An all too common grievance I hear today has to do with mental clarity. Complaints about not being able to remember details, having difficulty concentrating, or just plain feeling like they're in a fog is more common than ever. So many turn to medications for "depression," "anxiety" or "ADD" as a result, yet there is so much we can do to resolve this mental state, if we take the time to identify why it's occurring in the first place.
The list of "why's" is tremendously long - too long in a short article to give much justice, so we will just give a brief explanation of them as a whole.
"Brain fog" is not a medically recognized term, and is generally associated with depression, whereas "lack of concentration" is medically diagnosed as ADD. These "garbage can diagnoses" prevent one from looking into the real causes of these troubling issues. Most of these can be associated with nutritional deficiencies - especially of the essential fats, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, hydration and other factors all intricately linked to healthy brain activity. We make our own "happy hormones" and other hormones responsible for mental clarity. However, unless the raw materials are present to make them out of, the body is unable to create hormonal harmony within the brain.
Another issue is at the opposite spectrum of deficiencies - and that is excesses. Excesses of bad fats and artificial sweeteners that hamper good brain activity and development, excesses of chemical additives in our foods, and excesses of heavy metals found in our environment, home, and foods, which make their way into our body's tissues. We may have excesses of waste metabolites which are ineffectively cleared from our body's tissues, excesses of medications (OTC, prescribed, or "street drugs"), and excesses of electromagnetic influences that can contribute to brain fog, poor memory or lack of concentration.
Considering illnesses is important as well. Chronic infections or many illnesses, especially auto-immune diseases, brain trauma, menopause, senility, etc. can also be associated with unclear thinking (and can be remedied as well). Poor oxygenation of the tissues, poor circulation to the brain (from thickened blood, or low blood pressure, for instance), and parasitic infections can all be responsible for it.
We need to investigate possible physical problems such as subluxations in the spine (and the need for Chiropractic treatment), visual problems, or the medications used that help manage pain. Hormonal imbalances play a vital role in how our brain functions, as well as the other functions the endocrine organs play in our health. Especially up for consideration is the pancreas (blood sugar imbalances), liver (responsible for thousands of activities in the body), the adrenals (responsible for many hormones, including those that help us manage stress and give us sustained energy throughout the day), and our sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, etc).
There are many reasons for unclear thinking, the above only states some. Learn more by attending our upcoming health class, "Solutions to Brain Fog, Poor Memory & Lack of Concentration," Wednesday, March 13th 7 p.m. in Cd'A. Fee: $10. RSVP: (208) 765-1994.
Dr. Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with over 34 years of experience. Dr. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d'Alene clinic. Visit Dr. Carling's website at www.vitalhealthandfitness.com to learn more about Dr. Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Dr. Carling can be reached at (208) 765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.