What Is Brain Fog? An Osteopathic Physician Explains

Photo: Stocksy

As I sit here typing this, it's Friday morning, and the effects of my large double-shot coffee have already worn off. As the week has declined, so too has my mental capacity. I'm dubbing this state "Friday fog," which, as it turns out, isn't too far off. We toss around the phrase "brain fog" with the same nonchalance as "absent mindedness," but what seems like a passing 4 p.m. state is actually a real medical condition.

"Brain fog is an extremely common term used to describe changes that have occurred in brain function over a period of time," says Christopher L. Calapai, DO. "A decrease in focus, concentration, memory, alertness, and word retrieval are all part of the description of 'brain fog.' In my experience, over 30% of the patients that I see have some significant problems with focus concentration and memory."

Symptoms include headaches, forgetfulness, anxiety, confusion, trouble sleeping and low energy. What's interesting, though, is that this doesn't apply solely to older patients—in fact, brain fog can occur as early as your late teens. To learn more, keep scrolling.