10 Reasons Why Your Brain Fatigue Might Be Trying to Tell You Something
We’ve all had it at some point in our lives, and have called it by many names: brain fatigue, mental fog, brain tired, brain fog, mind cloud. It’s described as a listlessness, an inability to concentrate, or difficulty in recalling a memory or task exactly when we want to.
Whatever we choose to call it, both on an individual basis and a societal one, brain fatigue is rarely thought of as anything more than a temporary condition.
Certainly, nothing you’d bother to discuss with your doctor. Right?
Well, you may want to think again. The National Stem Cell Institute, a leading regenerative medicine clinic in the United States, reports that brain fatigue can be a warning sign for neurological and/or immunological diseases like multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia. Brain fatigue can even be caused by a viral or bacterial infection.
So, how do you know if feeling brain tired is the result of too many hours of overtime or a red flag that something more serious is afoot?
In this article, we’ll take a close look at precisely what your brain fatigue might be trying to tell you. And we’ll look at treatments and solutions.
The Basics of Brain Fatigue
Brain fatigue can be experienced as forgetfulness, a lack of mental clarity, confusion, or difficulty in maintaining focus. You won’t find “brain fatigue” condition listed in any medical books because it’s not a clinical term. That’s because feeling brain tired is not a disease in and of itself but, rather, can be a symptom of an underlying disease or condition.
Brain fatigue can be experienced in many ways, including:
- Low energy
- Feeling irritable
- An inability to concentrate
- A lack of motivation
- Wandering thoughts
But most people don’t begin to worry until they begin to experience symptoms that they think might be more serious, such as:
- Poor working memory
- Poor executive function (a set of mental skills that help you get things done)
- Difficulty in memorizing things
- Difficulty in processing new information
- Mental confusion
- Difficulty in keeping a train of thought
But no matter the symptoms and underlying causes of brain fatigue, it is always the result of inflammation in the brain. Brain fatigue can be as brief as a few minutes, or it may endure for decades. The good news is that, in most cases, feeling brain tired does not have to be a permanent condition.
Brain fatigue often means there is an issue with the limbic system.
Experiencing brain fatigue often means there is an issue with the area of the brain that is connected to roles like executive function, general cognitive function, or emotional balance. When this is the case, the area being affected is the limbic system. Brain fatigue that originates from the limbic system can be due to a high-stress event, an injury, or an imbalance of some kind.
The limbic system is involved in functions such as:
- Increasing wakefulness
- Increasing appetite
- Regulating mood
- Stimulating motivation
- Increasing metabolism
- Increasing blood pressure
- Regulating emotion
- Enabling executive function
- Enabling both long-term and short-term memory
Within the limbic system is the hypothalamus, which plays a crucial role in functions such as:
- Body temperature regulation
- The state of wakefulness
- The state of fatigue
- The sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm)
- Thirst, hunger, and satiety
- Blood pressure
- Heart rate
- Intestinal/stomach functions
- Sex drive and hormones
- Glucose regulation
The role of inflammation and oxidative stress in brain fatigue and how they affect the limbic system, the brain’s frontal lobe, and the rest of the body is well known in the medical world. When related to illnesses, injuries, and disorders, brain fatigue is rarely the only symptom being experienced.
The Role of Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, and Brain Fatigue in Neurological Diseases and Disorders
Inflammation and oxidative stress are believed to play a role in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and lupus. In fact, brain fatigue is among the most common reasons why people with CFS or fibromyalgia seek treatment in the first place.
But brain fatigue can also be a symptom of oxidative stress that affects mood disorders such as:
- Acute or chronic anxiety
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
Medical science has discovered that many of the antidepressants that are successful in managing depression do so by combating oxidative stress. No surprise, then, that brain inflammation has been linked to all of the above conditions.
Menopause and Brain Fatigue
The hormonal shifts that occur during menopause can bring on significant feelings of being brain tired. This is because estrogen and estradiol tend to act as antioxidants and lower oxidative stress. The reduction of these hormones during menopause opens the door to free radicals and the oxidative stress they cause.
10 Everyday Things that Can Impact Brain Fatigue
- The Dietary Impact
If you’ve begun to notice that you feel brain tired after meals, you’ll want to consider what you’re eating. The most common cause of food-based brain fog is lectins. Lectins are plant proteins that induce an immune response. For people with food sensitivities related to lections, the inflammation can cause a myriad of reactions, including brain fatigue.
