Brain fog is an interesting study in human perceptions. It’s not a clinical term so there are no criteria attached to the words that would render a medical diagnosis. It’s more of an exercise in learning to listen to your body, in this case, the brain, that’s trying to let you know that something just isn’t right. (1)
Dr. Mike Dow explained how to deal with the issues related to brain fog recently in a discussion with Dr. Mehmet Oz on the Dr. Oz television show.
What is Brain Fog?
Dr. Dow characterizes it as an epidemic driven by a lifestyle where we are not giving our brains the support it needs to maintain a healthy function. This altered lifestyle creates a chemical instability in the brain that saps our energy, unnerves us, causes us to lose focus and most insidious of all, weakens our creativity and inspiration. The worst part of it all is that we choose to do it without ever considering the impact to the quality of life. We attack our well-being:
7-Day Brain Fog Treatment and Food Revolution
Mood, energy and spirit in the human brain are controlled by three specific chemicals,
The good news is that getting these three chemicals in balance allows the brain to correct all other chemical imbalances. As Dr. Dow states, “You will find yourself thinking more clearly, remembering more accurately, learning more quickly and unleashing the floodgates of your creativity. You will also find yourself feeling more optimistic, calm, energized, connected and inspired.”
The 7-day treatment that Dr. Dow recommends is also simple to understand and doesn’t require difficult to maintain New Year’s style resolutions. These seven short videos, found here provide the reasoning and instruction on how to regain the chemical balance in your brain and the restoration of balance to your life. The primary focus in the 7-Day fix is to give the body a healthy dose of omega-3 every day and manage the negativity in your life by substituting the positivity in its place.
Day 1 – add farm-raised rainbow trout to your diet.
It’s high in omega-s’s and very low in mercury and toxins found in other sources of fish. Also, the discussion of avoiding the first of the seven “Pitfall Thought Patterns” by developing more positive psychological traits such as banning what Dr. Dow calls “personalization” which is a habit of blaming yourself for everything that goes wrong. There are other causes if you just allow yourself to open your mind and consider them. (2)
Day 2 – spinach is the superfood of the day as it feeds both dopamine and serotonin levels for enhancement of mood and energy.
Pervasiveness is the Pitfall Pattern of the day to turn around. What is represents is that you let one negative event affect everything else that happens in your day. Focus on what’s going right, not what’s going wrong. (3)
Day 3 – walnuts are the food du jour of day 3.
The omega-3’s in walnuts help with cognition and the feeling of well-being. It’s also an excellent food for mixing up a high protein chocolate-covered banana smoothie. Paralysis analysis is the pitfall to think about here. That’s where you let one thought completely absorb your mind. Nothing else can be done. The answer is simple. Do something to make that paralytic thought go away. (4)
Day 4 – Grass fed or pasture raised beef pumps up the dopamine levels in the brain.
However, it has to be organically raised and not conventionally raised. The conventionally raised methods reduce the omega-3 content considerably. Pessimism is the next thought pattern culprit to keep a lookout for. Consider what’s right in your life and not what could go wrong. (5)
Day 5 – Olive oil is today’s diet consideration.
Your salad dressings should make use of the extra virgin variety. You can make that yourself. Then, the regular or white olive oil should be used for cooking when oil is called for. The omega-3’s are high and it goes well with some of the other foods we talked about. The psychological pitfall to think about is polarization. That’s the tendency to treat everything in life as either black or white. Unfortunately, life is not either black or white. All or nothing will only lead to conflicts with fellow workers, family, and friends. Take the middle road now and then. (6)
Day 6 – ground flaxseed is another excellent vegetarian source of omega-3’s and serves a great additive to other dishes in your diet such as yogurt, oatmeal, and smoothies.
We go psychic with our pitfall of the moment … literally. When’s the last time you got upset with someone because they didn’t do what you thought they should have done? You didn’t ask them to do it. You just expected them to be psychic and know they should have done it. What happens to your state of mind when that happens? Anger? Irritation? How long does it stick with you? Well, it’s bad news and it destroys your chemical balance. Give people clear direction and ask. That way, your expectations will probably be met and your psychic anger will be subdued. (7)
Day 7 – Let’s wrap this 7-Day fix up with a bowl full of raspberries and use all the vitamin C to jack up our dopamine levels.
It’s a feel good kind of food and it does the same for your brain. Permanence is our final pitfall of the brain. Without exercising your own free will, negative events can take on a permanence that recalls every adverse event that ever befell you. Your depression deepens and all those around you feel it. You need to learn the phrase “This too shall pass” and let go of that permanence and allow the right things to replace those negative thoughts. (8)
Supporting Research for Brain Fog
In the article “9 Things Your Brain Fog Is Trying To Tell You” in a more clinical approach, Sarah Klein gathers some research together that brings many of the same points to your attention concerning psychological and diet-related causes of brain fog.
“Brain fog is an inability to really punch through,” says Mady Hornig, MD, associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. “It’s a vague sense of what you’re trying to retrieve, but you can’t focus in on it,” she says, “and the effort to harness the thought can be as draining as physical activity.”
The discussion under the subtitle “You’re eating for your belly, not your brain”, is also clear support for Dr. Dow’s approach to fixing the brain fog phenomenon through the proper feeding of the brain. (9)
Several prominent experts have differing opinions about brain fog in the article “Does “brain fog” really exist? We asked three health experts for their thoughts.” Professor Claude Wischik, chairman of mental health at Aberdeen University has this to say about Dr. Dow’s theories. In his words, “However, while Dr. Dow believes the way we live our lives can trigger the slowing down of our brain, the Aberdeen-based professor thinks otherwise. One of his studies compared the age of Brits who mentally declined to a certain point against a group of Chinese people.” “Although the two samples had different diets, lifestyles, and genetics, the age they started to decline was identical – it’s not about lifestyle,” he said. (10)
The logical conclusion you can come to on brain fog is that it hasn’t been thoroughly and definitively researched as yet and many of the treatments suggested by Dr. Dow and others may work for some and not others. Hemoglobin and oxygenation are being studied as a clinical cause of brain fog as well. The article “Caught in the thickness of brain fog: exploring the cognitive symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” is just such a study and good read. (11)
Sources for this article include: