The brain is a truly remarkable organ that operates as the central controlling mechanism of a human body. The largest part of the brain is the cerebral cortex and it is estimated to contain an amazing 15–33 billion nerve cells called neurone, each connected by incredibly small junctions gaps called “synapses” to several thousand other neurons that link throughout both the brain and body. Dysfunctions of the human brain can often have significant consequences to the body as a whole, so it is important to try and detect the cause of any functional disturbance of the brain before it becomes a much more serious health crisis. Brain fog is an interesting functional complaint that along with adrenal fatigue and leaky gut syndrome simply “doesn’t exist” as far as many “medical experts” are concerned, because it will not generally reveal itself as any structural or biochemical abnormality upon any medical examination. You will not find it listed as a medical diagnosis or recognized medical condition in any Western medical textbook.
Objective neurological conditions like dementia, Alzheimers, mental retardation, and Parkinson’s Disease for example are accepted and diagnosable conditions because there are tests to validate their existence. I sincerely hope one day that doctors expand their diagnostic horizons and begin to accept their patient’s subjective feelings more for conditions like brain fog, adrenal fatigue and leaky gut syndrome. Just because a symptom can’t be uncovered with a test, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist or that it’s all in the ‘patient’s head’. In this case it is, and it is affecting the very way they think and can be an enormous disruption to the quality of their lives.
Brain Fog Definition
Brain fog can be defined as a person having subjective feelings of a lack of mental clarity or mental confusion. It is also recognized as a clouding of the consciousness, denoting an abnormality in the regulation of the overall healthy and balanced level of consciousness’. A person who experiences brain fog will often experience a subjective level of mental cloudiness or fogginess. It is called “brain fog” because it is seen as a cloud that kind of descends upon a person’s consciousness, reducing their ability to think with any level of clarity. The patients I’ve seen with brain fog generally have it most of the time they are awake, and the intensity can vary greatly depending on many factors like the person’s diet and lifestyle factors such as stress levels. I have found that many patients I’ve seen with brain fog for any length of time in also experience varying levels of anxiety and even depression, especially if they have been to many doctors and professional natural therapists, spent tens of thousands of dollars in consultancy fees, tests and supplements or drugs with no measurable results.
Is Brain Fog Common?
Brain fog is a surprisingly common condition and affects countless people world wide on a daily basis, it affects men, women and children. This complaint contributes to a considerable amount of lost productivity, accidents around the home and at work, it creates relationship problems both socially and professionally and wrecked marriages as well as wrecked lives. I suspect that it also can cause drug-related dependencies (both recreational and prescribed), alcoholism, crime and delinquency. I have even heard of some people over the years who tragically took their own lives because they were unable to find any permanent solution and because nobody listened or believed them, a tragic but true consequence of serious brain fog for some. There are many what I call the walking wounded out there who live either poor or even half-lives due to brain fog, and very little to nothing is done to help them recover, after all, many look perfectly well so they must be faking it according to some medical professionals I’ve heard who speak of brain fog.
Each Brain Fog Case Is Different
I’ve learned from many years of clinical practice that there are no two cases of brain fog that are exactly alike. There are as many different clinical presentations as there are different primary and maintaining causes of brain fog. Some people have had brain fog only recently, whereas others may have experienced it most of their lives. Some experience intermittent symptoms, but for most it will be a constant problem as I mentioned earlier, and the severity can range from very mild and hardly noticeable right through to very severe and debilitating. Brain fog can develop slowly or in some cases almost appear overnight after an acute infection, an exposure to some kind of toxin or another kind of acute illness. Some people with brain fog are quite capable of working, whereas others will be on some kind of sickness benefit and have to stay at home, unable to even drive a motor vehicle. Incredible, but some people have become so used to living in impaired kind of life that they adapt to their brain fog and may even think it is normal.
What Are The Causes Of Brain Fog?
There is no one single cause of brain fog. Some of the more common causes that affect most people are of biochemical, nutritional or toxic origin. Digestive system origins of brain fog are surprisingly common as well, and I’ve confirmed this on countless occasions after having completed countless comprehensive stool tests on brain fog sufferers. It can be most difficult in some cases to determine the actual cause, and this is because it usually involves a combination of different factors. Let’s now analyse some of the most common causes:
Toxic chemicals are ubiquitous today; we live virtually in an ocean of chemicals in our world today on an over crowded planet. I’m always amused when I hear patients tell me that they don’t need detoxification because they lead a ‘clean life’. Most people are not even aware of the high levels of toxins their bodies contain, regardless of their diet, because every person is exposed to high levels of many different kinds of toxic compounds found in our environment, particularly those who live in the developed Western nations. Toxins are around us everywhere, they are found in countless personal care products, in our car, house and office interiors such as upholstery, carpets, etc., in garden chemicals and household cleansers, pharmaceutical drugs, plastics, paints, different agricultural chemicals like organophosphates, carbamates, fungicides and countless others. Do you eat organic produce and believe that your fruits and vegetables are clean? They you may be overlooking that fact that spray drift is very real. You will almost certainly be aware that the air and water in our cities is contaminated as well, and I could go on a write an entire article outlining the incredible amount of ways and means by which we get toxic compounds in our bodies. As I’ve mentioned, chemicals are literally everywhere and we can’t escape this toxic onslaught of chemical accumulation throughout our lives. What we do have control of is regular cleansing and detoxification, and this is an intelligent approach to reduce our total toxic load. Brian fog can develop and increase over time if the toxic burden is not addressed, and although most chemicals we encounter are not all that toxic, the total toxic burden is the real concern and this can severely affect brain function in many people.
A comprehensive nutritional and herbal cleansing program will almost always remove most of these stored toxins without the use of powerful drugs. It is important to point out that you must be patient with cleansing programs, especially if you have become very toxic over a prolonged period of time. You may need to repeat a detox program several times to significantly reduce your toxic burden, and with each cleanse you should notice increased benefits. A good way to boost detoxification program is to facilitate ways of increasing toxic excretion by way of perspiration, and I will often recommend patients to have one or several sauna sessions and find they benefit significantly from them. Colonic irrigation can also be of help.
Metal Toxicity And Brain Fog
Copper overload or toxicity has been associated with mood swings, confusion, anxiety, and disorientation. This problem is compounded when a person takes one or several pharmaceutical drugs like the birth control pill or hormone drugs in general. The thyroid often gets adversely affected by this copper imbalance and this can help to push the thyroid into hypothyroid function, and this can certainly lead to brain fog. All too many patients I see today are zinc deficient, and this also can lead to a copper excess. Many foods tend to be higher in copper than zinc, especially vegetarian or vegan diets. A copper/zinc imbalance can often be hard to pick, but a hair analysis can often uncover this hidden imbalance. Some of the typical causes of copper imbalance include poor adrenal function or adrenal fatigue, vegetarian or vegan diets, zinc deficiency, stress and fatigue, the oral contraceptive pill, copper-IUD devices, or too much copper in the water or food supply.
Other Toxic Metals
There are other metals that are implicated with brain fog, and this are in particular lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury and aluminium. Most all patients have these metals in their bodies in varying amounts to minute levels through to severe toxicity. Again, various detoxification protocols including sauna therapy have proven to be most effective in reducing heavy metals from the body. It is very important to ensure that you improve your digestive function, including an underactive stomach or pancreatic function as well as aiding constipation before you undertake heavy metal detoxification. All too many patients I’ve seen over the years end up worse with their brain fog rather than noticing improvements after a detox because they didn’t prepare themselves properly before the detox program.
Liver And Bowel Toxicity And Brain Fog
I’ve discovered that a congested liver and a toxic bowel are very common causes of brain fog. Poorly digested foods can cause a high level of fermentation in the bowel that can generate powerful toxins such as skatol, indole, and cadaverine. These poisons can cause a lot of problems if they end up in the liver and other organs. Poor bacteria, parasites and yeasts such as candida thrive in such an environment, and the metabolic by-products they develop end up causing brain fog as they readily cross into varios parts of the body, including the brain. Many patients I see have either a sluggish bowel or constipation, and a slow bowel transit time means that the body’s waste products take considerably longer to be moved out of the body, allowing toxins to enter the bloodstream and consequently the brain. The SAD diet (Standard American Diet) will mean the many people take two to three days to eliminate wastes, for example, breakfast consumed on a Wednesday may take until Thursday before it finally leaves the body. This allows a lot more time for the waste products to release their toxic substances into the bloodstream.
