So what was I talking about again???? Oh yes, 'Brain Fog'!

So what was I talking about again???? Oh yes, 'Brain Fog'!

Many of us use the term 'Brain Fog' these days when we forget something or if our brain feels a bit fussy. But what exactly is it?
In the following blog, 4th year secondary school student (transition year), Clara Gallagher discusses brain fog and how people can tackle it. Clara was doing some work experience and research with us in Melvin Pharmacy.
Keep reading, this is really interesting. 

What is brain fog?

Brain fog is a term for slow, fuzzy, and sluggish thoughts. Brain Fog is not a medical or scientific term, but a term given to a variety of symptoms including poor concentration, slow thoughts, forgetfulness, mental fatigue, sluggish thoughts, lack of clarity, mental confusion and feeling out of it.  Brain fog can be experienced by anyone of any age, even children. 

What does this mean for people?

People experiencing these symptoms can also struggle to concentrate, remember things, think clearly or put thoughts into words and often can find information exhausting.

Who does Brain Fog affect?

People with
  • ADHD ( Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder),
  • chronic stress,
  • sleeping disorders,
  • eating disorders,
  • nutritional deficiencies,
  • hormonal changes,
  • menopause
  • long covid
  • and other complex conditions are more susceptible to brain fog, such as hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, dehydration, multiple sclerosis, dehydration
  • taking drugs that induce drowsiness. 
Many of the symptoms of brain fog, such as memory loss, are accustom to ageing, so a person age must be taken into account, although brain fog can be experienced at any age with many different causes.

Brain fog has similar symptoms to

  • sleep deprivation
  • stress
  • minor head injury
  • recovering from Covid
  • recovering from other infections
  • menopause



It is common for those who suffer from anxiety and depression to have brain fog.

Lets look at the causes of Brain Fog more closely!

  1. Stress - Stress can cause increased blood pressure, weakening the immune system which can cause depression and mental fatigue.
  2. Lack of sleep - Poor sleep quality can interfere with how well your brain functions, leading to poor concentration and cloudy thoughts.
  3. Hormonal change - levels of hormonal progesterone and oestrogen increase during pregnancy. This change can affect memory and can cause short-term cognitive impairment. Hence the term 'baby brain'. Similarly, during the time of your period (menstruation), many women will also suffer pre menstrual symptoms - one of which is brtain fog. ((At the bottom of the page we've listed some supplements aimed at alleviating pre menstrual symptoms such as poor memory and concentration, and mood swings). 
  4. Similarly, during menopause drops of oestrogen levels can cause forgetfulness, poor concentration and cloudy thoughts. (At the bottom of the page we've listed some supplements aimed at alleviating menopause symptoms such as poor memory and concentration, as well as hot flushes, mood swings, fatigue and joint ache). 
  5. Diet -Vitamin B12 supports a healthy brain, but a vitamin B12 deficiency can affect how the brain functions causing brain fog. Vitamin B12 is found in almost all animal food stuffs, and often lacking in people who are vegan and vegetarian. It can also be lacking in people with certain anaemias, and taking medications such as metformin. 
  6. Those who have allergies or food sensitivities may experience brain fog after eating dairy, peanuts or aspartame.
  7. Screen time. Blue light can affect cognitive function. Spending to much time on screens can cause concentration problems.
  8. Medication. Brain fog can be a side effect of taking medicine particularly pain and sleep medicine. Antihistamines, particularly the drowsy ones can cause brain fog.
  9. Covid. Those suffering from covid 19 or long covid often find themselves suffering from brain fog. Covid itself can affect cognitive function, but also the psychological factors related to the pandemic can maintain and strengthen the symptoms of brain fog.
  • Anxiety related to the pandemic. Fear around the uncertainty of the virus led to increased levels of anxiety which causes worry and self-critical thoughts which affects concentration and can lead to many symptoms of Brain Fog.
  • Low mood related to the pandemic. Many people experienced low mood during the pandemic due to being lonely, worried about the future, experiencing loss in some way during the pandemic in some way and being unable to see family, family and socialize. These experiences leave people feeling down and in a low mood which can trigger short term cognitive impairment

    Tips to reduce Brain Fog

    Give yourself a break.

    Give yourself time to rest and allow yourself to relax giving you time to improve your performance, concentration and self-control. Having proper time to rest and unwind does not include grabbing for your phone, which can cause more problems, but spend time
    • Meditating
    • Taking a nap
    • Socialising with friends and family
    • Doing a hobby
    • Getting fresh air
    These activities give your mind time to reset and decrease stress.

