Symptoms of an unhealthy brain start as young as 30!
How to read the small signs that could be red flags, and what we can do about them?
Brain health is not a hot topic when talking to a younger population. While cognitive decline is common in people over 60, other brain health symptoms can happen for younger population and it can start as early as 30! (1) And while there might not be an immediate threat, patients do experience nonspecific symptoms such as:
Brain Fog: Commonly referred to when experiencing confusion, forgetfulness, loss of focus and clarity. (2)
Migraines: While migraines are constituted as a disease on its own, there is no clear explanation where they come from. (3) Some suggest a strong genetic component, and that it is most common in women. While many conditions can trigger a migraine, like chemicals, flashing lights, stress and hormonal changes, it does not explain why some people suffer from it. They can be indicative of something else going on in our system.
Mental Fatigue: A state of tiredness that prevents us from performing tasks that require cognitive and emotional effort. This can lead to depression, procrastination, anxiety and irritability.
Changes in Mood: Patients can sometimes suffer from sudden mood changes, like depression, irritability, social isolation and anxiety.
The above symptoms are due to multiple reasons including:
Sleep deprivation: The truth is that most of us are sleep deprived. “According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 3 adults in the United States reported not getting enough rest or sleep every day.” Sleep deprivation has been proven to have adverse effects on cognition, on attention and memory.
Gut Health: The gut is directly linked to brain function through the gut-brain axis. "Strong evidence suggests that gut microbiota has an important role in bidirectional interactions between the gut and the nervous system. It interacts with the central nervous system by regulating brain chemistry and influencing neuro-endocrine systems associated with stress response, anxiety and memory function.”
Hormonal Health: Well-maintained hormones throughout life are crucial to support cognitive abilities for both males and females. Different types of hormones produced different outcomes for the human body and mind.
Stress: Chronic stress is linked to macroscopic changes in certain brain areas. And various studies have shown chronic stress appears to affect organ and system functions at multiple levels too.
Toxic exposure: Exposure to heavy metal toxins like mercury, lead, cadmium, or to toxins released from the gut cause disruption and inflammation, and in certain cases can lead to neurologic conditions like ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, PANDAS/PANS, depression and the onset of cognitive decline and dementia.
Our brain is a complex organ that controls all body functions the voluntary and involuntary including: thought, memory, emotion, touch, motor skills, vision, breathing, temperature, hunger and every process that regulates our body. Any slight imbalance in the brain has a major impact on us how we feel and how we function and in turn on our productivity. Hence, identifying the red flags that are affecting your brain and investigating all the causes affecting your brain health will have a major effect on your brain and productivity. Addressing them will not only catch the progression of any possible disease early enough to treat or prevent, but also hone your brain function to create a well-balanced life for you.