Question on brain fog

Mrparadise

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Dear PR

Recently, I feel pretty okay in general. But there is one symptom that really bothers me which is brain fog. Is it typical in CFS that one experiences brain fog after extertion but not much else (maybe a little fatigue with some pain but nothing too bad)? When I overdo it or I experience stress it feels like my brain does not get enough oxygen or blood or whatever and I really feel like I have alzheimers disease. And the problem is that the more I overdid it, the longer it stays. Sometimes it almost feels like derealization with a little pressure (slight headache) in the head.

Is that something you guys can relate to? Is there something that helps with that? Only thing I know is that I have a pretty low blood sedimentation rate (ESR) of 2 and maybe I should try aspirin or something like that...

Many thanks in advance!
 

nerd

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When I overdo it or I experience stress it feels like my brain does not get enough oxygen or blood
This is how it feels for me as well. And I think there is some truth to it because it gets better once my hemoglobin levels rise until they immediately fall again. But hemoglobin/hematocrit/heme function is only one factor. I also have another kind of brain fog sometimes that feels like I have fever without having real fever.
 
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But there is one symptom that really bothers me which is brain fog
I"ve got it pretty intensely, I'm older, that probably contributes somehow. The nature of the brain fog is- hard to describe, but I sense its not like an Alzhiemer -like phenomenon. for me- I lose energy trying to hold thoughts together into a web, and retrieving- the file is right there. I've lost all ability to retrieve it, as if the plug was pulled by that telephone switchboard gal.

And then I remember whatever it is my older than me husband can;t remember. The name- no problem.

But try reading a long paragraph I simply- give up after 4 or 5 sentences. Puff, why bother. And I often don't care.

the indifference is likely adaptive. I"m indifferent to it, to some degree, as the alternative is - not helpful.
 

xebex

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yes this is how it feels to me, that's the classic PEM brain fog and 'm not sure much can be done about it but rest. However there's another type of brain fog that I suffered from which I do belive is due to not detoxing properly, so cutting gluten, sugar and processed foods pretty much eliminates that for me, I found that LDN also really helped (but i don't take it anymore) and although I still have to be careful with food if I do eat something I shouldn't have I use NAC to get rid of it. I still haven't found anything to get rid of the overexertion fog though.
 

Judee

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Your case of ME/CFS sounds more like @Wishful's situation. He doesn't get the physical fatigue as much as he does the mental PEM like you are describing.

I do think this disease burns out our dopamine receptors or something.
 

hapl808

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I get both the physical fatigue and the mental PEM which are both debilitating. It really does seem like some weird neurotransmitter thing - anything I do which gets me in that 'flow state' for instance, leads to terrible mental PEM for days. I'm not sure if it's the inability to replenish neurotransmitters, an imbalance after use, or what causes it. There have been other threads - any socializing makes me feel a lot better, but then is followed by delayed PEM.
 
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any socializing makes me feel a lot better, but then is followed by delayed PEM.
Me too.....I simply almost can't socialize. If I"m having an OK better day, I can do it briefly, but it seems like I pay often- because my throat seems to harbor Eppstein. a 2 hour coffee shop chat- it feels like Strep...by the time I'm home, I might be literally unable to talk at all.
 
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For a long time I heard and read brain fog was all gut. It was all due to food being processed through the gut, and brain fog -> gut. The importance of diet, yadi yada. Which is surely partially true. But lately I've been looking at blood/oxygen circulation a bit more. Symptoms worsen overtime, and the past 2 years I've been feeling like I'm out of breath, which wasn't the case before. Having trouble getting enough breath at the end of sentences and feeling dizzy, just for speaking out a few sentences. I'm pretty sure brain fog in CFS comes from some lack of oxygenated blood to the brain.
 

Wishful

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I'm pretty sure brain fog in CFS comes from some lack of oxygenated blood to the brain.
Test that hypothesis: when brainfog occurs, breath extra deeply (maybe add some pure oxygen) and move around to increase blood circulation. If that doesn't reduce the brainfog, maybe shelf that hypothesis.

I don't have any noticeable breathing issues (or gut issues), but I do have brainfog. Various chemicals such as proline and tryptophan increase it. I believe that my brainfog is caused by subtle changes in the functioning of neural cells. It might be just one RNA transcription occurring too quickly or too slowly, or the wrong fatty acid ratios in cell walls.
 
