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  • #16
    Originally posted by KG View Post
    Sorry for my late reply, I've only recently seen that you posted when I checked my email!
    No problem. Life happens.

    Seeing as I'm a week late (), have your exams already started? You feeling confident in them? I'm sure with all that studying that you'll do well, no problems there. As long as there's no stressing, you'll get the results you want, but I'm pretty sure you already know that!
    Yep, started and finished, thanks, and I'm pretty sure I've passed them all despite feeling like I might fall asleep at any minute. Feels good to get those behind me at last.

    Lack of exercise alone could explain your symptoms I suppose. Who knows? Some people seem to be able to abuse their bodies with booze, drugs and cigarettes all their lives and feel on top of the world until they kick the bucket well into their nighties. For others, taking a few minor liberties is enough to send their health into a downward spiral.

    From what I hear we all have our own personal threshold for tolerating particular lifestyles. We're fine up to a point and then it's like a switch has been flicked and our bodies decide enough is enough. At one point I used to live on little other than 'healthy' cereal and cereal bars and didn't think twice that all that sugar might eventually kick me in the backside. Most people eat cereal with milk but I didn't even do that because I decided long ago I didn't want the extra calories so put boiling water on it instead. In effect I wasn't getting the added protein milk provides to help moderate the insulin release.

    As you know, everyone is different, but I've exercised every single day for about 13 years now and it hasn't helped with the fog at all. I started when I finally decided to lose the puppy fat I'd been lugging around since puberty due to taking steroids to control asthma. Once I got into the routine I felt I had to exercise to earn the right to eat and felt guilty and depressed if I didn't so that was my motivation for keeping it up.

    I can totally relate to your issues with acne. My skin was horrible when I was your age too. I tried Roaccutane and remember it drying out my face so badly it looked like an Ethiopian desert. My lips were cracked and inside my nose was so raw it would bleed several times a day. Thankfully I soon ditched it after reading some of the horror stories that were in the press at the time.

    I experimented with another drug called Erythromycin and that made me break out in unbearably itchy hives. It was like being stabbed with a thousand pins all over my your body. Fun times!

    Keeping your skin dry is probably about the best thing you can do for acne and you can achieve that by washing your face with shower gel without any dangerous medications. Have you noticed how quickly it starts to burn your skin if you don't wash it off right away? What I would do is put it on my face, spend a few minutes brushing my teeth, then wash it off. It will make your skin bright red as if you've spent too long in the sun, but that soon settles down. Just don't leave it on over night or you'll wake up looking like Skeletor.

    I'm sure you've considered every possible angle which might explain your fog, but is it possible that the antibiotics/Roaccutane are the culprit or at least contributing to the problem? What happens if you eliminate them?

    In my case what cured my acne was age - the simple act of growing out of it as 99% of people do. The only consolation you have at this stage in your life is that you're not alone. It's just something that goes hand in hand with being a teenager unfortunately.

    Your immunologist will be a huge help. Knowing the cause of the fog will help immensely in letting you avoid the true culprits.
    That's what I thought too... until I spoke to her. I'd barely opened my mouth when she declared that I was talking rubbish, it was all in my head, that diet couldn't cause the symptoms I described and that she specialises in allergy, not intolerance so was not the best person to help anyway.

    I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I was so exasperated and disillusioned when I realised this consultant who I'd been pinning all my hopes on had turned out to be as much use as an inflatable dartboard that I nearly broke down in front of her. At this point she said she'd refer me an endocrinologist with a special interest in chronic fatigue. I expect I'll wait three months to see her and she'll refer me to the bus driver or postman.

    Sorry this post is so negative, but that should explain where I'm coming from.

    Are you sure it isn't a brain cloud? Tom Hank's character in Joe versus the Volcano was diagnosed with a terminal brain cloud. He ended up sacrificing himself by jumping into a volcano!

    LOL. Brain Fog just made me laugh and think of that movie.
    Never seen it myself, but I knew there had to be a solution! We don't have too many volcanos here in Manchester so maybe I could visit one as a health tourist.
    Last edited by PlaydohYeti; 06-18-2010, 02:55 PM.

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    • #17
      I've only just skimmed this thread and I just wanted to toss in a thought - have you looked at environmental issues/toxins? Apologies if you've mentioned it and I've missed it.