Lectin sensitivity also expresses itself as gut, joint, or thyroid issues. In some cases, lectin sensitivity can lead to autoimmune conditions. Sometimes, simply altering one’s diet so that specific proteins or foods are avoided resolves these problems.
However, lectins are not the only food-related problem that can cause brain fatigue and other conditions. Other foods and ingredients that can trigger inflammation include:
- Gluten (found in grains)
- Casein (found in all dairy products)
- FODMAPs (short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine)
- Amines (basically, these are derivatives of ammonia)
- Tannins (a naturally occurring polyphenol found in plants, seeds, bark, wood, leaves, and fruit skins)
Basically, any foods that cause allergic inflammation can trigger brain fatigue. In addition, a poor diet can also be a culprit. A diet that causes high glucose levels can provoke a threefold increase in free radicals. This, in turn, can damage human cells and promote inflammation. So pay attention to what’s on your plate when you notice after-meal feelings of being brain tired.
- The Inadequate Sleep Impact
It comes as a surprise to no one that poor sleep can cause brain fatigue. Any number of situations can prevent a good night’s sleep. But sleep apnea is of particular concern. Sleep apnea causes a condition known as hypoxia. This means that several times a night, breathing is chronically interrupted. When this happens oxygen deprivation occurs, which increases oxidative stress.
People who suspect they suffer from sleep apnea should seek medical attention as soon as possible. But even for those who don’t have sleep apnea, poor sleep quality increases oxidative stress. Just one night of sleep deprivation increases inflammation in the hypothalamus, as well as inflammation throughout the entire body.
If you experience brain fatigue in the morning, give serious thought to your quality of sleep.
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, seek medical attention. This condition can be easily resolved with easy-fit devices. If your situation is that you simply are not getting enough hours of sleep, you owe it to your health to make adequate amounts of quality sleep a priority in your life.
- The Infections Impact
There is a growing awareness in the medical community that a connection between many autoimmune diseases and infections is strong. People suffering from severe immunodeficiency struggle to control both bacterial and viral infections. Brain fatigue can be an early warning sign of a bacterial infection such as Lyme disease.
Though far less common in the developed world, fungal and parasitic infections have been known to cause inflammation and the early sign onset of brain fatigue.
- The Heavy Metal and Toxins Impact
No, we aren’t talking about heavy metal music, though many people certainly do experience brain fatigue the morning after a concert. Heavy metals toxicity and other environmental toxins have long been established as actors upon the body’s immune system, causing inflammation and oxidative stress.
These toxins can be manmade, such as chemicals produced in laboratories, or natural, such as mold. Environmental toxins are cancer-causing chemicals and endocrine disruptors that can harm our health. Once again, brain fatigue can be an early warning sign of oxidative stress caused by toxins.
- The Low Acetylcholine Impact
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that’s crucial for daily brain function. It is particularly important in the areas of movement, learning and memory, and sleep quality. People who develop chronic inflammation often exhibit symptoms that begin with brain fatigue. Other symptoms frequently mimic those very much like drug toxicity.
- The Insulin Resistance/Hypoglycemia Impact
One of the first signs of plunging blood glucose levels is often brain fatigue. It is a common symptom among people diagnosed with diabetes. In both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, insulin doesn’t do a good job of delivering glucose to the body’s cells. This can result in significant blood glucose fluctuations. The swinging pendulum of blood glucose levels causes oxidative stress and inflammation.
- The Hormonal Imbalance Impact
Hormonal deficiencies frequently trigger brain fatigue. Hormonal deficiency can happen for a number of reasons, from physical injury to poorly functioning organs like the thyroid to age related conditions. Many hormones act as free radical fighters. So when these are insufficiently produced by the body, feeling brain tired can be an indicator. An example of this is the hormone melatonin. When this hormone is too low, cognitive dysfunction is often a symptom.
Other hormones that influence brain function and thought clarity include:
All of the hormones mentioned above are anti-inflammatory agents as well.
- The Leaky Gut Impact
It may seem strange that gut and intestinal health can cause brain fatigue, but poor gut health is a regular contributor to feeling brain tired. Two conditions in particular that are known to affect overall health are leaky gut syndrome and an imbalance of the microbes that live in the gut.
