of paper under each line so I would remember that I had read it. But when I would finally manage to reach the bottom of a paragraph or page I would find myself staring blankly back at the words and trying desperately to remember if I had actually read them at all. Often I would catch myself simply staring at the page in a fog and not reading at all.

Reading had been an enjoyment of mine before my illness but I now found that my foggy brain made it a frustrating challenge. I discovered that I was transferring similar words in for others so that even when I did manage to read something it didn't make a lot of sense. Words such as our became are, and yew would be read as you, so I would then find myself wondering why what I had read didn't seem to make much sense.

Sometimes my not understanding what I was reading occurred simply because I could no longer focus on the details of what I was reading. My concentration span was virtually non existent. Trying to read was now so frustrating and difficult that I no longer wanted to fight through the brain fog to even attempt it.

Although I had loved to read previous to the onset of my illness I have not read a complete book since I became ill. The brain fog turned my love of reading into a distant memory.

Exercise your brain but don't strain it. When you are tired set down your book.

399 Games, Puzzles & Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young.
399 Games, Puzzles & Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young.

Make your brain sit up and take notice by giving it a real workout. Exercising your brain can help you to retain mental alertness. Give your brain a workout today.

 

Omega 3 fats and brain nutrition.

Omega 3-fats are food for the brain and can help to supply it with nutrients needed to remain healthy and alert.

These healthy essential fats can be found in fatty fish such as tuna, salmon, and sardines.

Omega-3 fats are also found in walnuts, olive oil, canola oil, and flax seed.

The Big Book of Brain Games: 1,000 PlayThinks of Art, Mathematics & Science
The Big Book of Brain Games: 1,000 PlayThinks of Art, Mathematics & Science

Learning concepts that you have not attempted before can open up new pathways within your brain. Give your brain a workout today. Exercise your mind into fitness.

 

Tips to aide in the reading issues involved with Brain Fog.

1. Use a guide ruler or dark piece of paper to cover material that you have already read. Drag the guide along with you as you read.

2. Read shorter articles so that you are able to complete them without stress or frustration.

3. Read for shorter periods of time.

4. Read earlier in the day when you are more alert.

5. When it is difficult to read skim articles to find keywords that will help you understand what the article is about.

6. Repeat key phrases or words aloud to yourself. This will help you to understand and to remember them.

7. The Brain Fog will come in varying degrees at different times. To prevent frustration try to read when it is at it's lightest. If you are having a really heavy brain fog day, put your bookmark at your spot, and set your book aside. It will be there waiting for you when you feel better.

Improve your concentration and memory levels using these simple techniques.

Remove distractions from your study area.

Do your reading or studies during periods of the day when you are most refreshed or relaxed.

Do not concentrate for long periods of time but instead take small rest breaks to rejuvenate your mind and then continue.

Try to get up and move around or to practice deep breathing during your rest periods. These techniques will increase your oxygen levels and thereby improve your brain functioning.

Make a conscious point to remind yourself to stay focused. Whenever you notice your thoughts moving away from what you are attempting to concentrate on direct your focus back to the task. Use a guide ruler or other device to keep your eyes focused and not wandering away from their intended target.

Keep a diary or journal of the length of time that you challenge your mind. By keeping track of your successful periods of concentration you may be surprised to notice that these time periods actually increase. Your awareness of the situation is actually one of the first steps in your training process.

A magnifying glass can help you stay focused on what you are reading.

BARSKA Brass Magnifier Set:3 Power, 90mm Hand-Held Magnifier & 42mm Table Magnifier
BARSKA Brass Magnifier Set:3 Power, 90mm Hand-Held Magnifier & 42mm Table Magnifier

Using a magnifying glass can help to focus your concentration on the specific area that you are reading. Stay focused!

 

Exercise may help decrease symptoms.

Exercise can sometimes help to decrease the degree of brain fog that you suffer from. Try getting in a short walk or two throughout the day and see if this will help to improve your condition. Exercise your body - exercise your mind.

When you play mentally challenging games or learn new concepts your brain opens a new pathway within it to store this information. In effect you are increasing your mental capabilities.

Encourage your mind to try new challenges. Awaken your mind and your body. Video games no longer leave you sitting on the couch. The interactive games get you up and moving. Play a game. Exercise your mind.

Reading through the brainfog:

When you become disabled you find ways to live around the negative aspects of that illness in order to acquire the highest quality of life that you are able to.

When the brain fog made it impossible for me to concentrate on my studies I fought to find a way around its cloudiness and discover a means to once again enjoy the benefits of written language. I began by only reading short articles such as those found within the local newspaper or the Reader's Digest magazine.

I found that I could skim the headlines to find the articles that most interested me. I could determine which ones I had enough mental stamina to complete and it was those that I would read in their entirety. Other articles I would simply focus on keywords and sentence groups to get the information I needed from them. Consuming shorter articles allowed me to feel content with being able to once again understand what I had read.

For longer articles I use a process of skimming and reading to acquire the information that I desire from them. I skim the article to find keywords or areas of interest. When I find a key word then that is where my focus stays, I read around those keywords to acquire the information that I am seeking and then I continue to skim the article till I come to another keyword or area of interest.

I now read mainly for research purposes but on days when I feel less cloudy I will read a small amount simply for the enjoyment that it provides.

This is how I have now come to enjoy reading once again. I read bits and pieces or quips and quotes of literature. Books built on short articles that I can pick up and set down again at any time are ideal for working around the mental dysfunction.

Try to trace the triggers which make the confusion worsen.

Keep a journal or notepad handy and use it to write down the periods of time when your brain fog is heavier or lighter. Then make a note of the events which may have triggered this change.

Just as there are triggers which can increase the symptoms of a chronic illness there are also triggers which increase the severity of brain fog.

