October 5, 2022

The Usa Herald

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Why does brain fog happen?

5 min read

Brain fog is not a simple mistake or forgetfulness, but an alteration that causes the brain to ‘pause’ and isolate itself from reality. Learn about its causes, why it affects the elderly more and how to deal with it.

The alteration that occurs in the brain such as brain fog, also known as fibrofog or mental fog, which can occur in older adults, but also in younger people, such as those who suffer from fibromyalgia or who have had COVID-19. It can be due to different reasons, although the specific cause for which these episodes are triggered is still not entirely clear.

They discovered that the origin of the problem may be in different groups of cortical neurons according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The person who suffers from it goes blank, cannot continue with the conversation he was having, or is not able to know what he was going to do at that moment. When brain fog arises, the brain does not have enough energy to continue thinking, it loses cognitive resources, and it is as if it turned off.

 

Warning signs that the older person suffers from this brain disorder

A person with fibro fog can feel several of these combined symptoms:

Memory loss

It is very common for those who suffer from it to forget simple information, such as the name of a relative or the conversation they just had with a friend, since it is especially difficult for them to retain verbal information. Forgetfulness usually arises in the short term.

Lack of comprehension

It also causes the brain to not be able to assimilate what is being read or someone else’s explanation, however simple it may be.

Poor clarity and quick thinking

Thoughts develop very slowly. In addition, it is difficult to focus on a topic, work on it, or draw conclusions from it even if you are familiar with it.

Lose orientation

It may take several minutes to figure out which way to go. Difficulty thinking causes the person with brain fog to become disoriented even in familiar places.

 

Causes

Although it is not a problem that only affects the elderly, there are a number of reasons associated with its appearance that are common among older adults, such as:

Sedentary lifestyle: lack of physical activity can cause a decrease in brain activity. Again we must refer to the Latin quote “mens sana in corpore sano”.

Not resting properly: over the years, people tend to sleep less, do so at odd hours, or doze off on the sofa. Sleeping poorly and for a few hours means that the brain has less energy to think clearly.

Biochemical imbalance: arises when the brain’s neurotransmitters are unable to regulate the production of endorphins, which are the chemicals responsible for moods. This imbalance, in addition to brain fog, can lead to anxiety or depression.

Nutrient deficiency: A diet poor in magnesium, B vitamins, omega 3 or calcium, among other nutrients, harms the brain. A poor or poor diet leads to a lack of vitamins and minerals that the brain needs to function properly.

Stress: as a consequence of this, more cortisol is produced, a hormone that revolutionizes brain cells, which generates a harmful state for the brain.

Menopause: mental fog can be an indicator that menopause is approaching, since the hormonal changes that women experience at this time can lead to this disorder. Specifically, it is the drop in estrogen production that makes a dent in the ability to concentrate and memory.

 

There are other reasons why it may appear before old age:

Having suffered from COVID-19, since according to the Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN) up to 12% of people who have overcome the disease present this type of cognitive problem, among other possible neurological sequelae.

Suffering from fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome: both health problems coincide in that those who suffer from them present a deficit of essential proteins, called cytokines, that the brain needs to acquire new knowledge.

Too many stimuli for the brain: society is increasingly demanding in the environment that surrounds us. There are people who, even sleeping, continue to think about this, so they do not allow the brain to rest, so when faced with this degree of saturation, it decides to turn off.

 

Impact

People with this alteration in the brain can also have other negative consequences that interfere with their well-being and their daily activities:

Isolation: Not being able to follow a conversation, or getting lost on the way to an appointment, can lead someone with brain fog to stop making plans with family and friends and isolate themselves at home. This, in the long run, also causes emotional detachment.

Fear arises: fear arises that these episodes are the beginning of a mental illness, such as Alzheimer’s. In addition, they can consider whether it will affect their daily life, their work, their personal relationships, etc.

Stress: as a consequence of this, more cortisol is produced, a hormone that revolutionizes brain cells, which generates a harmful state for the brain.

Menopause: mental fog can be an indicator that menopause is approaching, since the hormonal changes that women experience at this time can lead to this disorder. Specifically, it is the drop in estrogen production that makes a dent in the ability to concentrate and memory.

 

There are other reasons why it may appear before old age:

Having suffered from COVID-19, since according to the Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN) up to 12% of people who have overcome the disease present this type of cognitive problem, among other possible neurological sequelae.

Suffering from fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome: both health problems coincide in that those who suffer from them present a deficit of essential proteins, called cytokines, that the brain needs to acquire new knowledge.

Too many stimuli for the brain: society is increasingly demanding in the environment that surrounds us. There are people who, even sleeping, continue to think about this, so they do not allow the brain to rest, so when faced with this degree of saturation, it decides to turn off.

 

Group what’s important

Always carry a bag or fanny pack with your house keys, mobile phone and notepad to always have them close at hand.

Meditate and rest

Meditation, or activities such as yoga or tahichi can help free the mind, reduce stress, and sleep better, which is essential for the brain to function properly.

Perform mental and memory exercises

To keep your mind working, do exercises such as puzzles, sudoku or crossword puzzles, as well as reading and talking to people around you

Exercise

Staying active in old age reduces stress, helps you fall asleep, distract your mind, and helps your brain get better blood. Swimming or exercising in the water can be a good option, as soaking in warm water also helps you relax.

Adopt a balanced diet

In which essential minerals and vitamins are not lacking, especially those of type B.

Follow the treatment indicated by the doctor

Especially those who suffer from a disease that is causing episodes of mental fog, as is the case with those affected by fibromyalgia.

Pamper your body

From time to time treat yourself to a pleasant massage or enjoying a relaxing hydrotherapy session. Published by The USA Herald, news and information agency.

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