Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on
March 4, 2022
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on:

Do you feel like you can’t focus on anything? Do your thoughts seem to scatter everywhere, and it’s hard to keep track of them?

Are you having trouble remembering things? If so, you might be experiencing ADHD brain fog.

Brain fog is a common symptom of ADHD that can make everyday tasks very difficult.

In this blog post, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and remedies for ADHD mental fog.

We hope that this information will help you better understand this condition and find relief from the foggy thoughts!

So, let’s get started.

What exactly is ADHD fog?

ADHD fog is a term used to describe the mental fatigue, forgetfulness, and difficulty concentrating that are common symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

ADHD cognitive fog can make it hard for people with ADHD to remember things, stay focused on tasks, and keep track of their thoughts.

You may feel like you’re in a constant state of “brain fog,” and it can be very frustrating. ADHD fog can also cause you to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and stressed.

If you’re struggling with ADHD brain fog, know that you’re not alone. This is a common symptom of ADHD, and there are ways to manage it.

Common Causes of ADHD Brain Fog

There are many different causes of ADHD fog. Some of the most common include:

  • Sneaky food allergies
  • Poor diet
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Chronic stress
  • Untreated depression
  • Anxiety
  • The pills you’re popping
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • A past head injury (even one you may have forgotten)
  • Untreated adult ADD/ADHD

Let’s take a closer look at each of these causes.

Sneaky food allergies

Food allergies can be a significant contributor to ADHD fog. Many people who have food allergies don’t even know it because the symptoms can be very subtle.

Common allergens that can contribute to ADHD fog include dairy, gluten, soy, eggs, and corn.

If you think you might have a food allergy, try eliminating the suspected allergen from your diet for a few weeks to see if your symptoms improve.

Poor diet

A poor diet is another common cause of ADHD brain fog. Eating processed foods, sugary foods, and unhealthy fats can all contribute to attention deficit and cognitive fog.

To help clear the fog, make sure you’re eating plenty of whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats.

Sleep deprivation

Not getting enough sleep is a common cause of ADHD fog. When you’re chronically sleep deprived, your body and mind become overwhelmed, and you start to experience brain fog or cognitive decline.

To help improve your focus and maintain your mental clarity, make sure you’re getting sufficient sleep each night.

Chronic stress

Stress is another common cause of ADHD fog. When you’re chronically stressed, your body produces high levels of the hormone cortisol.

Cortisol can interfere with your ability to focus and concentrate, leading to brain fog.

Try some relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation to reduce stress and clear foggy thoughts.

Untreated depression

Depression is often comorbid with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and associated with ADHD fog. When you’re depressed, your thoughts become negative and overwhelming, leading to a sluggish cognitive tempo.

If you think you might be suffering from depression, please seek professional help.

Anxiety

Anxiety can also be a significant contributor to ADHD cognitive fog. When you’re anxious, your body is in a state of fight or flight, and your thoughts become scattered.

Try some relaxation techniques or medication to reduce anxiety and clear the foggy thoughts.

The pills you’re popping

Many people take stimulant medications like Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta to treat their ADHD. While these medications can be effective, they can also cause side effects like brain fog.

If you’re taking medication for your ADHD and you’re struggling with a foggy brain, talk to your doctor about other options.

Hormonal imbalances

Hormonal imbalances are another common cause of ADHD fog. Women with ADHD are especially susceptible to hormonal imbalances due to the fluctuations in hormones during their menstrual cycle.

To help improve your focus and reduce brain fog, make sure you’re getting adequate sleep, eating a healthy diet, and managing stress levels.

A past head injury (even one you may have forgotten)

A past head injury can also be a contributor to ADHD fog. If you’ve ever had a head injury, even if it was years ago, there’s a good chance it’s still causing problems.

If you think you may have suffered from a past head injury, talk to your doctor about getting evaluated. 

Untreated adult ADD/ADHD

Adult ADHD is often associated with ADHD fog. When you’re untreated, your symptoms can worsen and lead to cognitive decline.

If you think you might have ADHD, please seek a consultation from a mental health professional.