It could be stress, a food allergy, time spent indoors (indicating perhaps an airborne allergy or exposure to a pollutant), illness, fatigue, lack of oxygen, lack of nutrients, or a heavy work overload, which puts you in an increased state of brain fog.

You are the one who will be best able to pinpoint triggers of your cognitive dysfunction but always consult with your doctor to rule out medical issues which may be the root cause of your brain fog.

My brain fog comes and goes with the severity of my chronic autoimmune system disease. It is much worse the sicker I am and when I am feeling relatively well the brain fog disappears. It is a feeling like a ray of sunshine beaming down from the heavens when this happens. The clarity is amazing.

Open new pathways within your brain.

When you force your brain to learn new concepts it opens up new pathways within your brain.

This means that you can awaken new braincells that are able to store this information and this may increase your ability to learn and to remember.

Good news is that this can be a fun process. You don't have to learn algebra. You just have to do puzzle games or play video games to awaken your brain.

A book stand is a handy helper when you read.

Esschert Design Cast Iron Cookbook Stand
Esschert Design Cast Iron Cookbook Stand

A book stand is ideal for keeping your book open while you work on a project. Perfect for cook or craft books the stand holds your book while your hands are busy doing other projects. Keep your book in place while you read, work on a project, or cook.

 

Enjoying life around the symptoms of brainfog.

Most of my reading now occurs online because reading a complete book takes me virtually a lifetime to complete. I pick it up, read an article within it, and then set it back down again.

Because I have so many bits and pieces of items that I need or want to read and so little concentration with which to do it, the book I am reading may not be picked up again for a month or two. I don't mind. This is how I must read if I am to read at all.

So which book will I choose to read next? Naturally it is a book that is based on bits and pieces of life and one that I can read a complete article at any reading. It is one acquired from the Chicken Soup group of books. These delightful books carry tiny yet delightful stories and antidotes from life. They make for a delightful reading adventure even through the cloudiness of Brain Fog. I highly recommend the Chicken Soup books.

Do you suffer from brain fog or another cognitive disfunction?

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    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 7 years ago from USA

      Hi, nice work!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I get "brain fog" when I am tired - this is a great lens :) Very helpful!

    • profile image

      LivingLifeHealingCenter 7 years ago

      Great article! Well done! I've suffered from 'Brain Fog' that once got so severe that I was fearful to go to a neurologist to find out what was going on. I usually like to know the truth upfront so I can deal with it, yet this truly frightened me. The thought of losing my ability to use my intellect caused a great deal more anxiety than necessary. As some know, I have Lupus with a secondary diagnosis of moderate to severe arthritis. This is the reason for my 'Brain Fog.' Whether it lapses into dimentia later on, no one can answer. My neurologist placed me on Aricept and I almost immediately regained my ability to think, to remember and to complete any task that I set out to do. Oh, I still have a bad day from time to time, but it is no longer a daily issue to expend my worrisome energy which is always a waste of time. Aricept may not be an answer for others, but it was a defining moment in my life. Onward and upward!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 5 years ago from UK

      Brain fog sounds incredibly frustrating, although it's clear you are staying positive and finding great ways to cope with your own personal obsacles. Thanks for sharing all your helpful insights into this condition. Very true that people don't value 'normal' until they are forced to live another way. Angel blessed.

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      Yes, you already know that I suffer from brain fog, since you blessed my lens "Do Scents Make Sense?" Overpowering scents can totally fog my brain. Additionally, I am allergic to the beautiful little flowers, narcissus. Their sweet scent gives me incredible headaches as well as pressure in the ears, making my brain foggy and my whole self rather dizzy. (Okay, some folks would call me dizzy most of the time, lol!) Thank you for the hints and ideas!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very interesting facts and revelations on brainfog, many more diseases like these lay hidden in human body. Science and physicians get puzzled with so many diseases present in the body. But the fact remains, human body has evolved many immune system to counteract such deadly ailments and continues to do it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You sure hit a lot of nails on the head here, I'm wondering how I missed this excellent article. I've lived with the limitations of brain fog for too long along with dealing with fibromyalgia and sometimes totally misinterpret what I'm reading. For some reason I feel better right now, perhaps from knowing someone more that understands. Way blessed!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      @LivingLifeHealingCenter: There is lack of concentration but brain fog is much more than just that. You can feel the heaviness within your brain. It is like a severe head cold. On days when it is gone, it feels like heaven, the clarity is amazing. I was in remission for 6 years from my illness and I felt like superwoman while I was. I wish that everyone could really know how truly wonderful just being normal really is, but most people don't realize it, until after they have lost it.

      Most of my articles are done in my search to once again achieve a remission before the illness damages my body too much for me to come back.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: Fibromyalgia is one of the illnesses that is often accompanied by severe brain fog. Many with myositis suffer from the brain fog too and do not know whether to attribute it to the severe fatigue, prednisone use, or simply as a symptom of the illness. I find that brain fog is almost as disabling as is the disease itself. I hate it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @Lady Lorelei: I know that hate. Shouted on FB. Feel better my friend....

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 5 years ago

      I don't have anything that causes continual brain fog, although my sister with fibromyalgia fights it daily, but I know that there are times when I just can't think straight. I hope you go back into remission, and soon. I can only imagine how tough it must be to fight with brain fog all the time, since I find my sporadic episodes so debilitating.

    • srsddn lm profile image

      srsddn lm 5 years ago

      It does happen with me at times, may be temporarily when I am extremely fatigued and could not have sleep for a long period.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is really important. I am happy you made a lens on this.

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 4 years ago from Connecticut

      It takes a special inner strength to overcome adversity, and to find ways of coping with special challenges. My daughter astounds me everyday, and I look for these qualities in others. Be well and stay strong!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @TonyPayne: There are so very many factors which can be responsible for brain fog. Illness, age, and fatigue are just a few. It sure is difficult to work around when it is there. That is why I so enjoy working online writing. My articles are short, as well the articles that I read are also short, it fits in with the brain fog.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @Anthony Altorenna: One must adjust or the alternative is pretty scary. Thank you so very much for having such a kind heart. (I can spot that even through the brain fog lol). The very best wishes my friend.