Are you aware of these issues when it comes to brain fog? Even though you may have no particular digestive or bowel complaints, many of the functional disturbances that patients have remain silent and undetected and are never related to brain fog. You may go to the doctor and get a check-up, have blood tests and in nearly every single case of brain fog will be told that ‘all is fine’ and that you are in perfect health. However, liver and bowel toxicity are the norm today for nearly all patients I see, and the brain is one of the first organs affected by these digestive toxins, as it requires a lot of blood, nutrients and oxygen to thrive and function optimally and its functions are highly delicate and intricately controlled.
Bowel And Liver Toxicity Causes Leading To Brain Fog
I could easy say that improper diet and lifestyle habits are the key factors and most common causes when it comes to bowel and liver toxicity. Too many sweet and sugary foods, lots of sweet and even dried fruits (dates, figs, raisins, sultanas, etc.) which are often seen as ‘health food’ by many people. Too much bread, alcohol and reliance on quick and fast meals in our fast paced and hectic lives. Commercially raised animals like poultry and beef often contain chemicals such as antibiotics and growth hormones which are a major contributor to bowel toxicity. One of the biggest however is stress, many of us lead hurried and worried lives. I’ve seen many patients with underactive digestive systems from stress leading to an increased incidence of bad bacteria and parasites.
Vegan and Vegetarian Diets
There is a big difference between a vegetarian and a vegan diet regime. Many vegetarians I’ve seen as patients will often eat some amount of fish, eggs and/or chicken, but will avoid other meat sources, whereas others will only consume fish as their primary animal protein source. Vegans on the other hand, particularly if they are strict with their diet, will avoid all animal proteins and some may even avoid all animal products including honey, dairy products, etc. My concerns in particular with vegan diets is that many lack sufficient vitamin B12, and countless vegan patients I’ve seen also lack sufficient essential amino acids in their diet. Vitamin B12 is very important in the body’s methylation cycle, an important biochemical cycle that allows many different systems in the body to function optimally, including detoxification, cognition and mood balancing and even cardiac function.
Amino acids form the basis of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that help control our mood and cognition to a significant degree. I have seen a correlation with very strict animal protein free diets and brain fog in numerous candida patients over the years, and this can occur for many different reasons. These regimented diet regimes are also often low in nutrients essential for the brain such as B complex vitamins like B1, B2, B3 and B6, essential fatty acids, taurine, carnitine, various phospholipids and alpha lipoic acid.
My recommendations are to stay away from vegan or vegetarian diets if you have any kind of brain fog, mood disorder or cognitive (brain) dysfunction), and be sure to eat animal protein every single day, at least at one meal of the day (especially at night, the evening meal). There are vegans who believe that diet tends to make them more ‘spiritually aware’, when in fact their feelings of detachment may well be linked to brain fog brought on by their diet.
Brain Fog From Chemicals In Foods
I’ve discovered that it is not only the chemicals added to foods, but chemicals that naturally occur in some foods can themselves be responsible for brain fog. The most common allergen is cow’s milk, and not gluten or wheat as most people may think. Other key allergenic foods are bananas, peanuts, oranges and even chocolate. Soy can be an allergen to some, and I’ve also discovered that fish and crustaceans are allergens to a very small minority. Any food can have the potential to invoke an allergic response, even lettuce or tomatoes, so it is important to have this carefully assessed if you think there is a problem in this area. Anyone with brain fog (especially if serious) ought to have an IgE/IgG ELISA food allergy blood test performed and then try eliminating any foods that are indicated as medium to high potential, as this will often help speed recovery.
Poor Drinking Habits
Not drinking enough water, or worse, drinking soda drinks, too many cups of caffeinated coffee or tea, or other irritating beverages (like alcohol on a very regular basis) will often overwhelm or damage the delicate kidney function. Once the kidney function declines, the ability of the body to remove toxins becomes compromised, and especially if the bowel and liver and burdened as well, toxins will begin to accumulate in the body. I like my patients to drink several glasses of fresh, clean water every day to help flush their kidneys out and to help reduce their toxic load. Your body contains around 75 percent water, are you drinking enough? Filtered water or spring water is best; I don’t like people drinking distilled water, it is ‘flat’ and contains no oxygen nor any minerals. Distilled water is great for laboratory use or to put into your iron (because the lack of minerals means you won’t clog it up) but is not fit for human consumption. You will be surprised just how much better you will feel when you increase your water consumption.
