Brain fog is a sign of brain inflammation. When you sprain an ankle and it becomes inflamed, it hurts and you know something is wrong. But brain tissue doesn’t have nerve endings, so an inflamed brain doesn’t cause a pain response that tells you something is wrong.
Instead, it signals you with symptoms such as fatigue, foggy thinking, forgetfulness, lack of motivation, and depression.
Why does the brain get inflamed?
The brain is protected by a thin membrane called the blood-brain barrier. It allows nano-sized particles in and out of the brain as necessary. When the blood-brain barrier becomes over-permeable or “leaky,” just like the gut lining can become leaky, larger particles can get in the brain and trigger the brain’s immune system. The result is inflammation.
Brain inflammation can also result from:
- Chronic systemic (throughout the body) inflammation
- Blood sugar imbalances
- Gut infections
- Heavy metals and other toxins
- Stress and lack of sleep
- Head injuries or stroke
The body’s immune system has built-in mechanisms to regulate and stop inflammation as necessary. But the brain’s immune system does not have this “off-switch,” and inflammation can progress on an ongoing basis without intervention.
Left untended, brain inflammation can damage brain tissue and accelerates brain aging (degeneration). This increases the risk of degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s.
One common cause of brain fog is a food intolerance, particularly to gluten. Many people with gluten intolerance have eliminated brain fog simply by going gluten-free. In fact, research shows gluten is linked to a variety of neurological disorders.
Thankfully, the brain responds to strategies to manage inflammation. Whether the inflammation is from food intolerance, hypothyroidism, toxins, blood sugar imbalances, or other causes, there are a variety of ways to reduce it.
This can not only eliminate brain fog, but also support better brain health and function for years to come.
I recently gave a free webinar about brain fog with Sean Croxton, which you can watch by clicking here.
If you want to delve deeper into addressing your brain fog, please consider my online course, Banish Brain Fog: The Six-Week Brain Rescue Plan.