If you’re struggling to get through the day because you feel “foggy,” it could be your gut that needs your attention. Brain fog and gut health are closely linked. This study reveals how balancing your gut microbiome can solve more than digestive issues.
Is Your Gut Causing Your Brain Fog?
Plus, How You Can Fix It
I’ve struggled with brain fog myself, and let me tell you, it’s not fun.
You feel generally slower and tasks take longer than they should. If brain fog gets bad enough, getting through the day can be a real struggle.
Other symptoms of brain fog you might experience include:
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty thinking
- Trouble remembering things
- Feeling uncoordinated
It seems logical to assume that you should have neurological factors checked if you’re experiencing brain fog, but you’d probably be looking in the wrong place.
You might be surprised to hear that your gut can contribute to brain fog.
Like so many other health conditions we explore together, brain fog is yet another issue that can be attributed to gut health.
A study reveals the link between gut health and brain fog
An interesting study found that a low FODMAP diet improved the brain fog of the study’s participants.
I know it doesn’t sound very appetizing, but FODMAP is just an acronym for a list of sugars and carbs. Basically, it’s an unalluring way of saying a low carb and low sugar diet.
Specifically, a low FODMAP diet focuses on reducing carbohydrates, which are notorious for feeding the deleterious bacteria of the gut. Researchers found a side effect of this diet was lowered histamine levels in the participants. In fact, the subjects saw an eightfold reduction in their histamine levels.
Histamine levels are significant because they are indicators of immune system activation. When your body encounters a concerning substance – from allergens to viruses – it sounds the alarms for your immune system to kick into gear. Histamine is one of those alarms.
Histamine is a mediator released by your immune system’s mast cells. It’s a protective agent that causes inflammation in your body, specifically expanding your capillaries so white blood cells can reach areas that are “under attack” more easily.
The problem with histamine is it’s a little dramatic at times. Histamine often overreacts to foods and causes chronic inflammation, which as we know is linked to a whole host of conditions.
Histamine has also been linked to brain fog.
So, because this study found that a low FODMAP diet reduced histamine levels eightfold, it seems logical that it would reduce brain fog symptoms.
In fact, I’ve seen patients who go on a low histamine diet also find their brain fog improves.
Lowering histamine and, consequently, inflammation are side effects of the low FODMAP diet that can improve your day-to-day quality of life.
So, if you’re struggling with gut-related issues such as gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and IBS, and you also have brain fog, you should consider treating your gut first.
Low FODMAP, Paleo, low histamine, and Whole 30 are recommended diets if you’re looking to improve your gut health.
All of these diets reduce available food for bad bacteria. Through starving the bad guys and feeding the good guys, you can lower your histamine, inflammation, and balance your gut microbiome.
This is yet another study that reveals the important link between gut health and brain health. If you want to improve your brain function, it’s time to clean up your gut, and your diet is the best place to start.
I often see patients experience benefits beyond the gut when they clean up their diet. They frequently start out looking for solutions to their digestive issues and end up reaping the benefits of a clean and wholesome diet elsewhere. Share this interesting study with someone you know who would benefit from hearing how their gut could be causing their brain fog symptoms.
What do you think? I would like to hear your thoughts or experience with this.
Dr. Ruscio is your leading functional and integrative doctor specializing in gut related disorders such as SIBO, leaky gut, Celiac, IBS and in thyroid disorders such as hypothyroid and hyperthyroid. For more information on how to become a patient, please contact our office. Serving the San Francisco bay area and distance patients via phone and Skype.