Adrenal Fatigue, Hypothyroidism and Brain Fog
Most all patients I see today have some kind of endocrine (hormonal) imbalance, and it is the adrenal glands and thyroid that are mostly affected. In fact, the majority of patients with candida yeast infections who experience brain fog have some level of adrenal fatigue and many also have a lower functioning thyroid. The hormone produced by the adrenal gland called cortisol needs to be in optimal balance to ensure great brain function (including moods and cognition), a powerful immune system, a powerful anti-inflammatory response, well balanced blood sugar levels and much more. Those who experience adrenal fatigue will often experience decreasing cortisol levels over time, and when inadequate cortisol is available the thyroid won’t be able to function well either. This is a rather simplistic explanation, because many other hormones are involved when it comes to optimal health, and those with brain fog generally have multiple hormonal imbalances including testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, melatonin, DHEA, and more that I’ve discovered after having performed many salivary hormone tests over the years. Most of these hormonal imbalances occur due to stress and its effects on a person’s HPA (stress) axis.
Nutritional depletion often occurs with stress and adrenal fatigue, poor immunity may be present along low-grade chronic infections (including parasites, bad bacteria or candida) or allergies, chemical, toxins or heavy metals may be increasing in the body and could be potentially underpinning many different biochemical imbalances.
Candida and Brain Fog
There certainly is a connection between brain fog and candida. In fact countless patients I’ve seen over the years with candida yeast infections complain to some degree of feelings of brain fog, and the severity can range from being very mild and hardly noticeable right through to feeling completely debilitated and even incapable of driving a car or going to work.
There are different reasons why brain fog may occur with candida infection, and a common cause would be in my clinical experience of treating thousands of candida patients is when the candida sufferer tries to kill the yeast infection too rapidly, causing a situation to occur in the body that it becomes overwhelmed with various kinds of toxins liberated by the dying and dead yeast cells. Dead and dying candida also release small fragments (similar to when a glass is shattered, producing countless minute fragments). These incredibly small glycoproteins are called mannan, and can overwhelm the immune system, causing the production of various chemicals that bind to mannan. These immune complexes are called CICs (circulating immune complexes), and it is these CICs that are implicated in brain fog.
Many people get confused with brain fog when it comes to candida, and believe that they are suffering from ‘die-off’ when they aggravate after they begin candida treatment. My experience tells me however that it’s more likely to be a combination of the multiple lifestyle, dietary and dietary supplement changes they have made in a short period of time that lead to ‘feeling terrible’. For this reason I recommend a ‘Big Clean-Up’ for two weeks before the commencement of candida treatment, i.e. that the person slowly eases themselves into a candida treatment plan. This can avoid a lot of potential aggravation problems! Enzymes are most useful supplements with brain fog in my opinion, as they can help to ‘dismantle’ these CICs, helping to reduce inflammation, brain fog and other inappropriate responses caused by candida. I’ve discovered over the years that most all people who have candida and brain fog generally have multiple food allergies or sensitivities. These again become inappropriate immune reactions that further cause CICs. Probiotics are vital for these patients, once their intestinal flora becomes healthy and normal, they will discover that their reactions become much improved to the point where most all foods become tolerable. This also results in significantly less brain fog, loads more energy, no bloating or flatus, and a much improved health overall.
Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar) and Brain Fog
Hypoglycemia is another commonly encountered functional complaint that has been linked to brain fog. Once the level of blood sugar in the brain drops too low, brain fog and feelings of ‘being out it’ can occur as the brain becomes starved of its primary fuel – glucose. The brain uses more than one third of the food we consume to just power it up, and unlike your muscles, the brain does not store any of its fuel, it needs to have a continuous supply if it is to function optimally. When the brain’s supply of glucose becomes compromised, it is very much like a voltage drop occurring in your house, you will notice glitches and some malfunction here or there. Look what happens to your computer when the power supply becomes disrupted, it can be a major headache!
Main Hypoglycemia Symptoms
• Tiredness, vagueness or shakiness which is alleviated by eating.
• Tiredness or irritability if meals are late, or first thing in the morning.
• Sugar cravings.
• Hungry quite a lot or soon after eating.
• Headaches, weakness or feeling washed-out when meals are delayed.
