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Ketosis Brain Fog

Why You Have Brain Fog And How To Clear It Up

Why You Have Brain Fog And How To Clear It Up

You wake up and it’s hard to get out of bed. And when you do, it’s hard to see straight or think straight and everything’s a bit of a blur. And then around mid-morning, you zone out and struggle to even pull your thoughts together. Afternoons can be the worst. You’ve had your lunch, and all you really want to do is take a nap. It’s not that you’re even so physically tired; it’s more about mental fatigue and having difficulty thinking and focusing. Your brain just isn’t working, and you’ve got that project to finish by the end of the day. Ugh. We’ve all been able to relate to this at one time or another. However, if this occurs a little too often, it’s a problem that needs to be addressed, because it interferes with your productivity and vitality as a person. What Exactly is Brain Fog? Our brain is the crowning organ of the human body. So when it becomes dysfunctional, we definitely need to pay attention and get to the bottom of what’s going on. Brain fog isn’t recognized as a clinical condition, because testing for it isn’t easy. There’s technically no medical term for brain fog, but it’s as real as real can be for those who suffer with this sometimes debilitating condition. The loss of mental clarity can be more devastating than the actual disease or condition behind it. It’s the feeling of mental confusion or lack of mental clarity. It’s called a “fog” because it can feel like a cloud that reduces your ability to think clearly. It can cause a person to become forgetful, detached, and often discouraged and depressed. Brain fog is associated with short-term memory loss. It’s when you become easily distracted. It’s when you forget plans you or others have made. It sometimes manifests itself through having difficulty in carrying Continue reading >>

20 Effective Ways To Overcome Brain Fog

20 Effective Ways To Overcome Brain Fog

I used to suffer from massive brain fog, especially after I suffered multiple concussions in 2010. I had to drop out of school temporarily because it was so bad. I couldn’t read. I had trouble writing. And my memory was impaired. I walked around all day with a cloud over my head. But since then, I’ve learned that there are a number of ways to overcome brain fog, and you can implement them so that brain fog doesn’t slow you down and chip away at your quality of life. Below are 20 steps that will help you clear away brain fog and regain your mental clarity. What Is Brain Fog and What Causes It? Researchers describe brain fog symptoms as “an interaction of physiological, cognitive, and perceptual factors” (1). People suffering from brain fog describe it as feeling “forgetful,” “cloudy,” and “difficulty focusing, thinking and communicating” (2). Brain fog symptoms are actually quite common, but that doesn’t mean they are normal and you should accept them. They are an important sign that something is wrong. Brain fog can be caused by a number of things, including medication, poor diet, too much exercise, not enough sleep. But the underlying mechanism is usually the same – inflammation. Datis Kharrazian, author of the book “Why Isn’t My Brain Working?”, says that brain fog is often a sign of underlying brain inflammation and oxidative stress, which slows down neuronal communication. A number of studies also demonstrate this (38, 39). When you experience brain fog acutely, it’s because your body is experiencing an increase in inflammation and oxidative stress. If you experience persistent brain fog, it’s because your body is chronically inflamed. Chronic inflammation is also linked to a number of mental disorders, including depression and de Continue reading >>

Of The Keto Diet?

Of The Keto Diet?

There are many awesome benefits that come with adopting a low-carb ketogenic diet, such as weight loss, decreased cravings and even possibly reduce disease risks. With that being said, it’s also good to talk about possible ketosis side-effects when ingesting these specific ketone supplements, so you know fully what to expect when you get started on this mission. If you’ve already heard about some of the side-effects that come with this special diet and are starting to freak out, don’t panic. We’re going to break down everything you need to know when it comes to what your body will experience when using these supplements for the first time. It’s important to remember, not everyone experiences side-effects when starting a ketogenic diet and thankfully, the symptoms are all very temporary and it can pass very quickly. It varies with the individual, but just to make sure all your bases are covered, we’re going to break down each possible side effect that you could possibly experience. 1. Flu Symptoms Within the first 2-4 days of beginning this diet, a common side-effect is known as the “ketosis flu” or “induction flu” because it mimics the symptoms of the actual flu. This means you might experience: Headaches Lethargy Lack of motivation Brain fog or confusion Irritability​ Although these symptoms typically go away completely within a few days, they are also completely avoidable if you stay very hydrated and increase your salt intake and like always, be sure you're eating enough fat. 2. Dizzyness & Drowsiness​ As you start dumping water, you'll lose minerals such as salt, potassium and magnesium. Having lower levels of these minerals will make you tired, lightheaded or dizzy. You may also experience muscle cramps, headaches and skin itchiness. Fatigue Continue reading >>

