Brain Fog and Chronic Illness: Lessons from the Darkness

Lessons from the Darkness - Brain Fog

Suffering from the brain fog that often comes with chronic illness? Try these lessons from the darkness.

Lessons from the Darkness

Suffering from brain fog? You’re not alone. If you or someone you care about has suffered from a chronic illness such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme disease, or Bartonella henselea, you know how pernicious such an illness can be to your physical and mental health.

Linden Botanicals owner Michael Van der Linden struggled with Lyme disease for almost four years. During that time, he fell into all the common traps. He sought advice from every corner. He joined numerous health-related online groups. Others suffering from Lyme disease and other chronic illnesses suggested that he stop using toxic cleaning products and remediate environmental conditions like mold. Meanwhile, doctors told him to try one expensive medicine after another.

On top of health complications, chronic illness took its toll on Michael’s bank account, his ability to hold down a job, his social life, and even his sense of self worth. Lyme disease did more than dominate his life – it became his life.

Chasing sickness involves an endless loop of seeing doctors and specialists to diagnose each new symptom. It involves trying one costly new medication after the other (each with its own onslaught of side effects). It involves spending exhausting hours each week scouring articles and forums in search of magic bullet solutions. Michael chased sickness for years.

Brain Fog Makes It Hard to Focus

One of the worst symptoms Michael experienced was brain fog. So what exactly is brain fog? Well, the cognitive symptoms are generally thought to be a mild cognitive impairment, but many people who suffer from brain fog would call the symptoms more frustrating and debilitating than mild, per se. The impairment is often described as slow thinking, difficulty focusing, confusion, lack of concentration, forgetfulness, or a haziness in thought processes.

Perhaps the most despicable trick that chronic illness plays is to convince us that we’ll be ill forever. Constant pain, migraines, anxiety, swollen joints, and constant doctor’s visits can steal your hope. Brain fog can make it hard to assess your options or identify the next steps you should take. Chronic illness is a destructive spiral that can make you forget that your body is designed to heal. Losing hope can lead to lifestyle changes that keep you unhealthy.

Herbal Support for Brain Fog

Many chemicals are disruptive to health and can cause oxidative stress or interfere with the endocrine system. Now, in all likelihood, your house isn’t a superfund site. You don’t need to panic or abandon every modern convenience. That said, reducing the toxic load in your personal environment can go a long way toward improving your health. Herbal support may also help reduce the damage.

For example, Phyllanthus niruri (Chanca Piedra) is a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to protect the liver and kidneys from chemical damage. Phyllanthus niruri, also known as Chanca Piedra and Gale of the Wind, is also many times more powerful than dietary antioxidants (like Vitamin C and E). It has a rare combination of powerful antioxidant properties, stimulating the body’s production of superoxide dismutase, lowering lipid peroxidation, and scavenging free radicals. Its bioactive compounds (alkaloids, flavonoids, polyphenols, and coumarins) include a unique phyto-protein. Together, these elements protect against oxidative damage and stimulate repair mechanisms.

Adaptogens like Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi, Holy Basil) can also help bring balance to systems disrupted by environmental stressors.

Furthermore, clinical studies suggest Vaccinium uliginosum (Bilberry) can improve memory, and it is believed to help with age-related cognitive issues. In fact, it may reverse the cognitive decline some of us experience with aging. It’s commonly used as a rejuvenator of the mind and a meditation support to increase clarity of thought. It’s also frequently used to support the treatment of cognitive deficits and to improve learning and memory. Studies have found that the addition of bilberry to the diet improved short-term memory, navigational skills, balance, and coordination. Compounds in bilberries seem to jumpstart the brain in ways that get aging neurons to communicate again.

And, of course, make sure your water is clean, use natural cleaning products, and eat pesticide-free produce. Create a healthy home.

When Michael “cleaned house,” literally and figuratively, he suffered fewer migraines, experienced a significant drop in brain fog, and noticed an improvement in memory. By reading labels, acting as a conscious consumer, and seeking herbal support, he significantly increased his overall health.

Cut Through the Brain Fog

Eventually Michael got well. So what did he do to finally overcome chronic illness? He took 8 intentional steps to optimize his health.

You can optimize your health as well. We understand that this task may seem monumental, which is why we’ll try to make it as clear and straightforward as possible. Download our free Lessons from the Darkness e-book, and we’ll share 8 valuable ways to optimize your health.

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