Posted by Debra MacIntyre, ND on September 08, 2016
Did You Know?
Brain fog is a symptom you should pay attention to. It's the earliest sign that your brain is experiencing inflammation and damage. You can think about inflammation like a fire in your body.... it's your immune system's response to an irritant. (Or more accurately, many irritants!) As this inflammation & damage occurs, the symptoms deepen to include small lags in response to a question. "Hey, what time are we meeting for dinner tonight?" (lag- you can see the person having to search a moment for the answer) "7 o'clock." Another sign of deepening inflammation & damage is searching for words. You start to say something and mid-sentence there's a little lag while you search for a word that you know you know, but can't quite grab quickly.
Just because it's common doesn't mean it's right!
We tend to blow off these symptoms in ourselves and each other. "You must be getting older." "Don't worry, everybody has these brain farts!" We can LOL all we want, but it doesn't make the problem go away.
What causes brain fog?
Many irritants contribute, but I want to focus on a big one that has increased dramatically over the last 25 years.... electromagnetic radiation. When I started practicing in 1990, no one had a cell phone, cordless phone, or even a home computer! Seems like the Stone Age, right? (Before you panic and think you have to go back to that stone age, I will give you tips on how to minimize this stress.)
Super interesting research story
I recently heard a lecture by a PhD Neuroscientist from Sweden, Olle Johansson, who has spent 30 years researching electromagnetic radiation. Check out his amazing story!
Dr Johansson and his team set up a big experiment using ants, who are known for their abilities to work together and organize their environment. They placed ants on a large table covered in sand. The ants went to work setting up their areas. They had one area where they stored food, another where they placed their precious eggs, and they even had a bathroom area! Once this was grooved in, the researchers placed a cell phone under the table, right below where the eggs were. It wasn't plugged in recharging, but it was turned on in standby mode. The ants began to act confused and agitated, then they got themselves to work. They moved the eggs to a different location, and get this... They moved the bathroom area right over the phone!! After a while, the researchers removed the phone and the ants cleaned up the bathroom area, relocated it to a different spot, and moved the eggs back. Dr Johansson said they couldn't determine why that spot was desirable for their eggs in the first place (which I find a fascinating question!), but they did have the answer about the cell phone effects. Suitable for poop only!
So thinking about the EMF factor alone, it's no wonder that brain fog is on the rise.
How do you minimize the damage?
Dr Johansson's studies show that contact with nature helps to mitigate these negative effects. Walking on a park trail, gardening, reading on a blanket on the ground, sitting in the sun without sunscreen for a few minutes each day, etc. He also mentioned a concept called "Earthing" or "Grounding", which is basically exposing yourself to the natural energies of the earth without anything synthetic in the way, like shoe soles made from synthetic materials. You can use special mats to ground yourself while you sleep or buy special shoes with natural soles, if you really want to get into it. But just walking barefoot on the ground (no pesticides or weed killers please!) will ground you to the earth's energies. Here's a good website if you want to learn more about Earthing.
And, of course, minimizing your exposures where you can helps too. Text or use your phone on speaker mode to keep it further from your head, and use a land line for longer conversations. Turn off your wireless router at night and put your devices on airplane mode or turn off the wireless connection on your computer. Many computers have a little button with an antennae to turn it off. If you don't have that you can hold the Fn key and hit the F2 key. Pushing these again will turn it back on in the morning.
This should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: I am not a medical doctor and nothing in this newsletter should be taken as medical advice. Discuss all medical issues with your own MD.