What Is the Cause of Brain Fog?

Although brain fog is more of a symptom than a medical disease, it should not be dismissed. Brain fog, a lack of mental clarity, and an inability to focus are all symptoms of brain fog, a cognitive disorder.

Many people mistake brain fog for a bad day or have become accustomed to it. Unfortunately, ignoring brain fog has the unintended consequence of interfering with work and education.

Many people disregard it since they don’t understand what causes it or how to deal with it.

It’s crucial to realize that nothing else in your life will function properly if your brain isn’t functioning properly. The majority of people experience days when they can’t seem to focus or forget where they are.

It’s perfectly natural to have days when you can’t think clearly, but if you’re experiencing these symptoms on a daily basis, you’re most likely suffering from brain fog.

So, what’s the deal with brain fog? It can be caused by a variety of factors, so we’ve compiled a list of what causes brain fog, as well as how to prevent and treat it.

1. Stress

It’s not surprising that stress is at the top of the list. The dangers of stress are well-known to most people. Because it lowers our immune system, it can raise blood pressure, cause depression, and make us sick.

Mental weariness is another symptom. When you’re stressed, your brain doesn’t work as well as it should. It becomes more difficult to think and focus, which adds to your tension.

Stress can be avoided by taking a few easy steps. Even if it feels like it would help at the moment, you should avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine if you’re anxious. Other crucial actions include increasing physical activity and talking to someone about it.

Aside from that, you may keep a stress journal, attempt relaxing techniques such as meditation, get more sleep, or adopt a new time management strategy.

2. Diet

Most individuals are aware that the proper or wrong diet can cause them to gain or lose weight, but few consider the significant impact that a particular diet, even if healthy, can have on one’s health.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is one of the most frequent vitamin deficiencies, and vegans, in particular, are susceptible to brain fog due to a lack of vitamin B-12 in their diet. Deficiency in vitamin B12 can result in mental and neurological problems.

The frightening part is that about 40% of individuals are thought to be B12 deficient. B12 is found in animal products, which is why many vegans are deficient in vitamins. However, this does not imply that humans must consume animal products to avoid B12 insufficiency.

B12 is a vitamin that can be taken as a supplement to help with the condition. Vitamin D is another important vitamin that might cause brain fog. More than a billion individuals around the world are deficient in vitamin D.

Omega-3, in addition to B12 and vitamin D, aids brain function and concentration due to its fatty acids. Both vitamin D and omega-3 can be taken as supplements, which is fortunate.

Then there are the apparent unhealthy foods, such as sugar. Sugar and other refined carbs raise your blood sugar levels, only to drop them again.

This will produce brain fog since your brain runs on glucose as its primary fuel source, and when you start messing with it, it becomes confused.

You’ll feel weary, have mood swings, and be confused, in addition to having brain fog. So, if you want to keep your mind clear, avoid sugar. A similar diet can be beneficial to some people while being harmful to others.

It’s a good idea to see your doctor or a nutritionist if you’re suffering from brain fog. They can perform tests to determine which type of diet is ideal for your health or to see if you’re missing something in your diet.

3. Allergies

Eating certain foods can cause brain fog if you have food allergies or are simply hypersensitive to them. Keep an eye out for dairy, peanuts, and aspartame, which have been linked to brain damage.

Corn, soy, and wheat provide the majority of people’s calories, and surprise, surprise, these foods are among the most prevalent allergens. If you’re unsure, Google up food allergies[1] to learn about some of the most frequent symptoms.

If you’re not sure if you’re allergic or sensitive, start by eliminating a specific food from your diet for a week or two. If the brain fog goes away, you’re probably allergic or sensitive to something.

The symptoms will usually go away after a week or two once you remove the trigger food from the diet. If you are still unsure, then you should seek out the help of your doctor.

4. Lack of sleep

We all know we need sleep to function, but how much sleep we require varies from person to person. Only a few people can survive on as little as 3-4 hours of sleep every night, but they are quite uncommon.

Most adults require 8 to 9 hours of sleep per night. If you don’t get enough sleep, your brain will become irritated, and you may have brain fog.

Instead of getting ahead of things by skipping a few hours of sleep, you’ll wind up losing useful hours of your day since you won’t be able to concentrate and your thoughts will be clouded.

Many people have difficulties sleeping, but by following a few simple steps, you can enhance your sleep.

There’s the 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise, which is a breathing method that helps you fall asleep faster by regulating your breath. Another popular method is to avoid bright lights before going to bed.

Many of us have fallen asleep with the TV on or our phone close by, yet the blue light from these devices suppresses the production of melatonin in our bodies, causing us to stay up longer instead.

If you find it difficult to fall asleep without doing something before closing your eyes, consider reading instead.

5. Hormonal changes

Hormonal fluctuations can bring in brain fog. When your progesterone and estrogen levels rise, you may experience short-term cognitive impairment and have trouble remembering things. 

If you’re pregnant or going through menopause, don’t be concerned if your memory starts to fog up. Maintain a healthy diet and get enough sleep, and the brain fog should dissipate once you’re back to normal. 

6. Medication

It’s completely natural to experience some brain fog if you’re on medicine.

You may begin to forget things you used to remember, or you may become easily confused. Perhaps you can’t concentrate as well as you used to. All of these things can be frightening, but you shouldn’t be too concerned. 

Although brain fog is a common adverse effect of medications, it may often be reduced or even eliminated by lowering your dosage or switching to a different prescription.

7. Medical condition

Brain fog is frequently a sign of a medical problem. Brain fog is caused by medical disorders such as inflammation, weariness, and changes in blood glucose levels. 

Brain fog can be caused by a variety of conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, anemia, depression, diabetes, migraines, hypothyroidism, Sjögren syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, Lupus, and dehydration.[2]

The bottom line

If you haven’t been diagnosed, don’t go searching for illnesses and symptoms on Google. It’s quite easy to (incorrectly) self-diagnose once you start looking for it. 

Take a step back, put the laptop away, and unwind. If you’re concerned about getting sick, make an appointment with your doctor and proceed from there. 

Remember that there is a broad list of things that can create brain fog, and it can be as simple as a poor diet or insufficient sleep.


  1. Food Allergy: Common Allergens
  2. HealthLine: 6 Possible Causes of Brain Fog

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