The Fat Burning Brain: What Are The Cognitive Effects Of Ketosis?

The Fat Burning Brain: What Are The Cognitive Effects Of Ketosis?

41 Comments Although mainstream sources still mistake “the brain needs glucose” for “the brain can only run on glucose,” regular MDA readers know the truth: given sufficient adaptation, the brain can derive up to 75% of its fuel from ketone bodies, which the liver constructs using fatty acids. If we could only use glucose, we wouldn’t make it longer than a few days without food. If our brains couldn’t utilize fat-derived ketones, we’d drop dead as soon as our liver had exhausted its capacity to churn out glucose. We’d waste away, our lean tissue dissolving into amino acids for hepatic conversion into glucose to feed our rapacious brains. You’d end up a skeletal wraith with little else but your brain and a hypertrophied liver remaining until, eventually, the latter cannibalized itself in a last ditch search for glucose precursors for the tyrant upstairs. It would get ugly. That’s adaptation. But is there an actual cognitive advantage to running on ketones? Maybe. It depends. It certainly helps people with neurodegeneration. People whose brains suffer from impaired glucose utilization see cognitive benefits from ketones. In Alzheimer’s disease, aging-related cognitive decline, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease, brain glucose uptake is depressed—even before any actual cognitive decline appears. Despite high glucose availability, the aging, epileptic, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s brain can’t utilize enough of it to handle cognition. Enter ketones. Ketones act as an alternative energy source for the glucose-starved brains. It’s no coincidence that ketogenic diets can improve symptoms (and in some cases abolish them) and cognitive function in all four conditions. Okay, but those are in unhealthy people with existing (or looming) neurological d Continue reading >>

Your Brain On Ketones

Your Brain On Ketones

The modern prescription of high carbohydrate, low fat diets and eating snacks between meals has coincided with an increase in obesity, diabetes, and and increase in the incidence of many mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. In addition, many of these disorders are striking the population at younger ages. While most people would agree that diet has a lot to do with the development of obesity and diabetes, many would disagree that what we eat has much to do with our mental health and outlook. I believe that what we eat has a lot to do with the health of our brains, though of course mental illness (like physical illness) has multifactorial causes, and by no means should we diminish the importance of addressing all the causes in each individual. But let's examine the opposite of the modern high carbohydrate, low fat, constant snacking lifestyle and how that might affect the brain. The opposite of a low fat, snacking lifestyle would be the lifestyle our ancestors lived for tens of thousands of generations, the lifestyle for which our brains are primarily evolved. It seems reasonable that we would have had extended periods without food, either because there was none available, or we were busy doing something else. Then we would follow that period with a filling meal of gathered plant and animal products, preferentially selecting the fat. During the day we might have eaten a piece of fruit, or greens, or a grub we dug up, but anything filling or high in calories (such as a starchy tuber) would have to be killed, butchered, and/or carefully prepared before eating. Fortunately, we have a terrific system of fuel for periods of fasting or low carbohydrate eating, our body (and brain) can readily shift from burning glucose to burning what ar Continue reading >>

