“Brain fog” isn’t a medical condition. It’s a term used for certain symptoms that can affect your ability to think. You may feel confused or disorganized or find it hard to focus or put your thoughts into words.
Here are some of the most common reasons why you can experience this state.
Many women find it’s harder to remember things during pregnancy and this can be the first time they encounter brain fog or brain freeze. Carrying a baby can change your body in lots of ways, and chemicals released to protect and nourish your baby may bring on memory problems
Women may find it harder to learn or remember things when they reach this stage of life. It happens about a year after their last period, usually around age 50.
Along with brain fog, they also may have hot flashes — sudden sweating with a higher heart rate and body temperature — and other body changes. Hormone supplements and other types of medication may help.
Some kinds of drugs — over-the-counter and prescribed — can cause brain fog. If you take medicine and notice that your thinking isn’t as clear as it should be or you suddenly can’t remember things it is always worth first reading the side effects leaflet.
If still not sure speak to your pharmacist, or see your doctor to have your medication checked.
You need sleep to help your brain work the way it should, but too much can make you feel foggy, too. Aim for 7 to 9 hours. To get good rest at bedtime, you may want to avoid caffeine and alcohol after lunch and keep the computer and smartphone out of your bedroom.
It also can help to get to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
There is no doubt that certain conditions have ‘knock on’ effects on the body and one of these can certainly be the way your memory and retention of information is changed, even if only temporarily.
You may not remember things well or be able to think through problems easily. It’s hard to know if this is linked to the loss of energy and motivation that comes with depression, or if depression affects your brain in a way that causes the fog.
Treatment for your depression, which can include medication and/or talk therapy, should help get you back on track.
The usual treatment is Chemotherapy — a treatment for cancer that uses strong drugs — and it can lead to what’s sometimes called “chemo brain.” You may have trouble remembering details like names or dates, have a hard time multi-tasking, or take longer to finish things.
It usually goes away fairly quickly, but some people can be affected for a long time after treatment.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
This disease affects your central nervous system and can change the way your brain “talks” to the rest of your body. About half the people who have MS have issues with memory, attention, planning, or language.
Learning and memory exercises can help, and a therapist can give you new ways to handle the tasks you have trouble with.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
With this condition, your body and mind are tired for a long time. You may feel confused, forgetful, and unable to focus. There’s no known cure for CFS, but medication, exercise, and talk therapy may help.
Often brain fog is temporary, and it can be affected also by your hormone balance so you may find these articles helpful:
5 Ways To Improve Your Sleep
BioIdentical Hormones For Anxiety and Depression