Foggy Thinking

man with confusion forgetfulness inability to concentrate

What causes foggy thinking?

There are a couple of possibilities for confusion, forgetfulness or inability to concentrate (other than Alzheimer’s or dementia) if you feel like your brain isn’t functioning well:

  1. The brain needs a steady supply of glucose to function properly. Foods that spike the blood sugar and cause a subsequent crash in blood sugar can lead to gaps in glucose supply to the brain. Keeping blood sugar stable will sometimes help maintain more stable brain function.
  2. Insulin resistance. Insulin’s job is to move glucose from the blood into the tissue.  If your body isn’t listening well to insulin, glucose doesn’t get moved into the brain tissue for use in brain function.
  3. Inflammation in the brain. Inflammatory triggers like food sensitivities can cause widespread inflammation, not limited to the gut or the skin, but can also cause inflammation in the brain, negatively impacting brain function.
  4. High stress or anxiety. A brain that is overloaded with stress or anxiety, can’t function well.
  5. High ammonia or lactate levels can contribute to foggy thinking.
  6. Under active thyroid function.  Mental lethargy or foggy thinking can be because your thyroid isn’t working properly.  Other associated symptoms can be weight gain, low energy, hair loss and poor temperature regulation/feeling cold.

What is the naturopathic treatment for foggy thinking?

  1. Stabilize blood sugar through healthy, whole foods diet.
  2. Improving insulin sensitivity can be done through exercise, use of herbs and minerals such as cinnamon and zinc and natural substances like N-Acetyl Cysteine and Inositol.
  3. Brain inflammation – test for and remove IgG and IgA mediated food sensitivities and environmental allergies.
  4. High stress or anxiety. Reduce stress where possible, exercise to reduce the effects of stress and treat the cause of anxiety – neurotransmitter balance, hormone imbalance, underfunctioning adrenal glands, vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies.

Blood work that may be helpful for foggy thinking:

hsCRP, food sensitivity blood testing, HbA1c, estradiol, progesterone, LH, FSH, DHEAs, testosterone, TSH, free T3, free T4, ammonia, lactate.