Keto Flu 101: Everything You Need To Know

Keto Flu 101: Everything You Need To Know

In Keto Flu 101 my goal is to answer the questions I get asked on a daily basis about the Keto Flu. Many people who are interested in going into ketosis are afraid that they will get the keto flu and are looking for ways to avoid getting it all together. While every person’s experience is different, knowledge is power, so prepare to arm yourself with as much information about the keto flu as possible before you start the diet, so you know what to expect. ~ This post contains affiliate links to help you find the products we use. Already started Keto? Don’t worry; this post will still give you the tools you need to prepare yourself as well. Look, this is the rest of your life we are talking about. As my favorite author, C.S. Lewis said “Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.” and that is true even in the case of the keto flu! Keto Flu 101: Everything You Need To Know The “keto flu” is what we commonly call carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms usually occur in people who start a low carb diet that alters their hormones and causes and electrolyte imbalances. Don’t let this alarm you; this is a GREAT thing. In other words, it describes a cycle in the body adapting to a newly started low carb diet. Think about the keyword here, which is withdrawal. The same way an addict withdrawal from any drug. Your body is so used to living off of carbs that both your body and your mind think you need these to survive. On most diets you’ve tried in the past, your mind was probably much harder to fight than your body. Maybe you’ve never been on a diet that caused you to go through any form of withdrawal, and that’s where you’ll find the greatest source of power when it comes to Keto! With Keto, once your body goes through w Continue reading >>

How To Use The Ketogenic Diet For Productivity And Mental Performance

How To Use The Ketogenic Diet For Productivity And Mental Performance

Beginning in the 1920’s, the ketogenic diet, or “keto” diet — which involves eating mostly fat and protein as an energy source with low intake of carbohydrates — has been used by many for weight loss and in helping patients with diabetes or epilepsy. But there’s another less-talked about benefit of this diet: ketosis for mental performance. If you’re experiencing brain fog, lack of productivity, or poor mental performance, ketosis might be a solution for you. We’ll go over some of the ways ketosis can have a positive effect on cognition and may help you be more productive throughout your day. KETOSIS FOR MENTAL PERFORMANCE First, let’s start with a little refresher around ketosis and energy. The basis of the ketogenic diet is that it uses specially designed macronutrient balance to get a certain response from the body. Those on the keto diet eat normal amounts of protein, higher amounts of fat than the average person, and they keep their carbohydrate intake very low, less than 50 grams per day. When carb intake is this low, it triggers a response in the body that is similar to how it would act during starvation. Instead of simply utilizing glucose, the primary source of energy, the brains pulls from its alternative energy source: fat. But before fats can be used by the body, the liver has to first convert them to ketone bodies. Then, these ketone bodies are used as energy for the body and brain when there is lack of glucose. This is how ketosis works. Now that we’ve understood that, let’s talk about how ketosis might be used as an advantage for your mental state and productivity. KETONES IMPROVE BRAIN FUNCTION The standard Western diet is deficiency in many areas, including the very important essential fatty acids. This is detrimental to health bec Continue reading >>

End Fatigue Naturally With Ketosis

End Fatigue Naturally With Ketosis

Needing less sleep, having a clearer mind and being in a better mood have one thing in common: these are benefits of ketosis – and they happen fast. How ketosis energizes When keto clears the brain fog Why good moods happen on keto A main benefit of ketosis is lower insulin levels. Tiredness disappears and energy increases. Is Food Making You Tired? Low carb diets end fatigue simply because they are low in sugar. It’s that easy. Toss the sugar / starch, and toss the naps. Traditional diets are centered around sugary, starchy carbs. These carbs increase and spike insulin levels, resulting in high blood sugar. A rapid rise in insulin causes sluggishness and increases lethargy. The rise in insulin is why we feel tired after a carb-filled meal or have ‘afternoon slumps.’ By the end of the first week of your new diet plan, you should start to reap the rewards of low carb eating. Many people begin to experience increased energy, better mental concentration, less compulsive eating and few or no carb cravings. Of course, everyone’s experience is variable, and it takes longer with some than others. Goodbye Brain Fog Many people begin to experience better mental concentration, less compulsive eating, and few or no carb cravings. Some experience it as a “fog lifting” that they didn’t even know was there. Low carb dieters often report elevated moods, heightened feelings of alertness and less of a need for sleep. Believe it or not, glucose (found in carbs) is not the preferred fuel source for the brain and body. The body and brain run most efficiently on fat. After a few days of severely decreasing or banishing carbohydrates from the diet, most ketogenic eaters report improved moods and a sudden increase in energy to the point where they are bouncing off the walls. H Continue reading >>

