ADD versus Brain Fog Radio chat with Sue and Zuaikha Thursday 14th February 2019
Sue is a healthcare researcher: www.naturefresh.co.za Follow link to see all her latest radio talks.
ADHD is complicated as it is considered to be a diagnosable medical condition in school children that requires medications. Brain fog o n the other hand, is considered to be a symptom of other problems that older people have.
Q: Sue what do you think is the cause of problems we all have in being able to stay sharp and focused so we can study or work more effectively?
A: We all get fuzzy headed from time to time and as you will see, the symptoms and characteristics of ADD disorders overlap with brain fog because they both involve similar neurochemistry. We all have times when we feel blank, spacey and unable to remember if we locked the front door. When introduced to somebody, one forgets their name a few seconds later and most people can’t listen to you finishing your sentence before butting in and rambling on about another subject. At times like these, we would be diagnosed as having ADD, according to the following symptoms:
A decline in thinking skills
Unable to remember or focus on what is going on (daydreaming)
Easily distracted (especially by cell phone apps)
Vague, fuzzy thinking and no concentration
Unable to start with a project, let alone continue and finish it
Brain Fog Symptoms are very similar to ADD markers:
Lack of concentration
One struggles to get around to, stick with, and finish things
Slow and hazy thinking, easily distracted by interruptions
Inability to focus or plan ahead
Forgetfulness – both in daily living and inability to remember facts for example when studying or even in a conversation
Confusion and disorientation
In both cases, the symptoms are accompanied by spells of fatigue, irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches, and/or insomnia.
Q: So what do you think is the main cause of these brain disorders – why are more and more people suffering from ADD and brain fog?
A: There are both chemical and emotional causes. They all rob us of our ability to focus
Chemical problems: Foreign chemicals like glyphosate (Monsanto Roundup) and natural chemicals like gluten in our food chain can interfere with a neural synapse. Within the link between two nerve cells we have receptor sites for neurotransmitters, for example dopamine an excitatory one that helps us to focus and stay alert. To switch on the alert button – to tune in and focus, glutamine is stored within the brain and it links up with sodium to produce a temporary supply of glutamate, another excitatory chemical that facilitates the uptake of dopamine.
To complete the action we require glycine, but glyphosate may reach the receptor first and the signal fails to perk up the brain. The result? Brain fog or ADD. We also need magnesium, to end the neural synapse. Without it, the dopamine is over activated because the glutamate gets stuck on the receptor. The calcium channel is not switched off by the magnesium so the receptor gets overstimulated and the nerve becomes “hyperactive”. Furthermore, the remaining glutamate is unable to convert into GABA, the inhibitory neurotransmitter that calms us down – helps us to focus. Gluten also interferes with our ability to convert glutamate into GABA. But it is MSG that we blame.
Q: Sue you have mentioned before that glutamate or MSG cannot enter the brain – it can’t get through the blood brain barrier. So how can it cause ADHD?
A: Ideally so, but with so much inflammation and damage to blood vessels happening these days, most of our brains have become permeable- what we call a leaky brain. This means a loss of control over glutamine, the amino acid that is used to make a temporary supply of glutamate to facilitate both excitatory as well as inhibitory neurotransmitters. In other words, cells become overstimulated and we lack the enzymes to calm down the neural synapse.
Q: What causes the leaky gut and leaky brain?
A: Inflammation is continuously caused by radiation from cell phones that open up the barrier and expose the brain to disruptive chemicals. A healthy brain is sealed off from the bloodstream by a selectively permeable membrane that only allows oxygen, glucose and a few key nutrients to enter (definitely not glutamate or gluten!) A leaky gut is also caused by inflammation, especially from parasites like giardia and gardenerella lambellis that eat holes through the gut wall. Gluten and wheat intolerance also cause inflamed and what we call leaky gut membranes. A leaky gut plus a leaky brain allows glyphosates and gluten – plus other toxins and microbes to enter and interfere with the neural synapses. Hence the fog!
Q: Apart from physical or chemical problems, what are some of the other causes of “ADD fog”?
A: Causes of impaired brain activity:
Emotional: The brain reacts to the thoughts we have. If we are over stressed, a lot of cortisol is released and this shuts off our normal brain activity. The receptors of our neurons are flooded with cortisol. They not pick up enough glutamate, for instance, to help with memory recall, so we go blank. With habitual stress the fog and forgetfulness become a habit. A natural reaction to constant stressful thinking (our judgement and reactivity included) is to slow down and depression is the result of continuously blocking our serotonin and dopamine pathways with cortisol.
A negative mind-set uses up a lot of our capacity to think and concentrate, it is a distraction. Harping on the negative “I can’t” makes it a reality so things fail. Then more attention goes down the drain about what goes wrong. Rather say “I can” and this feeling of positivity will raise dopamine levels! We need to break the habit of negative thinking and this link is very helpful.
1.) Side effects of drugs to treat incontinence, such as oxybutynin (Ditropan); depression, such as amitriptyline (Elavil); and allergies, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Chemotherapy and statin drugs can adversely affect brain function and also cause dementia.
2.) Hormonal imbalances especially PMS, pregnancy and menopause or hypothyroidism.
3.) The leaky gut syndrome whereby the contents of the digestive tract escape through the damaged gut wall and enter the bloodstream. The resultant inflammation is a reaction of the immune system to foreign particles like gluten, but now the gluten can also penetrate into the brain and block GABA synthesis.
