Brain Fog: Causes & Treatment

Table of Contents

Brain fog isn’t one particular medical condition but a term to describe a collection of symptoms around feeling mentally foggy or having fuzzy thoughts. Many experience brain or mental fog as a lack of mental clarity, affecting your ability to focus and making it difficult to remember words or events.

What Causes Brain Fog?

There are several reasons for brain fog, and it can be a symptom of other health conditions, such as:

  • Hormonal imbalances, such as low testosterone
  • Lack of sleep
  • Increased stress levels
  • Depression or low mood
  • Dementia
  • Medication
  • Chronic health conditions, such as multiple sclerosis
  • Nutrient deficiencies, such as a vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Viral infections, such as COVID-19

It’s quite common for a few of these different conditions to overlap, causing mental fog. For example, a lack of sleep and depression can often go together. Similarly, stress can impact sleep, which in turn causes low mood or depression.

Brain Fog Symptoms

If you struggle with brain fog, you may find that you have difficulty with cognitive functions, and you might find that your head feels foggy. In addition, with brain fog, you may experience difficulty in other areas, such as:

  • Focusing on a thought or idea
  • Recalling events or details
  • Multitasking
  • Following conversations
  • Paying attention to your surroundings

Low Testosterone and Mental Fog

Men with low testosterone can often experience cognitive issues such as mental fog. Studies have shown that men with low testosterone perform lower than average on cognitive exams testing verbal fluency, visual-spatial processing, attention, memory, and executive functioning.

Men with low testosterone may find that they have trouble finding the right words or difficulty forming sentences, bump into objects or struggle with depth perception, or notice they’re struggling to focus on detailed tasks. Brain fog can manifest differently, but these are some common symptoms for men experiencing brain fog and low testosterone.

Brain Fog Treatment

As brain fog is often a symptom of an underlying health condition, speaking to your doctor or healthcare provider could help. However, you can make lifestyle changes to alleviate and improve some of the brain fog symptoms.

Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT)

If you’re experiencing mental fog because of low testosterone, consider speaking with your doctor about the possibility of testosterone replacement therapy as a solution for your low testosterone levels. Studies have revealed that testosterone replacement therapy can help alleviate brain fog symptoms, as men with low testosterone see improvements in scores for cognitive tests after beginning testosterone replacement therapy.

Get Enough Sleep

The CDC recommends that adults get 7-9 hours of good quality sleep every night, but research has shown that over a third of American adults don’t get enough sleep. Try to follow a sleep schedule where you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, avoid electronic devices and screen time before you go to sleep, and try to drink only decaffeinated drinks after midday.

Engage Your Mind

Studies have shown that keeping your mind engaged with interesting puzzles or trying new hobbies can help to increase the production of a brain chemical called norepinephrine, which stimulates your brain.

Avoid Multitasking

In some cases, multitasking can drain energy and lower productivity, especially if the multiple tasks require conscious thought. A study from 2011 revealed that short breaks could improve productivity and output, so try focusing on one task at a time.

Work on Your Memory

If you’ve found that you’re forgetting things or struggling to recall events, try activities to improve your memory, such as rhymes, mnemonics, visual cues, or repetition.

Take a Break

Many of us are guilty of cramming too much into our day and keeping our minds whirring away. To avoid brain fog, make sure you take breaks in your day, for example, do a crossword, go for a walk outside, or try meditation.

Stay Active

Regular exercise and staying active can have a lot of benefits for both your physical and mental health. In addition, staying socially active can impact your mood, memory, and cognitive ability.

Eat a Balanced Diet

A healthy diet that includes a variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, can help strengthen your memory, overall brain health, and improve brain fog.

When to See a Doctor About Brain Fog?

If brain fog symptoms are starting to impact your daily ability to function and carry out everyday activities, consider speaking with a men’s health physician.

If you’re concerned about low testosterone and mental fog, at Opt Health, we have specialized men’s health doctors who can provide treatment from the privacy and comfort of your own home. Get personalized support and insight from top-tier physicians available 24/7.

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