Brain fog is a symptom which we frequently observe in patients visiting the office. It is not necessarily a medical diagnosis, but it is a very real issue that people experience. Many people will feel this after a viral infection and brain fog has been identified as a long-lasting effect of COVID-19. (1)
Brain fog symptoms vary from person to person, but people commonly mention a combination of the following;
- Lack of mental clarity
- Inability to concentrate on tasks in hand
- Memory troubles
- Tension in the base of the neck and head
- Fatigue that isn't related to lack of sleep
Whilst a lot of these symptoms can be related to other issues, many people have tried the recommended treatments with little or no help.
Brain Fog - Things to try
Some of the things to try primarily are;
- Reducing stress levels (wouldn't we all like that!).
- Getting more sleep 9+ hours.
- Drinking more water.
- Looking into diet, particularly removing high salt and sugar products, reducing dairy intake and supplementation with vitamin B-12/vitaminD3/omega 3/probiotics.
Blood tests can be useful to check for underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes, anaemia and thyroid problems.
Ultimately, these methods that seek to improve the symptoms are based around lowering the amount of inflammation in the body. This is a wise thing to do, regardless of the presence of pain or symptoms. However looking into the spine and nervous system is often overlooked in attempt to help.
The vagus nerve regulates homeostasis by controlling heart rate, gastrointestinal motility and secretion, pancreatic endocrine and exocrine secretion, hepatic glucose production, and other visceral functions. The vagus nerve is also a major constituent of a neural reflex mechanism—the inflammatory reflex—that controls innate immune responses and inflammation during pathogen invasion and tissue injury. This nerve originates from a part of the central nervous system called the brainstem.
The brainstem is protected by the upper-cervical spine and we often find in the office that people who have brain fog symptoms also have issues with their upper-cervical spine. Secondly, this area of the spine is intricately related to fluid flow in and out of the brain. If this area of the spine is compromised then it may impact this function. If this function is compromised, it can lead to a build up of metabolic waste products surrounding the brain and insufficient fresh nutrients getting to brain. This can initiate inflammatory reactions. (2)
If you are suffering with brain fog and would like to speak with us about your case please book in a discovery call with us.
For more information on upper cervical chiropractic please check out our blog