Brain Fog ADHD: Common Symptoms

There are a variety of symptoms associated with ADHD cognitive fog. Here are some of the most common:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Poor focus
  • Trouble staying on task
  • Easily distracted
  • Feeling overwhelmed and stressed
  • Sluggish cognitive tempo
  • Inability to think clearly or come up with ideas
  • Memory problems
  • Trouble multitasking
  • Fatigue

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor. ADHD fog can be a significant obstacle in your life, but there are ways to treat it.

Diagnosis of ADHD and Brain Fog

If you think you might be suffering from ADHD fog, the first step is to seek professional help.

Your doctor will likely ask you about your symptoms and how they’re impacting your life. They may also administer a cognitive test or psychological evaluation.

Once ADHD has been ruled out, your doctor will work with you to identify any underlying causes of your brain fog. 

Once the cause has been identified, there are a variety of treatment options available.

Treatment for ADHD Mind  Fog

There are a variety of treatment options available for ADHD fog. Here are some of the most common:

Relaxation Techniques

Yoga, meditation, and deep breathing are some of the best ADHD coping strategies that can help clear foggy thoughts and improve focus.

Sleep

Getting enough sleep is essential for people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Your ADHD symptoms are usually minimized when you’re well-rested, especially cognitive fog.

Exercise

Exercise has been shown to be an effective treatment for ADHD fog. It can help to improve blood flow to the brain and clear your foggy thoughts.

White Noise

Listening to white noise is one of the best coping strategies that can help you focus and block out distractions, especially when you’re studying or working or just want to get “in the zone” of concentration.

Balanced Diet

Eating a healthy diet is essential for managing mind fog from ADHD. Foods that are high in sugar and unhealthy fats can worsen ADHD symptoms and lead to cognitive decline.

Green Time

Spending time in nature is beneficial for people with attention deficit disorder. Exposure to natural light can help improve focus and reduce brain fog.

Brain Supplements

There are a variety of supplements that can help reduce your symptoms of ADHD, including brain fog. Some of the most common include omega-three fatty acids, magnesium, and iron. 

Talk to your doctor about which supplements may be right for you.

Gut Health Preservation  

There is growing evidence that gut health plays a role in ADHD. Poor gut health can lead to inflammation and cognitive decline.

There are a number of things you can do to improve your gut health, including eating probiotic foods, avoiding processed foods, and reducing stress levels. 

Cognitive Training 

Cognitive training can help alleviate ADHD fog by teaching you how to better focus and concentrate. 

Neurostimulation

Neurostimulation, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), can help alleviate ADHD symptoms. TMS is a non-invasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate the brain.

Hormone Therapy

There is some evidence that hormone therapy can be effective in treating ADHD fog, especially in women.

This therapy can help to regulate the levels of hormones in the body, which can improve focus and concentration.

ADHD Coaching

ADHD coaching can be a beneficial treatment for ADHD and brain fog. Coaches can help you develop strategies that improve your focus and concentration.

And help you be accountable for the habits that you form as you deal with concentration deficit disorder, hyperactive symptoms, and brain fog.

It’s important to work with your doctor to find the treatment that works best for you. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so it may take some trial and error to find what works.

How does ADHD affect the brain?

There is still much to learn about ADHD and the brain. However, we do know that ADHD is a neurological disorder that affects the way the brain functions.

People with inattentive type ADHD have difficulty focusing and concentrating, controlling their impulses, and regulating their emotions. 

ADHD can also affect a person’s working memory and ability to learn.

The cause of ADHD is still unknown, but researchers believe it may be caused by genetic factors, environmental influences, or both.

Concluding Thoughts 

ADHD can be a frustrating and debilitating disorder. But there is hope. There are a variety of treatments available that can help improve ADHD symptoms, including brain fog.

It’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and work with your doctor or a mental health professional that specializes in adult ADHD and brain fog to find the treatment that works best for you. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so it may take some trial and error to find what works.

If you want to learn more about brain fog and how to get rid of it efficiently, here are some more educational blog posts to read, and feel free to join this online community of brain health enthusiasts. 

Join The Mental Health Community You've Been Dreaming Of


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