Brain Fog in MS Patients
Causes, Prevention and Cure
How many times do you feel that you can’t concentrate, can’t remember important things, have heavy head, or have lots of confusion in your mind? This is called brain fog or mental fatigue.
Brain fog is a common phenomenon in patients with multiple Sclerosis (MS). You must address it and get rid of the factors which cause it; otherwise, you are going to face personal as well as professional problems.
Symptoms of Brain Fog
Brain fog can steal happiness, peace and motivation from your life. Many factors cause brain fog. In MS patients, lesions or inflammations in the brain are responsible for causing brain fog.
If MS patients observe any of the following symptoms, then there is inflammation in their brain. Some common symptoms of brain fog include:
- Trouble Sleeping through the Night or Insomnia
- Low Motivation
- Forgetfulness and Memory Problems
- Trouble Concentrating
- Feeling Hopeless
- Mild Depression
- Feeling confused
- Unable to focus
- Poor memory
- Stuttering or stammering when speaking
- Slow Processing of information
- Difficulty Exercising, and
Causes of Brain Fog
There are several causes of brain fog. In people with MS, the first cause of brain fog is lesions in their brain. The following factors participate in causing brain fog in MS patients:
- Poor diet
- Stress and fatigue
- Lack of sleep
- Low Blood-sugar levels, and
- Poor blood circulation
Poor Diet – Whenever you experience brain fog, the first thing to notice should always be your diet. What did you eat which caused that feeling? How much sugar did you take? Maintaining optimal blood sugar levels is very important for your brain’s health. Make sure that you eat less processed foods, foods with high amounts of sugar, and foods which suck up water in you.
- Processed foods – These include foods such as frozen foods and other FMCG products. You may wonder, why processed foods? Processed foods contain an ingredient called monosodium glutamate (MSG), a neurotoxin which causes brain fog. It is usually not written as an ingredient on the packing, but you can guess the food may contain MSG. Just keep this rule in mind: the saltier a food, the more chances that it contains MSG.
- Foods with high sugar content – These include, but are not limited to, carbonated drinks (especially, diet drinks). Diet drinks contain artificial sweeteners called Aspartame. High sugar in carbonated drinks disturbs blood-sugar levels. Your pancreas work more to produce insulin for that increased sugar.
- Foods which suck up water in you – Many dairy products, including bakery-made biscuits and wafers, cause dehydration. Keep a jug of water with you if you eat some.
Stress – Stress is more powerful than you think it is. Stress does not cause brain fog, but severe stress develops it. Stress also results in fatigue with MS which is another cause of the condition.
Poor blood circulation – Poor blood circulation in your brain may cause brain fog. Massage your head daily with your fingers and use almond oil.
Cure for Brain fog
Quit Smoking – Along with many other negative effects, smoking produces free radicals in your body. Free radicals can cause brain fog and poor metal health.
Take Lot of zZZ – Humans need 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep in the night. Make sure that you sleep well at night and take a short nap too during the day.
Manage stress – We have discussed this along with some tips on how to manage stress in an earlier post. Don’t forget to check that out. In brief, work on your breathing, take deep breaths, practice meditation, and try to be as relaxed as possible.
Cut down on soft-drinks – They are killers. Soft-drinks have lots of sugar, and diet carbonated beverages have the artificial sugar called aspartame. An increase in sugar level may result in diabetes which itself causes brain fog.
It is advised not to skip meals to prevent brain fog.
Your health is your responsibility. Remember that a healthy brain means a healthy body.
Do you experience brain fog with MS? Let us know in the comments below.