Treating Brain Fog using Functional Medicine - treating brain fog

Treating Brain Fog using Functional Medicine

Tara McLoughlin Neurological & Emotional Health, Nutrition, Toxicity Leave a Comment

Treating brain fog - imagine of foggy brain

What is Brain Fog?

If you’ve ever experienced brain fog, you know it.  It’s this feeling of being mentally sluggish and disconnected from the world around you.  It’s like the processor in your head is overheating and you can’t quite think straight or fast enough.  Your memory is toast and focus and concentration is impossible. I’ve often referred to it as “medicine head” because it reminds me of the days when I use to take over the counter cough and cold medicine.  Imagine feeling like that constantly and having no idea as to how to fix it!

It turns out that brain fog is a symptom for a variety of serious health issues including:

  • Lack of or poor quality sleep
  • Hormonal imbalances, including those caused by leaky gut
  • Diet - eating processed food that is high in carbohydrate and low in healthy fat
  • Vitamin deficiency, especially B12
  • Food allergies or sensitivities such as those to chemicals like MSG or Aspartame as well as to natural foods like peanuts, dairy, etc.
  • Stress
  • Type II Diabetes - as a result of constant inflammation caused by chronic insulin
  • Alzheimer's
  • ADHD
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Anemia
  • Various autoimmune diseases

The good news is, in many cases, brain fog can absolutely be treated!

Why Functional Medicine works for treating Brain Fog

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional medicine takes a specific approach to treating illness that is rooted in, first, understanding root cause.  The approach stems from acknowledging that the body is a whole system and not something made of seperate pieces and parts that all function on their own with no upstream influences or downstream impacts.  

We’ve all, well most of us, have had the experience of going to the doctor with a problem and coming away with a prescription for medication but without a solid reason for us feeling bad to begin with.  How frustrating! Functional medicine works to identify the root cause of the issue and formulates a treatment plan that gets to the heart of it.  

Often, the root of our illnesses are the result of poor diet and excessive exposure to toxins, both of which directly impact the health of our microbiome (gut).   By focusing on creating health through proper diet and nutrition and the application of various detoxification practices we heal our gut which allows us to properly nourish our bodies, balance our hormones and strengthen the immune system.  

Functional Medicine Benefits

The benefits of taking a functional medicine approach to treating illness (creating health) are far reaching and include the following, more common conditions.

    • Cardiometabolic conditions – diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease
    • Neurological and psychiatric conditions – depression, attention deficit disorder and migraine headaches, BRAIN FOG/Mental Clarity
    • Digestive disorders – irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, chronic pancreatitis, acid reflux and diverticulosis
    • Autoimmune diseases – rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and celiac disease
    • Skin disorders – psoriasis, acne and eczema
    • Hormonal problems – thyroid conditions, chronic fatigue and menopause

The Brain-Gut Connection

There is a significant connection between our digestive system and our brain!  This relationship is now being acknowledged, even, in mainstream arenas.  There is a lessor known part of the central nervous system that runs along the entire digestive tract (top down) called the enteric nervous system. It is often referred to as our “second brain”.  This direct link to our brain means that the health of our gut absolutely impacts how we think and feel.  

As an example, there is one type of gut bacteria, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, that contains a neurotransmitter, GABA, that plays a significant role in reducing anxiety and promoting calm.  Many people, today, are familiar with the efficacy of GABA when taken as a supplement.  Further, recent evidence shows that this type of gut bacteria impact brain chemistry in mice.  And what about in humans?  Good question, right?

Consider for a moment, the tremendous change in the American diet in the last 50 years.  We’ve, largely, gotten away from eating real, whole food and opted for the convenience provided by processed food (like substances) and drive-throughs.  Is it so hard to believe that we’ve made ourselves, our guts, so sick that the good bacteria aren’t present in enough abundance to support this known brain-gut connection?  

The question is, what are we going to do about it?

Putting it all together - Creating Optimal Brain Function

Image putting the pieces together for treating brain fog

To help explain and, even better, treat your brain fog and other neurological disorders  such as ADHD, depression, anxiety, etc., I want to introduce to you Dr. Mark Hyman.  

Dr. Hyman is the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.

He is the real deal!

He has been one of the biggest influences on my decision to make real changes to improve the my overall health and that of my family.  To say that it’s been life changing is an understatement.  

Dr. Hyman (and team) have spent literally thousands of hours creating an 8-part series, called the Broken Brain Docuseries, for benefit of, well, all of us.  In this series, Dr. Hyman presents significant evidence explaining why and how our brains are broken.  He interviews 57 known experts to further support the clinic research.  

But best of all?  Dr. Hyman has a plan.  He has a way for us to feel mentally “good” again.  Actually, I will go as far as to say we can feel “great”. Perhaps better than ever!  

What would you do to lift the fog, to get back to the sharp mental clarity and strong concentration you once had?  Would you not go to great lengths to reduce, and even eliminate, symptoms of depression, anxiety or ADHD for your children, your spouse or your parents?

In his Broken Brain series, Dr. Hyman presents a real functional medicine approach to creating brain health.  

What would you do to …

  • Feel more alert and focused. (You'll not only feel more alert, you'll feel more alive.)
  • Experience a more stable mood. ...
  • Develop a better memory. ...
  • Increase your concentration. ...
  • Feel more energy. ...
  • Sleep better. ...

Don’t miss this opportunity to take control of your health!  This docuseries has been a long time in the making and is finally available for everyone to see.  Did I mention that it costs nothing, zero, nada! Every person you know who is struggling with Depression, Alzheimer's, ADHD, Autism, Anxiety and Brain Fog can benefit from this information.  

I, honestly, don’t know if this series will be available at no cost after January 2018.  Now’s the time.  If you are making a New Year’s resolution, make it this.  Fix your broken brain.  What are you worth?


Life is too short not to be good to yourself.  Health IS happiness.  You deserve to feel good, again.  Take the step, today, to create a better way of living.  No one will ever care more about you, than you.  

*Remember to check with a healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, including the introduction of supplements.

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