In our quest for greater brain clarity, we need to understand that it is never normal to have brain fog, poor concentration, or lack of cognitive clarity, even as we age. While blamed on “you’re just getting old,” we know that isn’t true, as 20 and 30-year-olds can have the same complaints. While poor memory could be age-related, people under the age of 90 should be seeking other reasons for these issues.
One of the first places to look is to your medication. Billions of dollars are spent every year on medications with side effects — one of the most common being brain fog, difficulty concentrating and poor memory. Amongst the worst are the following: cholesterol-lowering drugs, sleeping pills, anti-psychotics and brain-stabilizing meds, anti-anxiety and anti-depressants, opiate pain medications, chemotherapeutic agents (many are used for other diseases now, not just cancer), high blood pressure medications, antihistamines, antibiotics, medications for Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, epilepsy and dementia, insulin, barbiturates — and the list continues. If you are suffering from brain fog or memory loss and are taking some of these medications, talk to your doctor. Also, talk to your pharmacist. He or she would not only know if you are taking a medication with these side effects but also if a combination of your medications is causative. Then discuss it with your doctor. Never — I repeat, never — try to go off most of the above medications without proper guidance and slow tapering.
While those are prescription drugs, over-the-counter (OTC) medications can also contribute. Medications for allergies, pain, motion sickness, headaches and acid reflux are also leaders in diminishing brain function. How do you get off these meds? Get to the root of why you have a condition necessitating the medications by seeking the services of a practitioner trained in, and willing to find, the root cause. By fixing that with acupuncture, nutrition and whole food supplements and herbs, you will naturally not need those medications anymore as the problem resolves.
Other causes of brain fog, poor concentration and memory loss include hormonal imbalances. This could be due to menopause, andropause (or “male menopause”), poor thyroid or adrenal function, a poor blood sugar handling mechanism and any other hormonal disruption.
Stress and lack of sleep are other culprits. If you are not sleeping or not coping with stress well, using the above treatment suggestions could turn that around for you. This would not only help your brain but every aspect of your life!
Certain diseases such as autoimmune disease, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and lupus or immune system imbalances or digestive insufficiency, inflammation and flora imbalance have all been implicated in contributing to foggy brain activity.
If any of the above sounds like you, join us at our upcoming health class, Brain Fog, Poor Memory & Lack of Concentration, 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 24 at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene. Fee: $10. RSVP: 208-765-1994 or register here: http://bit.ly/MentalClarityClass
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Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Carling is a “Health Detective.” She looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’Alene clinic. Visit Carling’s website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.