It can be incredibly frustrating and even frightening to feel as if you’re losing your edge. My patients frequently confided in me when they struggled with brain fog, and oftentimes my older patients even wondered if they were becoming senile.
“I feel like I’m in a fog, and that my brain isn’t as sharp as it used to be.”
“It’s a struggle to concentrate and stay focused, and I’m not able to think through problems.”
“Managing things like my children’s schedule or planning a family trip suddenly seem overwhelming and impossible.”
“I can’t seem to remember things anymore. I meet someone and I instantly forget their name, I can’t remember where I put my car keys, or I make dinner plans with a friend and then I can’t remember what time we agreed upon.”
I heard all of this and more. Fortunately, there is often a very simple and treatable underlying cause of brain fog. And it is lurking somewhere you might not think to look — your gut.
In the vast majority of my patients who dealt with brain fog, all their symptoms could be traced back to yeast overgrowth, commonly referred to as Candida overgrowth. However, once their Candida overgrowth was eliminated their brain fog cleared, their memory improved, and they felt as sharp as ever.
So let’s talk about what Candida is, why it leaves you in a fog, and how you can eliminate it and feel like yourself again!
What is Candida Overgrowth?
Candida is a type of yeast, which is a form of fungus. There are actually many different types of yeast that can take up residence in your body. However, Candida albicans (Candida for short) is the most common and studied form of yeast. Most people refer to all types of yeast overgrowth simply as Candida overgrowth, which is what I’ll be doing in this article.
A very small amount of Candida naturally lives in your mouth and intestines to help with digestion and nutrient absorption. Typically the good bacteria in your gut, as well as your immune system, keep it in check.
However, the Candida population can get out of hand for many reasons. A round of antibiotics can kill off too many of those good bacteria. A diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar or high alcohol intake feed the yeast, leading to an overgrowth. Additionally, taking oral contraceptives, pregnancy, or estrogen dominance also disrupt your gut microbalance, and that’s barely scratching the surface. Even a high-stress lifestyle could lead to Candida overgrowth.
The Candida is able to multiply unchecked, wreaking havoc on your digestion, breaking down the lining of your intestine — potentially leading to leaky gut — and releasing toxic byproducts into your bloodstream.
This can cause a host of symptoms, including gas, bloating, skin issues such as eczema and dandruff, nail fungus, mood swings, anxiety and depression, itching in your ears, genitals, and anus, and more.
However, the most common symptom I saw in my Candida patients is brain fog. How does an overgrowth of yeast in your gut lead to such a frustrating symptom in your brain?
How Does Candida Lead to Brain Fog?
The Candida colonized in your gut lives off of sugar, fermenting it to produce energy. This is why another common sign of Candida overgrowth is intense sugar cravings.
The fermentation process produces a number of chemical byproducts, many of which are toxic to you. Two of these chemicals in particular, alcohol and acetaldehyde, are directly toxic to your nervous system and to your brain.
When Candida is kept in check by your good bacteria and immune system, your liver is able to properly process these chemicals and clear them from your body. However, if Candida grows out of control, your liver isn’t able to process and clear all of the toxins, so they build up in your bloodstream and can travel to your brain.
Here are a few of the ways acetaldehyde impairs cognitive function and causes brain fog:
- Reduces the amount of oxygen carried by red blood cells to your brain1
- Causes a deficiency in vitamin B1, which plays a critical role in brain function2
- Damages nerve cells in a similar way to chronic alcoholism or Alzheimer’s3
How to Eliminate Candida Overgrowth
Fortunately, by getting Candida back in check, you can stop the wave of toxins affecting your brain, restore optimal brain function, and banish your brain fog. You can accomplish this with the simple and proven three-action approach in my 30-day Candida Breakthrough® Program. With my support and an online community of people just like you who are fighting Candida, here’s what you’ll do:
Step 1. Starve the Candida by removing the foods that feed it from your diet. This means eliminating all sugar and alcohol, and restricting carbohydrates such as fruit, starchy vegetables, grains, and legumes. It also means ditching all fermented foods.
Step 2. Attack the Candida by taking supplements that destroy Candida’s cell walls. I like to use Candifense® as well as Caprylic Acid, both of which are excellent at breaking down the walls of Candida cells to destroy them.
Step 3. Repopulate your gut with good bacteria by taking a high-potency probiotic that keeps Candida under control. While battling Candida, I recommend a probiotic supplement containing 100 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) to restore your gut’s healthy microbial balance.
Discover how to finally clear the brain fog and banish Candida overgrowth for good.
For More Information
Watch this excerpt from my interview with Dr. David Haase, a good friend and Founder/CEO of MaxWell Clinic in Nashville, Tennessee, where we talk about the brain’s inflammatory burden and more.