Brain Fog, Headaches - Cognitive Tasks

hapl808

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I think I've posted about this related to headaches before and PEM, but this is a bit different.

I always feel foggy. Maybe every month or two I'll have a couple hours where my brain feels 'clear' so I think it's still possible, but then I'll wake up the next day with a PEM hangover from using my brain during those hours.

Lately my cognitive symptoms have worsened - I think. I'm not sure I was as aware of them before, so maybe I just ignored it.

I can text with people, look up medical studies, etc. I feel like I'm in a haze of brain fog with my cognition working at 10% capacity, but I can do it.

However, usually if I try to do something mentally challenging - learn a new concept, work on a difficult computer problem, do something new or exciting, etc - then I get a splitting headache almost immediately. The longer I work on it, the worse the headache becomes. Back of neck, temples, behind the eyes. As soon as I stop working entirely, it slowly starts to dissipate back to the 'usual' brain fog.

I don't know if it's neuroinflammation, an infection, or what? I've tried a bunch of stuff, but maybe I'm missing obvious avenues.

Any thoughts on what people have used in similar situations? My life would be a lot more bearable if I didn't have to avoid every challenging task for the literal pain it would cause.
 

Judee

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Have you tried gou teng at all? Buhner recommends it for neuroborreliosis. This one didn't work for me because it's processed somehow. I'm going to try the straight herbal next time.

The other thing is cordyceps.

Maybe I already mentioned this somewhere but I find them very calming and this website says, "...Cordyceps supplementation reduced inflammatory markers in the hippocampus of the brain" and "Cordyceps lowered inflammatory markers in the brain of D-galactose injected mice and increased key anti-oxidants such as superoxide dismutase and glutathione."
 

hapl808

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Thiamine and choline helped me this. Also, fish oil.
What choline sources did you use? I've taken stuff like lecithin, Alpha GPC, etc. I've experimented on and off with benfotiamine, but just 150mg to 300mg per day. Fish oil I usually take every day, but not a super high dose - maybe 2-4 capsules.
 

hapl808

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Have you tried gou teng at all? Buhner recommends it for neuroborreliosis. This one didn't work for me because it's processed somehow. I'm going to try the straight herbal next time.

The other thing is cordyceps.
I've taken cat's claw sometimes when I'm doing Buhner protocols (that's Gou Teng right?). I'm not taking it right now - was taking knotweed and andrographis and kudzu and so forth, so maybe I'll add back some cat's claw. Thanks for the reminder that he specifies it for neuro related.

Cordyceps I've found moderately helpful in the past for energy, but not brain fog. There's always a lot of controversy over the quality of various cordyceps supplements, though.
 

BrightCandle

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This has been a consistent problem for me. Last year Joshua Liesk's protocol completely cleared my fog and headaches and it was amazing having access to my full brain again. Alas after I crashed I have remained fogged up but its still necessary to keep the headaches at bay. I don't know what the answer is to brain fog, I get less foggy when I lay down and stay there and the intake of gummy sweets seems to help as well, think jelly babies but really its the opaque side (perhaps gelatin) that really does it from the two part ones.
 

hapl808

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This has been a consistent problem for me. Last year Joshua Liesk's protocol completely cleared my fog and headaches and it was amazing having access to my full brain again. Alas after I crashed I have remained fogged up but its still necessary to keep the headaches at bay. I don't know what the answer is to brain fog, I get less foggy when I lay down and stay there and the intake of gummy sweets seems to help as well, think jelly babies but really its the opaque side (perhaps gelatin) that really does it from the two part ones.
Yeah, I don't think the protocol helped me that much for brain fog. At one point I was taking around 4 of the reishi and would usually eat 40g of oat bran at a time. Never had a huge immune reaction, although did see some skin improvements and other things. Potentially some ammonia issues driving PEM headaches, but I think I used more LOLA rather than sodium benzoate - have to revisit my notes. In general, I found some things that helped a bit, but honestly nothing more than just popping NSAIDs would do. It was symptomatic relief, not fixing the root problem.

Interested - I have noticed that sweet things also help me a bit. Maybe because I eat nothing sweetened at all, but when the headache starts, just an orange or apple can take the edge off. Caffeine helps as well, even more if combined with ibuprofen (which I try to avoid taking).
 

hapl808

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No, that's Uncaria Tomentosa. Gou Teng is actual Uncaria Rhynchophylla or Chinese Cat's Claw. For awhile, I didn't realize there were two kinds.
Ah, thank you! I've always been vaguely confused about that. I feel like I've Googled it 20 times and keep forgetting. I have the Tomentosa version here. I just checked the Buhner books I have and he seems to mostly talk about Tomentosa, but mentions Rhynchophylla once or twice as an aside. I know I've heard about Gou Teng in regards to TCM - maybe I'll have to look into it more. Going to add some Tomentosa as he says it's a good antiviral and immune enhancer.
 

hapl808

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Gou Teng is actual Uncaria Rhynchophylla or Chinese Cat's Claw.
Also have to revisit Buhner's recommendations - some things he suggests only tinctures, some as dry herb, some as teas, etc. Wish I had an herbalist that I thought was trustworthy and affordable. I've read every Buhner book, but my symptoms seem all over the place so it's hard to figure out a strategy.
 

BrightCandle

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Gummy sweets?? Like is that a supplement or just a candy made from gelatin?
Yellow Bellies (a snake gummy sweet https://www.amazon.co.uk/Haribo-Bellies-Gourmet-Sweet-Company/dp/B095HFM8MX) I find are the best. I don't get this from sugar alone so it may be something specific to this type of gummy sweet and I suspect its gelatine and the sugar might be unnecessary. I use jelly babies to add glucose to electrolytes because most of my electrolyte drinks are sweeteners and sugar actually is necessary for the absorption according to the WHO.
 

hapl808

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splusholia

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What choline sources did you use? I've taken stuff like lecithin, Alpha GPC, etc. I've experimented on and off with benfotiamine, but just 150mg to 300mg per day. Fish oil I usually take every day, but not a super high dose - maybe 2-4 capsules.
I took allithiamine (with co-factors: magnesium, b-complex), choline from NT factor lipids, and about 6-8 caps of fish oil. Other things that could have helped: B12, magnesium.