    • Eat to feel well
    Making nutritious additions to your diet can help your health hugely.
    · Foods high in antioxidants
    Help reduce oxidative stress in the body resulting in a healthier mind and body. For example - blueberries, oranges, and nuts.
    -Staying hydrated is vital in mind and body health as the body is 75% water. Dehydration can affect memory and mood.
    -Fish. Fish is a nutritious brain food full of Omega-3 fatty acids, which is associated with lower rates of cognitive decline. Vitamins including fish oils is a great way to ensure you are getting all the nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish.
    • Omega 3 cannot be made by the body. We only get them in food. Fish oil primarily contains two types of omega-3 fatty acids — EPA and DHA. However, EPA and DHA are usually found in 'fatty fish' which many of us do not eat.


    • If you choose a supplement, ensure you do your research. The way they are procured (made during manufacture) will ultimately determine how effective they are. It should be cold pressed. In addition, it should contain somewhere in the region of 500mg + of EPA and DHA combined (max 2000mg) or 250mg of DHA on its own. If its brain function improvement your after, opt for more DHA than EPA, or indeed just choose DHA/


    • Cheaper brands of Omega 3, may not fulfil all your requirements, as the extraction process of fish oils is expensive - therefore, they may be making false claims. Often you will see fish oils marked as 1000mg of fish oils - but they are filler oils, are the amount of actual useful components is very low.
    One Omega 3 fish oil that Melvin Pharmacy recommend is Revive Mastermind - it contains only DHA, 350mg. It also contains uridine and choline. Uridine is used in DNA and RNA synthesis, and is part of neurotransmitters. Choline is a precursor to Acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter involved in memory. The Omega in Mastermind is from Marine Algae and not fish, therefore doesn't have a fishy taste, and is suitable for vegitarians.



    You can purchase Mastermind from Melvin Pharmacy by following this link

    Revive Mastermind 30 Sachets – Melvin Pharmacy Ltd (

    • Exercise
    Exercised is linked with improved brain function. Exercise encourages proteins that improve brain function - endorphins, serotonin (our happy hormone) and dopamine. Exercise can also reduce anxiety, depression and distract us from stressful or upsetting thoughts.
    Activities such as  
    • Walking
    • Jogging
    • Yoga
    • Gardening
    • Stretching                                
    Are simple ways to ensure you are getting exercise.
    • Reduce coffee and Alcohol intake
    Caffeine causes jitters, headaches, insomnia, upset stomach and rapid heartrate which can affect your brain function. Excess of 4-5 cups of coffee a day is not recommended. Similarly alcohol is both a stimulant and a depressant which significantly impairs cognitive impairment. Once the level of alcohol decreases in your body, it can cause headaches, fatigue, anxiety and other symptoms of brain fog. Chronic alcohol use can lead to further cognitive impairment and neurological disorders such as dementia.

    • Prioritise sleep
    Getting enough sleep in vital in a person’s overall especially their mind health.
    · Try to go to sleep at the same time everyday
    · Avoid nicotine and caffeine which can interfere with sleep.
    · Keep your room dark.
    · Wind down at least an hour before sleeping by putting away electronics.
    - Don't take sleeping tablets, as they may make brain fog worse. If you want to take something natural to promote sleep, we recommend a non stimulant supplement with high quality magnesium. 
    One example is FabU R&R, formulated by an Irish Pharmacist called Laura Dowling. This can be used by men and women.

    Is there a 'cure' for Brain Fog?

    Brain fog is temporary and generally is related to lifestyle so some small changes should relieve you from brain fog and help you maintain a healthier lifestyle.
    However, if brain fog is disrupting your life, please seek help from your GP or pharmacist. There may be a treatable cause, for example, low B12 levels, side effects to medication, menopause, depression or pre menstrual symptom.
    Below are some supplements we mentioned for brain fog associated with menopause (these are safe to use with HRT). Cleanmarine and Revive Menoactive should not be taken by women with oestrogen positive breast cancer, or a close family member. This is because they contain isoflavones which are similiar to oestrogen. FabU Meno and Peri can be taken by women with a history of breast cancer. Click links for more advice. 
    Also below, are supplements we recommend for menstrual brain fog - click link to learn more
    Also below is a general supplement for brain fog for Men and Women 
    I hope you have enjoyed this blog - below are some useful resources
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