I haven’t posted on this site for a while now, mainly because I hadn’t found any more answers to my remaining fogginess (until now). I had developed other symptoms over the past year or two, including: apathy; fatigue; poor balance; my skin pre-maturely losing its elasticity; and very low sex drive. I had pretty much given up on feeling like my old self again, after all I’d been trying for 8 years! A couple of weeks ago I went to see a naturopath about my skin and libido. The long and short of it is that she gave me a product called TMG Betaine and it had an immediately positive impact, and I’m talking “silver bullet” stuff. I feel absolutely amazing, excellent concentration from morning to evening, great energy, and I can eat a lot of the things that I haven’t been able to for a long time. I really feel like I have a new lease on life – it’s a miracle! It’s been almost two weeks now and I have all my fingers and toes crossed that the change will continue.
I made a major discovery a month ago and it’s made a massive difference to my mental clarity and energy levels. Since my brain fog surfaced 7 years ago, I’ve made major inroads into overcoming it through changes to my diet. Now I am pleased to say that I feel back to 100% almost all of the time, and the simple secret…water!
I have always explained the sensation of brain fog to other people as feeling like I’ve got a hangover, just without the alcohol. I’ve tried a number of natural remedies over the years but it only occurred to me a month ago to try drinking the recommended amount of water each day (about 2.5 litres). It has really made such a big difference and I wonder if the reason could be that one of the causes of brain fog is dehydration of the brain, much like a hangover. Either way, about 8-10 glasses of water a day seems to do the trick.
The thing I can’t believe is that I didn’t find this solution earlier. I have read widely and seen a number of doctors and naturopaths to find a cure but never came across improving hydration as a suggested remedy. I still believe that improving my digestion through changing my diet has been the single most important factor in my recovery, but the addition of significant amounts of water has been the kicker I’ve been searching for.
The only negative associated with this change is that I have to go to the bathroom a lot but a secondary benefit has been an improvement in my skin, which is almost glowing! Either way, it’s got to be the simplest, most natural, and cheapest remedy for brain fog going around. Try it!!! I’m extremely interested to see whether anyone else suffering from brain fog notices major improvements in their mental clarity and energy levels after increasing their hydration.
I hope this post helps you.
I went through a long process of getting healthy again after suffering from brain fog for a number of years. I got some excellent medical advice along the way, largely from a wonderful integrated medical specialist in Sydney. I made major changes to my diet and have taken a number of different supplements, mainly probiotics and digestive aids, to get me back to health. However, I was never specifically given a diagnosis along the way as to what was causing my spaghetti head. Perhaps it’s because I never actually asked or maybe I was told but couldn’t take it in while I was in the fog. Either way, I think I might now know what my problem was.
After reading parts of Dr Datis Kharrazian’s “Why Isn’t My Brain Working” and some articles on Dr Josh Axe’s website, I think that I may have been suffering from Leaky Gut Syndrome. The part of Dr Kharrazian’s book that led me to this conclusion was his mention that new food allergies could surface as a result of Leaky Gut. I never used to have any major issues eating anything. I used to eat meat twice a day and have dairy with and between every meal. Now I’m vegan I feel 100 times better than I did. The other thing that lead me to believe that I had Leaky Gut was the similarity between the treatments that are suggested by these two health professionals and the treatment that I myself was prescribed to overcome brain fog.
I don’t profess to being a medical expert (because I’m not), so I thought I’d share a couple of links to more insightful sources so you can read up more for yourself. The first provides a quick overview of Leaky Gut Syndrome and the foods to avoid and to eat with reference to Dr Kharrazian’s guidance (link). The second is on Dr Axe’s website where he outlines the symptoms of Leaky Gut and how to heal yourself. In my opinion both of these are excellent sources of information.
The only thing I’d add to these two great sources of information about Leaky Gut Syndrome is the positive effect that I’ve found taking slippery elm powder has had on my brain fog. See my post on this natural product for more information.
Feel free to get in touch with me by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or even better, share a post with me and all the visitors to this site. The whole point of this site is to help share my experience and hopefully others to help people to clear their brain fog.
All the best,
I have found a natural remedy that has had a significant, positive impact on my wellbeing.
As you may have read in my previous posts, the most important element of my recovery from brain fog has been through diet, finding ways to be more gentle on my digestive system. Even though I was feeling so much better than I used to, I was still a little foggy some mornings and I’m always on the look out for different ways of getting back to 100% (or hopefully beyond).
I was at the library a few weeks ago and found a book entitled “Why Isn’t My Brain Working” by Datis Kharrazian, associate clinical professor for the Department of Preventive Medicine at Loma Linda University School of Medicine (Amazon Link and link to Dr Kharrazian’s website). I haven’t read the whole book but there is a section on the relationship between the gut and the brain and a lot of the information reconciled with my experience to date and the treatment plans I had successfully followed. The book has a couple of pages that tell you the foods to avoid and the ones to add to your diet to help heal your gut.
