Not thinking as clearly as you used to? Many notice this as we start to age or after we’ve had children. We may notice we’re searching for words, or can’t remember why we just came into the room, or we just forget our train of thought. We might worry that this is a sign of cognitive decline. However, the brain can be negatively affected by many of our systems including our hormones, stress, our digestive system, chronic inflammation, and our detox system. When one or many of these systems aren’t working, our cognitive acuity can decrease.
The traditional medical system will just tell you, this is normal with aging. Or if you get a good doctor, they may tell you to exercise more, which is good. However, that still doesn’t get to the root of the problem. The reality is that brain fog can be treated and improved!
This is where functional medicine shines. As a functional medicine doctor, I do specific testing to find the cause of your brain fog. If brain fog is a major symptom, we will test your adrenal function to tell us how well you’re processing cortisol – your stress hormones. When cortisol is chronically high, that can cause neuroinflammation and lead to brain fog. The adrenals also are responsible for the precursors for your hormones. When your body is chronically stressed, it will prioritize making cortisol over making your hormones. When you have low estrogen or testosterone, that can cause symptoms of brain fog, among many other symptoms.
We’ll also test your gastrointestinal tract (your gut). The gut test I use checks your levels of good and bad bacteria to make sure you have enough good and not an abundance of bad – like yeast or candida. It checks for any infections such as parasites, tapeworms, etc. It checks for inflammation in your gut and to see if you are absorbing your food correctly. Lastly, the gut test checks to see if you have leaky gut. You can see more about leaky gut here. Any one of these issues will cause neuroinflammation and brain fog.
Lastly we’d run an Organix test. The Organix test checks your detox system to make sure you’re able to get rid of the toxins in your body. It tests to see if you have all the nutrients you need like antioxidants and B vitamins.It runs another check on your gut, to look for yeast in your system. It checks your neurotransmitters to see if you have enough dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Any imbalance in the detox system, in nutrient intake, in the gut, or in the brain chemicals could all cause neuroinflammation and brain fog.
Once we have the results of the tests, we come up with a specific plan including diet changes, supplementation, and lifestyle modifications. These plans generally take 3-12 months, depending on how many things we find on your tests.
If you’re experiencing brain fog or are just ready to get your health back, book a FREE 15 minute telephone consultation with me now.