Reasons You May Have Brain Fog
What is brain fog?
Brain fog is not a medical condition but a symptom of another medical condition. This is a type of cognitive dysfunction involving: memory problems, lack of mental clarity, inability to focus, and poor concentration.
Some people also describe it as mental fatigue. Depending on the severity of the brain fog, it may interfere with work or school. But they don’t have to be a permanent fixture in your life.
You’ve probably been hearing more about brain fog these days — especially with those recovering from COVID-19 — or at least, experiencing the symptoms yourself. Symptoms of brain fog include poor concentration, extra effort to focus on tasks, problems multitasking or managing too many tasks at once, difficulty keeping track of what you’re doing (example: “Why did I come into this room?”) and difficulty retrieving memory or information.
Common causes for Brain Fog
- Asthma and allergies. Histamine is a chemical produced by the body when it encounters an allergen. Those with asthma and allergies commonly report foggy, which is partly due to high histamine production.
- Inflammatory response. While most of us associate inflammation with joints, did you know that your brain can be inflamed too? While it’s not painful, it will cause you to feel dizzy and lethargic. This can be due to a number of factors, including obesity, inflammatory diseases, and autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia.
- Depression and stress. Your brain is a computer, and when you are experiencing ongoing depression, anxiety, and stress, it can really stagnate your system and memory. And with stressors such as COVID-19 constantly in the brain, it can be difficult to focus on work or even household tasks.
- Hormonal changes. The “baby or mommy brain” can be a very real thing, especially for women who are pregnant or going through menopause. In men, lower testosterone levels may also explain mental exhaustion.
- Cancer treatment. Known as the “chemo brain,” it’s not uncommon during and after cancer treatment for you to feel a bit foggy. It’s most often associated with chemotherapy, but other treatments may be related. These treatments can cause short-, long-term and delayed mental changes or cognitive problems.