One of the symptoms of post covid syndrome is brain fog. According to research, it appears a few months after covid-19 and usually the condition starts to improve over time. It is possible for symptoms of brain fog to persist for several months and even more than a year after covid.
It is also possible to experience brain fog, or sluggish or slow thinking, because of other conditions, such as insomnia, medications that cause drowsiness, or after chemotherapy or a concussion. The exact cause of brain fog in the post-covid period is unknown, but research has revealed an increased level of inflammatory substances in the fluid that surrounds people's brain weeks after infection.
Cytokines are molecules produced by the immune system that promote inflammation. Inflammation in the brain interferes with the ability of neurons to communicate with each other. This can be one of the contributing factors to brain fog.
Microstructural changes in the hippocampus and other areas of the brain after covid found in people who have recovered from the disease may also contribute to cognitive impairment. Brain fog affects cognition, i.e. cognitive processes in the brain that are used for thinking, reading, learning, memory, reason and paying attention.
A wide range of problems with these processes have been reported among people hospitalized for covid. They include difficulties with attention, memory and executive functions. Problems such as:
- thoughts that can be described as slow or unclear
- problems with concentration and paying attention
- difficulties with decision-making or planning
- memory problems
- mental fatigue
How to alleviate the symptoms of brain fog?
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for reducing symptoms of brain fog after COVID-19.
Symptoms usually disappear on their own after a certain time. Trying some of the tips below can help you while the pain lasts.
Plan your days
It may be helpful to set a daily routine and goals for what you want to accomplish each day.
Set your own pace
Don't be afraid to take a break if you feel exhausted or overwhelmed.
Exercise is good for overall health. It can lift your mood, benefit brain health and reduce stress. Physical activity in the form of a walk of half an hour a day can significantly help your health.
Get enough sleep
Poor sleep can have a negative impact on health. Try to set a consistent sleeping schedule and make sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and at a comfortable temperature.
A balanced diet
Try to eat a balanced diet.
Since inflammation can play a role in brain fog, consider adding more anti-inflammatory foods like tomatoes, broccoli, and fatty fish to your diet.
Avoid tobacco and alcohol
Staying away from tobacco products and alcohol can help reduce inflammation in the brain.