Navigating the Fog?

brain fog, fatigue, natural health, natural medicine for chronic fatigue, Doctor Fisel

After a year, you finally feel safe enough to dine-in at your favorite pasta/ pizza restaurant. You thought the caffeinated soda would pair perfectly with the garlic buttered bread (yes, yes it did).

After all those carbs,
did you forget where you parked the car?

Or…your new baby is finally fast asleep in your arms.

After a sleepless night,
did you realize you had been staring at
the same line in an email for 30 minutes?

It’s time to present the findings of the project you’ve been working on during the pandemic.

After a stressful time at work,
did you lose the words to explain “the thing”
that had taken all of your attention for months?

If you feel like you are walking through your normal daily routine in a haze, you might be experiencing a common symptom described as BRAIN FOG.

Brain fog is a term that’s used to explain slow thinking, difficulty focusing, confusion, lack of concentration, forgetfulness, or a haziness in thought processes (SOURCE).

In times when stress levels are higher than normal (we’re looking at you this past year COVID-19), when sleep routines are off, when recovering from a viral/ bacterial infection, or when comfort foods seem like a “quick fix” – those are the times when the brain feels the least clear. And we are here to help!

ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS TO UNDERSTAND WHY YOUR BRAIN MIGHT FEEL FOGGY:

1.AM I MOVING ENOUGH? Especially during this time, a sedentary lifestyle has become more prevalent. If you notice your brain isn’t processing at normal capacity, think about how much you move in a day. Incorporating more movement can help alleviate brain fog.

TIP: Try the cat/ cow yoga pose as a simple first step towards clarity. (WATCH)

2. AM I EATING NOURISHING FOODS? Inflammation in the body can cause systemic inflammation in the brain which adds to brain fog. Therefore, it is important to nourish your body with foods that reduce inflammation if you want to alleviate the symptom.

TIP: Eat leafy greens, almonds, salmon, strawberries, olive oil (SOURCE); Avoid: alcohol, cheese/ dairy and processed foods that contain: MSG, Aspartame, and/ or sodium (SOURCE).

3. AM I GETTING ENOUGH RESTFUL SLEEP? Especially for those that have little ones in the house, getting a restful night of sleep can be challenging. It would make sense that you might feel foggy the next day if you’ve gotten less than 7 hours of sleep in the night.

TIP: Develop healthy sleep hygiene habits: turn off screens at least one hour before bed, turn off harsh overhead lighting, take a warm bath or shower, and place a few drops of lavender on your pillow.

Like so many people who experience brain fog, maybe you’ve felt a little off but didn’t know WHY. Or… you’ve felt a little off, but you didn’t know HOW to fix it.

The naturopathic approach starts with “WHY” you are feeling the way you do so we can address “HOW” you’re feeling. Keep in mind, alleviating brain fog is not a one size fits all solution. We can help you as you start to navigate the process!

Dr. Fisel provides a comprehensive and integrative assessment with natural therapeutic solutions for those suffering from symptoms like BRAIN FOG.

Please contact Dr. Fisel, ND if you have questions about integrative solutions for your health care needs. Dr. Fisel promotes health and healing on all levels, physically, emotionally and spiritually. If you live in the Guilford/ Branford/ New Haven/ Madison/ Clinton area and would like to learn more about the innovative programs Dr. Fisel has to offer, please call (203) 453-0122 or CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

chronic fatigue syndrome, long haulers, covid 19 lingering symptoms, post-viral illness

Have you heard about COVID-19 “long haulers” and their post-viral symptoms?

And did you know there are similar responses from those with Lyme disease or other post-viral/ bacterial infections?

Other (some life-long) symptoms of post-viral illness include pain, swelling and headaches.

Most commonly, though, both long haulers and those who have suffered from Lyme or other viral infections are having to learn how to cope and live with:

CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts for at least six months and that can’t be fully explained by an underlying medical condition. The fatigue worsens with physical or mental activity. (SOURCE)

There is a debate among providers about whether lingering symptoms from Lyme disease, COVID-19, and other chronic viral infections may in fact be an abnormal immune response or whether they are evidence of a lingering virus or infection that requires further treatment.

There is a lot of hopeful research and work that can be done in this area – especially as we are seeing the immune responses of COVID-19 patients in real time.

We can learn things about those recovering from COVID-19 that help us provide better informed treatment options for post-viral symptoms in survivors of Lyme (or other chronic viral infections) – especially when it comes to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Here are 3 Things to Know from Lyme Survivors to Long Haulers:

1.BOLSTER YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM –Because we’re potentially dealing with both persistent infections and/or an autoimmune component, we will often use a combination of therapies that target underlying infections, along with modulating the immune system, in hopes of correcting the abnormal immune response.  Identifying and avoiding individual food sensitivities can also reduce the overall burden on the immune system.  

2. REPAIR YOUR ENERGY LEVELS – We use treatments that focus on building the body’s energy reserves, hopefully speeding up the recovery time. Herbs that help to restore both optimal energy levels and a more balanced immune response include:

  • astragalus
  • licorice
  • andrographis
  • cordyceps
  • rhodiola, and
  • eleutherococcus.

You should always contact your primary care physician to determine whether herbs and supplements are right for your condition, prior to taking them on your own. 

3. MAKE CHANGES TO YOUR LIFESTYLE – It is so important to REST! Trying to push through chronic fatigue and continue your normal work and lifestyle routines will undoubtedly slow down your recovery process. The psychological impact of not being able to function at a “normal” level often leads to feelings of failure, forcing patients to overdo it, which inevitably ends up prolonging their recovery.  Seeking the help of a mental health professional is extremely beneficial to combat the effects of chronic fatigue.

Even just a few adjustments in your daily routine can make a great difference in how manageable your post-viral symptoms are to live with. From long haulers to Lyme survivors, there is hope – even during the pandemic.

Please contact Dr. Matthew Fisel ND if you have questions about integrative solutions for your health care needs. He promotes health and healing on all levels, physically, emotionally and spiritually. If you live in the Guilford/ Branford/ New Haven/ Madison/ Clinton area and would like to learn more about the innovative programs Dr. Fisel has to offer, please call (203) 453-0122 or CLICK HERE to schedule an appointment.