9 Ways to Manage Brain Fog

One of the most frustrating symptoms of living with a chronic illness is brain fog. There are medications to treat many symptoms of chronic diseases, but sadly there isn’t yet a pill that takes away brain fog. However, there are ways to deal with it so patients can minimize its effects and lead a normal life.

We’ve put together a list of 10 ways to help manage brain fog, with help from princessinthetower.org, newlifeoutlook.com, and Web MD.

Write Things Down
Everyone forgets things now and then, but having brain fog often means forgetting important dates and occasions. Keep a to-do list and a calendar in a highly visible location, or use an online diary to keep track of what each day holds. There are many mobile apps that can also help with organization.

Exercise the Body
Exercise offers a chance to turn off from all the usual things that occupy the mind. It can also improve sleep, which can in turn improve cognitive skills.

Exercise the Mind
Take the time to do thought-challenging exercises like crossword, sudoku, and jigsaw puzzles, or learn a new language. In addition, maintaining a hobby will keep the mind focused on something positive.

MORE: Seven things people with MS want others to know about their disease.

Pick the Right Time of Day
Whether a morning lark or night owl, we all have certain times when we feel more alert. Choose a time each day when your concentration is at its highest to tackle difficult and complex tasks.

Eat a Brain-Healthy Diet
Eat lots of good fats known for brain health such as nuts, avocados, coconut oil, and omega-3-rich foods.

Get Plenty of Rest
Quality sleep and restorative naps (when appropriate) can dramatically improve cognitive health. Try to keep to a routine bedtime and waking time, even on the weekend, to promote a good sleep pattern.

MORE: Six resources that will make living with MS a little bit easier.

12 comments

  1. John Connor says:

    I take Modafinil – your list is effectively the sort of stuff I did [still do] pre MS. Before drugs was battling through a miasma, now pin sharp – ouch! x

  2. Laurence Roy says:

    My wife is very disabled with MS, she hasn’t walked since 1998 and has lost the use of her hands and arms. She had brain fog as well back in June of 2015 we came across a vitamin that is helping her within a week of starting on it she said her brain fog was not as bad we have since started to play some online hidden object games that have also helped with her memory. She has also started on Biotin which is helping with mobility of her arms and fingers. The vitamins we have started are not a sure thing but for us it is helping.

    • siobhan knox says:

      Hi Laurence. I am so sorry to hear about your wife’s ms. I was diagnosed just last year in march 2017. One of my worst symptoms is severe brain fog. I have come across NAC n-aceyl cystein which is a powerful anti oxidant. It is herbal and may help you wife as i find it very beneficial myself. There is a huge link with ms and oxidated stress. I am not a doctor but I hope you find this helpful. Siobhan from Ireland xx

  3. Reg. Bavis says:

    I have brain fog , before. I was aware what it was I have been doing things ,that made it more bearable I have had ms since 95 it has been getting worse every year . I have. been doing exercise every day ,my ms has been getting more severe every year. Reg Bavis

  4. deb tuza says:

    I’ve always been a “list” person even before I was diagnosed in 2007. Your suggestions are very helpful.

  5. Isabel says:

    Hi my name is Isabel I was diagnosed with ms 2 years ago, I also had a traumatic head injury and can only recall bits and pieces of the incident and both my parents passed away a year ago. I noticed that stress and anxiety cause my symptoms to get worse I have problems keeping up with answering questions and handling simple tasks do to mind fog and feeling tired or fatigued most of the day, I don’t think my family understands why I can’t complete simple tasks and I get moments of severe pain so chronic that I can’t keep up with regular house chores. I want to know if anyone else has ms together with chronic pain or have ms together with degenerative disc disease?

    • Connie says:

      I was diagnosed with MS last December 2018. Like you, it all started with chronic pain since 2006, then numbing and tingling after a few years on my hands and feet, then electricity feeling in my lower legs, hands or arms, Lately. Numbing and tingling in my head, intermittent pains in all of my joints, intermittent drooling, twisting of my tongue, and slurring. Lots of stiffness on the back of my neck associated with headache or lightheadedness, lots of cognitive impairment, including massive brain fog. I have the progressive relapsing type. Encourage your family to understand or educate themselves about MS so you can get the support that you needed. I usually print the documents that I found from google and share it with my hubby so both of us are learning together about the disease. Stay positive and be the strong advocate for yourself – this is what I am going thru now.

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