8 Low-carb Conundrums

8 Low-carb Conundrums

Thinking of making the switch to low carb? Here's the lowdown on eight low-carb diet side effects. The good news? They're temporary. Low-carb diets are known to burn serious blubber. Many followers of the low-carb life experience quick fat loss, lower hunger levels, and stable energy. Since low-carb lovers cut out most "cheat" foods, like donuts and candy, they also have a fairly easy time controlling total caloric intake. Sounds like fat-loss paradise, right? As those who have undergone the "low-carb switch" can attest, the early fat loss often comes at a price. The first few days or weeks of low-carb living can be a bear, physically and mentally. As your brain and body struggle to adapt to post-glycogen life, you might be downright miserable. Don't pound a Mountain Dew in despair—the misery is often temporary. Before you pay thousands to have that "ketogenic 4 life" tattoo removed, check out this list of common short-term side effects that accompany the switch to low-carb. You won't necessarily suffer from them all, but knowing the signs can help you prepare. The first major side effect that you'll likely experience—usually about 2-3 days into your low-carb "induction"—is a mental lethargy often called "brain fog." You may find yourself staring at the wall for extended periods of time, feeling half-drunk, and unproductive at work. What gives? The primary reason this occurs is because your brain, if given the opportunity, will run almost entirely on glucose. Once your body makes the switch from burning carbs to burning fat, your brain will begin to use ketones as fuel—but not until you've burned up your body's glycogen stores. This is why people often go super-low carb at first: To use up that dwindling glycogen as quickly as possible. In the meantime, you are Continue reading >>

You Can Grow New Brain Cells. Here's How

You Can Grow New Brain Cells. Here's How

Helen - just to add to your theory about saturated fats - I come from a family where high cholesterol has been a major problem (from both parents). I have been on cholesterol-lowering medication for most of my adult life and my levels have hovered around 8, no matter what I did. I used low-fat margarine, restricted how many eggs per week, avoided animal fats in every way - still hovered around 8. About a year ago I started restricting grain to a small bowl of natural muesli in the morning, removed dairy, removed processed sugars, and am eating good quality animal protein (fat and all) and fruit, veges and nuts - what many would call a "modified Paleo diet" to give it a shorthand name. I drink black or green tea, water, natural mineral water or a fruit smoothie made with nut milk. Quite apart from the many other health benefits I have seen occur since changing my diet in this way (average blood sugars down to 7.1, improved kidney and liver function, skin clearer, accelerated new hair growth, loss of 10 kilos without even trying, reduced arthritic pain), my cholesterol has dropped to 4.8 - normal for the first time in my life. Yes, I am still taking medication, but such a dramatic change in my overall health year on year can ONLY be attributed to how I have changed my diet. My hope is that I have new neurons growing like crazy too. I am 68, still work full time, and am currently engaged in a MOOC as well as my other activities outside work - so something is working for me! Given that I had a stroke 3.5 years ago, I think that is pretty good. Continue reading >>

How Long Does It Take To Feel Increased Energy And Mental Clarity After Starting The Ketogenic Diet?

How Long Does It Take To Feel Increased Energy And Mental Clarity After Starting The Ketogenic Diet?

