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Clearing Long Covid Brain Fog



Brain fog is among the most common symptoms of long COVID and also one of the most poorly understood. A reported 46% of those diagnosed with long COVID complain of brain fog or a loss of memory. Many clinicians agree that the term is vague and often doesn't truly represent the condition. Unfortunately, the medical profession at this point, doesn’t seem to have much to offer people with long COVID. Natural medicine can provide support to help people regain their quality of life.


Brain fog is not a medical term but used to describe a range of symptoms including; poor concentration, feeling confused, thinking more slowly than usual, fuzzy thoughts, forgetfulness, lost words and mental fatigue.


Brain fog can feel similar to the effects of sleep deprivation or stress. It is not the same as dementia and does not mean structural damage to the brain.


While recovering from coronavirus (COVID-19), some people experience brain fog symptoms for a short time while others may experience brain fog for several months or longer.

There are things you can do to help manage the symptoms;

· Stay hydrated

· Get enough sleep

· Take regular exercise, ideally outside

· Eat a healthy, balanced diet

· Try meditation

· Take regular breaks

· Reduce or quit alcohol


What else can we do?

The lifestyle recommendations mentioned above are core to healing. But now let’s look at more specific recommendations for neuroplastic brain healing.


Herbal Medicine

  • Bupleurum, St John’s Wort, Turmeric and Gingko may stimulate brain trophic factors eg. BDNF which is a key molecule involved in plastic changes related to focus and memory

  • Turmeric, Boswellia and Safrron are excellent herbs for addressing neuroinflammation

  • Rhodiola is one of our favourite go-to herbs for brain fog and focus issues and is effective at helping extended periods of concentration

  • Gingko biloba is one of our top anti-inflammatory herbs and brain tonics

  • Bacopa monnieri, also known as Brahmi is a herb commonly used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for its positive influence on memory and focus. Studies indicate the bacoside compounds contained in this potent plant cross the blood-brain barrier help boost levels of acetylcholine by limiting its breakdown by acetylcholinesterase. In this way, bacopa monnieri helps generate new neural pathways.

  • Lions Mane has been used for thousands of years by buddhist monks to increase focus during meditation, lion's mane mushroom helps improve cognition by enhancing activity of choline acetyltransferase, which is responsible for the synthesis of acetylcholine in the body. This brain-boosting mushroom also helps promote production of nerve growth factor (NGF), a protein that plays a crucial role in maintaining and regenerating neurons.

Please note that some herbs and natural supplements may interact with certain medications. Always check with your natural health practitioner or pharmacist if these supplements will be appropriate for you.


Nutrients

· Omega 3 fatty acids controls inflammation. Firstly, decrease the amount of omega-6 oils in your diet (eg. Canola and sunflower oil) and increase oily fish such as mackerel, herrings, wild caught salmon and sardines. If you don’t like eating fish, try some good quality supplememts

· Vitamin D is a fat soluble nutrient necessary for immune system function, brain health and more. Having low or deficient vitamin D levels may negatively impact cognitive health and contribute to brain fog symptoms

· Magnesium is an essential mineral that is concentrated in foods like beans, seeds and spinach. Many people don’t get enough magnesium in their diet, which may negatively impact brain health and lead to brain fog symptoms such as difficulty concentrating. Low magnesium levels are common in those who are stressed and can even increase susceptibility to stress.

· B Complex – studies show that low or deficient levels of certain B vitamins can lead to symptoms of brain fog such as memory problems, difficulty concentrating, and more. For this reason, taking a high quality B complex supplement may help reduce the risk of these brain fog symptoms.

Choline - Evidence shows that impaired choline pathway metabolism is associated with poor cognitive performance, and choline supplementation may produce benefits in the treatment of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disease.


How long will it take to feel better?

Long covid presents an emerging clinical challenge for all health care practitioners. It is a chronic condition and we don’t want to give you the impression that you can make a couple of changes to your diet, take some herbs and you will be as good as gold. The improvements are often slow and not always linear. It can take weeks to months to return to full health. You will need to be patient and gentle with yourself and gradually build momentum. With time and proper support, reclaiming your life and feeling like yourself again is possible.


To learn more about our team or to book your free discovery call, click on the link below.

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