What is Brain fog?
Brain fog is one of the most important symptoms today, even though it is not listed as a diagnosis or recognized health condition in most medical or psychological texts. Clinically Brain fog is defined as a subjective feeling of confusion and lack of mental clarity. Brain fog is a feeling of being somewhat disconnected or spaced out, mentally confused and lacking clarity, focus and concentration. Other symptoms may include a decrease in short-term memory, reduced attention span and the onset of forgetfulness. The condition can present itself slowly over a short period of time or progress very quickly. Individuals who suffer from brain fog will describe the feeling of being zoned out, detached, and “stuck inside their head.” Some sufferers also report that they feel a tingling on top of their head, a sensation of cotton balls being in their head, and impairment in their vision. It is called as brain fog because it feels like a cloud that reduces one’s ability to think clearly.
Brain fog is not recognized as a clinical diagnosis because it is not easy to test for it. It is quite subjective, in other words. The person just knows that they do not function well, and the mind often seems foggy or cloudy. This is not the same as dementia, mental retardation, anxiety, depression or other common mental symptoms.
It can cause a person to become forgetful, detached and often discouraged and depressed. It usually is present most of the time, meaning it does not come and go, although it may become better or worse depending on what a person eats, or one’s state of rest and hydration.
Causes of Brain fog :
Lack of sleep
Vitamin and Nutritional deficiencies
Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia
Toxicity from metals like copper, aluminium, cadmium, lead, mercury
Toxicity from minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, chromium
Toxicity from industrial chemicals
Food and Drug allergies
Auto-immune diseases like lupus, multiple sclerosis
Psychological causes: In some cases, brain fog can be due to mental or emotional conflicts, unresolved traumas or other psychological causes. Essentially, in such cases, one does not really want to see or think clearly about something or someone. Thus brain fog becomes one’s defense mechanism. In these cases, brain fog may be your way to deny reality when your life is not going well. It is recommended to always ask for and seek the truth, and cultivate a belief that “the truth will set you free”. This does not mean the truth will be pretty. However, seeing and accepting the truth about oneself and everyone else does lead to clearer thinking and, eventually, to happiness and a healthy state of mind and body
Diagnosis of Brain fog:
There are no any specific medical tests to identify brain fog. Instead, diagnosis is usually based upon the symptoms. The symptoms associated with brain fog, however, are very real and can be alarming for those who suffer from them. These include lack of mental clarity, some usually mild memory loss, mental confusion, inability to perform simple mental tasks such as calculating or writing well, and mental sluggishness. This constellation of symptoms does not fit into any known “mental illness” or dementia, and that is why brain fog is a separate health condition that needs to be investigated more.
Natural therapies like Homeopathy, Foot reflexology, Chiropractic, Hypnotherapy along with a nutritional balancing programme, exercise and counselling, have been showing very good results.
Removing one’s negative programming and feeding positive feelings to oneself is a most important aspect of counselling or hypnotherapy when the main cause is emotional or psychological. In the case of children, counselling the parents becomes equally important, so as to make them understand their child’s condition.
A Case of Brain fog with Hypothyroidism treated with Homeopathy:
A young 30+ girl, with a known case of Hypothyroidism, came to me seeking treatment mainly for associated symptoms of brain fog. She described her symptoms exactly as explained in the above notes on brain fog. Her main concern was to cure the daily absolute blank states of mind with a feeling of being disconnected, confusion, lack of clarity, lack of concentration and focus with memory loss. These symptoms had made her very depressed and frustrated. Her memory had become so bad that sometimes she would not even be able to tell her address when asked, as she would become confused and not recollect the name of her street. Her ability to function and work was decreased to the extent that she could not even do simple calculations correctly.
As she had already been diagnosed with hypotension and low thyroid hormone levels the last two years, the apparent cause of her symptoms appeared to be Hypothyroidism and Hypotension. She was put on 75mcg Levothyroxine sodium daily once since 2 years. She had these symptoms for two years and the last few months they had become more intense. On deep interrogation, I got the clue that she was under some stress, but was reluctant to disclose it. Initially she refused to talk about that but finally she cried out loudly. It was then obvious that main the cause of all her problems was suppressed emotions. She was mortified to such an extent that she did not want to work anymore, but rested under this ‘cloud of confusion’, living disconnected from the real dirty world.
