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Brain Fog: Surprising Root Causes and Treatment Options

By Lucy Rose Clinic

January 4, 2021

Did you know that constant fatigue and the feeling of a foggy brain are actually the results of structural changes in the brain itself? If something isn’t right, then the plasticity of the signaling sites in the brain becomes altered, causing atrophy, and other parts of the brain can swell.

And, as always, if you’d like to talk to someone about your experiences with these symptoms, our ears are open! Just click here for a free Phone Consultation.

Brain fog

Brain Fog – inability to focus, concentrate, follow through with actions or a train of thought. 

Brain Fog & Fatigue: The Thyroid Link

Did you know that constant fatigue and the feeling of a foggy brain are actually the results of structural changes in the brain itself? If something isn’t right, then plasticity of the signaling sites in the brain can reduce, causing atrophy, and other parts of the brain can swell.

The symptoms of this are all too common; stress and fatigue. The brain is a complex and fascinating organ. In order to remedy a brain that isn’t working so well, we first need to look at what could be causing the problem.


Inflammation is present whenever there is a health concern. However, to really allow the body to heal, we must discover what is driving the inflammation.

Factors that drive inflammation include; injury, food intolerances, chronic infections, drugs, stress, toxin exposure, sugar and high carb diets, heavy metal toxicity – just to name a few!

Gut microbes
An imbalance of bacteria in the gut has been linked to symptoms of fatigue. There are several strains of ‘bad bacteria’ that have been found to give you fatigue, pain and a foggy head! Some of these are: Faecalibacterium, Roseburia, Dorea, Coprococcus, Clostridium, Ruminococcus and Coprobacillus.

Imbalances of bacteria in the gut are common, and can occur from antibiotic use, food poisoning, a transient illnesses such as gastro, or an overly refined diet.

High Blood Sugar
Our brain uses a lot of glucose for easy energy, but the typical Aussie diet has way too much sugar for us to handle. A growing body of research suggests that a sugar-heavy diet could increase risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. A 2013 study found that insulin resistance and blood glucose levels — which are hallmarks of diabetes — are linked with a greater risk for developing neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s.


Our brain is 75% water, and dehydration quickly affects brain function. Need help to increase your water intake? Do our “Hydration Challenge” in the articles section of our website.

Nutrient deficiency

Not surprisingly, your brain needs nutrition too! If you have low magnesium, your thinking will be affected. Magnesium helps keep the synaptic nerves supple and plastic, prevents neurogenic inflammation and assists the release of inflammatory cytokines. Magnesium has been proven to maintain mitochondrial structure and function. It reduces excitotoxicity and stimulates GABA – our calming neurotransmitter.

Acetyl L-Carnitine has been shown to improve nerve cell regeneration, brain activity, and protects neurons from excitotoxicity.

Vitamin B12 is vital for methylation, gene expression, and building the myelin sheath around nerves.

Iron deficiency will limit the amount of oxygen delivered to the brain, so correcting an iron deficiency is vital!

Vitamin D plays an important role in preserving cognitive function, particularly as we age. Low vitamin D levels are associated with cognitive issues in the elderly.

Low phosphorus causes Brain Fog.

Iodine deficiency is especially concerning, as levels of iodine in the body will directly affect thyroid function. Despite this, the thyroid only holds about 31% of the body’s iodine, so when levels are low it will start to compete with other tissue for the available iodine, causing a range of issues. Iodine deficiency causes developmental delay, learning and behavioural disorders, and mental retardation. Iodine also protects brain tissues and cell membranes from degeneration, preventing brain aging and memory loss.


There are many many toxins that affect out brain, and in many cases, detoxification strategies can help to reduce the toxic burden and improve brain function. Here some but not all toxins that can cause Brain Fog.

Mould can cause atrophy in the caudate nucleus, and could be a contributor to Parkinson’s disease. It can also cause swelling in the left amygdala and right forebrain. Not all mould is visible to the naked eye. Most of us only consider black mould to be a health hazard, but there are over 100 000 types of mould in the world!

Trans-generational toxicity. It is possible for toxicity patterns to be inherited. A child may have the same type and level of toxicity as one or both parents, or one or more grandparents. It may be on the paternal or maternal side of the family. The toxicity may skip one generation and appear in one or more siblings within a family. Copper, aluminium, mercury and lead are often found to be passed on in this way, but all toxic substances have the ability to do this.

Heavy Metals. Mercury is able to cross the blood-brain and the placental barriers. Mercury acts primarily on the neurological system and the gastrointestinal tract. It can adversely affect developing nerve sheaths by preventing myelin formation. It is an endocrine disruptor, causing in some patients unexplained weight gain and hypothyroid symptoms 


The stress hormone cortisol can actually shrink parts of your brain! It affects the amygdala – the part responsible for emotions and memory – and the prefrontal cortex – needed for planning complex cognitive behaviour, personality expression, decision making, and moderating social behaviour. Explains a lot!

Fatty acids

DHA is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid. It’s a fundamental building block of the brain and it’s a critical nutrient for brain cell function. It improves the fluidity of brain cell membranes, supports the growth of the connective structures in the brain, improves the ability to release neurotransmitters, and enhances communication between neurons. Fatty fish such as salmon, cod liver oil, and organ meat are high dietary sources of DHA.

Heavy Metals

Heavy metals can accumulate in the brain. If the patient has accumulated metals, such as mercury, lead, or non-elemental toxins, and these are added to the aluminium burden, this can be a very dangerous combination. The effect of this combination on the healthy brain is severe: it can be seen in young patients who are on the Autistic Spectrum; or in older patients with dementia.

With diseases such as Alzheimer’s becoming one of the most significant global healthcare problems, it is important that we look after our brain.

Holistic treatment to prevent and reverse mild to moderate dementia is now a real thing, but it will take a long time for conventional medicine to start utilising the protocols.

Why? Because treatment is multi-factorial and complex. Drivers that must be addressed include insulin sensitivity, genetics, diet, inflammation, medications, thyroid function, nutrient status, heavy metal load and environmental toxins. In fact, Alzheimer’s is actually several different diseases, with treatments needing to be individually formulated in order to be successful.

Don’t wait, start looking after your brain today! Your Lucy Rose Practitioner is there to help if you would like to embark on functional testing to optimise your body systems, an approach which is all a part of having a younger brain! 

If it’s time for a check-up, take the first step with a free Phone Consultation with the Health Team today.

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