Have you ever had a day when your brain just didn’t seem to be working right? Maybe you forgot someone’s name or couldn’t remember where you parked the car. If it just happened once, you may have assumed it was just a glitch – a one-time thing. But what if it becomes the norm instead of the exception?
Knowing that your brain is malfunctioning can be annoying and even frightening. I know because it happened to me. When my hormones were way off after my hysterectomy, I lost my short term memory. I couldn’t remember what I’d been doing or who I talked to or how a movie ended. That was frustrating! I tried to compensate by keeping lists of everything I needed to remember. What a relief when we finally figured out how to get my hormone levels right so my brain could function again!
My case points out something that is at the heart of being an advocate. It’s not enough to cover up the symptoms of a problem. You need to get right down to the core and figure out the cause of the problem. If you can fix the cause, the symptoms will take care of themselves.
If your brain is foggy or just not working right, I think it’s normal to be afraid that you are developing dementia. You may not want to go to the doctor because you don’t want to hear bad news. But there are many other things that can cause brain fog – things that you can change. There are also serious conditions like tumors and blood vessel problems that can happen in your brain that need quick attention from your doctor. So start narrowing down the cause by going to the doctor to rule out the really big stuff.
Once you know that you don’t have a brain tumor or aneurism, don’t just live with the fog. Keep taking steps to figure it out. One good place to start is by thinking about what has changed recently in your life.
• Are you taking a new medication? Many drugs cause brain fog as a side effect. Don’t discount your medications because you know other people who are taking them. What works for one person can cause serious side effects for another person. You might be one of the “lucky” 2% who gets brain fog by taking that drug!
• What are you eating?