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wow, the things we take for granted, eh? Thankfully I don't suffer from brain fog, but this is a reminder that we need to be thankful and take care of our health by getting proper nutrition. I can't imagine the challenges this has brought in your life, but it's great to see how you've found positive ways to deal with it and still make the best of everyday. Thanks for sharing your experience with brain fog and how you cope with it. Wishing you well in all that you do. Stay blessed my friend!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Good thing no... This is an admirable amount of information and work behind this lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I do get brain fog, I have Scleroderma, I stop mid sentence, totally forgetting what i was saying, I have been driving when I suddenly think "where am I going", also using the keybord on the computor, I see the keys I need to press but press the wrong ones over and over, I backspace and retype and still press the wrong ones argggg it is so frustrating

    • SandraWilson LM profile image

      SandraWilson LM 4 years ago

      Yes, but I seem to be coming out of it. I think that may be due to eating less wheat. I sure hope so as working with it is very hard.

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 4 years ago

      The only time I had really bad brainfog was during a cleanse with a product I'd purchased at the health food store. It was one of the "natural" side effects. I couldn't imagine having it 24/7 long-term. Kudos for creating so many helpful lenses.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @BarbaraCasey: My brain fog comes and goes with the severity of my illness but it never really has left except for when I was in a remission period many years ago. I can no longer trust myself to write as I would if I were normal and I find that I have to constantly check and recheck my work now for errors.

    • fibrogirl profile image

      Dawn Lasmanis 4 years ago from Ocala, Florida

      I have fibromyalgia and it comes with a whole host of comorbid conditions including brain fog. It can be very debilitating at times. Sometimes I'm scared to drive because I can't focus on the other cars around me, stop lights, etc. And like Ladymermaid, writing has become difficult as well. Thank you for sharing this lens. People need to know about this awful condition and how disabling it can be.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @fibrogirl: I drive when I know that I am safe to drive. If I am experiencing heavy brain fog then I get my husband or daughter to drive me. I have built this pattern into my life now since I became ill and it works. Being honest in the assessment of our abilities is very important. It also helps to prevent a great deal of frustration which the cognitive impairment can cause.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: Brain fog is often a side problem of other illnesses. I am constantly rechecking my writing time and time again to remove errors which now so often appear within it. Brain fog certainly makes simple tasks so very much more difficult to accomplish.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      This is so helpful. I am going to come back to review this - social bookmarked and blessed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Lady Lorelei: Hi, I am experiencing a severe brain fog right now. Its been going on for about 1 1/2 years and I have no idea why. I was just wondering what illness you have?

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: I have a jo1 antibodies which are a marker for people with anti-synthetase syndrome. They classify this rare illness within the myositis category as well as arthritis as it involves multiple muscle inflammation and a cross over with other inflammatory illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma.

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 4 years ago from US

      I had a neurological infection they couldn't pin down--the brain fog was so frustrating for me. Wasn't able to drive for over a year. My neurologist finally found some things to work for me. Now, only occasional setbacks.Things are stabilizing now, thank God.

    • profile image

      ses0429 4 years ago

      I was so happy that I found this website that I cried. I had no idea that other people suffered from this debilitating disease. I need a support group! I have been dealing with this for years. I am exhausted because doing the smallest things takes so much work and I have to try so hard to pretend I'm normal like everyone else.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @ses0429: Brainfog is often a side effect of another illness. If you know what is causing your cognitive dysfunction ie: arthritis - fibromyalgia - myositis - brain injury etc then you can join in a support group for your illness. You may be surprised to discover how many other people suffer from this condition. You are definitely not alone.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @choosehappy: Brain fog really is very difficult to live with. One of the main hardships is often the lack of understanding for this condition.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I discovered the cause of my Brain fog when I joined a fibromyalgia group, and found the majority of the members were suffering the same symptoms as myself. I often can't think of names, or where I am going....and even say something entirely different (and inappropriate to the conversation) than I intended. Even writing this has taken me some time as I can't think what I am trying to say. Over time the brain fog is getting worse, probably as I have several medical problems, but it does make me feel better to know I'm not alone. I have bookmarked your page as its very informative......awareness needs to be raised about this debilitating condition, thank you for helping towards that.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: When I first became ill with my chronic illness I also found that the brainfog was one of the most disabling aspects of my disease. I kept voicing my concerns to my doctor and specialist but they said that I should not be feeling that way. It was when I discovered a support group that I learned this brain cloudiness is quite a common syndrome that accompanies various chronic illnesses. I completely agree that there needs to be more awareness for brainfog and especially among medical personal.

    • kislanyk profile image

      Marika 4 years ago from Cyprus

      Lol, that's funny, was actually searching on Google about 'brain fog' and I saw your lens on the first page. Congrats!

      Anyway back on topic. I think I have this problem as well since I've been recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and lots of folks with this disease suffer from it from what I can tell. So learning all I can about being hypo and the main symptoms (brainfog being among one of them) that comes with it.

