Battling brain fog
In 1952, London was paralyzed for five days with a superfog that held in sulfurous coal-burning pollution from homes and offices, making it impossible in some parts of town to see your feet as you walked (and coughed) down the street. But the brain fog that often accompanies chronic illnesses like obesity, heart disease, dementia, depression and diabetes isn't some passing haze. Far too often for far too many, it becomes a persistent challenge to focus on daily tasks or work-related demands.
Now researchers think they know why: inflammation. According to a study published in the journal NeuroImage, when your body battles a chronic disease, your immune system becomes too revved up and produces excess inflammation. That negatively affects neural networks in the brain that have a unique sensitivity to inflammation. As a result, they cannot properly help you become and stay alert to what's happening around you.
So, adopting an anti-inflammatory regimen and sticking with it may help lift your brain fog. Here's how:
-- Eat an anti-inflammatory diet centered around the following: veggies and fruits, especially berries and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli; fish, like salmon, which has omega-3s that damp down inflammatory C-reactive protein and interleukin-6; and nuts and olive oil. Then with your doc's permission, take 900 mg of DHA omega-3 supplements daily.
-- Exercise daily. Twenty minutes of moderate aerobics reduces inflammatory proteins in the body by 5%. So every day -- not too intense or too prolonged -- make sure you break a sweat, and increase your heart rate and breathing.
-- Practice a stress-management technique, such as meditation or yoga, daily.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit www.sharecare.com.
(c) 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.(c) 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.