I’m currently on the Keto Diet, so I’m speaking from my personal experience. For me it took about 2 weeks but I was kinda doing it wrong at first. I was still eating too many carbs and then I wasn’t eating enough fat. I have to tell you that it is an awesome diet! Brain fog is real! Be warned though, you need to eat enough calories or you’ll lose muscle mass as well. Also, as meat is expensive, this diet will be expensive too. Calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate and aim for at least that many calories. You can use BMR calculators such as this one. The length of time will likely vary depending on your age, height, gender, and weight, (or caloric requirements) as well as how often you workout and what your body fat percentage is currently like. I’d guess between 2–3 weeks. This is not the kind of energy you were expecting…? Personally, I wouldn’t exactly characterize it as increased energy, just consistent energy. Before I went keto, I would have spurts of energy and constantly grow tired shortly after eating. I had to take excessive amounts of caffeine to stay awake. This never happens anymore. It’s not a cure-all. Sometimes I don’t get enough to eat or I don’t get enough sleep so I still can get tired but it’s nothing compared to before. Nevertheless, a cup of coffee is usually plenty enough to help me during these times. I’ve been on the Keto diet for almost 3 months. I lost over 25 lbs and went down from about 28% to 17%< body fat and I don't feel sick or tired all the time, infact I feel great! Some people adjust the macros (i.e. 65% fat 30% protein 5% carbs or 60% fat 30% protein 10% carbs) and they do just fine. Find what works for you, any reduced carbs will be helpful to your long term health but it may or may not get you all the way to Continue reading >>

What Is Keto Flu? (plus 6 Ways To Cure It)

What Is Keto Flu? (plus 6 Ways To Cure It)

You’re tired and dizzy, you crave sugar, bread, pasta, and your mind wanders like crazy. You just started a ketogenic diet (or a Paleo or other low carb diet) and you’re suspicious if your new diet is making you feeling this crappy. Removing carbohydrates from your diet all of a sudden may well be the reason why you’re barely able to concentrate on this sentence! This can happen even on a Paleo diet if you remove too many carbs from your diet. And all this feeling of crappiness is due to something people call Keto Flu (or Carb Flu). Read on to find out what is keto flu, how long keto flu lasts, and of course, how to cure keto flu. (CARB FLU = KETO FLU) KETO FLU INFOGRAPHIC – please pin! Please feel free to pin and share this infographic about the keto flu. WHAT IS KETO FLU? Keto flu describes the flu-like symptoms that people starting a low-carb diet often experience. These symptoms are caused by your body being too used to receiving carbohydrates from the food you eat and not being able to change your body’s energy source when you stop eating carbs. (If you’re interested in the science, then this article provides a very detailed explanation of why keto flu happens.) Some people explain keto flu as symptoms resulting from withdrawal from carbohydrates (think drug addiction here). And indeed, there are studies showing that sugars (which are a form of carbohydrates) can cause drug-like additions. But don’t panic if you think you have keto flu. I’ve listed several ways to shorten that period of feeling crappy below. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF KETO FLU? If you just started a low carb or ketogenic diet, then you might experience keto flu symptoms like: Fatigue Sugar cravings Dizziness Difficulty focusing (or Brain Fog) Nausea Difficulty Getting To Sleep Irritab Continue reading >>

