What is Brain Fog
We’ve all heard the term “brain fog” used when we feel like we can’t think straight or when we have a hard time focusing. But is brain fog a real thing? The simple answer is yes, however brainfog itself isn’t a medical condition that can be diagnosed and specifically treated. Brain fog is a symptom of other medical issues.
Brain fog is one way of describing the feeling of not being able to think clearly or remember information as quickly as you once could. When you have brain fog you feel less alert and have a harder time reading and listening. All of these symptoms of brain fog can make you feel less confident, which can be detrimental to your mental health and well being.
If you’re experiencing brain fog, it can be difficult to live with and can negatively impact all areas of your life. Brain fog can make it difficult for you to concentrate at work and may interfere with your mood. You may also have difficulty sleeping.
Let’s take a closer look at the confusion that comes with brain fogand what brain fog is all about, including the symptoms, natural ways to treat brain fog, and the link that brain fog has to low testosterone levels in men.
How Common is Brain Fog Among Men?
Brain fog is a common occurrence in both women and men of all ages. Brain fog is just as common in men as it is in women, with the main cause being hormone imbalances. For women, brain fog may be the result of an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone. For men the hormone that can cause brain fog is testosterone. As men age, testosterone levels naturally start to decline. Many men turn to natural testosterone supplements like HF Labs Delta Prime. When the male body has lower levels of testosterone it can lead to both mental and physical changes for men of all ages.1
Common Brain Fog Symptoms in Men
Brain fog can manifest itself in many ways, from a feeling of fogginess to a chronic feeling of fatigue. Some men may experience only mild symptoms while others may experience brain fog that is severe enough to have negative consequences in all areas of their life.
Here are the common brain fog symptoms in men:
- Low energy and fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Poor memory
- Feeling disoriented
- Lack of motivation
Brain Fog & Testosterone: Is there a Link?
Hormone imbalances can impact you both physically and mentally. Some of the symptoms of a hormone imbalance include the brain fog symptoms listed here. What many men don’t realize is that the fogginess they’ve been experiencing can be the result of a testosterone imbalance.
Studies show that there’s a direct link between brain fog and low testosterone levels. When testosterone is low some men may experience difficulty concentrating and exhibit the symptoms of brain fog. This fogginess can start to affect the health and well being of men in other ways than diminished cognitive abilities. Brain fog can affect self confidence and have a damaging impact on relationships with others and the enjoyment of life.2
How Can Men Treat Brain Fog?
Improving testosterone levels may positively affect brain and cognitive function. Men who experience brain fog due to low levels of testosterone can treat the symptoms, so they have more mental clarity. Here are some of the natural ways to treat brain fog:
Manage stress – Even low levels of stress can cause brain fog as well as other health issues like elevated blood pressure. Learn how to mange your stress, such as making more time for yourself.
Exercise – Exercise may help with concentration and focus by increasing oxygen levels that flow to the brain. Exercise may also help with your overall sense of well being, boosting self esteem. Make the time to exercise for 30 minutes a day at least 3 to 4 times each week.
Get outdoors – Getting outside for fresh air and sunlight can play a big role in alleviating brain fog.3
Improved sleep – If possible, try to get an optimum 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Less than 7 hours of quality sleep a night may worsen symptoms of brain fog significantly by interfering with the body’s circadian rhythm.4
Avoid sugar – Avoid consuming any products that contain white sugar. Sugar may play a direct role in cognitive function, making it harder for you to focus. One reason for this is that eating white sugar can quickly elevate glucose levels which can in turn cause you to feel sluggish and tired.
Caffeine – Limit caffeine. When you consume too much caffeine you may experience trouble sleeping.
Alcohol – Limit the amount of alcohol you consume. Studies show that drinking too much alcohol can lead to faster cognitive decline.5
Eat a healthy diet–A diet that’s healthy and provides you with all the nutrients your body needs may make you feel more energetic and less irritable.