      I raise this because I have a collection of vague GI symptoms (sufficient that I went and had tests), seasonal allergies etc, as well as a permanently fuzzy head. I'm very sensitive to chemicals - if I stand near a person wearing the wrong kind of perfume, my sinuses ache terribly. There's a lot of materials that give off formaldeyde and other volatiles - wood, especially that compressed particle board used in furniture, vinyl, carpets etc. Plus there's things like mould - sometimes hidden in old buildings. And 'dirty electricity' (jury is out on this one... usually seems to be a general-purpose-conspiracy-theory, but ..??)

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      • #18
        Originally posted by PlaydohYeti View Post
        I can totally relate to your issues with acne. My skin was horrible when I was your age too. I tried Roaccutane and remember it drying out my face so badly it looked like an Ethiopian desert. My lips were cracked and inside my nose was so raw it would bleed several times a day. Thankfully I soon ditched it after reading some of the horror stories that were in the press at the time.
        I did the exact same thing regarding the horror stories. I heard about the potency of Roaccutane and did my research. The positive 'success stories' were encouraging to say the least, but the fact that some people had permanent side effects after treatment seriously freaked me out. I was scared to go on the medication and hesitated a lot. I ended up going on it anyway, because nothing was working anymore and my acne was only gradually getting worse by the day. I got sick of all the looks of strangers in the street. I'm usually very self-confident and don't give a care in the world how I look to others, but with acne I feel alienated in public. I shouldn't care, but when your conscious mind is constantly nagging "they keep looking at me..." all day, needless to say it screws up the psyche. I'm taking time off 6th form to get the course completely over with, not to mention to try and get my brain fog sorted out. I genuinely care about my future, but in my present foggy state, I honestly cannot care any less about my education right now. Seeing as I have beat the fog in the past (no specific method, yet I'm sure I got more sleep), it truly is like a light switch when the fog lifts. All of a sudden, you're back to normal, and all these negative thoughts and worries completely dissipate in an instant, and you're left thinking to yourself "how the hell did I live life? I'm actually alive again!"

        I'm sure you've considered every possible angle which might explain your fog, but is it possible that the antibiotics/Roaccutane are the culprit or at least contributing to the problem? What happens if you eliminate them?
        From what I can remember, my medications (Oxytetracycline, and now Roaccutane) neither helped nor exacerbated the fog. However, I have actually thought about the possibility of candida. I took my antibiotics for a very long time, on an on-and-off basis as my acne kept fluctuating from clear to moderate. In total, however, I'd say that I was on the Oxytetracycline tablets for at least a year. I checked my tongue, and I do indeed have a white, fuzzy tongue (apparently a sign of candida). Perhaps I just need to stick to my guns and continue with the PB (which I intend to for the rest of my life, regardless), seeing as the prime candidate in aggravating candida is carbohydrates. I don't have any cravings whatsoever anymore, though, which I heard is a main symptom of candida.

        Even if the exercise doesn't clear my fog out, having things like improved sleep quality will especially help. I can't help but shake the feeling that I simply need to fully correct my lifestyle and my fog will lift in due time. The PB has the exact layout needed to cover me entirely.

        That's what I thought too... until I spoke to her. I'd barely opened my mouth when she declared that I was talking rubbish, it was all in my head, that diet couldn't cause the symptoms I described and that she specialises in allergy, not intolerance so was not the best person to help anyway.

        I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I was so exasperated and disillusioned when I realised this consultant who I'd been pinning all my hopes on had turned out to be as much use as an inflatable dartboard that I nearly broke down in front of her. At this point she said she'd refer me an endocrinologist with a special interest in chronic fatigue. I expect I'll wait three months to see her and she'll refer me to the bus driver or postman.

        Sorry this post is so negative, but that should explain where I'm coming from.
        Haha! At least with the postman and bus driver you won't have to wait for months every single time you make an appointment with another specialist.

        You suffer from chronic fatigue? While I'm more tired than I should be, I wouldn't consider myself to have CFS.

        Let me point you to a site that's helped me a lot in narrowing down my problem with my fog. Chances are you already know the site, but if not, I think you'll find it very useful. I used that site in conjunction with MDA and the PB, and their principles are essentially identical in terms of diet, supplementation, exercise habits, sleep etc.

        http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/

        There's a lot of in-depth articles in there that explain how problems start and how to treat them. From what I've read of her recommendations for brain fog, exercise routines, diet etc. she definitely knows what she's talking about.

        Sorry this post is so negative, but that should explain where I'm coming from.
        Don't sweat it!

        Considering the details you've given, it's only natural to be frustrated and perhaps feel abandoned by someone who labels themselves as a professional. It's best to approach problems with realism, because then you get a clear idea of how to tackle whatever it is that's bothering you.

