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Brain fog is not “in your head”

Written by: Dr. Fred Harvey, MD

Have you ever had those days where you just could not think straight? Most of us have. You know how you felt when you had the flu with fever? Or an intestinal virus? What if you had those mental symptoms every day but to a milder extent?

Brain fog is more subtle however it is similar. Our brain is vulnerable to stress that causes malfunction of our internal computer interface. Communication becomes disrupted sometimes when it just seems that there is molasses in the gears. Thoughts are simply slower. Answers come but it takes work. It may take longer to get usual tasks done than previously. Mood can be affected or there may be mild subjective memory lapses. There could be related general fatigue or generalized muscle aches that frequently begin prior to the brain fog. Often gastrointestinal signs like those of reflux or of irritable bowel precede the mental symptoms.

Many challenges can result in brain imbalances that cause mental and emotional disorder. Infections bacterial fungal and viral, toxins like alcohol, mold and lead, sleep deprivation, multiple small brain injuries, food triggers like gluten and casein, vascular disease and cirrhosis. Don’t forget psychological stress.

Functional medicine is the ideal specialty to address because we look at your symptoms from a systems-based perspective. Rather than simply seeking a diagnosis so that a treatment can be prescribed, we look for the cause of the symptoms. We look at genetic predispositions, that were present before you developed a symptom like slow thinking. We examine the possible triggers for the problem like a toxic environmental exposure (mercury from a tuna fish diet). And we also evaluate the mediators of ongoing damage such as a secondary immunologic reaction to the toxic damage caused by the direct exposure to the mercury. Then we intervene with specific recommendations to deal with and potentially eliminate the cause and promote healing and rebuilding.

If you or a loved one is experiencing brain fog, please consider scheduling a ½ hour appointment at the Harvey Center. Dr. Fred Harvey recently completed a training with Dr. Dale Bredeson, author of “Reversing Early Dementia”. And, his new “Introduction to Functional Medicine” consultation is an excellent, affordable opportunity to explore your wellness options and see how we may synergistically join your team of healthcare providers. The Harvey Center for Integrative Medicine, phone #941-929-9355.

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