The main thing I want to share with you is the positive impact that taking slippery elm bark powder has had on my brain fog, which is now basically gone. As I understand it, the powder, when mixed with water, forms a coating on your digestive tract which reduces inflammation (see Dr Axe’s explanation for better insight). I have bought two different products (Caruso’s and Nature’s Own) which both seem to be equally effective, although it’s much more cost effective to buy the former which is in a bulk powder format. I have found that my stomach is able to cope so much better with the meals that I eat when I take the slipper elm powder between 5 and 30 minutes before eating main meals. I am quite amazed at what an impact this product has had. Slippery elm bark is totally natural so it’s worth giving it a try and seeing if you notice any difference.
I’d be really interested to hear if anyone else has made any improvements with slippery elm powder. Or even if this post prompts you to try it, let me know whether it made any difference for you.
I hope this helps you.
To some extent, the story of my recovery from brain fog is lacking in scientific detail. This is largely because I couldn’t absorb most of the detail that my medical practitioner was telling me. My spaghetti head just wouldn’t allow it. The first time I saw this terrific lady, she asked me what I ate each day, checked my pulse and took a small droplet of blood and put it under a microscope. The first picture below shows what my blood cells looked like under 100 times magnification when I first saw her. Notice how jagged all of the cells are. She told me that I had the blood of a 90 year old and that my digestion was terrible. Luckily, she said it was easily fixed!
After this consultation I was told to eliminate dairy from my diet and to reduce my meat intake to 3-4 meals per week. I was also told to take a vegetable-based digestive aid and some tablets to build up my gut flora. I also started taking dairy free probiotics each day. I don’t think I quite stuck to the meat limitation but I definitely halved my previous meat intake which was pretty much twice a day. It’s quite miraculous, but apart from starting to feel a lot less foggy within 48 hours of these changes, the change in my live blood sample in less than 6 months is just phenomenal. The photo below shows how my cells had recovered to be perfectly round, just like they should be in a health young man.
I’m not a doctor and didn’t even expect that you could see things like this under a plain old microscope, but I think it’s amazing. I can’t tell you how thankful I am to this medical practitioner, she is so much more enlightened than most GPs. I still don’t really understand how she knew it was dairy and meat that were causing me so many issues, and not gluten. Either way, I would highly recommend that anyone suffering from brain fog seek out a medical professional who is going to focus on digestion and diet as the primary method for trying to tackle this soul-destroying disease. I feel pretty sure that pills and procedures are not the way to go.
I find it interesting to look back and connect the dots which led to my recovery, to identify the key moments or decisions which put me on a path to mental clarity. As Steve Jobs highlighted, I can only really see these connections now, having the benefit of hindsight.
In October 2011 I read a book my Mum gave me called “Manhood” by Steve Biddulph (Amazon link) which I thoroughly recommend that everyone read, male or female. The book demonstrated to me that the “big boys don’t cry” mentality that many men are brought up with is both unhealthy and destructive. I read this book and I loved it. It empowered me to realise that many of the fears and insecurities that I had secretly harboured my whole life were normal and nothing to be ashamed of. This was the first major dot.
At that time I was actively seeking remedies for my brain fog. My wife and I visited the Mind, Body & Spirit expo in Sydney’s Darling Harbour in late 2011 to see what alternative remedies might be available. As I walked through the stalls of clairvoyants, candle sellers and yoga practitioners, I noticed Steve Biddulph’s book on the shelf of a rather nondescript stall. My interest was piqued so I asked the two men running the stall what their organisation was about. It turned out that they were promoting the Mankind Project (MKP), a not-for-profit group which helps men to be the best they can be through collaboration with other men. I know the idea of this kind of group would freak most Australian men out. I can imagine the eyes rolling because I think I would have done exactly that five years ago. Check out their website which provides a lot more information about the work they do and the personal development that can be achieved.
So I gave the guys at the stall my email address. I hadn’t heard anything for about four months when I received an email telling me about an upcoming New Warriors Adventure Training weekend. I really felt I needed some type of transformation at that time so I signed up with little hesitation. The weekend was transformative, I met some very interesting people and learned a lot about life. One of the men I met during the weekend mentioned to me that his son had had some medical issues and had been treated by a terrific doctor who practiced integrative medicine. Weeks later he gave me this doctor’s details.
About four months later, after much deliberation, I decided to quit the job I had spent the previous 18 months working in. I felt stressed and really wasn’t enjoying what I was doing. I needed a break. When I gave my notice, my boss’ boss made the compassionate and supportive decision to give me a month’s paid leave to consider what I wanted to do next, within the company or without, no strings attached.