        Originally posted by Helen in Oz View Post
        I've only just skimmed this thread and I just wanted to toss in a thought - have you looked at environmental issues/toxins? Apologies if you've mentioned it and I've missed it.

        I raise this because I have a collection of vague GI symptoms (sufficient that I went and had tests), seasonal allergies etc, as well as a permanently fuzzy head. I'm very sensitive to chemicals - if I stand near a person wearing the wrong kind of perfume, my sinuses ache terribly. There's a lot of materials that give off formaldeyde and other volatiles - wood, especially that compressed particle board used in furniture, vinyl, carpets etc. Plus there's things like mould - sometimes hidden in old buildings. And 'dirty electricity' (jury is out on this one... usually seems to be a general-purpose-conspiracy-theory, but ..??)
        For me, personally, my fog has been with me 24/7 for years, like some kind of twisted companion. No matter where I am; at home, at school, or out in nature, my fog just consistently sticks with me wherever I go. The more I know, the better. I just keep narrowing down all the possible causes, yet it doesn't seem to be anything specific that's causing my fog. I'll get there!

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        • #19
          Helen - I've found that certain strong perfumes/aftershaves make my fog worse and sometimes tip me over the edge into a migraine aura. In the last office I worked in the cleaner insisted on wearing the cheapest, nastiest, most pungent perfume I've ever had the misfortune to encounter. I could always tell when she was on her way because I'd get dizzy before she even entered the room. My boss who was also sensitive to toxic fumes would run into her office, slam the door and open her window until half an hour after the cleaner had left. Everyone else laughed at the extreme reaction, but I could definitely sympathise.

          On another occasion I got in a car with my brother who'd just doused himself in Lynx something-or-other. All of a sudden this spaced out sensation washed over me and my head felt much larger than it should have been as if it was inflating - perceived changes to body parts are another symptom of migraine aura (also known as Alice in Wonderland syndrome).

          Like KG though, I've had this fog for a long time and in all situations. I've changed jobs many times and moved house 4 times in the last 10 years partly due to this condition and things have never improved from one environment to another so I think this is a minor factor for me too. Thanks for the suggestion anyway.

          Originally posted by KG View Post
          I got sick of all the looks of strangers in the street. I'm usually very self-confident and don't give a care in the world how I look to others, but with acne I feel alienated in public. I shouldn't care, but when your conscious mind is constantly nagging "they keep looking at me..." all day, needless to say it screws up the psyche.
          We live in such an image-obsessed world it's no wonder we beat ourselves up over every imperfection. Some are easily camouflaged, but obviously you can't hide your face and it's the first thing people see when they meet or walk past you so I know how all-consuming acne can become.

          Ironically you'll be gawping at everyone you walk past to see if they're staring at you. If they weren't already rubber-necking, they'll wonder what's wrong with them to make you look so intently and stare back. For one reason or another they'll all be looking at you.

          On the plus side it's summer here in England and the sun is finally putting in an appearance and I expect you know that's one of the best cures for acne. Another great reason to get out there and get some exercise.

          From what I can remember, my medications (Oxytetracycline, and now Roaccutane) neither helped nor exacerbated the fog. However, I have actually thought about the possibility of candida. I took my antibiotics for a very long time, on an on-and-off basis as my acne kept fluctuating from clear to moderate. In total, however, I'd say that I was on the Oxytetracycline tablets for at least a year. I checked my tongue, and I do indeed have a white, fuzzy tongue (apparently a sign of candida).
          That's cropped up many times for me as I've researched brain fog symptoms on the web. It definitely seems to be the cause for some and it appears to be a condition that can be diagnosed and treated.

          You suffer from chronic fatigue? While I'm more tired than I should be, I wouldn't consider myself to have CFS.
          No, not really. Not to the extent that I'm bed-bound, unable to move a muscle as with the extreme cases (maybe after a bowl of wheat cereal, but not usually). Otherwise I share some of the symptoms and generally look and feel like something from Night of the Living Dead which would give the impression of CFS. Hopefully I'm not teetering on the edge of the real deal.

          Let me point you to a site that's helped me a lot in narrowing down my problem with my fog. Chances are you already know the site, but if not, I think you'll find it very useful. I used that site in conjunction with MDA and the PB, and their principles are essentially identical in terms of diet, supplementation, exercise habits, sleep etc.

          http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/

          There's a lot of in-depth articles in there that explain how problems start and how to treat them. From what I've read of her recommendations for brain fog, exercise routines, diet etc. she definitely knows what she's talking about.
          Thanks for the tip. No, I hadn't seen this one before so I'll have to set aside some time to properly delve into it and look forward to finding some answers there.