      Blessed.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @kislanyk: It truly is a very tiny world that we live in isn't it lol. I am glad that you found your way here. Brain fog is a syndrome that is often very misunderstood. Medication for your thyroid should help a lot with your symptoms.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Reading is such a problem for me these days along with incoherent thinking and response that i searched for "trouble reading + misuse of words while speaking" and i got to your article. Thing is it isn't so much incoherent thought which is the problem because I know exactly what to say in my head , its my response to simple questions that really irks the living daylights out of me!!! I just don't know how i end up making a mess of what i should be saying . For eg when i want to say "making a noise" , i will end up saying "creating a sound" ... and if i want to say " not young like you guys" i will say " not lung like " or something really awkward. I feel its part dyslexia and a bout of depression that i went through after i lost my sister and suffered my first heartbreak in a matter of months. This has been happening for a year or so, and since i consider myself fairly intelligent , its extremely frustrating so much so that im losing confidence in my abilities and withdrawing socially. Im worried about the future and want to get better. I have started taking multivitamins but im not sure whether its going to make a real difference. Should i see a neurologist ? Should i inform my parents/fiancé about this (which will be extremely embarrassing) ? What is the way out since i feel its not a major disability at the moment and i can get better with right medication and help

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 4 years ago

      I have suffered from brain fog since the birth of my second child. At first I thought it was because of fatigue (she continued waking up in the night for a looong time). Now I know it has other underlying reasons, but it's just as disturbing.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      i am suffering from brianfog because of propecia.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: You should definitely discuss any major health changes with your doctor. Often the causes of brain fog are difficult to pinpoint. I live with mine and just make changes to my lifestyle to accommodate it (I am constantly checking my work for errors.) Often we lose some cognitive functioning as we age. Omega 3 fats found in oily fish - salmon, tuna, sardines and in walnuts are foods which help to improve brain function. Also challenging your brain to perform new tasks can help to find new pathways in the brain for learning. Playing online games, doing crosswords, sudoku, and other mind teasing puzzles can help a great deal to improve mental functioning.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 4 years ago

      I must admit that I have been suffering from some form of brain fog since I filed for divorce ... and got divorced. This year, I hope to come out of that fog and move on to a new cognitive state. Won't you join me? ;)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I relate far to well with everything that this article is talking about on a lot of levels. Nothing is ever clear in my head whether it be reading a book, talking to a person, watching a movie, or even my memory. I never knew what it was because since I was ten I have always told my mom, when trying to explain things, that I could never find the words to explain myself in a way for people to understand and also I always had a lot of trouble reading. Right when I finish a paragraph and start a new one I instantly forget what I read in the previous paragraph and that is how it is like with my memory as well. I have tried different techniques and holistic medicine because God knows western medicine does not do anything but worsen your brain fog. But it just affects all aspect of my life from emotional, physical, mental and spiritual and all I want to do is find a way out. Its tough. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Hi. It's an interisting article, my question is - can this brain fog somehow be associated with comminicative problems? It seem like I'm beginning fell this brain fog when there are many people around me , and it makes communication absolutely impossible. I study in the university but sometimes i can't remember what class I'm going to have and what what was in the previous class. Can this be a brain fog and how do you think can this be somehow connected with lack of communication and/or autism? I'm also diagnosed with celiac disease, however its fom is not very acute, i break the diet sometimes. ps. My native language is Russian, sorry for any mistakes.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: We really are all very unique individuals and special in our own ways. If you have suffered from the brain fog for many years then it is likely that it is not hazardous to your health but more just a very large inconvenience like mine is. Cognitive difficulties can be very disabling. You should keep a notepad and jot down periods when your brain fog is worse and when it is lighter. Make notes of any triggers which may have increased it's intensity. ie: certain foods you may have an allergy to, being overtired, being stressed. Once you know things that work against you then you can try to steer away from these triggers. Always if the brain fog is a major concern please talk to your doctor as there are often times underlying causes.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
      Author

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: I know there is an brain overload that college and university students can experience. When I was in college and it happened we said that our "Brain was fried." I think it occurred because students just have to learn so much and so quickly that it is an overload. Please talk to your doctor to see if there is an underlying condition causing your cognitive problems. There often is.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      ive had brain fog now for 18 years and for the last 2 years it has gotta a lot worse , i have traced my rections to tannens is foods what are your thoughts about the possiblity of tannes cuasing this

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 4 years ago

      I have most definitely had my share of brain fog. Lately, it has been getting better (noticeably) - I've cut out all wheat from my diet (I'm on week #3) and I think it is really helping. By the way, great selection of reading here! :) Hugs and Squid Love to you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @SandraWilson LM: I would like to add something about gluten. Almost everyone would benefit from going gluten free but especially people with issues like brain fog. Gluten causes inflammation in the brain (and in general) which I probably don't have to say is not good. My brain fog has gotten better since I started this. God Bless and best wishes for anyone dealing with this issue!!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      My fog started a year ago. Came on suddenly and was very overwhelming at first. Driving felt like I was floating. I wondered if it was anxiety, but really no other symptoms of anxiety. I sleep well, good appetite, no depression. I've had every test known to man, extensive blood, urine, stool, hair analysis, MRI. I even had the mercury fillings in my teeth replaced for fear of toxicity. Only thing that we found was elevated yeast or candida. I have altered my diet to eliminate most carbs. My fog is better but still present all the time. Not knowing for sure what causes it is the most frustrating. I realize there are people much worse off than me, but for someone who has been busy for my entire life (59) it's very aggravating. Anyway thanks for listening and good luck to all of you fellow sufferers.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @choosehappy: What did your neurologist find that worked?

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      Wendy Hughes 4 years ago from Charlotte

      I believe my brain fog comes from my body dealing with debilitating pain from my juvenile RA. Pain is such a distraction. Thanks for sharing and caring! Be BLESSED!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
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      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: I do not have a neurologist. The brainfog is just an unfortunate aspect of the inflammation and fatigue of my chronic illness. When I feel better then it is better and when I am in a deeper flare up then my brain fog is worse. I have learned to live and work around. My articles on first publish are generally riddled with errors which I discover and correct as I go along lol.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have really terrible brain fog.I am 27, suffer from depression, and from liver problems and some kidney problems and I have Vitamin D deficiency and irritable bowl syndrome. I cannot concentrate, I feel dizzy every day, I Cannot remember things I did a week ago, I cannot remember faces anymore, I mean strangers faces, Like people you see at the cash register or at the gym etc, I used to be really good at remembering details or faces, not I cannot remember either. I Went to the beach last weekend and it is a big blur or water and sand, can't really remember anything else. Cannot concentrate, can't really watch movies. My memories feel like dreams. I feel like in a state of dreaming constantly. I lost interest in doing things or going out. At home I Feel okay but outside and in a crowd I feel like I am going to lose my mind. The bigger the crowd the blurrier everything gets.