I took a few days away from my family in the Blue Mountains to get my thoughts together, as best I could under the cloud of my spaghetti head. I read a book on how to find fulfilling work and wrote a list of all the things I should do to find a more enjoyable career and to get my head straight. One of those things was to visit the doctor to whom I was referred.
I made an appointment to see the integrative medical practitioner, Marilyn Golden, on Sydney’s lower north shore. It took me two years to get to this point and my two visits to see her changed my life, and quickly. Within a week of my first appointment I felt so much better. It took another 18 months to get back to perfect (if there is such a thing) but the changes were dramatic. I will write more about my treatment in other posts.
A year after seeing Marilyn, I took some time off work and went down to Merimbula on the coast with my family for a holiday. I’d say I was 90% better by this point but still suffered from the fog most mornings (see my post on morning fog). I had been keeping a food/stress/medication/activity diary for about 6 weeks before this holiday but had been unable to identify what was causing this remaining fog. Right near the end of the trip, I got up early with the kids and then had the luxury of going back to bed for another hour or two’s sleep. It was on this morning that I discovered that the asthma puffer I was taking at the time, Seretide, was contributing to my fogginess. I have since changed to using the lowest dosage of Flixotide that I can, while still managing my asthma safely.
The final dot happened just last week. I still occasionally get a little foggy for about an hour in the morning. I had been on such a long journey of eliminating possible causes that I had pretty much become resigned to this mild, remnant symptom. Last week, one of my colleagues at work almost died. He had had a continuous migraine for 48 hours over the weekend. On the Monday morning, he still had the migraine and thought that a really hot shower might help clear the pain. Unfortunately, he collapsed in the shower, after a throbbing pain developed in is head and is heart. The good news for him and his young family is that he is now OK. While speaking to him about the incident, he explained to me that a migraine is to some extent caused by the expansion of cells in the brain. It turns out that the hot water from the shower also has the effect of causing the cells in the brain to expand. I have been taking lukewarm showers for the past week and my remaining morning brain fog has disappeared altogether.
I think there are a few morals of this story. Firstly, I don’t believe that the exact things that have triggered my spaghetti head will necessarily be the same for everyone, but I do think that everyone should look at their dietary options first. And I don’t think you should necessarily consult with your regular GP either. My cousin just completed his medical training at Sydney’s premier university and told me that across the whole multi-year degree, a grand total of 2 hours of tuition were dedicated to nutrition. Most of our doctors have only been trained to prescribe pills and procedures to “fix” ailments such as this. I’m sure that my brain fog was cured through a simple dietary change.
Secondly, it was really important to my long-term success that I continued to look for answers that worked for me. Don’t give up, there is a reason that you’re getting brain fog and it’s probably not primarily caused by stress. I recommend that you keep a food/stress/medication/activity diary and listen to your body after you eat.
The final moral of my story is that it was through opening myself up to the universe and talking to the people around me that helped me find solutions. Try to keep an open mind. It is thoroughly depressing having spaghetti head every day and I don’t think I would have been able to live like that for the rest of my life. My belief that I would find a way to work through this major life challenge was the foundation of my recovery.
Please get in touch with me if any of this resonates with you or if you have any questions.
All the best,
I’ve always found that the mornings were the foggiest time of day. It’s taken me a long time to figure out why this is the case. The life-changing medical practitioner I saw explained that this was to do with the Eastern concept of “damp” or “heat” building up in the body overnight and being released during the day. I haven’t researched these concepts in any depth but I can relate to the idea of a build up and clearing of some elements in my body throughout the day. I have come to know that what I consume and the activity that I do during the day are responsible for the level of build up and the speed of release.
The things that contributed the most to my morning fog, number 1 being the most damaging, were the following:
- Eating meat, fish, eggs or dairy foods in the evening
- Eating too much in the evening
- Not sleeping enough
- Having a hot shower in the morning
- Taking Seretide in the morning to treat my asthma (I recommend Flixotide instead)
- Drinking alcohol in the evening
Do you ever notice that your stomach churns and bubbles after you eat certain foods? Before I became foggy, I never paid any attention to how my stomach reacted to food. I recommend listening closely to your body and seeing if certain foods are disrupting your digestion. Discovering the link between poor digestion and brain fog is the most important discovery in recovering from the illness.
Unsurprisingly, what I recommend doing is pretty much the opposite of the list above. If you haven’t already started down the vegan path, I recommend that you consider it. My diet is based on eating lots of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains. I never thought I would change my diet so significantly, but there is simply no comparison between a life eating what you want and being in a haze most of the time, and a life of being vegan and feeling clear and energetic each day. I used to eat meat twice a day and loads of dairy with every meal. I started the change in my diet by removing dairy immediately, as suggested by my doctor, and reducing my meat intake to once a day. Once I felt the benefits, and I did within 48 hours, it became easy to transition to veganism.
I will explain more about the hot showers in another post.
All the best,