What is Brain Fog? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Do you ever feel like your mind is cloudy and your brain power seems subdued and sluggish? It can be brain fog.

What is Brain Fog? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Brain fog, often synonymous with chronic fatigue syndrome, describes a feeling of mental fatigue that can impact cognitive impairment.

This can dampen your production and contribute to poor concentration. It can even influence your well-being and quality of life.

There are a lot of causes of brain fog and different cognitive symptoms associated with brain fog. However, some solutions and treatment options may help.

Let’s dive in to understand better the circumstances.


    What is Brain Fog?

    Brain fog is the term for the feelings of cloudy thoughts, difficulty organizing ideas, and cognitive dysfunction.

    It can make you forgetful or slower at processing information and completing tasks. It can also make you feel tired and distracted.

    This can influence your well-being and ability to find joy in enjoyable activities like you usually would. Also, brain fog can lead to apathy and a lack of motivation as well.

    Brain fog is often associated with age-related cognitive decline or lifestyle choices, but it can occur at any stage in life and can affect anyone.

    What Causes Brain Fog?

    There is no singular root cause that can cause brain fog. Instead, there is often a combination of factors and causes of brain weariness that vary from one person to another.

    Increased Stress Levels

    Chronic stress can put your brain function into overdrive, which can lead to exhausted cognition. Over time, the stress will make it harder to think clearly and contribute to brain fog (1).

    Stress can also cause inflammation, insomnia, defective immune system, and difficulty focusing, which can play a role in brain fog.

    Lack of Sleep

    Everyone needs enough sleep for their brain and body to recuperate. Thus, it is well known that sleep deprivation is bad for brain health, and over time, it can deteriorate healthy brain function and trigger brain fog (2).

    Without sleep, our mind will never be fully recovered and cause many symptoms related to brain fog.

    Anxiety and Depression

    Anxiety and depression are also common causes of brain fog. Therefore, anxiety can cause trouble concentrating because it can cause intrusive thoughts that distract your train of thought and be exhausting.

    Research shows that there is also a correlation between depression and brain fatigue because poor mental health is associated with inactive neurons and inadequate levels of neurotransmitters, including serotonin, acetylcholine, and dopamine (3).

    Hormonal Changes

    Amounts of hormones like progesterone and estrogen can alter brain functions. A sudden change in hormonal balance can lead to mental fatigue.

    These changes can make it harder to concentrate, cause forgetfulness, and play a role in cloudy thinking. This is most common during pregnancy or menopause (4).


    Certain foods and diet choices can also be a factor in developing brain fog. For instance, Vitamin B12 supports brain health, and low amounts can result in brain fog.

    Food allergies can also contribute to the development of brain fog. Nutritional deficiencies also play a part.

    For example, a low iron level can reduce the amount of healthy red blood cells and, in turn, cause brain fog (5). Alcohol and drugs can also cause or contribute to brain fog.

    Medications and Certain Health Conditions

    Several medical conditions are known as some of the most common causes. Inflammatory diseases, multiple sclerosis, immune system condition, diabetes, high blood pressure, fibromyalgia, depression, and other medical conditions can all play a part.

    Brain exhaustion is also a common symptom of early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, brain cloudiness is also a known symptom of post-COVID-19 (6).

    Finally, there are different medications and cancer treatments that can cause or worsen the condition.

    What Does Brain Fog Feel Like?

    Brain fog symptoms describe a lot of specific problems. While it isn’t a medical diagnosis, there are some common properties and characteristics of brain exhaustion.

    It can cause confusion and disorientation, as well as a fuzzy mind. It can also cause drowsiness, impact mental health and mood. In addition, some people experience poor concentration, reduced attention span, and a lack of alertness.

    Other symptoms of brain fog include mental and physical fatigue and low energy. The concerns can also weaken the neural connection and affect memory.

    In turn, you may find that you are struggling to remember things that happened recently. Some people experience short-term forgetfulness that can lead to frustrating occurrences. This can also make it hard to organize thought processes.

    One of the most common symptoms is poor mental clarity and a feeling of cloudiness. In some cases, brain fogginess can also trigger depression and other conditions involving mental health.

    In addition, this problem can reduce output and task completion when working and contribute to a loss of productivity.

    The combination of so many changes can have repercussions for well-being and make it difficult to find joy when participating in activities in daily life.

    A foggy brain can also make it harder to learn and understand relevant information, can interfere with thinking and the organization process. It may even make it more challenging to communicate and contribute to slow thinking.

    Some physical symptoms are commonly connected to brain fatigue, including headaches and migraines, susceptibility to illness or infection, and the inability to recover physically.

    Some people also find that the heightened stress levels associated with brain tiredness can increase blood pressure.

    How Is Brain Fog Diagnosed?

    Since brain fogginess is not a medical condition, a diagnosis will typically involve any underlying health issues.

    A doctor will conduct a physical examination and ask about your diet, physical activity, mental health, and any medication or supplements that you currently take.

    A doctor may discover that you have signs that point to hypothyroidism, abnormal glucose readings, poor liver or kidney function, nutritional deficiencies, inflammation, or infections.

    Depending on the results of the tests and questions, a doctor will diagnose brain fog and recommend a treatment option that can treat the underlying cause or directly treat the symptoms of brain tiredness.

    What Are The Treatments For Brain Fog?

    There is no official brain fog treatment option, and a doctor will, instead, offer treatment for any underlying medical condition or causes of brain fog. In addition, some home remedies can help you clear the fog and eliminate the negative feelings.

    The most important thing is to make healthy lifestyle changes. This includes sleeping seven to nine hours per night. This will allow your fog brain to recover and help your body heal from any stress.

    If you have trouble with sleep, try to go to bed every day at the same time and avoid electronic devices an hour before bedtime.

    Another positive change you can make towards improving the fogginess is to choose a healthy diet. Limit sugar intake and eat lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. You may be surprised at how well this works, especially if you are deficient in any nutrients.

    You must regularly exercise because it can help balance neurotransmitters in your brain and provide sustained energy that can clear away the fog. You should also avoid alcohol consumption because it can harm your health and brain power.

    You may also find that there are many natural ways to get rid of brain fog or different techniques to use for your unique needs.

    For example, managing stress can do wonders for fogginess as well. Try not to take on too much work and take mental breaks throughout the day at work.

    You can also try meditation to improve your stress and find relief. When you are stressed, it is harder for your brain to undergo the natural healing process.

    Also, when you experience new or stimulating activities, it can promote positive living and ensure an increase of norepinephrine in the brain. Attending social activities can also improve fogginess and help prevent a drop in mood related to brain fog.

    Many people also choose nootropic supplements to help eliminate grogginess, improve memory, develop proper chemical balance, and support cognition.


    Brain fog can be annoying and may demolish your quality of life. It can impact your memory, health, productivity and lower your energy.

    Sometimes the best option is to make simple changes to your lifestyle to eliminate fogginess depending on potential causes.

    However, this isn’t enough for some people, and they still feel slow, cloudy, and unmotivated. If that is the case, it may be best to try nootropics and supplements in conjunction with home remedies.

    Finally, brain fog can provoke different effects depending on the cause, and it may be challenging to determine what factors contribute to it.

    Once you do, you can target treatment options towards specific symptoms to take your life back and boost your well-being.