Brain fog, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and poor memory are all common problems today. Almost everyone is dealing with at least one of these issues, and many deal with more than one, but why are they so common? You may be surprised to know that most of these issues don’t originate in our minds, but are often due to stress, sleep deprivation, a sluggish liver, and inflammation. These issues often clear up when their root causes are addressed, so let’s dive into the causes and some potential natural remedies.
Brain fog, anxiety, depression, fatigue, poor memory, difficulty concentrating, and several other similar issues are usually traced back to the same few root problems. Not getting enough sleep is one of the most common causes, as sleep deprivation can lead to a number of short-term and long-term effects. (We have an article that discusses the effects of sleep deprivation more in-depth here.) Not getting enough sleep can cause brain fog, fatigue, impaired cognitive function including poor memory and difficulty concentrating, irritability, and anxiety. These problems often get worse as the sleep deprivation continues.
Stress is also a possible cause of these issues, likely due to elevated cortisol levels. Cortisol is also known as the “stress hormone” and is responsible for the fight-or-flight response. When cortisol levels are too high they can caues anxiety, irritability, difficulty concentrating, depression, and can lead to adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue refers to a condition in which cortisol levels were elevated for a long period of time, and the adrenal glands “burned-out” and cortisol bottomed out. This can lead to fatigue, depression, anxiety, brain fog, muscle weakness, and other issues. You can check your cortisol levels by getting blood work done, and see if your levels are where they should be.
Another common cause of brain fog and other issues is inflammation. Inflammation is a very common problem today, with many experts beginning to believe that inflammation is at the root of almost every chronic disorder. However, not all inflammation is bad, inflammation also occurs when their is a wound or infection that needs to be healed. The body could not properly heal itself without an immune response (inflammation), but chronic inflammation can be dangerous. Chronic, uncontrolled inflammation wreaks havoc on our bodies and affects all of our organs, our mood, and our cognitive function. There are many things that can contribute to inflammation, with our toxic burden and nutritional deficiencies likely being the biggest contributors. Toxic burden refers to the amount of toxins our bodies deal with on a daily basis, and everyone’s “burden” is different.
Things that can contribute to a toxic burden include air and water pollution, pesticides, plastic usage (more on that here), a diet high in inflammatory foods like processed foods and factory-farmed meat and dairy, chemical exposure from working in chemical plants, welding, etc., and soap and beauty products that contain chemicals. Many people also have nutritional deficiencies, which can make it difficult for your body to get toxins out and fight inflammation. Add chronic stress and sleep deprivation to this, and you’ve got a recipe for brain fog, anxiety, depression, fatigue, and many other issues.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help reduce brain fog, anxiety, depression, etc., but the root causes must be dealt with. The problems will not fully go away until the cause is addressed, so let’s look at what we can do. First, we always recommend that you get blood work done, because it can reveal problems that need to be fixed, many of which have no symptoms. With blood work you can check your cortisol levels, liver enzymes, iron levels, homocysteine, C-Reactive Protein, potassium and calcium levels, vitamin D, and much more. This can make it much easier to know what supplements you do and don’t need.
Whether you get blood work done or not, everyone has inflammation that needs to be dealt with. We encounter toxins every day, so reducing your exposure as much as possible, and giving your body the right nutrients to help it detoxify is critical to our health. You should start by switching to natural products whenever possible. Just take a look at the ingredient label of your deoderant or shampoo and notice how many chemicals are in it, one or more of which is likely an endocrine (hormone) disruptor, carcinogen, or suspected carcinogen. Generally if you can’t pronounce it or you don’t recognize it, you shouldn’t consume it or put it on your skin. Try switching to natural deoderant, shampoo and conditioner, shaving cream/soap, makeup, household cleaners, laundry detergent, and lotion. There are many companies that have begun producing natural alternatives that don’t contain carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.
Getting enough sleep is another important step towards reducing brain fog and anxiety, and improving memory. Adequate sleep is crucial to our health, but many people struggle with insomnia and other sleep disorders. Blood work can help to identify the root cause of your insomnia, but it may be as simple as reducing stress. Stress and adrenal fatigue can keep you from falling asleep, so practicing stress-reducing techniques and taking a supplement to balance cortisol levels may help reduce insomnia. You can also try a natural sleep-aid like Kavinace.
Giving your liver some help is another great thing to do to combat the issues we’ve been discussing. The liver is responsible for over 300 different functions, so a sluggish liver can have a huge impact on your health and how you feel. Eating a diet high in organic (pesticides burden the liver and add to the toxic burden) fruits and vegetables and grass-fed meat helps provide the nutrients your liver needs to function optimally. Also, milk thistle, turmeric, artichoke leaf, dandelion root, taurine, choline, vitamin B12, etc. are all good for helping the liver detoxify and function more efficiently. We’ll discuss some specific supplements you can take below.
Best-Rest Formula – Contains melatonin, GABA, l-theanine, chamomile extract, and several other ingredients that may help promote relaxation and sleep.
Adrenal Response Complete Care – Contains vitamin C, ashwagandha, holy basil leaf extract, and several other ingredients that may help combat adrenal fatigue and stress.
Daily Stress Formula – Contains vitamin B12, l-tyrosine, bacopa monnieri extract, chamomile extract, and many other ingredients that may help you relax and deal with daily stress.
Traumeric – Contains turmeric extract, bromelain, quercetin, and a few other ingredients that may help combat inflammation. Traumeric may also work well for joint pain.
Core Support – Powder that contains magnesium, rice protein, taurine, l-glutamine, green tea leaf extract, and many other ingredients that may help heal the gut and help the liver detoxify. May also help increase energy and alertness. Available in French Vanilla and Chocolate.
Membrin – Contains gingko biloba leaf extract, vinpocetine, and huperzine alkaloids which may help improve blood flow to the brain, and improve cognitive function and memory.
Brain fog, anxiety, depression, poor memory, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and other issues can be difficult to deal with, and they can have a big impact on your quality of life. We want to help you get better! Look into getting blood work done, add in lots of good fats, grass-fed meats, and organic fruits and vegetables to your diet, reduce your toxic burden by switching to natural products whenever possible, and try taking some of the supplements listed above. It’s often the little decisions and changes you make every day that make the biggest difference.