3 Surprising Things that Might be Giving You Brain Fog

Do you have trouble remembering where you put your keys? Or find yourself searching for a specific word during a conversation, only to have it stay on the tip of your tongue? If that’s the case, you might be experiencing symptoms of brain fog.

Brain fog is an umbrella term used in the scientific community to refer to lack of focus, difficulty concentrating, chronic forgetfulness and general mental fatigue. Simply put, it’s the opposite of mental clarity.

As such, it interferes with all facets of your daily life. From forgetting commitments with friends to being unproductive at work, brain fog is an unpleasant thing to experience.

Surprising Causes of Brain Fog

Does all of this sound too familiar to you?

You can start to lift the fog by looking at these three surprising things that could be a factor in the symptoms you are experiencing.

3 Surprising Things that Might be Giving You Brain Fog

1. Probiotic Overuse

Probiotics are important for gut health. However, while having enough healthy bacteria in our digestive system is essential to the brain, taking in too much has disastrous effects.

Recent research shines light on this surprising phenomenon. Lactobacillus species and bifidobacterium bacteria, the two common strains of probiotics taken as supplements were found to produce symptoms of brain fog in patients with a healthy gut.

The culprit? D-lactic acid and L-lactate. These two substances, produced by the probiotic bacteria, colonize the small bowel instead of the colon in people with low acidity levels. This leads to a bacterial overgrowth responsible for the symptoms of brain fog.

In fact, 85 percent of the patients experienced a complete resolution of brain fogginess following the discontinuation of probiotic use.

Not sure how to determine if you’re taking too much probiotics?

Keep in mind that unless you have a digestive disorder, have recently taken a course of antibiotics, or have been prescribed probiotics by your doctor, chances are your gut is healthy.

Eating foods rich in probiotics in your regular diet should be sufficient for your gut health.

2. Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder in which your gut lining is damaged after ingesting gluten products such as rye, wheat, and barley.

The exact mechanism by which it can give rise to brain fog symptoms remains unknown, but research suggests that it is likely linked with systemic inflammation.

In people with celiac disease or even gluten-sensitivity, cytokines (pro-inflammatory proteins secreted by the immune system), are circulating in the bloodstream and bind to the blood-brain barrier. Inflammation spreads to nerve fibers and reduces the speed at which we process information.

If you think you might be suffering from celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity, consult your doctor.

The good news is, following a gluten-free diet was found to completely resolve symptoms of brain fog in most patients.

3. Postural Tachycardia

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome sounds serious, but chances are you’ve experienced it from time to time. It is a condition in which standing up after lying down causes an abnormal increase in heart rate. Think of an increase of at least 30 beats per minute in the few instants after you get up from your bed in the morning.

Recognize yourself? Postural tachycardia could be a cause of your brain fog.

The link between the two conditions is in the irregularity of cerebral and peripheral blood flow.

Think postural tachycardia might be the culprit of your brain fog? Exercising and making positive changes in your lifestyle through diet and sleep are some of the ways shown to reduce brain fog in people suffering from this syndrome.

Whatever the cause may be, you don’t have to suffer through mental fatigue. The condition is readily treatable. If your symptoms of brain fog are severe, we suggest consulting your doctor.

Want to know more about what you can do to improve your mental clarity? Check out our tips to focus your mind.

Images via Thinkstock.

41 comments

Ruth S
Ruth Sabout a month ago

Thanks.

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Hannah K
Hannah K2 months ago

Thanks very much

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Margie F
Margie FOURIE2 months ago

I drink two glasses of kombucha every day. Perhaps I have brain fog.

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Lesa D
Lesa DiIorio2 months ago

thank you Caroline...

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Camilla V
Camilla Vaga2 months ago

thx

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Kathy G
Kathy G2 months ago

Thank you

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Kathy G
Kathy G2 months ago

Thank you

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Janis K
Janis K2 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara2 months ago

none of those... just tiredness

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Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara2 months ago

odd

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