Brain Health

Brain Health

Brain health refers to how well a person’s brain functions across several areas:

  • Cognitive Health: How you can think, learn, and remember. It is an essential component of performing everyday activities. 
  • Motor Function: How well you make and control movements, including balance. 
  • Emotional Function: How well you interpret and respond to emotions (both pleasant and unpleasant).
  • Tactile Function: How well you feel and respond to sensations of touch.

Age-related changes in the brain, injuries like a stroke or traumatic brain injury, mood disorders like depression, substance abuse, and diseases like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can all affect the health of your brain.

While some factors affecting brain health cannot be changed, many lifestyle changes can make a difference.

Brain Fog and Fatigue

Brain fog is one of the most common neurological and brain health-related symptoms we address. Brain fog is a term often used when our mind feels sluggish or foggy, for example, when words don’t come quickly and we don’t feel as sharp. Often, patients compare it to the feeling of a “hangover” after a night out.

The medical terminology for brain fog is neuroinflammation. Essentially, this refers to inflammation of the brain and nerves. Many factors contribute to neuroinflammation, like chemical toxins, infections (biotoxins), poor gut health, food sensitivities, food intolerance, and stress – to name a few.

Causes of Brain Fog

While thought to be a condition all on its own, brain fog is a symptom of a more significant issue. Brain fog is characterized by mental slowness and poor concentration that can last between a few seconds to days. When you experience brain fog, your body is telling you something is causing your brain to be inflamed.

Conditions associated with brain fog include the following:

  • Insomnia and sleep deprivation
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Depression
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Celiac disease
  • Gluten intolerance
  • Neurological conditions
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Mold exposure
  • Chemical sensitivity

How to Keep Your Brain Healthy as You Age?

Working with a functional medicine practitioner will help you optimize your brain health to stay sharp at all stages of life. Research shows that the brain is interconnected with other parts of the body, especially the immune, gastrointestinal, and endocrine systems. A functional medicine approach argues that brain health and function can only be understood in the context of whole-body health:

For example, hormone imbalances are found in a number of psychiatric conditions, such as abnormal levels of salivary cortisol, a hormone that helps the body respond to stress.

Additionally, the immune system can trigger inflammation, which can appear in the bloodwork of patients with psychiatric and brain-based conditions.

Finally, the gastrointestinal (GI) system can contribute to symptoms of psychiatric illnesses during periods of imbalance and inflammation. In fact, we know that the gut microbiomeinfluences the stress response and contributes to anxiety and depressive behaviors and that dietary habits influence the health of the microbiome.

Optimize Brain Health with Functional Medicine

At Peak Health Institute, our team of functional medicine practitioners is trained and experienced in diagnosing and treating brain fog-related illnesses. We can make a proper diagnosis by examining your health history, environmental factors, and lifestyle in combination with comprehensive testing and lab work.

Treatment plans vary depending on the individual and their particular diagnosis. However, Multi-pronged lifestyle interventions offer promise for preventing and delaying cognitive decline. Moreover, personalized dietary plans that include neuroprotective foods provide nutrients for optimal cognitive functioning, potentially reducing neuroinflammation and improving brain plasticity.

Schedule a Consultation Today!