Our bodies have evolved in such a way that we need certain “good” microbes living in the digestive tract. “Good” microbes are known as probiotics. When we have too few of them, “bad” microbes can overcome the digestive tract and cause health problems. As in many of the cases already discussed in this article, an early warning sign of this is often brain fatigue.
- The Allergy Impact
If you are prone to allergies or have experienced asthma, you already know that brain fatigue is common. When you have an allergic reaction or experience asthmatic inflammation, your body is reacting to histamines. These can be airborne -such as carried by pollen- or food related –such being found in fermented or cured foods or beverages.
When the body doesn’t have sufficient enzymes to break down histamines, an allergic reaction or an asthmatic attack can result. So can brain fatigue, which can be due to oxidative stress.
- The Mental Stress Impact
It’s not at all uncommon for people experiencing mood disorders or high-stress situations to suffer from brain fatigue. It’s a cyclical response: stress promotes limbic system inflammation, the inflammation increases the stress response, the stress response causes more limbic system inflammation.
The result can be anxiety, depression, and increased feelings of being brain tired. Inflammation activates stress pathways, which causes you to feel even more anxious and/or depressed.
Chronic stress is as much of a medical concern as physical illness or injury. Left untreated, it opens up a number of avenues to on-going, long-term health issues including:
- Hypokalaemic alkalosis (sever potassium depletion)
- Menstrual irregularities
- Hair loss
- Glucocorticoid resistance (Glucocorticoids fight inflammation and work with your immune system to treat a wide range of health problems)
Don’t Despair! Brain Fatigue is Virtually Always Treatable
Since brain fatigue is a symptom rather than a disease unto itself, eliminating feelings of being brain tired can be done by addressing the underlying illness, injury, or disorder that is causing it.
The vast majority of brain fatigue causes are treatable.
In some cases it’s just a matter of adopting a healthier diet, learning coping skills to alleviate stress, or working with your doctor to get the proper treatment for your illness or injury.
The National Stem Cell Institute (NSI) believes the best clinics offer a multi-disciplinary approach that includes therapeutic medical procedures, nutritional counseling, and physical therapy according to diagnosis and patient needs.
Today, more and more clinics in the U.S. offer stem cell and/or platelet-rich plasma therapies as the most advanced methods in medical treatment. Below, NSI offer tips to help people find fully licensed, legitimate clinics prior to therapy.
What to Look for in a Stem Cell Medical Clinic
When searching for a qualified stem cell therapy center it’s important to remember that not all of them are created equal. Stem cells, when used properly, are your body’s most powerful means for healing that can repair everything from ligaments, tendons, and cartilage to organs including your liver, pancreas and lungs and even neurological tissue like your brain, nerves, and spinal cord.
Unfortunately, the majority of so-called “regenerative medicine clinics” in the world aren’t trained in the latest, most technologically advanced procedures and will, therefore, provide poor results if any.
The good news is the National Stem Cell Institute (NSI) has established the most advanced stem cell and platelet rich plasma procedures on the planet which has drawn patients from all over the world as well as professional athletes and celebrities because they are recognized as the best in the world at stem cell therapy.
What makes NSI Stem Cell the top stem cell clinic in the world is demonstrated in 5 key areas:
1. Highly trained and experienced, board-certified doctors and team members who have performed stem cell procedures on thousands of patients with incredible results.
2. Cutting edge procedures utilizing all that regenerative medicine has to offer for many chronic degenerative conditions.
3. Leading scientific researchers who follow the advanced guidelines to maximize the healing potential of your stem cells and to maintain compliance and ethics
4. Use of only the most potent and viable resource of living, viable stem cells and harvested on the same day. No vial that you can purchase will contain living stem cells. If there is no harvest then there are no stem cells.
5. Post-operative guidance for supporting stem-cell growth including rehabilitation, diet and supplement protocols. NSI is a full-service healthcare center focused on patient outcomes. Stem cell therapy is only one tool used to help improve patients’ lives.
Patients have raved about their experience at NSI Stem Cell Clinics testifying that it was their unique cutting-edge procedures that helped them experience a breakthrough when nothing else worked.
If you want to learn more about NSI Stem Cell Clinics, you can set up a complimentary consultation today to see if you are a candidate. You can contact the National Stem Cell Institute at (877) 278-3623.
* Disclaimer: Individual patient results may vary. As each patient’s problem is different, each treatment must be tailored around your specific needs.