• Inappropriate feelings of anxiety or inadequacy which disappear after eating.
• Disturbed sleep or waking in the middle of the night feeling hungry.
Allergies To Foods Or Common Chemicals
Is you brain allergic to various commonly encountered toxic substances? Many of these can amount to a hidden kind of brain fog for many people, and here are just a few of the countless examples of allergies to some commonly encountered chemicals:
- Perchlorate. This toxin is not unlike radioactive iodine, fluoride or bromine, and it has gained a considerable amount of attention in the past few years. Percholate is commonly used in airbags, rocket fuel, batteries, fireworks, fertilizers, bleaches, and different kinds of explosive devices (hence the airbags). These are only a few of the many hundreds of uses of this toxic compound that has proliferated our environment and our health the past few decades especially. I’ve seen patients with thyroid problems that were eventually traced to toxic incidences like after an airbag exploded in their face. Percholate is even added to the town water supply of some cities, and it would be worth your while checking this out carefully if you have brain fog and have checked and exhausted all other avenues.
- Artificial Sugars or Phenylalanine (can be labelled as Equal, Splenda, Nutrasweet, Canderel, Spoonful, Neotame, Aspartame, Aspartic acid) These artificial kinds of sugars are notorious for causing headaches, brain fog, mood swings, depression and many different kinds of cognitive problems. Other side-effects I’ve seen in my clinic mentioned by those patients who routinely consume these potentially toxic compounds in “diet” products include panic attacks, palpitations, dizziness, and fatigue ranging from mild and transient to severe and debilitating.
- Artificial sugars are now widely used in the manufacturing of processed foods and drinks and can be found in more the 5000 products, this amounts to almost 25 percent of everything Americans consume. These “sugars” are even hidden in medications, toothpaste, vitamins, breath mints and any kind of diet product. My advice is to completely avoid these artificial compounds if you have any kind of brain fog or mood disorder.
Just last week a 52 year old female patient came to see me with severe brain fog and debilitating headaches, she was recovering from bowel surgery after having been diagnosed with bowel cancer. A check of her diet revealed that she was not eating much food and drinking an amazing three litres of Diet Coke daily! Her medical doctor was OK with this, because it contained “no sugar”, and I was very much surprised that she couldn’t see the connection with her extremely poor diet, hardly any fruits or vegetables at all, because they “made her feel sick”. Her day would start with two glasses of Diet Coke for breakfast. Is it any wonder she ended up with bowel cancer and brain fog, after having drunk ridiculous amounts of this chemical concoction since her twenties?
- Other Food Chemicals Other chemicals that can affect sensitive people include MSG (monosodium glutamate), fluoride, caffeine, chlorine, benzene, bacterial and fungal toxins, pesticide and herbicide residues, and many other hundreds of other chemicals or contaminates that have been added to the air, water or our foods.
Pharmaceutical Drugs Can Cause Brain Fog
There is a very long list of prescribed and OTC (over the counter) pharmaceutical drugs that can potentially cause brain fog, depression, anxiety and mood imbalances. This list includes drugs for allergies, pain, high blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, glaucoma, infections, depression, anxiety, inflammation and many other kinds of disorders. The oral contraceptive pill, hormone patches and various IUD devices can sometimes cause brain fog as well. All too many patients I’ve seen take 2, 5 or even more drugs simultaneously, and it is this chemical cocktail that can cause toxic side-effects that even many ‘experts’ wouldn’t be able to predict. Once this combination of drugs is mixed with alcohol or recreational drugs, the symptoms produced may be very unpredictable and even downright dangerous.
If you need to take a prescribed medication, check with your doctor and make sure you get regular liver and kidney function blood tests to assess the health of your body’s detoxification system. Many people who remain on pharmaceutical drugs for years will have these organs checked initially, but then tend to remain on the drug for years and slowly decline in health as toxicity levels increase, including brain fog. If at all possible, try to remain off drugs of any kind!
Nutritional Deficiencies And Brain Fog
Did you know that most medical doctors have had very little training in nutrition and the body? Most of their study involves disease and how to counter symptoms with drugs. Yet an interesting fact is that in their very own Merc Manual (the most common doctor’s handbook) there are many pages outlining the vital importance of B vitamins when it comes to mental and cognitive health. B vitamin deficiencies include irritability, confusion, and even delirium. The biggest tragedy is that B vitamin deficiencies are all too common, are overlooked but are easily cured with cheap dietary supplements.