      Something I have noticed that triggers the dizziness more is when I get really angry or stressed out, or nervous. If I get really angry about something everything around me feels like it is moving. Sometimes I feel like I am maybe going to lose my mind or get some kind of dementia or blindness. No Doctor can help, they don't even understand what's going on. I am confused and I am scared a lot. I Feel like I am going to lose my mind forever.

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      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: Please return to your doctor and explain again just as you have just said everything here. Don't give up on yourself. Keep looking for help until you will find it.

    • mindtrip88 profile image

      mindtrip88 4 years ago

      Thank you for posting, I have a lot of problems with this too.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I've been dealing with brain fog for about 7 years, since I started high school. I've gone through psychiatrists and doctors, and tried ADD medication, all of which didn't help. I used to have sudden mental openings through which I could feel things like I used to for a couple seconds, which doesn't happen anymore. And after almost giving up hope, my therapist said: "try drinking coffee." While it hasn't cured my brain fog, it helps a ton. I drink a small cup during every meal, and since then I've noticed that I can read for longer periods, and focus more attentively on the topic of conversation. Coffee isn't a cure, but it certainly helps me get through my day and soak in more information.

      For those of you that are worried it will get worse: it won't. It has remained more or less constant for me, and only tends to get worse when I'm in a new environment, or with lots of people/people I'm trying to impress. Rather than seeing it as a problem, I've started viewing it as a signal that I need to just zone out and listen to music for awhile for my brain to catch up to all the information, or get out of there. You won't lose your mind, but it is difficult to fix. However, as this article suggests, while it may not be something that will go away, there are ways of adapting to it that can make your life start feeling normal again.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
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      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: Thank you so much for posting this. Sometimes the simplest things work so very well to help alleviate worrisome symptoms. I also use coffee some days to give me that added mental boost. An interesting trivia on coffee is that I have heard that it can aid with symptoms of asthma as well. We are all so very special and we really do have to learn as best we can to work around the qualities which we are blessed with.

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      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @mindtrip88: I am very glad that you found your way to my webpage on the symptoms of brain fog. It is amazing how many people suffer from this syndrome. Many it seems because of an underlying condition.

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      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: Some cases of brain fog can be linked to food allergies. Most cases do have an underlying cause of some sort.

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      MamaWildcraft 4 years ago

      Very thorough! I often experience brain fog as a side effect of caffeine. I love a nice cup of coffee in the morning so I've had to switch to decaf tea.

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      marie-churchman 4 years ago

      Really good article. I have to deal with brainfog nearly every day....sometimes all day. I have fibromyalgia and narcolepsy and now going through menopause so it's all much worse lately. These are good tips. Absolutely best to exercise the brain.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Wow, I'm so glad to come across this site! I have been going through brain fog since Sept. Almost like a slight buzz or medicine head feeling. It started out as an occasional feeling...then it would last during PMS, now it's with me pretty much every day! I have had an MRI, echocardiogram, all kinds of bloodwork and multiple misdiagnosis! I have been seeing a homeopathic doctor for the past two months now and it seemed to help 4 weeks in...but brain fog is still here! I have done a detox, cut out gluten and taking adrenal support. Is it my eyes?? Have they missed something?? Constant second guessing! I'm 35, healthy, do yoga etc...etc..my doctor seems to think maybe peri-menopause bc I will get night sweats during my period and an occational heat flash. She wants me to give a birth control a try for possible hormone balance. At this point I am so frustrated. Glad to know I'm not alone!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
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      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: Brain fog is quite common and the reasons why it arrives are many. A hidden illness, inflammation, food allergy, and even fatigue can be the underlying cause. Lately I am beginning to wonder if the new CFL lightbulbs may also bring out the symptoms as well.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
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      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @marie-churchman: A good balance of rest, diet, and exercise does seem to help with the heaviness of the brain fog. When I first complained of my symptoms I was extremely frustrated by the doctors responses to it. For me it helped to simply discover that brain fog really was a distinct phenomenon that many people suffer from.

    • Jhale Moreno profile image

      Jhale Moreno 4 years ago

      This a really great article because it tells people about something which is horrendously cast off as a fake illness. People need to realize this brainfog is something dangerous and that they can do something about fixing it.

