Doctors share five tips for easing brain fog caused by long Covid

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According to the NHS, brain fog – from a coronavirus infection – can lead to thinking more slowly than usual, fuzzy thoughts, forgetfulness, lost words, and mental fatigue. “Brain fog can feel similar to the effects of sleep deprivation or stress,” the NHS adds. “It’s not just people who were hospitalised with coronavirus who can develop brain fog. It’s a common part of long Covid.”

Dr Anisha Patel encourages people suffering from brain fog to learn a new skill to keep the brain working.

“Learning new things… choosing a hobby, sewing, go and dance, learn tai chi, learn a new skill, go and do that 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle,” said Dr Patel.

“It’s all going to help keep our brain active, improve that concentration and boost memory.”

On ITV’s Lorraine chat show, Dr Patel recommended being more organised to help cope with brain fog.

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“Have three or four things [on the list]. When you get that list done, congratulate yourself and have a list for the next day,” she added.

Airing on January 19, 2023, the doctor said that giving all belongings a space in the home, such as keys and glasses, can help people to remember where their stuff is.

Chiming in was Dr Amir Khan, who added: “Stop smoking, that will help blood flow to the brain.”

Adhering to a healthy lifestyle is the best way to help ease brain fog symptoms.

“Reduce your alcohol intake, get to a healthy weight… overall health is really important to blood flow to the brain,” Dr Amir said.

Another useful tip is to get plenty of quality sleep, which can help to improve brain health.

“Your brain is an organ,” said Dr Amir. “It needs to eat and breathe like any of your organs.”

He continued: “It gets food and oxygen through fluid that comes through tubes called the glymphatic system.

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“As it eats and breathes it also produces waste, so the brain needs to be cleaned and the waste needs to be removed so new fluid full of food and oxygen can come in.

“That happens while we sleep so while you’re sleeping your brain is having a clean which is really good for it.”

Dr Amir added: “As well as that, sleep helps cement memory. So things you’ve learnt that day, while you sleep, they’re cemented in your brain, but also a good night’s sleep helps you to learn new things.

“People who get a good night’s sleep are 40 percent better at learning new things the following day.”

Another tip is to spend time outdoors, which can help to improve your mood, which may otherwise be negatively impacted by brain fog.

“Studies have shown that spending 30 minutes, five times a week – about two hours a week on average – outdoors has been really proven to improve your mood,” said Dr Amir.

“It is cold. Put your big coat on, get outside and go and spend some time in nature – it will be really good for [you].”

Five tips to ease brain fog

  1. Learn a new skill
  2. Be more organised
  3. Have a healthy lifestyle
  4. Get a good night’s sleep
  5. Take a walk outside.

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