I felt as if her confusion was transferred to me. She was about to leave the clinic and I had no clue about her remedy. I only knew she would require a remedy having complaints from deep trauma and bad effects of suppressed emotions and mortification and mental stress.
My brain fog disappeared when she answered my questions about sleep and dreams. She revealed a very peculiar symptom which I felt was related to her individual constitution. In one dream which appeared very often during sleep, her jaws are broken and cannot be moved at all. She said that she sleeps with her jaws very tightly clenched. She said that even in the daytime she keeps her jaws constantly clenched. She would relax them as she realised they were tight and clenched them again.
Her dream about jaws and sleeping with tightly clenched jaws indicated the level of stress and intensity of anger she was constantly in. All of us grind and clench our teeth on occasion. But when one grinds or clenches her teeth on a regular basis, this is a condition called ‘ Bruxism ‘.
I decided to prescribe on these characteristic symptoms. I searched for this dream in the dream section of the Synthesis repertory and found one rubric exactly the same as the dream described by the patient.
Dreams : Body; Parts Of: – jaws / broken:
There was only one drug listed in the rubric – Rauwolfia serpentina, a very famous drug among Homeopaths known for its curative effects on abnormalities in blood pressure.
Rauwolfia serpentina, or ‘Snakeroot’ or ‘ Indian snake root, or ‘Sarpagandha’ or ‘ Serpentine root ‘ is a species of flowering plant in the family Apocynaceae. It is native to South and East Asia (from India to China and Indonesia). It is one of the 50 fundamental herbs used in Chinese medicine. This plant is used medicinally both in the Modern Western Medical system and also in Ayurveda, Unani and Folk medicine. It helps to reduce blood pressure, depresses activity of the central nervous system and acts as a hypnotic.
Snakeroot depletes catecholamines and serotonin from nerves in the CNS.
Rauwolfia serpentina contains a number of bioactive chemicals, including yohimbine, reserpine, ajmaline, deserpidine, rescinnamine, serpentinine.
The extract of the plant has also been used for many years from ancient times in India. Alexander the Great administered this plant to cure his general Ptolemy of a poisoned arrow. It was reported that Mahatma Gandhi took it as a tranquilizer during his lifetime. A compound which it contains called reserpine, is used to treat high blood pressure and mental disorders including schizophrenia. Due to its tranquillising effects on the brain it is used as a hypnotic and in meditation.
Even though Rauwolfia has been everywhere described, proved and, also clinically used for treating Hypertension, it being so similar with the dream of my patient, I decided to prescribe it. The patient’s blood pressure actually went low and she had an exacerbation of brain fog symptoms after having just two doses of 10 drops of mother tincture of Rauwolfia in warm water. This was corrected with one single dose of the same remedy in 200C potency. I learned from my mistake that Rauwolfia in its crude form has the capacity to lower the blood pressure and the capacity to increase the blood pressure in its dynamic form. Therefore it can cure both conditions- hypotension as well as hypertension. It can be assumed that in hypertension lower potencies may be effective and in case of hypotension higher potencies may be effective. However, final judgement on posology for this or any drug should depend on the similarity it is has with the totality of symptoms of the patient. The more similar is the drug picture with the patient’s characteristic symptoms, the higher the potency which can be selected.
Over five months the patient did very well on infrequent repetition of Rauwolfia serpentina 200. After 4-5 doses her brain fog symptoms were cured remarkably. Not only that, her endocrinologist was very happy to see the improvement in her Thyroid hormone level. Her Thyroid hormone level returned to normal after starting Rauwolfia and doses of Thyroxine were reduced. Her blood pressure became normal. She was surprised that she no longer clenched her jaws while sleeping and that the weird dream that her jaws are broken was completely gone. Her menses which were very profuse and exhausting, also normalized. In her last follow-up she said she felt better after the remedy, as her frustration, depression and energy level was much better than before, along with her brain fog symptoms, blood pressure, thyroid levels and menstrual cycles. Also she reduced 3 kgs weight and the puffiness from her face is gone.
I hope to get more use from this magical gift from nature.