      However, I need to point out that only animal omega-3's (EPA and CLA) can give the benefits to the brain unlike what that article tells you. Nut oils and such plant sources may have significant levels of omega-3's but these are ALA (Alpha-Lineolic Acid) form and only aid certain aspects of the body like skin health, but not the brain's functioning.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Oh am I glad I came across your site tonight. I have just had a horrible day of brain fog. I've had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and MCS along with profound tinnitus for nearly 13 years now. It's a very disabling symptom especially when I had to go food shopping today and to add to that I have just bought myself a car at a price too good to knock back which I am hoping will enable me to get to local places where I live and never get to visit and to also get me out of the house as I spend a lot of time alone. I wanted to mention that for reading and focus issues I have used an Australian Bush Flower Essence called Bush Fushsia which greatly assisted me with concentration. I have just come back from a trip interstate a month ago now and am paying the price for doing so now with my health.Thanks for this wonderful blog on a condition that healthy people are hardly aware exists.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I was ina car accident 9 years ago. I have suffered varying levels of brainfog since then. I describe them as "spells"....wondering if it is some type of seizure? I have been to doctors and neuroligists, the only relief has been accupuncture. The fog for me is accompanied by a head pressure...not a headache but pressure in and around my forehead. As i get older ( now 41) I do think my cycle comes into play. Everything feels so blocked. My emotions can't move, my thoughts can't process, noise is unbearable and irritating. This has been very hard for my family, very hard for me. Accepting that I am now this new foggy person has been a real challenge. It is depressing.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this helpful info about brain fog. I've wondered if chronic stress can also be a factor.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
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      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: Extreme or chronic stress can cause so very many problems that there certainly is a likelihood that it may be a factor. Fatigue can definitely cause the brain fog to occur and it is often a factor in those who suffer from deep stress.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: It's not propecia. It's the stress and the depression you're feeling because you're losing your hair. That's what has created the brainfog. Look at all these comments, almost everyone who's having the symptoms has gone through some form of extreme stress/depression. Mine happened when my parents moved me away from all my family/friends because of "financial reasons" and we had to live in a car and subsequently in hotels. That was 7 years ago, but the effects are still there unfortunately.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I've been dealing with this problem for a long time now. One of the things that I experience is not being able to tell dream from reality. So for example, if I wake up from a dream, I have to make sure that I'm really awake. And the same thing when I'm dreaming; I can be dreaming and wondering if I'm actually dreaming or if it's just my brainfog getting worse than it already is. It's kinda terrifying. I'm 26 btw.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I 'coined' this term years ago when trying to exlain to friends and family how I felt. I am 40 and have been living with this since as long as I can remember - since highschool. have asked doctors but they do not acknowledge that it is in fact a condition. Went to a naturopath, did the detoxe/cutting out sugars etc. nothing worked.

      I live it now, and accept that I will never be as functioing as I would like. I have 2 degrees and would love to do more but it such an effort to concentrate. I often get so upsset because I know I couldve done so much more if it wernt fo this crap condition I am forced to live with every single day.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
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      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: If you have not seen a doctor about your cognitive issues then I would suggest doing so just to rule out physical factors which could be an issue. There are unfortunately many reasons for the brain fog. It is definitely someone that quite a few of us suffer from on a daily basis. I was 26 when my chronic illness was diagnosed and my brain fog began. I wish you health.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
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      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: Thank you for sharing your experience with this phenomenon. I find that I spend a lot of my time correcting my mistakes. As a writer I am constantly astonished but the mistakes I continually make. It certainly makes my job just a little more difficult then it would be for a healthy person.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      I must say, much of this sounds familiar, and fibromyalgia may be the cause. I've heard of that. In fact, just go to the forum tonight for an example of how it manifested in me today. You sure have a lot of information on how to cope with the condition and you show courage in putting it forward. Doubtless, it will help many people who think they suffer alone to realize this is more common than many know.

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      Renderus 4 years ago

      Having suffered a career ending traumatic brain injury while riding a bike in Kyoto 2020 (hit by a car impelled head first into a nearby brick wall), the most difficult adjustment was not the immediate intracranial haemorrhage and dominant hemispheric stroke, but the ongoing brain fog and the misunderstanding of persons closest to me.

      They seem to feel I should "be normal" 24/7 and tend to lean on me rather than understanding my ongoing, and in some ways, worsening mental condition.

      Communicative confrontation has never been my strong suit.

      I worry I may end up giving way to a guardian of my life and business affairs. I fear telling those closest to me how "my brain fog" impedes me now and can some form of "dementia" be very far around the corner?

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      Not only do you have a lot of important information here, I like how you made suggestions on how to help people who suffer with this.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I've been going through this for about 2 months now. I woke up one morning and it was just there and didn't go away. I'm almost positive it's from the overuse of my brain. At first I thought I had some sort of brain injury but found out it wasn't that, so I researched and found this is exactly what I have. It's nice to know but discouraging knowing ill probably be stuck like this my entire life. I'm 20 and in college about to take 16 credits this coming up semester. This is very scary

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      When I was young I went through school suffering from headaces worried a lot but I understood what was taught to me and was very alert and quick minded. When I turned 17 just getting out of HS. I was working at a paint store when I felt this light headness come over me and everything became foggy and when people talked to me it was very hard to understand what they were saying and could not understand what was being taught to me. I felt like I was shut off fro reality. I went to my parents and they took me to a neurologist and had several test done even a spinal tap and found nothing wrong and that it was mental but my parents did not want to hear that. I am now 58 and never got rid of the brain fog. It has destroyed my life because every job I went to I failed at and was let go. I went into a very deep depression and tried all medications to help me but did not work. I cried so much because of rejection and gave up looking for a job because of being hurt again. I know how bright I was before all this happen to me and to take a job cleaning toilets makes me feel like an idiot and deppresses me even more. I am married with two children and have given up on life and if it wasn't for my kids who love me I would end my life. No dr. has any idea what I have. Thank you for listening god bless you all.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I too am glad to have found this site! Brain fog is something I thought was just how I am..... cause same as you, after having MRI, homeopath visits, numerous different naturopathic visits, Bowen therapy, chiropractic manipulations, eye checks, blood test, birth control pill, adrenal support, remove gluten, remove lactose, exercise programs, ...... and the list continues................!I have felt brain fog 'drugged is how I describe it- 24/7' for over 20 years. Starting with blued vision in 1998 followed by a few migraine's and the cloud hasn't lifted since, progressively getting worse as the years pass. Now age 38, I sometimes don't know when I'm awake or asleep. Every time I visit the doctor I still always reminder her how I am still feeling and that it is getting worse but after the MRI 5 years ago the doctors response is now always, 'well, you don't have a brain tumour' so, you just have to learn to live with it. It is tough living with a debilitating issue that seems to have no fix however, my brain has suffered for 20 years and back than there was no email communication like this site to share our storys so hopefully because you have only experienced this for 10 months you can continue to get support that wasn't available to me 20 years ago. I do however know that when I exercise everyday this really helps and the cloud does lift for a short while. Your not alone and yes it is a frustrating thing to happen to us but with this webpage hopefully we will all learn to help ourselves as it seem to me that the professionals have placed us in the 'too hard basket'. keep trying to find answers, look outside the box. All the best!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi Ronnie......you may want your neurologist to order an mri of the brain & cervical spine to check for a condition called chiari malformation. Google it. Hope you find good health soon

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
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      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: I think when we live with a health issue that the medical world does not seem to understand that we must be very supportive our self. Learning to live the best that we can within our illness is so very important. We are who we are for some reason. I like to think that it is not a bad life, but that we are just different, and as such live differently than the norm. I wish you all the very best.