Food allergies – Food allergies are known to be linked to brain fog, such as a gluten sensitivity. Eat a gluten free diet to see if there’s an improvement in focus and concentration.6
Folic acid–Folic acid is a vitamin that’s essential for brain health. Taking a folic acid supplement once a day may help to improve your mental function.7
Vitamins B and D – Both vitamins B and D are essential for cognitive function. Taking both a B and D daily supplement may help you stay more alert and focused.8,9
Testosterone supplements–Increasing testosterone levels may help with brain fog. There are several natural supplements available that can boost testosterone, such as saw palmetto and tongkat ali.10,11
When to see a Dr. for Brain Fog
If you’re experiencing mild to medium symptoms of brain fog without any other symptoms of low testosterone, using some of the natural treatments listed here may help your concentration and focus.
However, if you’re experiencing severe symptoms of brain fog that are affecting your well being, it’s time to see a doctor. You’ll also want to see a doctor if you have other symptoms of low testosterone, such as a declining sex drive, feeling tired all the time, excessive hair loss, or irritability and mood swings.
You should also see a doctor if you’re experiencing brain fog in addition to other symptoms, as brain fog can be a side effect of other medical issues.
- Celec, P. & Ostatnikova, D. (2015). The many faces of testosterone.Front Neurosci. 9:12. Retrieved on March 14, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4330791/
- Zitzmann, M. (2006). Testosterone and the brain. Aging Male. 9(4): 195-9. Retrieved on March 14, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17178554
- Kent, ST. & McClure, LA. (2009). Effect of sunlight exposure on cognitive function among depressed and non-depressed participants: a REGARDS cross-sectional. Environ Health. 8:34.Retrieved on March 14, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2728098/
- Alhola, P. & Polo-Kantola, P. (2007). Sleep deprivation: Impact on cognitive performance. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 3(5): 553-567. Retrieved on March 14, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2656292/
- Sabia, S. & Elbaz, A.(2014). Alcohol consumption and cognitive decline in early old age. Neurology. 82(4): 332-339. Retrieved on March 14, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3929201/
- Makhlouf, S. & Messelmani, M.(2018). Cognitive impairment in celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity: review of literature on the main cognitive impairments, the imaging and the effect of gluten free diet. Acta Neurol Belg. 118(1): 21-27.Retrieved on March 14, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29247390
- Reynolds, H. (2002). Folic acid, ageing, depression, and dementia. BMJ. 324(7352): 1512-5. Retrieved on March 14, 2019 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12077044
- Anjum, I. & Muacevic, A. (2018). The Role of Vitamin D in Brain Health: A Mini Literature Review. Cureus. 10(7): e2930. Retrieved on March 14, 2019 from https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiGkZrWgoPhAhWBsZ4KHfhQD3EQFjAAegQICRAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov%2Fpmc%2Farticles%2FPMC6132681%2F&usg=AOvVaw2Q8MMs5iFxWvy5kSYL_GjW
- Kennedy, DO. (2018). B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy–A Review. Nutrients. 8(2): 68. Retrieved on March 14, 2019 from https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwix0eifg4PhAhUVsp4KHTQhDhwQFjAAegQIABAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov%2Fpubmed%2F26828517&usg=AOvVaw2kUzYULimZy1OEu__kwV3i
- Gunnels, TA. &Bloomer, RJ. (2014) Increasing Circulating Testosterone: Impact of Herbal Dietary Supplements. J Plant Biochem Physiol. 2:130. Retrieved on March 14 from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/307778121_Increasing_Circulating_Testosterone_Impact_of_Herbal_Dietary_Supplements
- Erasmus, N. & Solomon, MC. (2012)Effect of Eurycoma longifolia Jack (Tongkat ali) extract on human spermatozoa in vitro. Andrologia. 44: 301-314. Retrieved on March 14, 2019 from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1439-0272.2012.01282.x/abstract