Prior to 18, I was an extremely happy-go-lucky kid. I was extremely outgoing and very active. I studied hard and was able to attend an ivy league institution. However, at the age of 18 (after graduating high school), I started exhibiting certain symptoms. 2.5 years later, more symptoms have come up, and overall my situation has gotten worse. Here are my current symptoms:
-heavy brain fog (especially near/behind the eyes region) - feel dazed/ “out of it”
-overall cognitive impairment
-lack of creativity
-feel "slow”, slower reactions, slower thinking
-harder to write essays/sentences
-feel kind of dizzy/shaky at times
-Difficulty thinking (especially hard to reason/use logic)
-Speech impairment sometimes
-Low self-confidence - losing my friends!
these symptoms fade in and out throughout the day and became more intense at random times (especially mid-day, or an hour or so after waking up, or often after a hot shower).
I’m losing my friends, my creativity, everything I love in life. I can’t be myself, it’s hard to even be social—I always feel dazed or dizzy or tired or foggy. I went to a few homeopath’s and did some candida/lead [via merc. viv] detoxing, but the symptoms are still there and getting worse as time passes. I’ve also tried all sorts of things [i.e. Neurofeedback, etc] to no avail ! Does anyone have any suggestions? Any help at all will greatly be appreciated.
Have you tried Nootropics? I used to be very detatched, anti-social, foggy memory (even just drifting there, like in auto pilot mode). Lately I've been taking Piracetam and Aniracetam, along with L-Theanine, Choline Bitartrate. L-Theanine is found in green tea and has reported antioxylic (anti-anxiety) benefits. Piracetam stimulates your GABA as well as your Corpus Callosum (the communicative bridge between the two hemispheres of your brain). Where as Aniracetam stimulates your AMPA. I can say that with Piracetam alone I felt more creative, and had the "energy" to look into things to make that creativity into a reality. Such as studying, or maybe even drawing. With Aniracetam I feel more focused, with a contemplative/meditative mindset. The combination of all of these have seemed to help me immensely.
If you don't eat healthy and get necessary sleep you can experience a lot of those symptoms you listed. Exercise is beneficial as well, at least walking or riding a bike, to your entire body (mental and physical).
If you want to know more about Nootropics such as Aniracetam and Piracetam you should look at Smart Drugs for Thought, for a vast collection of research documents (including a downloadable PDF), and indepth description of how the two Racetams work.
hi gsimo....I am wondering if you are suffering from Low blood sugar(Hypoglycemia) Do you feel better after eating ? It could also be environmental toxins, I see you had a test done and felt no better, you could ask your Doctor for a heavy metals test .
Hey pandora, thanks for the response! If anything, I feel worse after meals. A naturopath I went to suggested that I may have candida/heavy metal toxicity. I took a homeopathic solution to detox candida as well as lead (via "merc viv."), but I still feel the same, and my condition only continues to deteriorate !
I could'nt describe my symptoms better! its the same for me, but look up sleep apnea i have a doctors appointment today and will ask him about it , it may just be the solution! Sleep apnea is short 10-30 second stops in your breath while you sleep, which causes you to sleep very lightly, symptoms are
-low self esteem
-short term memory (not all the time)
-waking up multiple times during the night
-waking up with head and and/or sore throat
try asking your doctor about sleep apnea!! reply if you find something
I have these same symptoms to a tee. Everyday I wake up feeling good, then an hour later, or so, I "crash". I feel terrible brain fog, which leaves me with an overall cognitive impairment in all the ways you described it, until evening time. It also comes and goes throughout the day; I get a few moments of relief here and there. I aways describe my eyes as feeling heavy... maybe like how you described the brain fog feeling near your eye region? I also tend to feel worse after eating. Days where I have not eaten (skipped breakfast completely), my fog is much less.
My blood tests are normal, though my doctor told me I have borderline hypothyroidism which he has given me a thyroid pill to put me in a more normal range. I am unsure if it has helped. Sometimes I have better days than others. I have also nearly stopped eating before noon which has helped big time too - I only eat almonds and a little meat if I need to. One other thing that I do daily is I sip on those 5-hour energy shots. There is something in those (probably the high levels of B12) that sometimes clears out the fog temporarily. Besides that, nothing helps and I am often left feeling terrible everyday.
I get good sleep, eat well, drink plenty of water.