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      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      @lesliesinclair: My brainfog came on with my chronic illness and at the time I found I could deal with the pain but it was the cognitive dysfunction that stole my ability to read, think, and write, so it was a factor which was very disabling. I work around it since then but it can be disheartening because this is such a very misunderstood aspect of so many illnesses.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      I'm pretty sure I've had this for years. Most of the time, I can't remember what happened five minutes ago. I go to say one thing and the wrong thing comes out. I can't think of anything to say much of the time and most days feels like I'm walking around in a daydream. It's horrible and there's nothing that can fix it.

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      Anja Toetenel 3 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      Yes, I have brain fog as a symptom of chronic Lyme Disease. I'm disabled too, but found my way in this new 'life style'. Thank you so much for the reading tips, I miss reading books, etc. But I never give up and keep on trying to make it! I recognized a lot in your great Lens. Thanks!

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      Nathalie Roy 3 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Brainfog yes, it come with my hypothyroidism although now that I have the proper dose of hormone replacement it's much much better (and too much brain fog is a good sign for me that I need to get blood tests and have my dosage redone). But I won't never be 100% focus I guess, I need to live with it.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
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      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      @FanfrelucheHubs: There are many illnesses that have brainfog as a side symptom and often the individual and the doctor do not understand it or just pass off the symptoms till they become an issue. I found it to be one of the most disabling aspects of my illness.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
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      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      @darkflowers: Indeed. I now read very short articles or scan keywords to find key points to read. I find that I use a very different method to read now then I used to.

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      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: Often it is learning to live around the symptoms and doing the utmost to use every available tool at your disposal which helps. ie: doing brain tasks early in the day, insuring that you eat a balanced diet and get extra omega-3 in there, exercise, exposure to sunshine, etc. It is definitely a condition that if our doctors cannot pinpoint a cause then one that we seem best to find a solution for on our own.

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      Renaissance Woman 3 years ago from Colorado

      I feel very fortunate that I have not suffered from this debilitating condition. A good friend of mine did (from a thyroid disorder) and several of my colleagues have (related to treatment for depression). I appreciated these insights into what must be a very disheartening condition. I would hate it, especially since I love to read more than almost any other pleasure in life. Wishing you all the very best.

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      Nightcat 3 years ago

      Yes, this is me exactly. I can enter a room and forget why I'm there and I've ALWAYS been like that.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
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      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      @Nightcat: Cognitive disfunction comes in many forms and it always amazes me how many people do suffer from it. I think we often just pass it off as tired or being a little not with it that day but then one day we realize that it is simply a part of who we are.

    • CaztyBon profile image

      CaztyBon 3 years ago

      I have moments when I can't concentrate and other times when I forget what I'm doing or going. I can not imagine not being able to read a book that is my love. It sounds like you are learning to live around and through brain fog. Good Luck in continuing to live your life to the fullest!!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
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      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      @CaztyBon: Thank you that is so sweet. It really surprises me how common brain fog is and how many conditions can bring it on. An aging population will also have many more experiencing this syndrome.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 3 years ago from New York City

      No, and although I hope that never changes, your information is a good start on what to do.

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      Frischy 3 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      Yes, I do struggle with this. There are times it is better and other times it seems much worse.

    • ColorPetGifts profile image

      ColorPetGifts 3 years ago

      I used too - meditation cut through it

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I actually think my friend has this. All the symptoms are there.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
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      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      @ColorPetGifts: Under lying illness are a frequent cause of brain fog. Mine came along with my chronic illness and varies in degree depending on how great my flares are at the time.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
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      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      @smine27: Brainfog is caused by so very many factors that it really is more common than most people would think.

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      Renee Dixon 3 years ago from Kentucky

      I feel like I have this now that I'm pregnant but everyone keeps calling it "pregnancy brain". Hopefully it goes away soon! I loved all your tips though, this would be great practice for everyone, but especially people who suffer from it!

    • JessicaLVine LM profile image

      JessicaLVine LM 3 years ago

      People keep telling me I have pregnancy brain. I hate to tell them that their insults are not valid. I'm just naturally the way I am. lol

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      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      @JessicaLVine LM: I have heard of pregnancy brain before and it is a very real syndrome. They are also discovering that people develop brain fog after heart surgery and sometimes after a successful battle with cancer as well. Perhaps the medical field is just beginning to realize how common this phenomenon is.

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      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      @Zeross4: Your pregnancy brain will most likely ease after your little new one arrives. Best wishes for a wonderful labor and delivery.

    • ismeedee profile image

      ismeedee 3 years ago

      I have experienced brain fog a few times in my life due to hypothyroidism, and it's really pretty awful!

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      Food is a big part of my fog for sure.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Very interesting, I used to have Brain Fog and was very depressed, gave up drinking coffee and now i am fine, feeling younger than ever. I find the best medicine for me is, go for a long walk breathing in all that fresh air, don't believe in drugs and pills.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      I don't think so, though I do sometimes lack concentration. Is it the same if you listen to audiobooks? I'm glad you are working out ways to read short articles. It would be difficult to lose that when you loved to read. I hope it keeps getting better.

