Brain fog is a common symptom in many autoimmune diseases and chronic illnesses, but the key with functional medicine is to look for the underlying causes, not just deal with the symptoms. It’s important to understand that 5 people who come to see me with brain fog could all have it for different reasons. The way we work with functional medicine is to hunt these causes out. Why?
- Because we are all different and functional medicine looks at the Individual to provide personalised care.
- Simple cause and effect – deal with the cause and the effect (the symptom) will reduce.
- Dealing solely with the symptom is just a sticking plaster, without working on the cause the symptom will come back. For example if you have a headache, paracetamol will numb it but when it wears off the headache comes back.
So, with that in mind what sort of things do we look for when we are looking at the causes of brain fog?
- Insufficient sleep
- Poor gut health
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Food intolerances
- Chemical intolerances
- Hormonal changes
- Chronic stress
- Autoimmune diseases
- Some medicines
- Inflammation especially neuroinflammation
- Degeneration of the brain
Now this isn’t an exhaustive list but gives you an idea of the things we are looking at when a person presents with brain fog and also the diversity of the causes.
If we look at a person with brain fog and just deal with gut health but that person also has hormonal imbalances the brain fog may improve somewhat but it won’t go away or get to the best, it can be giving the person optimal health. So, we have to work through these potential causes and work out which this particular person may be suffering with and then work on them one at a time. It’s not a quick and easy process like giving someone a paracetamol, but it a longer-term better outcome.
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