Several years ago I had a crazy bout of what I thought was depression. I could not get out of bed, I didn’t have interest in my daily activities, I couldn’t hear what my children were saying to me. This went on for months until I went to see a doctor and he did a complete blood count. When the test came back we found out I was very anemic and on the verge of needing a blood transfusion. Ever since that day I found out that I was anemic, I’ve had episodes of this condition. Now that I’m used to it, I can tell when my iron is low. I start getting shaky and I will even have symptoms of hypoglycemia. Well, for the past week the only symptom I’ve had is a sort of brain fog, not being able to concentrate, not being able to make decisions, and not being able to think of what my own name is… my eyes are even heavy as if I had been outside in the hot sun sleeping. I feel like I Need to sleep. At night I toss and turn, knowing full well my body is exhausted and I am over tired, I still cannot sleep well. I feel as if I am in a London fog.
Here’s what I found out:
Brain fog is a common condition. It affects people of all ages and is characterized by a state of confusion and a decreased level of clarity. Brain fog can cause an individual to be abnormally forgetful and detached. It can also lead to a feeling of discouragement and depression.
Here are some simple, noninvasive ways you can treat brain fog.
Exercise is of course the best thing to do. It increases blood circulation, which we want. Exercise, especially outdoors, increases serotonin levels.
- Adequate Protein (60 grams a day)
Almost all the neurotransmitters are created from essential amino acids–that is, nutrients found in whole protein that we can’t make ourselves. So you have to give the body the building blocks it needs. In particular, it’s good to boost tryptophan, the precursor of serotonin and melatonin. It’s found in turkey and the malt in Ovaltine (great for helping with sleep). Bananas and plums are also supposed to be good for serotonin levels.
- Gingko Biloba
Gingko has been proven effective against Alzheimer’s Disease and against normal age-related memory loss. They aren’t sure why. They thought it was because it’s a blood thinner, but it’s something else operating on the nerve cells themselves to protect nerve cell health, not unlike estrogen.
Estrogen decreases magnesium levels so this is important for women in both the Jungle and the Desert. Magnesium is necessary for the transmission of nerve impulses (in addition to all the other good things it does)..
- Vitamin B6
B6 is essential to make serotonin, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine, so getting enough is important. Lack of (or too much of) vitamin B6 can lead to nerve inflammation.
- Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is necessary to the normal activity of brain cells and works with B6 and folate. It gets harder to get from food with age and problems with stomach acid.
- No Smoking
Smoking causes all kinds of problems in the Hormone Jungle, but it interferes with acetylcholine and dopamine in particular and with oxygen and the blood’s ability to circulate right.