Home » Overview: Treating Brain Fog with Chinese Medicine in Toronto, ON
Many conditions and medications can cause brain fog: allergy, stress, GI problems, injury, cancer treatments, stroke, medications, insomnia, hormonal imbalance, etc. A successful treatment for brain fog, and brain health in general, should be able to address all causes involved safely. As a traditional medicine that has been practiced for thousands of years, Chinese medicine can provide help improve brain health and cognitive function by addressing the various underlying conditions with a focus on inflammation control and circulation quality.
Treatment from an experienced Chinese medicine practitioner can improve sleep quality, hormonal balance, and digestive function and regulate the immune and nervous system to keep your brain in healthy conditions and stay focused.
As a leading Chinese medicine and acupuncture clinic in Toronto, Canada, Kampo Health often has patients come in with complaints of brain fog. Brain fog is a term used to describe a range of symptoms that affect cognitive function, including difficulty concentrating, memory problems, mental fatigue, and a general feeling of mental cloudiness. It is considered representative of your brain health and cognitive function.
You don’t need special treatment for a brain fog if you can clearly identify a cause, such as an overnight drinking party, having a cold, or overworking on a project before the deadline. Having occasional brain fog is common and normal, But if forgetfulness and lack of focus regularly impact your daily life, that is something you should pay attention to and seek help. Chronic brain fog is not normal. It can be a sign of impending doom. People who live to the age of 85 have a nearly 50% chance of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Take care of your brain health now before it is too late.
These are some general ways to get rid of brain fog from Dr. Google:
However, if you have tried all the above and still struggle with brain fog, then you may need to look deeper into the underlying conditions that lead to the decline of brain health and cognitive function.
There are many conditions that contribute to brain fog. The common ones are:
These conditions are commonly associated with brain fog and are not treated very well by conventional medicine. Sometimes, those conditions can be neglected or dismissed by your doctors. I hope this post can provide you with some useful information about brain fog and how it can be treated by Chinese medicine effectively.
Allergies may be more common than you think. It’s important to note that even if you are not diagnosed with an allergy, that doesn’t mean you don’t have an allergic reaction. Allergic reaction is a continuous spectrum, whether you have an allergy depends on where the line is drawn for diagnosis. Some allergy symptoms are obvious such as red itchy eyes and congested sinuses, but some are subtle and seemingly non-related such as brain fog.
Brain fog, dizziness, and hazy-headedness are the main symptoms well-known to seasonal allergy sufferers. Scientists have found a few mechanisms that link allergy to brain fog.
In my clinical experience of treating allergy and brain fog in Toronto, one group of allergy patients often have migraines, dizziness, and heavy-headedness triggered by weather and pressure changes, their brain fog is caused by the “dampness accumulation” in TCM term, and the treatment is different from the hay fever group with nasal and eyes symptoms, which has a different underlying TCM pathology that requires different treatment.
It is not uncommon for people to feel tired and sleepy after a meal. In those cases, there seems to be a clear link between brain function and digestive health. While there is no definitive answer to whether digestive problems can directly cause brain fog, there is evidence to suggest that there may be a connection between the two.
The gut and the brain are closely connected through the gut-brain axis, a bidirectional communication system involving the central nervous system and the enteric nervous system in the gut. This connection allows for the exchange of signals and chemicals between the brain and the gut. The gut also houses a complex community of microorganisms known as the gut microbiota, which can influence brain function and behavior.
Digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) have been associated with brain fog in some individuals. The exact mechanisms behind this connection are not fully understood, but several factors could contribute:
Whether patients come in for digestive problems or other conditions such as brain fog, digestive health is always considered in the treatment plan because Chinese medicine thinks digestion is the fundamental component of health. Chinese medicine at Kampo Health Toronto Clinic offers a complete line of treatment for your digestive issues through customized natural herbal formulas, acupuncture and moxibustion treatments.
