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Brain Fog: What Causes Short-Term Memory Loss And How To Address Issue? Expert Explains

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Brain Fog: What Causes Short-Term Memory Loss And How To Address Issue? Expert Explains

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By Mugdha Pradhan

Have you ever experienced the frustration of desperately searching for an item, only to realize it was in your hand all along? Or perhaps you’ve absentmindedly worn your glasses on your head while scouring your surroundings for them. These lapses in memory and attention are more than random incidents; they’re commonly referred to as “brain fog.” This phenomenon can cloud your judgment and disrupt your short-term memory, and despite common belief, it’s not necessarily linked to ageing.

Brain fog manifests through various symptoms, including difficulty retaining information, struggling to concentrate or focus, feelings of disorientation, and even lapses in recalling everyday words. Several factors can contribute to these symptoms:

1. Nutritional Deficiencies: Brain fog may stem from deficiencies in essential nutrients like B vitamins, magnesium, Vitamin D, or omega-3 fatty acids. Nutrients play key roles in all physiological functions. So it’s not difficult to guess why a deficiency in them may hinder brain function.

2. Hypothyroidism: Characterised by an underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism, can slow down your metabolism and lead to your brain not getting a steady supply of energy, leading to brain fog.

3. Infections: Underlying chronic infections which are often subclininical can disrupt cognitive function. When your body diverts its energy and resources to combat infections, cognitive abilities, including thinking and language skills take a backseat.

4. Stress and lifestyle factors: Prolonged stress, whether mental or emotional, can be a prime instigator of brain fog. Inadequate sleep and excessive alcohol consumption are also common causes.

5. Medications: Certain medications, including antihistamines, antidepressants, and various over-the-counter drugs like fever and flu remedies, can also induce brain fog. Even prescription medications used to manage blood pressure can lead to similar symptoms.

So, how can you address brain fog? It starts with identifying the root cause. Consider undergoing blood tests to pinpoint the underlying issue, be it a deficiency, infection, toxicity, or chronic stress. You need to work with a credible functional medicine practitioner for this. Once identified, you can focus on addressing the root cause, ultimately alleviating brain fog. Remember that brain fog is not synonymous with age-related memory decline, although some degree of memory loss is normal as you get older.

You can also combat brain fog through dietary adjustments. Eliminating seed oils, sugar, processed foods, and junk foods while emphasising high-quality proteins like eggs and meat, along with wholesome options like oats and honey, can help reduce inflammation associated with your diet. For some individuals, gluten can also be a trigger for brain fog.

In conclusion, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional whenever you experience such cognitive lapses. Your body is signaling that something in your activities, environment, or diet may not be compatible. A professional diagnosis can provide clarity and dispel any misconceptions you might have acquired through self-diagnosis online. By understanding and supporting your body, you can effectively combat brain fog and maintain cognitive clarity.

(Mugdha Pradhan is a Functional Nutritionist and CEO and Founder, iThrive. The views expressed in the article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Zee News.)

 

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