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      TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

      I am so glad to have never suffered from this. The article really helps me see what this is like for those who have the problem, as close as someone who's never dealt with it can probably get.

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      joseph-obrien-583 3 years ago

      I'm 35 now. As a child, teenager I've been diagnosed with ADHD. I've been given every ADHD drug known to man. Nothing helped but the stimulants made me feel good. I've noticed when I take stimulants whether it is caffeine or Adderall my brain fog goes nuts. I started having reading issues at 21 or so. I also noticed in high stress situations my brain would fog over. I also play sports and have had a few concussions.

    • profile image

      joseph-obrien-583 3 years ago

      I had an MRI of my brain and the doc said I had more scarring on my frontal lobes then he has ever seen. No cure for that. When I do not have brain fog I am very intelligent, love to read and learn. I am an extremely social person so when it hits, it's noticeable to my friends. Because of all this I stay away from board games and especially if I've had a few cocktails. I won't remember the simplest things. The scariest thing that has happened is I was driving over a bridge in Milwaukee and I completely blanked and had no idea where I was. It took about 6 seconds to snap back to reality. That was really scary. Mostly it is manageable though. The things that affect me are stress, being tired, caffeine, alcohol and most stimulants. But, sometimes these won't affect me at all and I have a short period where I feel that my life is normal. I am in sales so I am around a very fast paced environment with some pretty intelligent and witty people. I do my best to keep up but sometimes I just lay back because I don't want to look stupid. I really feel if I didn't have this I'd be a fricking genius.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
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      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      @joseph-obrien-583: Wow. Do they know how the scarring got there?

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
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      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      @TanoCalvenoa: After I write an article I spend days going back over it to check for all the little errors that I put in. It constantly shocks me the mistakes that slip through with the brainfog. I used to trust myself to just write out what I wanted to but I no longer do.

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      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      @Merrci: The mental clarity comes and goes depending on how healthy or fatigued I am. A flare or overdoing things to much definitely makes the cognitive disfunction more difficult to deal with.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image
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      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      @anonymous: Yes definitely. There are so very many factors which influence the thought processes.

    • Randall Guinn profile image

      Randall Guinn 2 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      I used to have really bad problems with brain fog. At first I attributed it to the fact that I had had a couple of strokes, but then it got to the point to where it was just scary. I couldn't remember how to play even simple songs on my guitar. It seemed to come and go though. Then one day I got up and was feeling really tired, so I took a couple B12 vitamins for energy. Later that day I noticed that the brain fog was gone, and began to thinking about what I could have done differently that might have helped my memory. All that I could come up with was the B12, so I continued to take it every day, and I haven't had brain fog since. Then one day I was having trouble with acid reflux, and bloating. I went on-line to see what might be causing these problem, and found out about a condition called Pernicious Anemia. This condition prevents people from absorbing B12, and can cause severe brain fog, even permanent memory loss. There's a test for Pernicious Anemia, they look for something called Intrensic Value. Oddly enough my doctor had ran a test for this, but the results were either lost, or the test wasn't completed. At the time I had already been diagnosed for low blood plateltes and anemia.

      A great article. Sometimes simple conditions can be warning signs of something more complex in the works.

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      Susan Deppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

      This is so totally true. In fact, my oncologist assured me of that fact when I was undergoing chemotherapy just over five years ago. I'm much better now, but there are certain cognitive tasks that still give me trouble, things I could do very well in the past but can't do as much now. Exercising the brain definitely helps. I love your suggestions! Very nicely presented. Thank you so much!

    • Randall Guinn profile image

      Randall Guinn 2 years ago from Pinellas Park, Florida

      I have had problems with brain fog for about four years now, which started after a bad fall. I was diagnosed with a disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis about 30 years ago, which is an autoimmune disease. Most people with this disease suffer from chronic fatigue as well. After the my accident, my skin began burning, and at first I thought that I had a sunburn, but it never got better. Then the palms of my hands began tingling, along with the bottom of my feet as well when I would begin to fall asleep. If I tried to remain in bed, my arms and legs would begin twitching, and sometimes would lead to fairly bad seizures. For several years I had to take an anti seizure medication to sleep. I still have most of these problems. They never went away, but I was able to stop taking the antiseizure medication. I think that I may have fibro myalgia, but men are not supposed to get it very often, so my doctors say no. It's mostly men that get A.S., but over 50% of women with the disease have been diagnosed with fibro myalgia. As far as the brain fog went, I got nowhere with my doctors, but I did make a discovery by accident one day. I had been taking B-12 for fatigue, which never seemed to help, so I had gave up on it. The brain fog had become very bad, and I couldn't do many things that I once did easily. Then one morning I was feeling really tired, and I thought I would take some B-12 for the heck of it. It didn't help my fatigue, but later that day I noticed that I was thinking more clearly, so the following day I took the B-12 again, and again no brain fog. Since then I have been taking b-12 every day, and I haven't had a single day with brain fog. I did some research on b-12 and found out about a disease called Pernicious Anemia, which is a condition that causes many of the symptoms that I have. This is caused by the inability of the intestines to absorb B-12. If you have brain fog, you should really try taking a good dosage of B-12 for a few days. It may help. You might also want to look into getting tested for Pernicious Anemia, as it can be fatal.

    • ThatMommyBlogger profile image

      Missy 2 years ago from The Midwest

      I have Post Concussion Syndrome, and I used to experience terrible brain fog. Curcumin and B12 helped me a lot, but everybody is different. It might not work for other folks with the same problem. :(

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      I get minor brain fog every morning, but it's usually nothing a little coffee won't shake off. I can't begin to imagine how I would function having this all day long and to the degree that you have experienced it. As humans we are nothing without a fully functioning brain. I am glad you have found ways to cope and forge ahead. Great hub.

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