One recent study found that only one in seven Americans wake up feeling fresh every day of the week. This doesn’t come as that much of a surprise, as most adult individuals do not get the 7-8 hours of sleep that experts recommend. However, despite the obvious causes of not feeling refreshed each day, there are other reasons for not feeling rested. One suggested cause (primarily by functional medicine doctors) is a condition called brain fog. While there is evidence to back up the existence of this condition, many conventional doctors dispute its validity.
Because supporting your overall health and wellness requires a focus on both your mental and physical wellbeing, it is crucial to examine the evidence for any condition that might be affecting you. Let’s explore the definition and symptoms of brain fog, as well as the research that determines whether or not this is a real health condition.
What is brain fog?
The condition known as brain fog is defined by experts as a state of “confusion, forgetfulness, and a lack of focus and mental clarity.” It is used as a medical term by many functional medicine doctors. However, this term is not officially recognized as a condition in traditional medical literature.
What are the symptoms?
Having sharp mental functionality is key to having a productive day at work, school, or home. Brain fog, however, is said to significantly diminish an individual’s ability to think clearly and function properly. Specific symptoms of the condition include fatigue, memory loss, decreased motivation, headaches, anxiety, and irritability.
What does research say about brain fog?
Despite its acceptance in certain circles, research does not support the existence of brain fog as its own medical condition. While certain studies make reference to brain fog, it is talked about as a symptom rather than a disease or illness. Although there is no debate about the fact that people experience the symptoms of brain fog, there is almost always an underlying cause. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, pregnancy, various medications, menopause, and depression are just a few of the known conditions that are the root cause of what people refer to as brain fog.
Is brain fog a real medical condition?
Yes and no. While it is perfectly acceptable to use the term ‘brain fog’ as an umbrella term for a lack of mental clarity, fatigue, and decreased motivation, it is not a condition in itself. Instead, other underlying conditions are the true cause of these symptoms.