Alcohol Brain Fog: How to Heal Your Brain

It’s important to call out that withdrawal symptoms don’t just affect people with alcohol use disorder (formerly known as alcoholism) who quit drinking. Alcohol-induced brain fog is a state of confusion, lack of focus and mental obscurity that can occur after drinking alcohol and during withdrawal. Brain fog is a common symptom of alcohol withdrawal that can occur after quitting alcohol.

“Your sensory uptake has been dulled, so you’re not going to be taking in new information as well,” said Pagano. Alcohol also lowers inhibitions and clouds judgment, which could lead a person to engage in risky behaviors like having unprotected sex or driving a car while drunk. And if a person has an underlying mental health disorder, like depression alcohol brain fog or bipolar disorder, alcohol can exacerbate symptoms and increase mood swings. Poor sleep affects your ability to make decisions, solve problems, and control your emotions. And what’s more, experts say that sleep deprivation can increase your risk for chronic health problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease.

Other Common Causes of Brain Fog from Alcohol

Many people with an alcohol addiction are malnourished, and it is possible that your body does not have the nutrients it needs for proper brain functioning. Your brain fog may also be another side effect of the symptoms that accompany withdrawal. According to a 2021 study in Scientific Reports, heavy drinking could lead to loss of brain volume. The researchers found that people with alcohol use disorder (AUD) had less brain matter than people without AUD.

  • If you drink, make sure you get adequate thiamine to prevent this irreversible
  • This is the period in which delirium tremens is most likely to occur, which requires immediate medical attention.
  • For most of us, brain fog is related to lifestyle or temporary stressors.
  • If you have fibromyalgia, reach out to your doctor before starting any new treatments or interventions.
  • By managing stress through exercise, meditation, deep breathing, and journaling, you can clear the fog and enhance your mental clarity.

Living with even occasional brain fog can be disruptive to anyone’s life. More importantly, as it can stem from any number of issues, one should be examined by a medical professional if it occurs with any sort of regularity. If you’ve ever spent a night tossing and turning only to feel bleary-eyed and struggling to power through the next day, you likely understand the powerful connection between sleep and cognitive function. Adolescent brains are more vulnerable to the negative effects of alcohol than adult brains. Misuse of alcohol during adolescence can alter brain development, potentially resulting in long-lasting changes in brain structure and function. Experiencing brain fog following addiction can be a frustrating experience, but hang in there.

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Make sure that your bedroom is maximized for restful sleep by designating it for sleep and intimacy only. That means no computers or TV’s since they emit blue light, a known suppressor of melatonin production. Also, sleeping with an essential oil diffuser provides soothing aromas and low, rhythmic noise to help lull you to sleep.

alcohol brain fog

By Sarah Bence

Sarah Bence, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist and freelance writer. She specializes in a variety of health topics including mental health, dementia, celiac disease, and endometriosis. If you have severe alcohol use disorder, withdrawing from alcohol should always be done with medical supervision. For people who experience hallucinations as part of alcohol withdrawal, these may begin in the 12- to 24-hour time frame.

Broken and Bleeding: Emotional Trauma and Substance Use Disorder

But that’s not all — a 2021 study suggests it can also distract us from upsetting thoughts and a 2017 study notes that it can aid in emotional regulation after a stressful event. MacKinnon says that because there are so many different factors related to brain fog, there’s no one-size-fits-all way of treating it. Alcohol fog is a temporary condition that is caused by drinking too much alcohol.

  • Severe alcohol overdoses may cause permanent brain damage even if the person survives.
  • If your brain fog and lightheadedness are caused by a more serious condition, such as Meniere’s disease or a brain tumor, you may need to take medication to help relieve the symptoms.
  • Alcohol can potentially reduce the flow of oxygen to the brain and increase inflammation, thus affecting its functioning.
  • Alcohol-induced brain fog is a state of confusion, lack of focus and mental obscurity that can occur after drinking alcohol and during withdrawal.

And, while coffee might be your go-to remedy for brain fog, it can actually increase anxiety and worsen dehydration.3 Instead, go for a vitamin and nutrient enhanced Detoxify herbal cleanse, like Ready Clean or Mega Clean. The increased liquid intake and stimulation of your circulatory system helps to hydrate faster than water alone. Our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you may have. 2Some people may have better immunity than others to alcohol’s toxic effects. For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, our calls are confidential and are available for 24/7 help. Sarah is an experienced writer and editor enthusiastic about helping readers live their healthiest and happiest lives.

For most people, alcohol withdrawal symptoms will begin sometime in the first eight hours after their final drink. The journey to recovery involves managing withdrawal symptoms, making healthier lifestyle choices, and exploring various treatment options including therapy, counseling, medication, and detox programs. So, pace yourself, stay committed, and keep moving forward, one step at a time. The journey to recovery from alcohol addiction and brain fog can sometimes require additional support.

National Drink Beer Day is Thursday, so try something new –

National Drink Beer Day is Thursday, so try something new.

Posted: Tue, 17 Oct 2023 13:10:00 GMT [source]

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