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I believe that my brainfog is caused by subtle changes in the functioning of neural cells
I think the brain fog is largely neurological with an inflammatory component.

But not enough oxygen in the brain is also an issue. I think we already know the latter has been shown.

so if I can get the inflammation to lower in my brain, I have fewer neurological problems.
 

Judee

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Test that hypothesis: when brainfog occurs, breath extra deeply (maybe add some pure oxygen) and move around to increase blood circulation. If that doesn't reduce the brainfog, maybe shelf that hypothesis.
No, but Dr Systom said that we have the oxygen in our blood. That's not the problem. The problem is, it isn't getting into the cells for some reason. He's the one that does those invasive CPET tests/studies.
 
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No, but Dr Systom said that we have the oxygen in our blood. That's not the problem. The problem is, it isn't getting into the cells for some reason. He's the one that does those invasive CPET tests/studies.
Yes, I like the idea of neurogenic myovasculopathy (by e.g. Oaklander). Problems with the shunts from the bigger arteries to the small capillaries. Because the symptoms probably include PEM, and because there are many different reasons for these shunts not to work, like SFN (with nerve damage at the shunts, not the skin area), autoantibodies to beta-adrenergic receptors, or any other reason for them to not work...
 
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Test that hypothesis: when brainfog occurs, breath extra deeply (maybe add some pure oxygen) and move around to increase blood circulation. If that doesn't reduce the brainfog, maybe shelf that hypothesis.
Well for me there's an oxygen component for certain, like I'll feel lightheaded by just speaking too much. If I can utter out telegraphic replies, 5 word sentences, I can last a long time with no breathing issue. However if I start putting in more effort to get my full voice out, talk for a while, laugh a little in the process, that sort of thing, I'll have that weird sensation of lacking oxygen and like my head's going light. Not to mention a few brain farts during the speech making me sound like a stutterer at times.

If I do as you suggest, breathe deeply, I might feel worse if it's sudden, but better if I can calmly gather my breath again. Haven't tried moving around in the middle of my speech lol, but I'll actually see if I can pull that off next time without looking like a madman.
 
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I think the brain fog is largely neurological with an inflammatory component.

But not enough oxygen in the brain is also an issue. I think we already know the latter has been shown.

so if I can get the inflammation to lower in my brain, I have fewer neurological problems.
I remember reading about neuro-inflammation in CFS and some doctor prescribing some spice shot up your nose. Wait. Was that a random dream. No, found it: (read the part under INTRODUCTION)
http://edelweisspublications.com/ed...c-encephalomyelitis-2638-8235-pvpe-19-112.pdf

Curcumin would "put out the fire" in the brain so to speak. I don't think actual fire can occur in the brain. Then again, with this brain fog we're all getting...
 
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I have found the only thing that has improved all my symptoms is taking light exercise (just old-fashioned walking) whenever I can—3 or 4 times a week for half an hour. I started out with 5 minutes and worked my way up gradually. I am hoping to extend my walking time gradually too and I am doing strengthening exercises for my arms and back.

I expected more muscle power, which is great as I'm far less likely to fall. (That was as a result of my legs not getting the message to move a certain way, and I'd lose my balance, not because of vertigo; anyway, now if that happens I can catch myself far more easily, which is what gave me the motivation to try exercise in the first place.) But I have also noticed an improvement in other areas too. I have had ME since 1989 and am post-menopausal to boot, so some general deterioration was and is to be expected. The exercise, slight though it is, has helped arrest the slide downhill a bit in all areas, including brain fog.

Of course this isn't a quick fix and I don't know what the reason is for the improvement. This damn illness is so complicated, how are we supposed to know? The only quick(ish) fix that I know (and it ain't that quick) is rest, of the brain as well as the body (where that's relevant)... listening to music, watching the hummingbirds. Which will surprise precisely no-one.
 

Emmarose47

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Thanks for the thread as I was going to post on brain fog . .
Sometimes I wonder how much is a lack of intellectual stimulation too like doing my old career and needing to work things out , multi task , organise , force self to remember etc .
Not that I want that back nor am I able but being able to be less alert and on creates a lazy brain . My fog has been pretty on this past 2 mths in PEM . I mainly accept it but not being able to retain info is a bit annoying not that I was ever great at it ,!
Being creative is great , using the other side of my brain love that !