Fast or fast-ish brain fog busters - what's working for you?

Hi all. As my username suggests, brain fog has been my least favorite symptom and that says alot

It's the one that makes me question my capacity to hold down a job, and at times, the state of my intelligence, feeling like the mentally degrading protagonist in "Flowers for Algernon". I'm a very cerebral person and live in my head so it is not fun to see my head become unlivable

My experience of brain fog is a feeling like I can't think deliberately about things, and often strain when I try. My cognition feels simultaneously sticky and slippery. I got the idea recently that trying to do mental things with brain fog can be kind of like staring at an alphabet soup and waiting for the letters to spell something out

I already had ADD before, which I don't medicate but did not impact ability to get some things done daily. Cognition is required for me to do some important things, even some things connected with staying on top of my healing.

My experience:

Panax ginseng leaf extract used to work great when feeling cloudy after a nap, sharpening me lightly for a few hours without any downsides. This stopped working sadly as the fog got worse post COVID (might try again at higher dose)

Caffeine is a no go. Ups the anxiety which I'm already buzzing with most of the day.

Fasoracetam is the one racetam I reacted well to, in a very low dose of 8mg. It seems to work when I'm ready and willing to do some work, kicking in within 20-40m and lasting about 2 hours but will not compensate for a low state. Seems to come with a slightly relaxing effect too.

Socializing with new people I feel comfortable around has been the best thing besides supplements, but doesn't happen every day

Considering revisiting Adderall, which I haven't taken since it gave me tics in high school. But could be useful in moderation

**

You can see other things I tried at bottom of my website, operationfogfree.com

I understand that true solutions are not fast. I spent the last year trying to get to the root of things with naturopaths, blood tests, GI tests. Some interesting findings but the regimens did nothing to my day to day life experience. So I am perfectly fine with fast acting but temporary for now.

My criteria:

Works within 1-2 hours, but can be longer, up to a week if worth the wait
Effects last at least 2-3 hours
Does not have to be supplements/medications.
Should be sustainable, can take daily or every other day, and/or easily cycled
Minimal side effects if any

Please share anything that has worked for you. I will be using this thread to document new things I try, and you can do the same if you want, more the merrier. But please be specific about how many times you tried, onset time, dosage if drug, positive effects, any side effects, etc.

Thanks and happy healing :rocket:
 
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maybe look into Modafinil? a nootropic that some of us have tried/ drug for narcolepsy.

My doctor has one patient who does this most days.

I tried it once, and didnt like it. I"m not a good experimenter. (trained scientist, flunks her own experiments)

I have nine left and intend to try it again.

the Brian Fog is a complex issue if you ask me. Mine's intense, plus I'm older.

Now I am a cheap date: I can watch a good movie, all over again a few months later and entirely enjoy it!

1) alignment of the neck/posture/ huge effects on brain oxygen, CNS flow, all the POTS Stuff. ....lack of oxygen to brain.

2) brain cleansing, impaired by sleep issues and lack of Flow, lack of cleansing is adding to this fog.'

3) any in depth, organized, long winded thoughts will soon lead to a mental CRASH.


My bottom line remendation is FIND a really good chinese traditional medicine herbalist and get some herbs going. They help me, more than anything else. Perhaps its a cure, but mostly its just helps reduce lousy symptoms to more tolerable levels.

You would never take ginseng by itself, FYI....they never do that.
 
maybe look into Modafinil
I tried half an Armodafinil pill once. I didn't love it. Seemed to not quite cut through fatigue yet up the anxiety keeping me wired. Maybe Moda behaves differently?

Now I am a cheap date: I can watch a good movie, all over again a few months later and entirely enjoy it!
It's kind of like the movie "50 first dates". Remember that one? Oh right....

FIND a really good chinese traditional medicine herbalist
That's a good suggestion. I've been curious about that route

You would never take ginseng by itself
Interesting. I think that's fairly standard practice for mind hackers, and it worked great for me for a while.
 
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Maybe Moda behaves differently?
I was a bit more alert, (on half the dose, 50mg)..but a bit more of the dull headache, and alert to this illness isn't good for me.

My doctor said: "I was just trying to help you get thru the airport"...he got sort of offended I did not embrace this pill....he wrote NON compliant...in my file!


"50 first dates". Remember that one? Oh right....
Oh, but of course I remember that movie. Its great!