It’s important to note that brain fog can have various causes, and digestive problems are just one potential factor. Other factors such as sleep disturbances, stress, hormonal imbalances, medication side effects, and chronic fatigue syndrome can also contribute to brain fog.
Yes, stress is a known contributor to brain fog. When you experience stress, whether it’s acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term), it can have a significant impact on cognitive function and lead to symptoms of brain fog.
Stress triggers a physiological response in the body, including the release of stress hormones such as cortisol. Elevated levels of cortisol can affect various aspects of brain function, including:
Impaired concentration and memory: High levels of stress hormones can interfere with the functioning of the prefrontal cortex, a brain region responsible for executive functions like concentration, memory, and decision-making.
Chronic stress can lead to other problems, such as disrupted sleep, anxiety, excessive worrying, and emotional responses, such as frustration, irritability, and mood swings, which can further affect cognitive function and contribute to brain fog.
Managing stress requires a multi-faceted approach that goes beyond what this post can cover. Nonetheless, Chinese medicine can be utilized as a part of the strategy with its holistic treatment such as herbal formulas, acupuncture, moxibustion, etc, for reducing brain fog and improving overall cognitive function. I will discuss the details of Chinese medicine for stress management in a separate post. But here are some general strategies for stress management:
Recent reports suggest 20-30 percent of people have brain fog three months after infection. Up to 85 percent of people with long COVID also have brain fog.
Brain fog can be one of the lingering symptoms experienced by some individuals after recovering from COVID-19. While there is no specific treatment for brain fog, there are strategies you can try to help alleviate the symptoms and support your overall recovery.
There are plenty of suggestions you can get from the internet. Here, I just want to emphasize how I view conditions such as brain fog related to post-COVID-19 infections and vaccination from a Chinese medicine perspective.
Chinese medicine is a non-pathogen-specific system. It focuses on the current pathophysiological state that patients present at the moment and derive treatment right from there. That means we do not view post-COVID patients any differently from others who suffer from brain fog. While I am aware of blood clots and dysautonomia as the most common complications from COVID-10 infection and vaccination, I still conduct whole-body assessments based on Kampo/TCM principle to identify the underlying factors and patterns and create treatment plans based on the information I collect. For details on how I treat COVID-19-related conditions, you can read Post-COVID/Vaccine Treatment with Chinese Medicine and 3 post-COVID/Vaccine Cases.
Concussions are common in our life. Car accidents, sports, skiing, or simply a fall off the stairs or curb can all cause a concussion. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that occurs due to a blow or jolt to the head. It can lead to a range of symptoms, including cognitive difficulties commonly referred to as brain fog. Brain fog after a concussion is a common complaint and can persist for a variable duration. Here’s some information on the relationship between concussions and brain fog:
It’s important to note that brain fog following a concussion can be influenced by various factors, such as the severity of the injury, individual susceptibility, pre-existing conditions, and psychological factors like anxiety or depression. Additionally, co-existing issues like sleep disturbances, neck or vestibular (balance) dysfunction, and post-traumatic migraines can contribute to the persistence of brain fog symptoms.
Recovery from a concussion can take time, and it’s important to be patient and follow the guidance of your healthcare provider. It’s advisable to avoid activities that can worsen symptoms, get sufficient rest, manage stress, and communicate openly with your healthcare team throughout the course of treatment.
In my opinion, from a Chinese medical view, the treatment of concussions should start as soon as possible. Chinese medicine provides a variety of options, according to the nature and stages of the injury. Acupuncture, herbal medicine, cupping, moxibustion, and tuina therapy are all very effective and safe if they are done by experienced practitioners with caution. In principle, the earlier the treatment, the less damage and faster, better recovery can be.
If you are experiencing persistent or severe brain fog that significantly impacts your daily life, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional. They can help evaluate your symptoms, identify any underlying causes, and recommend appropriate treatment options.
If you are looking for an alternative, natural solution to optimize your brain health, you can Contact Us by email or phone, or book an appointment with our experienced Chinese medicine practitioners now.
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