4.) Fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis (MS) and chronic infections from glandular fever, Lyme disease (tick bite fever) and other pathogens.
5.) Stress, depression and anxiety which affect brain function and cause split attention. A leaky gut interferes with nutrients needed by the brain for smart thinking and to prevent depression in the first place.
6.) Anaemia, which can cause a lack of oxygen in the brain.
7.) Hypoglycaemia causes a shortage of glucose for the brain. As a standby we keep a store of stored glucose, called glycogen in the liver but if we lack potassium, it will not be released.
8 Adrenal insufficiency – chronic fatigue syndrome or Addison’s disease also cause spells of hypoglycaemia. Cortisol is needed to raise blood sugar, but fails to do so in these cases.
9.) Micronutrient deficiencies especially magnesium, potassium, vitamin B12 and phospholipids.
10.) Dehydration affects electro conductivity throughout the body – slow reflexes.
11.) Heavy metal toxicity. Mercury from our old fillings is very toxic to nerves, endocrine glands and brain cells.
Q: How do we deal with our brain fog – call it a sick brain. Do you have some special remedies for us?
A: I certainly do! We need to identify the main problem areas and make some definite changes. We need to work on our environment, our habits, our diet and our micronutrients. As simple as that: – but we first need to overcome our negativity. We say a glass of water is either half empty or half full. Both are judgements and we react to them.
A glass of water is ½ empty or ½ full? Pour the same water into a smaller glass – filled with positivity!
1.) Limit your exposure to EMF/ radio waves. Keep cell phones as far away as possible and use only a few times, not constantly. Get more fresh air and exercise, to help break the addiction. Do not sleep near electronic gadgets and avoid blue lights as they interfere with the production of melatonin (for sleep).
2.) Stop eating wheat and gluten or milk products (casein) if you suspect you are intolerant to any of them.
3.) Try to avoid all agricultural products that have been exposed to Monsanto’s weed killer called Glyphosate. It kills your gut flora – 80% of the immune system. We need our friendly microbes for digestion and to make key neurotransmitters, especially serotonin. The glyphosate also prevents us from absorbing key minerals like magnesium, zinc, selenium, etc. from our food. Glyphosate relates to the amino acid glycine. It will attach to glycine receptors. Glycine is used for the detoxification process, to produce glutathione out of glutamate.
To eliminate glyphosate effectively, you need to saturate your body with glycine, an amino acid. Buy a glycine supplement and start by taking 4 grams twice a day for a few weeks and then lower the dose to 1 gram twice a day. This flushes the glyphosate out of your system via the urine. Better concentration, moods and sleep.
4.) Do the recommended parasite cleansing and the heavy metal detox protocol and you will feel the fog lifting after a few days. Aluminium is removed by taking more silica. Diatomaceous earth, kaolin, bentonite and zeolite are good sources of silica. Aluminium disrupts the voltage on the cell walls and impairs receptor sites for insulin, hormones and neurotransmitters. It accumulates in the brain, spinal cord and the enteric nervous system of the gut. Citric acid, (lemon juice) and apple cider vinegar help to mobilize aluminium.
5.) Repair the damage caused by fat-soluble neurotoxins such as benzene derivatives, insecticides, pesticides and also some herbicides that accumulate in the fatty tissue of the brain. Replenish your phospholipids to help the brain to function more efficiently. Follow the Budwig protocol: make smoothies out of flaxseed oil and cottage cheese. This is also a treatment for cancer and to help Parkinson’s disease. You can also take supplements.
6.) Replenish your gut flora and keep them flourishing. Unhappy gut = unhappy person.Take probiotics and learn to eat more fermented / cultured foods such as sauerkraut. Sauerkraut can be added to the juices you make. It also helps to detoxify glyphosate and destroy an overgrowth of Clostridium difficile that is linked to autism. It can also boost the uptake of aluminium into the bloodstream and inhibit melatonin production.
7.) Drink water frequently, especially with a pinch of cream of tartar in it to top up on potassium.
8.) When you are studying, use mint oil and other stimulating aromatherapy oils in an air diffuser. Rubbing some mint on your pulses helps to wake up the brain – so does chewing peppermint chewing gum – the sugar free one.
9.) Bach flower remedies or a specific Homeopathic remedy selected by a Homeopath can make a big difference to waking up a foggy brain. The tissue salt KALI MUR is an excellent brain tonic and is reasonably priced.
10.) Seek online support, follow simple advice to regain your feeling of self-worth and reward yourself for the achievements you make. We need to break the habit of negative thinking and this link is very helpful.
Dopamine levels increase with rewards, kind words, praise and acknowledgement – to you internally and to others. One small success is a great step towards a clear head. Don’t give up and allow the fog to overwhelm you and sink into depression and apathy.
11 Cut down on stress and find out more about how cortisol affects the brain. Natural brain boosters like Coleus Forskolin, Olive leaf, Centella (Gotu Kola, Ginseng, Bacopa Monnieri.
References and resources:
http://lifestyleclinic.co.za/detoxification-glyphosate-roundup-and-aluminium/ By doctor James Liddell
http://www.cerenx.com/what-is-brain-fog/ Phospholipid supplements for brain fog
Here is a link to a self-test for adult ADD https://additudenewhopemedia.survey.fm/test-adhd-adults
Break the habit of negative thinking: https://wakeup-world.com/2015/08/01/negative-thinking-the-cause-of-chronic-depression-anxiety/ by life coach and practitioner Nanice.com
General articles and protocols for a better brain by Sue Visser (Yindee at Infobarrel)