The medical fraternity has yet to recognize brain fog as a specific health condition. Experiencing brain fog is like being trapped behind a dirty window, with roiling fog outside, and not really knowing why you’re just standing there staring through the dirty glass at gray, misty fog. Brain fog may not be a medical condition but its symptoms can prevent you from concentrating, recalling memories, and can lead to mental fatigue. It usually goes away fairly quickly, but some people can be affected for a long time after treatment. Melinosky on September 17, 2019, American Cancer Society: “Chemo Brain.”, Brain and Cognition: “Assessment of cognitive function across pregnancy using CANTAB: A longitudinal study.”, Health Guidance.org: “Brain Fog Causes.”, Journal of Hypertension: “Flavanol-rich chocolate acutely improves arterial function and working memory performance counteracting the effects.”, LiveScience: “Menopausal 'Foggy Brain' Confirmed in Tests.”, Lupus Research Alliance: “Can Lupus Affect My Brain?” “About Lupus.”, Mayo Clinic: “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,” “Depression,” “Menopause.”, National Institutes of Health: “The Risks of Sleeping ‘Too Much’. Finding multitasking jobs daunting 4. This disease affects your central nervous system and can change the way your brain “talks” to the rest of your body. MS almost always causes other issues, too. Survey of a National Representative Sample of 24671 Adults (INPES Health Barometer),” “What is brain fog? Levels of the hormones progesterone and estrogen increase during pregnancy. Treatment can help improve your sleep and your focus. Hormonal changes can also trigger brain fog. “You won’t believe this, but I was just on the phone with a customer who was crying because he couldn’t assemble his bed frame.”. Carrying a baby can change your body in lots of ways, and chemicals released to protect and nourish your baby may bring on memory problems. Last medically reviewed on June 14, 2017. Brain fog is a constant problem for most people with chronic fatigue syndrome. Confusion 5. Less than 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night can sap your memory and concentration. Sometimes, the habit develops in childhood and simply doesn't go away. If you take medicine and notice that your thinking isn’t as clear as it should be or you suddenly can’t remember things, call your doctor. Brain fog treatment depends upon the symptoms and causes. That can leave you feeling groggy the next day. If depression or anxiety are behind your brain fog, you might have these other symptoms: If you think you have depression or ongoing anxiety, see a doctor. Melinosky on September 17, 2019. With this condition, your body and mind are tired for a long time. Going without help can make it worse. It isn’t a medical condition or a diagnosis. That could be a few months after having a baby, changing birth control, or going through menopause. How Long Does Coronavirus Live On Surfaces? Slow in completing usual tasks 8. There’s no known cure for CFS, but medication, exercise, and talk therapy may help. Short-term memory loss 6. Other conditions that may cause brain fog include: See your doctor if you have persistent lack of clarity that worsens or doesn’t improve. This change can affect memory and cause short-term cognitive impairment. ©1996-2020 MedicineNet, Inc. All rights reserved. Here are six possible causes. Brain fog is a term that describes problems with focus, memory, logic, and problem solving. If you’re in bed for seven or so hours but don’t feel your sleep is restful, you might have a sleep disorder. Brain fog isn’t a medical condition itself, but rather a symptom of other medical conditions. About half the people who have MS have issues with memory, attention, planning, or language. Here Are 5 Ways to Unlearn Your ‘Fawn’ Response, How to Cope with Impulse Control Issues in Kids and Adults, How to Manage Trichophilia, or a Hair Fetish, managing stress by knowing your limitations and avoiding excessive alcohol and caffeine, strengthening your brain power (try volunteering or solving brain puzzles), increasing your intake of protein, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Researchers from the Departments of Physiology and Medicine at New York Medical College Valhalla describe brain fog symptoms as “an interaction of physiological, cognitive, and perceptual factors.” That’s brain fog. Further, you don’t know what to do about it. View our slideshows to learn more about your health. Learn the connection: Memory loss and menopause ». Medication, talk therapy, or often both can help. It’s a type of cognitive dysfunction involving: Some people also describe it as mental fatigue. Besides loss of focus, other signs of low B12 include: Your body has a harder time absorbing B12 as you get older. The usual description used in the literature is mild cognitive impairment. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. We forget, too often, that some of us are on the other side of a suicide attempt and need support. 9 Deceptively Simple Things I Can’t Do Because Anxiety, 7 Ways We Can Do Better by Suicide Attempt Survivors, Dreamwork 101: Your Wide-Awake Guide to Interpreting Dreams, The Impacts of the Glass Ceiling Effect on People, People-Pleaser? Once the underlying cause is addressed, you mental clarity can improve. That’s because depression, anxiety, and even high stress can be mentally exhausting. Some people with brain fog still experience lung or heart issues, which can exacerbate neurological symptoms. You might be able to lower your dose or switch to something else. It isn’t a medical condition or a diagnosis. Without treatment, the condition can increase your risk for other serious health problems. If you think you’re low on B12, talk to your doctor. Depending on your level, you may need B12 shots or pills or a daily multivitamin. People twirl their hair for lots of different reasons. In sleep apnea, for example, you temporarily stop breathing repeatedly throughout the night. Like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia is a condition that causes mental and physical exhaustion. If you have brain fog and other symptoms of MS, talk to your doctor. You may feel confused, forgetful, and unable to focus. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you suspect one of your medications is making you feel foggy. Multiple sclerosis affects the central nervous system. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts. Brain fog treatment depends on the cause. That can make it hard to concentrate, problem solve, focus, and even speak and understand others. Together, the symptoms of brain fog can be summarized with one word: trapped. If you think you have fibromyalgia, see your doctor. Sometimes, relieving brain fog is a matter of correcting a nutritional deficiency, switching medications, or improving the quality of your sleep. Keeping a food journal can help you determine if your diet contributes to brain fog. These medications block the effects of a neurotransmitter in the brain and make it difficult to think clearly. Other times, it’s caused by an underlying health condition or as a side effect of medication.