Keto Flu Symptoms, Low Carb Headache And Fatigue In Ketosis

Keto Flu Symptoms, Low Carb Headache And Fatigue In Ketosis

I would have it as a guess that more than half of the people I have seen on the Ketogenic Diet have experienced to some degree what is known as Keto Flu or Low Carb Flu. Mostly a feeling of fatigue, slight headaches or nausea overcomes them. The symptoms of Keto Flu / Low Carb Flu usually occurs in the first two weeks of a person beginning a ketogenic diet and entering into ketosis. They can come and go if you’re not getting the right nutrition. Share the Infographic above on your site! The other half follow what is recommended and replenish themselves with essential minerals and electrolytes that are being depleted. These electrolytes are flushed from their bodies as they rid themselves of the water retention and sodium their old high carb diets made them hang on to. What are the symptoms of Keto Flu or Low Carb Flu? The symptoms of Keto Flu as you begin to restrict your carbs and enter into a state of ketosis varies from individual to individual. They differ in duration and severity, dependant on what high fat, low carb foods you include in your ketogenic diet and their mineral content. The Most Common Keto Flu Symptoms Experienced are: What is known as a Low Carb Headache, Diarrhea Fatigue Weakness Nausea Dizziness Low Blood Pressure Brain Fog What Causes Keto Flu / Low Carb Flu, Fatigue, Headache and other Symptoms of Ketosis? Firstly I’d like to bring this away from the technicalities of minerals and nutrients for a second and get people thinking laterally about what they are embarking upon. Essentially when going into a Ketogenic Diet, Ketosis or most Low Carb Diets, we are breaking an addiction. Most western populations are drawn to carbohydrates, or put even more simply sugar! Sugar gives us an instant rush and satisfaction as it flows through our bodies, co Continue reading >>

All About Brain Fog

All About Brain Fog

Even if you’ve never experienced brain fog, the word gives you a pretty good idea of what it is, and exactly how much fun it isn’t. This study found that the most popular terms people picked to describe the sensations of brain fog were “forgetful,” “difficulty thinking/focusing,” “cloudy,” “difficulty finding the right words/communicating,” and “mental fatigue.” Brain fog is when you suddenly get lost driving a route you’ve driven a million times before. Brain fog is when you need to think way too hard to remember things you should know automatically, like the names of your coworkers or the time you need to pick your kids up from school. Brain fog is when you forget what happened at the top of a page before you get to the bottom. Brain fog is not just being tired, and it can show up regardless of how much sleep you got (although sleep deprivation certainly never helps!). If you have trouble focusing because you didn’t sleep, you’re tired. If you have trouble focusing even though you slept plenty and your body isn’t tired at all, it might be brain fog. It’s not fun. Unfortunately, it’s also very hard to pin down – brain fog is a symptom, not a disease, and it’s such a vague symptom that underlying cause could be almost anything. Sometimes it’s caused by serious diseases, like Hepatitis C infection, (in this case, the technical term is “hepatic encephalopathy”) or Lyme Disease. It can also be caused by harsh treatment regimes, most famously chemotherapy. Sometimes it’s menopause or pregnancy, or any number of other physical conditions that are perfectly healthy but just very demanding. That’s way too much to tackle in just one article, so here’s a look at what you should know just about brain fog and Paleo. Some people f Continue reading >>

How To Get Into Ketosis For Optimal Cognitive Performance

How To Get Into Ketosis For Optimal Cognitive Performance

Contents Here’s a sample protocol. I’ve given more options below for you to tinker with, but if you just want clear and simple instructions, here you go. I think this is simple enough and doable. You don’t have to follow everything here, but it’s just a sample protocol. A bright light device by the workstation. Keep it about a foot away and use for 15-30 minutes, if you aren’t exposed to a good amount of bright light in the day. Before supper You can eat whatever you want for supper. Follow a diet that you can keep to and that suits your individual health needs. I recommend 20-50g of carbs depending on your individual needs. I’ve gotten into ketosis before but it didn’t work out very well. This protocol is my attempt to make it work more quickly. Getting into “Ketosis” is considered a state where your brain uses ketones for fuel. The most common fuel for your brain is glucose. Recently, I thought about what went wrong and thought about how I could change this. I’ve been experimenting with a modified ketosis version for about a month on and off. This protocol will be updated as I do more experiments and tweak it. This modified version solves most of the problems I had with ketosis when I previously tried it. I had a lot of issues with low carb diets in general, but this protocol is NOT a very low carb diet. I don’t do this protocol anymore because I need more carbs. I still recommend that you try this or a variation of it if you want to get into ketosis. These days I do a lectin avoidance diet, with carbs. But I may revisit ketosis later. My protocol doesn’t rely on ketones for fuel only. I like to get brain fuel from 4 different sources. This is one way in which this protocol is unique. I find if I get too much of one of these four fuels then it Continue reading >>

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