Brain Fog 101: Causes, Symptoms, and Natural Remedies

Do you usually find yourself feeling sluggish, cloudy in your brain, confused, unfocussed, or forgetful? Brain fog, although not a clinically recognized term, it’s pretty common. However, this is definitely not something you should ignore and the condition must be treated for at the earliest. Before you explore the treatment options for brain fog, it is important to understand what brain fog really looks like, what are the symptoms, and what causes it.

What is Brain Fog?

Brain fog, as the name suggests, feels like having a foggy, unfocussed, or an unorganized brain. Typically, it may feel like you cannot get yourself to think or organize your thoughts clearly. Characterized by forgetfulness, confusion, lack of concentration, and lowered mental clarity, caused due to lack of sleep, excessive stress, or extended screen-time.

Here are some typical examples of what brain fog might look like in an individual:

  • Not remembering to completing certain tasks
  • Feeling tired frequently
  • Taking longer than usual to complete simple tasks
  • Feeling distracted frequently

Clinically speaking, brain fog can be caused by a host of different underlying driving factors, ranging from inflammation, to nutritional deficiencies, to hormonal changes. All of which can be responsible for determining your focus, mood, and overall sense of energy.

What are the Most Common Brain Fog Symptoms?

Let’s take a look at the typical brain fog symptoms -

  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Low energy or fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Forgetfulness
  • Irritability
  • Concentration issues
  • Insomnia or trouble falling asleep
  • Lack of motivation or inspiration
  • Mild depression

What are the Causes of Brain Fog?

Brain fog causes can be broadly categorized into two parts - lifestyle-related and medical side-effects. Let’s take a look at the most common causes of brain fog.

  • Dietary and nutritional issues
  • Lack of sleep
  • Physical inactivity
  • Environmental toxins
  • Underlying health conditions
  • Chronic stress
  • Side effect of prescription or OTC medication
  • Electromagnetic radiation
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Dehydration

How to Improve Brain Fog?

A wide body of evidence has tied poor cognition to an impairment of energy metabolism in the brain. Below are a few things that might help to improve the turnover and utilization of energy in the central nervous system:

Focus on Micronutrients

Nutritional deficiency is a very common cause of the brain feeling fuzzy. Some nutritional deficiencies that may result in brain fog are Vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folate, Vitamin D, and Omega-3 fatty acids. There are a number of superior quality nutritional supplements that can be included in your regime to tackle brain fog.

For instance, Thiamax contains a specialized for of vitamin B1 called thiamine tetrahydrofurfuryl disulfide, which has been shown to cross the blood brain barrier and improve energy metabolism in the central nervous system - an excellent supplement to combat brain fog! Another great alternative is ThiActive B, a superior quality B-Complex supplement which supplies all of the B vitamins in their active bioavailable form. Vitamin B1 and its supplemental derivatives show great promise for improving brain fog and other forms of cognitive impairment:

For those looking to achieve these potential benefits, ThiaMega contains a unique combination of all three of these thiamine derivatives. It is always important to consult your healthcare provider for a suitable supplementation regime to address your brain fog, although here are a few interventions that may come in handy:

Neuroinflammation as a driving root cause

Immune activation in the central nervous system has been documented to cause severe brain fog. Individuals suffering from “Chronic Inflammatory Response Sydrome” may be unable to improve their symptoms unless they identify and treat the underlying driver of inflammation, which can be chronic exposure to mold, mycotoxins, and associated bacteria. Likewise, this also applies to individuals suffering from stealth infections including Lyme disease, bartonella and babesia.

For more information, watch: - 1 in 5 People Affected? Doctor Answered Most Important Questions on Mold Toxicity

Optimize gut health and address leaky gut

Brain fog can tie directly back to poor gut health, because an impairment in gut barrier function has been associated with neuroinflammation. For more information on how to address leaky gut, see this article (leaky gut article).

Eliminate environmental toxins

Environmental toxins lurk around you all the time - in the air you breathe, in the water you drink, as well as in your homes. Molds, dust, perfumes & air fresheners, pollen, and tobacco smoke and few of the many pollutants and toxins that are present around you.

This extensive and consistent exposure to chemicals can leave your brain feeling foggy, fatigued, and even lead to memory loss. You may not be in a position to control the air you breathe outdoors, but you can and you must regulate the air you breathe indoors.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Use natural cleaning and personal care products
  • Avoid all artificial air fresheners and sprays
  • Use an air purifier in your bedroom to remove the toxins from the air and cleanse the air
  • Consider professional testing for mold and water damage

Quality Sleep & circadian rhythm

Sleep disorders and sleep deprivation is extremely common and one of the leading causes of cognitive decline. Quality sleep is what your brain needs to be able to create new brain cells.

You can improve the quality of your sleep by -

  • Minimizing caffeine intake after noon
  • Not snacking right before bed
  • Staying consistent with a sleep routine
  • Avoiding exposure to artificial light at night
  • Increasing exposure to direct sunlight early in the morning time

Eat Right

Minimize consumption of foods which irritate the gut. Dietary modifications is the first big step you can take to fix brain fog. Identify your trigger foods and eliminate them from your diet. These trigger foods may include items in your diet that may be causing inflammation or gut irritation. These often includes highly refined, processed foods, pasteurized dairy, and gluten-containing grains. Other triggers include vegetables, grains and legumes high in lectins and oxalates.

Focus on non-processed whole animals foods to optimize nutrient intake. This includes increasing the consumption of meats, organs, and fermented dairy products (if tolerated).

Consume healthy fats: Fat is a super fuel for your brain, helping the brain produce essential chemicals for optimal functioning. Healthy fats include butter, ghee, coconut oil and beef/lamb tallow.

Skip vegetable oils: Vegetable oils like sunflower or canola oil are not good for your brain function. Avoiding industrial vegetable/seed oils such as a canola, sunflower, cottonseed, soybean, grapeseed, rapeseed, mustard, and peanut should be top priority. The high Omega-6 fatty acid content may predispose the brain to inflammation, and should therefore be avoided at all costs.

Manage Stress

With the hustle culture being glorified, stress is being worn like a badge of honor by many. However, it’s important to understand that workload and stress does not lead to success.

When stressed, you release the hormone cortisol, which when in excess can lead to damaged brain cell membranes and interference with formation of new brain cells. Being consistently stressed puts you at a risk of chronic health conditions as well as cognitive conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s, depression, anxiety, memory loss, insomnia, and brain fog.


Regular physical activity and exercise results in the release of endorphins, improving the flow of glucose & oxygen to the brain, and burning off the stress hormone cortisol. Physical exercise is, in fact, one of the best ways to improve brain health and function. You don’t have to do intense workouts for this. Even a 30 minutes of daily brisk walk can provide you with some benefits.

Can Brain Fog be Diagnosed?

It is not possible to diagnose brain fog with a single test. However, brain fog may be an indicator of other underlying conditions, which a healthcare professional will be able to identify with a complete health & lifestyle assessment. This assessment can include a complete blood work to detect irregular glucose levels, infections, inflammations, nutritional deficiencies, or compromised liver, kidney & thyroid functions.

When to See a Doctor for Brain Fog?

If you experience any or all of these symptoms, you must get immediate medical attention -

  • Forgetfulness or confusion about how to carry out day-to-day tasks
  • Forgetting important events or information
  • Prolonged confusion or lack of mental clarity
  • Hallucinations
  • Atypical aggression or other personality change


You must consult a healthcare professional if you have developed a brain fog that is interfering with your daily life and won’t go away. Take necessary measures and adopt a brain-healthy lifestyle to manage your overall health.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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