That's a good suggestion. I've been curious about that route
mine has been lifesaving. He has 600 herbs in the office. Yes he does acupuncture, but its the herbs....and mixes of them, synergistic effects, every body is unique, so its custom type formulas mostly. I'll occasionally use a commercial chinese pill.
 

hapl808

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Socializing with new people I feel comfortable around has been the best thing besides supplements, but doesn't happen every day
Sadly this makes me feel great for a few hours, but is always followed within 24 hours with a PEM crash unless I limit it to like 30 minutes which isn't really enough to get the benefits.
 

hmnr asg

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Socializing?! :jaw-drop:
That is guaranteed to mess me up. To me that's as bad as it gets in terms of PEM.
I am surprised this helps your brain fog!

And to answer your question: I have tried it all, Adderall, piracetam, weird pre-workout supplements that have all sorts of simulants in them... Nothing helps unfortunately except absolute rest: under the blanket, in a quiet room, sleeping it off.

Of course when i was milder things were different and stimulants would help a bit for short term duration.
 
Socializing?! :jaw-drop:
That is guaranteed to mess me up. To me that's as bad as it gets in terms of PEM.
I am surprised this helps your brain fog!
While I'm doing it, yes. But it takes time to get into it. And may have consequences
And to answer your question: I have tried it all, Adderall, piracetam, weird pre-workout supplements that have all sorts of simulants in them... Nothing helps unfortunately except absolute rest: under the blanket, in a quiet room, sleeping it off.
Naps used to reset me. Now I wake up so weird in the morning and after naps I can't even count on that
 
Funny you mention it, I've had some kind of neck/shoulder/arm tension syndrome for about 15 years. Currently seeing a PT to try and correct my forward posture. I'm just a couple weeks in so hard to say if any impacts.
 
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Socializing didn't give me any reduction in brainfog, and typically resulted in PEM within an hour.
A category of The Chat...might only lead to this immediately afterwards thing...thats a quicker onset, shorter duration PEM. I call it Zombie Coma-

I did get a really bad crash teh day I merely listen to these three women have a bilingual conversation. I just sat there and I think I went into a two week crash after that hour.
 

hmnr asg

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Socializing didn't give me any reduction in brainfog, and typically resulted in PEM within an hour. I don't know how that would be now, since I haven't socialized in 2+ years. Yah, book-hermit. :read:
How many hours do you spend reading? I have a hard time reading books and I used to be an avid reader before going from mild to severe. It's one of the things I miss the most.
 

Wishful

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How many hours do you spend reading?
I haven't tallied, but I'd guess 5-8 hrs/day. Definitely the most important entertainment for me. Luckily, it's only when my ME symptoms are severe that I can't enjoy reading for more than a few minutes.

I do love my Kobo. :read:

I don't see the point in audiobooks. If one was playing, I'd feel the urge to pick up a book to read.
 

hmnr asg

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I haven't tallied, but I'd guess 5-8 hrs/day. Definitely the most important entertainment for me. Luckily, it's only when my ME symptoms are severe that I can't enjoy reading for more than a few minutes.

I do love my Kobo. :read:

I don't see the point in audiobooks. If one was playing, I'd feel the urge to pick up a book to read.
I also much prefer real books to audio books. But my brain just cant handle reading. I use audio books so i dont lose my mind from boredom and the loneliness that comes from being bedbound. Just to hear another person's voice. But it doesnt really do what actual reading does, not by a long shot.

I'm surprised you can read up to six hours. Are you mild? I cant do anything for six hours in my condition :bang-head:
 

hapl808

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I'm surprised you can read up to six hours. Are you mild? I cant do anything for six hours in my condition :bang-head:
I'm on the severe end of moderate (completely housebound but not bedbound - unable to stand without some assistance). I find that reading ability comes and goes for me. I've gone through months and years where all I could read were occasional health stuff, and other times when my mental PEM improves and I can read for a few hours a day for pleasure - as long as I break up those hours. I've gotten good at taking a lot of breaks and trying not to 'engage' my brain too much. Mindless reading is much easier than reading nonfiction or something more cerebral. At least that's what works for me.
 

Wishful

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I'm surprised you can read up to six hours. Are you mild?
That's not 6 hrs non-stop; that's for the whole day. I probably only read for an hour or so before my attention wanders. That's for fiction and easy-reading non-fiction. Reading technical papers online is much more difficult.

Yes, mild, and without the common physical limitations.
 
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Brain fog is so frustrating. I am a very cerebral person, too, and it makes me feel like I am not "myself" anymore when brain fog is bad.

@hmnr asg, I am so sorry about your loss of being able to read books. Sending a ton of sympathy your way. I am mild and can still read a lot, but I can't handle denser material anymore. I'm not sure if this would still be too much, but if you haven't tried it, young adult and children's literature is a lot easier to read. And very enjoyable, too!