Anyone with brain fog, mental exhaustion, fatigue, daytime sleepiness, should have their thyroid checked! I suffered with gradually increasing brain fog and times of being very tired, even after plenty of sleep, for 7 years. All of this forced me to quit my computer job. And during that time I already had been diagnosed with Hashimotos hypothyroidism, and was taking levothyroxine to treat it. But during all that time, I didn't realize I was not taking enough! I thought as long as my TSH levels were below 5 then that couldn't be a problem. It wasn't until this year that I tried taking higher doses of levothyroxine, getting my TSH below 1.0, that I finally started to feel whole again! My mental stamina is back and I don't feel daytime sleepiness hardly anymore. I'm now back at a computer job that I enjoy! And my sleep is getting better. I was having an increasing number of wake ups during the night, but now I'm starting to notice an improvement with this too. Get your thyroid TSH checked. If it's above 2.0, I would tell your doctor you want to try levothyroxine, especially if you've struggled for years like me and never found a solution. I hope this helps!
- Nutritional deficiencies can affect brain function, due to a lack of nutrients necessary for optimal brain function. Deficiencies of magnesium, vitamin B-12, and amino acids can cause significant brain impairment such as lack of concentration, short-term memory loss, attention deficit, and spaciness (or lack of focus).
It may be worth finding a doctor trained in Functional Diagnostic Nutrition or Functional Medicine. Much of what you describe could be related to gut dysfunction. For instance, malabsorption of certain amino acids (the precursors of certain hormones and neurotransmitters) can cause several of the symptoms you mentioned as can hidden stressors and adrenal dysfunction. Another related issue is Celiac disease. Itis an autoimmune condition triggered by gluten that results in your immune system attacking transglutaminase tissues (lines your gut and also found at blood brain barrier). Triggered attacks from consumption of gluten will result in temporary reduced blood flow to portions of the brain and many of the symptoms you described. Other food sensitivities can have a similar effect on the brain, but gluten is a more common one. Also note that thyroid issues such as Hashimotos is linked to gluten. Other conditions can manifest itself in what you are experiencing. For such cases it is better to test than just guess based on symptoms. If money or insurance is an issue, going gluten free or trying an elimination diet for a period of time may result in you getting lucky in discovering the root cause of your problems.
Just to briefly update you all, I had these symptoms too (posted them within this thread), and I am much better now after seeing a naturopathic doctor starting September '12.
She gave me some tests and found out I had yeast, infections, and parasites in my gut. She found that I had leaky gut. It was so bad she actually laughed. I had another test to see what foods I have a sensitivity to - likely brought on by the gut issues. I was put on antibiotics for 10 days (parasites). Stayed away from all the foods that came back negative (including gluten)! Took quite a few supplements everyday...
I retook the test 8 months later, and everything was healed, except some yeast was left. There are fewer foods on the list I have to stay away from now, but I am staying gluten and yeast free as it says I am VERY "sensitive" to it still. I will still have a flair up a day here and there.... I don't know why. However, I am SO much better now day to day.
I wrote awhile back when I saw you had all the same symptoms I had. I can sympathize without, there is nothing worse than feeling like you are losing yourself and not knowing why. I don't if you have been feeling any better but or if you still check this forum but I think I know what your problem could be. Like you I did it all, I was put on medication, went to neuropath who gave me a million different supplements and none of that worked. It wasnt until I saw a lyme disease specialist that through more extensive blood tests than your normal dr. they determined that I actually had had lymes disease born virus for about a year without even knowing. I had few of the concrete lymes sypmtoms like the bulleyes but they told me that there are a lot cases where a person may had a tricky condition where it is really hard to find. Anyway, they put me on antibiotics and boom Ive felt the brain fog, depression, fatigue, and anxiety slowing going away. When i figured this out I thought of you for some reason because your one of the few people who has ever described what I went through and i never want to see anyone go through that.
Hopefully you'll see this and take the right steps to doing some extensive testing to see if you could have a tick born virus. It could really be worth your time.
As I read through this forum, your symptoms and stories really resonate with me. I went through three years of brain fog and have spent the last three years working my way back to health. I'm probably 99% back. I've learned a lot of lessons, which I figured out along the way, about how to work your way out of the fog, without taking medication. In fact, I think many drugs have side effects that contribute to anxiety. I want to share what I've learned and have a conversation with people who are suffering from brain fog. So I have started a blog. Feel free to get in touch with me.