The brain has a high requirement for many different essential nutrients if it is to function optimally. These essential nutrients include proteins, amino acids, high quality fats and carbohydrates but also many different minerals and vitamins. Amongst the most important of these are calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium, zinc, chromium, iodine, selenium, L-glutamine, L-taurine, choline, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine and vitamin B12.
Latent Viruses Can Cause Brain Fog
Some patients remain unwell for years and end up going from one doctor to another, oblivious to the fact that they may be harbouring hidden viruses in their body. These viruses are hard to detect and even harder to destroy and can severely weaken the body’s immune system as well as the mind. Viruses such as Epstein Barr, cytomegal virus, various hepatitis strains and even herpes. Infected root canals or dead teeth are more common than you think and also account for ‘hidden’ infections and sources of endotoxins in the body. These silent pockets of bacterial toxins can slowly erode health and lead to significant brain fog over a period of many years.
EMF – Electro Magnetic Fields
I have known of several patients over the years that have discovered they are very sensitive to the effects of EMF. Radiation can affect sleep, affect a person’s mental performance and even be a cause of brain fog in those who are susceptible to its influences. Sources of EMF can be computer screens, mobile phones or cordless telephones commonly used today, dimmer switches and even living near high voltage towers carrying power lines. Some people living near cell phone ‘repeater’ towers complain of headaches and recurring insomnia, and others may have noticed since they had a ‘smart’ meter installed that their brain fog started to happen, especially if the meter is placed outside their bedroom. It is important to place some distance from these kinds of devices if you are sensitive to them, and it is particularly important to switch of computers, televisions, radios, and any electrical devices before you go to sleep. If you do need to us a computer but are sensitive to it, try and have frequent breaks through the day and keep your mobile telephone calls to a minimum, i.e., try to talk for hours a day on a cell phone. Don’t have any electrical device (that is turned on) any closer than six feet from your head when you are trying to sleep.
If you don’t feel quite right outside in your garden, check to see if t=you have any overhead power lines, microwave tower repeater stations or any smart (electrical) meters placed near your home. I’ve had patients over the years sell and move house after some of these electromagnetic disturbances appeared close to where they live and feel a lot better for it.
Correcting Brain Fog
There are many different things you can do to remedy brain fog, and here are some of the best solutions. Sometimes all you may need to do is to clean up your diet, and by eliminating caffeine, alcohol, sugar and gluten from your diet you may even find that in a matter of a week your brain fog is cleared up, incredible but true. For the vast majority of brain fog sufferers however, this will not be the case. I’d recommend that you take a high quality multivitamin and mineral dietary supplement as well as an omega-3 fish oil supplement on a daily basis, this will help correct any nutritional deficiencies and help to keep any low-grade inflammatory processes at bay. Be sure to drink plenty of fresh clean water and to get sufficient sleep, breathe more slowly and deeply and get regular exercise – walking is one of the best low-stress forms of exercise you can get. These are all simple diet and lifestyle changes you can make, but many of these suggestions appear to be taken for granted and overlooked by the majority of patients I’ve seen over the years unfortunately.
Living a cleaner lifestyle will mean less chance of a toxic build-up in your body’s tissues, and many of the deeply stored toxins in your fatty tissues may take several years before they are removed, but they can make a significant difference when it comes to brain fog unresponsive to any other kind of treatment in particular I’ve discovered. Time tends to pass rapidly as one usually begins to feel a little better each day, and over a prolonged period of time you will probably even forget that you had brain fog! Get a regular chiropractic adjustment, or if you prefer, go and see your osteopath from time to time. If you are a person who suffers regularly from muscular tension of the neck, shoulders, back or legs (and lots of my patients fall into this category) then have a regular massage, it can make all the difference. Reflexology or lymphatic drainage are other forms of natural therapy that may be of significant benefit to you.
It is impossible to know in advance how long it will take to shift your particular case of brain fog, some patients respond rapidly whereas others can take several months or even years. If you are really serious about your brain’s health, you will want to avoid prescribed and recreational drugs as much as possible, and to cut right back (or better still avoid) caffeine and alcohol as well, because they are neurotoxins as well.