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          • #20
            I have also only skimmed this thread (feeling rather ADD lol). But the foggy head and many other issues I could totally relate to. Try reading about Candida and taking Crook's Candida Questionairre. Along with this diet, coconut oil and taking a few natural antifungals and a great probiotic I beat a mild candida issue which bloated me, caused a lot of food allergies (many of which are gone now!) gave me digestive issues - HUGE FOGGY HEADEDNESS (everything felt like a dream), dizziness, etc.

            It is a bit of a battle and you have to be 100% clean for some time until your symptoms are gone, but it really worked for me!!

            Some of the things on this diet (vinegar, soy sauce, nuts) have to be avoided until you get things under control.....

            It took me about 4 - 6 months, but really helped! I feel like a new person - hope this helps you!

            P.S. - It is difficult for a doctor to diagnose candida, but the cure (primal diet, avoidance of certain foods, taking natural supplements) aren't going to hurt anyone, so it's always worth a try.

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            • #21
              Thanks for the information. I looked up candida and its symptoms and there do seem to be a lot of correlations with what I've experienced except for the way you actually develop the condition.

              It's been so long I can't remember the last time I took anti-biotics and I've only ever used them short-term, and being a dude I'm not taking birth control pills. I did use Lorazepam every day for about 4 years which is a CNS suppressor, but gave those up about 3 years ago. That would be one heck of a hangover if they're still having an impact on my gut flora.

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              • #22
                Just eating a standard diet with lots of carbs and sugar can cause a candida overgrowth. Candida LOVES sugar!

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by KG View Post
                  Perhaps I just need to stick to my guns and continue with the PB (which I intend to for the rest of my life, regardless), seeing as the prime candidate in aggravating candida is carbohydrates.
                  No, it's poor intrinstic immunity.


                  K



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                  • #24
                    KG, I think it was you who said your brain fog was accompanied by chronic headache and that your sister suffers from migraine. Migraine comes in all shapes -- including dull, chronic headachy feelings without much pain. This is exactly what my acute migraine turned into after menopause. Migraine also runs in families. Ask your doctor to let you try a course of triptan meds. My brain fog is always a migraine symptom. I think it is related to the migraine process called cortical spreading depression.

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                    • #25
                      but with acne I feel alienated in public.
                      Retinoids. Rx retinoids are *the bomb*. There is always a way to tweak one's routines to make them tolerable - so if you've tried them and they didn't work....try again and I'll work with you on it.



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                      • #26
                        I know this isn't the cause of the fog being discussed, but in case someone searches for brain fog I wanted to throw one other very common experience for folks going primal and that is that induction period. If a person is eating few enough carbs to cause their body to start using ketones to fuel the heart and brain it can take 30 days or so for the brain to be "cool" with that. I recently read a study that laid out some exact time frames and they did cognitive tests while a person was going through "induction" (an atkins term). I experienced this in a very pronounced way (I try to keep to no more then 30g carb/day as I am Type 1 and this helps keep it tightly manages and keeps insulin usage to a minimum). I did find that it helped to be quite rigorous and not cheat on carbs to help get the body up and over the hump of using the ketones efficiently.

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                        • #27
                          Since going Primal my ADD has pretty much vanished. My ability to concentrate at work (I am a computer programmer) has increased substantially. I do not get sleepy in the afternoons or feel like sitting on the couch because I am tired. I equate the clearing of my ADD to removing grains from my diet (and dependence on coffee!)
                          ad astra per aspera

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                          • #28
                            Hi everyone I'm new here on the forum but I've been following the PB for two months or so. Because of brain fog and fatigue I started looking for the right diet. I reasoned that a primal/paleo diet would be best and ultimately found the primal blueprint. Brain fog and fatigue has definately improved and still slowly improving but it's far from gone. Hopefully time is all it will take.

                            Edit: Things that reduced my brain fog was when I started to watch out for a good omega 3/6 ratio and also when I started meditating now and then.
                            Last edited by BlueBear; 08-01-2010, 01:21 PM.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by HBarrett View Post
                              KG, I think it was you who said your brain fog was accompanied by chronic headache and that your sister suffers from migraine. Migraine comes in all shapes -- including dull, chronic headachy feelings without much pain. This is exactly what my acute migraine turned into after menopause. Migraine also runs in families. Ask your doctor to let you try a course of triptan meds. My brain fog is always a migraine symptom. I think it is related to the migraine process called cortical spreading depression.
                              My headache isn't exactly painful, but it's noticeable enough to be an issue. As for my sister, she hasn't had a migraine in months from what I'm aware of. They were never regular, to be sure. I appreciate your advice, but I'd rather avoid using any medication, simply because it will only treat the symptom and not the cause. Again, thank you for the information!

                              Originally posted by cillakat View Post
                              No, it's poor intrinstic immunity.


                              K
                              Seeing that got me thinking. I haven't been 'sick' in at least a year. What I mean by this, is that I haven't had any colds or anything for a while. I used to get loads of ear infections, which actually made me realise that I used to take antibiotics for those too! The infections would hurt my ear and cause a sore throat and stuffy nose (seeing as they're all connected), as well as high body temperature etc. and would often result in me taking at least a week or two off school. I've literally forgotten about them since I haven't had an infection for so long. I'm never sick, but I haven't felt 'well' or 'right' either. It's like I'm stuck in limbo!

                              Originally posted by cillakat View Post
                              Retinoids. Rx retinoids are *the bomb*. There is always a way to tweak one's routines to make them tolerable - so if you've tried them and they didn't work....try again and I'll work with you on it.
                              Funny you mention them; I'm currently on a course of Roaccutane / Isotretinoin (60mg a day) with just over 6 weeks left to go. I did my research when I heard how powerful a drug it is, and reading the massive amount of horror stories about side-effects and whatnot put me off at first. However, the stories I read were coming from a significantly small percentage of all the people who have been on Accutane, and the acne was only getting worse by the day, so I went straight for it. My dermatologist was the one who told me about it and recommended it, and considering how severe my acne was, it was only common sense. I used to take antibiotics (tetracycline) as my first ticket to getting rid of very, very mild acne about 4-5 years ago. The first course worked wonders within 2 weeks, but my acne kept popping back up (back then I didn't look after myself; plenty of sugary foods, junk food, no exercise, poor sleep habits, the lot). The GP prescribed more courses of the same Oxytetracycline tablets, and they seemed to grow more and more ineffective the more I used them. Maybe I adapted to them or something? Considering my antibiotic use and my history of munching on Wagon Wheels and Jaffa Cakes religiously, you can see why I suspect candida in my other posts. Thanks for the support, cillakat!

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                              • #30
                                I don't think my condition is as severe as what y'all have described but this
                                I was actually AWAKE, extremely energetic and genuinely ecstatic. That was very short-lived though. By the next day I was back in the fog.
                                I have experienced to a T. The fog started a few years ago, around the time that sugar addiction really took hold of my life (and I was getting prescribed more and more frequent antibiotics - the root cause, imo), and occasionally - very rarely - the veil would lift. The first time it lifted, when I was getting the sugar out and had moved my fruit consumption to meals instead of snacks, I had a few days of amazing energy (would rather move than sit) & clarity. I thought, "Wow - oh my gosh, I used to feel like this all the time. I thought I had just gotten lazy!"

                                I read summaries of Taubes' GCBC and realized I was totally living the insulin thing - he says fat people aren't fat b/c they don't exercise, but rather, they're both fat & sedentary b/c of the insulin issues from the excess carbs they eat. The carbs cause both the fat and the lack of energy. I totally believed that once I had that first vision into what it feels like to live with energy & mental clarity.

                                Since going grain/sugar free again, the veil is lifting again. Not suddenly, but it is. I also saw it lower again a few weeks ago after eating more grains/sugar on vacation. I suspect it's sugar for me more than the grains, but I don't know for sure. It may be total carbs, IDK.

                                I'm going GAPS in the fall, which is very similar to the SCD mentioned above (Breaking the Vicious Cycle). The first stage is an elimination diet (extreme! Just broth and certain boiled veggies at first), then it's just "real food + fermented foods - grains" w/ a few minor tweaks. BBasically, you're eating nothing that is more complex than a monosaccharide. Fruits & occasional honey, nothing sweeter or starchier. No root veggies (other than carrots), no grains (not even buckwheat, millet, amaranth, or quinoa). Not too much different from how I eat now, anyway. Dairy can be added if it becomes tolerated.

                                The idea is not just to find out what you can't yet tolerate, but to heal the gut, slowly, so that the damage done from bad gut flora can recover and the good bacterial population take over so that you can begin to tolerate foods you once could not. It heals allergies and all the problems stemming from malabsorption or leaky gut, from asthma to autism, IBS to brain fog.

                                I have great hopes!
                                Last edited by MamaGrok; 08-02-2010, 09:57 AM. Reason: correct term
                                5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
                                Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
                                Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
                                Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
                                ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***

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