Written by Dr. Inez Van Roy on
February 26, 2022
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

Written by Dr. Inez Van Roy on:

Do you often feel forgetful and cloudy after eating bread? Or do you have trouble concentrating after filling yourself with some pasta?

If so, you may be experiencing gluten brain fog. This is a condition that is caused by gluten consumption, and it can lead to a number of unpleasant symptoms in your cognitive function, especially if you are battling celiac disease.

In this blog post, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and remedies for gluten mental fog. We hope that this information will help you improve your brain health and quality of life.

So, let’s get started.

What exactly is gluten fog?

Gluten mental fog is a term that is used to describe the cognitive effects that are associated with dietary gluten ingestion. It is a relatively new term, and there is still much research that needs to be done on the topic.

However, we do know that gluten fog is a real condition that can affect people of all ages, especially celiac disease patients.

The symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they can impact your cognitive function, especially your ability to think clearly and focus on tasks.

In addition, gluten fog can also lead to cognitive impairment or feelings of confusion and disorientation. Some people have even described it as a “brain freeze.”

If you are experiencing any of these cognitive symptoms, you may be suffering from brain fog due to gluten intake.

What causes gluten brain fog?

There are a few different theories about what causes gluten mental fog or the cognitive impairment that comes with consuming gluten.

The first theory is that gluten consumption can lead to inflammation in the gut and aggravation of celiac disease. This inflammation can then spread to the brain and cause brain fog symptoms and other brain health issues.

The second theory is that gluten can damage the lining of the gut. This damage can allow toxins and bacteria to enter the bloodstream. These toxins and bacteria can then travel to the brain and cause inflammation, impacting your cognitive function negatively.

The third theory is that gluten consumption can trigger an immune response, especially for those with celiac disease. This immune response can then lead to inflammation in the brain, causing cognitive impairment.

There is still much research that needs to be done on gluten fog, but these are the three most popular theories at this time.

What are the symptoms of gluten mental fog?

The symptoms of gluten fog can vary from person to person, especially if one is dealing with celiac disease. However, there are a few common symptoms that you should be aware of.

The most common symptom is forgetfulness. You may find that you are forgetting things more often or that you are having trouble remembering things that happened recently.

In addition, brain fog due to gluten consumption can cause problems with concentration and focus. You may find it challenging to stay on task or complete complex tasks.

Other common symptoms include:

  • feeling confused and disoriented
  • feeling like your thinking is slowed down
  • feeling foggy-headed
  • having trouble speaking clearly
  • feeling tired and fatigued
  • abdominal pain

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor. Gluten fog can be a sign of other health problems, such as celiac disease, and it should not be ignored.

How can gluten fog be treated?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best way to treat gluten mental fog is to avoid gluten entirely.

This may sound like a difficult task, but it is possible. There are many gluten-free products available on the market, and more restaurants are offering gluten-free options.

In addition, there are many resources available to help you live with a gluten-free diet and lifestyle, especially if you are dealing with celiac disease.

If you are struggling to avoid gluten, it is essential to speak to a doctor or dietitian. They can help you develop a strict gluten-free diet plan that works for you.

Living with brain fog due to gluten sensitivity can be difficult, but there are treatments available. You can manage your cognitive symptoms and live a healthy life with the proper support.

Gluten Fog Remedies and Prevention Tips

Although there is no cure for gluten fog, there are some things that you can do to manage your symptoms and prevent gluten fog from happening in the first place.

Here are a few tips:

Avoiding gluten entirely

If you need to be gluten-free or dealing with celiac disease, it is vital to be aware of the foods that can trigger a gluten reaction.

The most common triggers include wheat, rye, barley, and oats. However, there are many other gluten-containing foods that you need to watch out for.

It is also important to read food labels carefully. Many processed foods contain gluten, even if they are not made with wheat, rye, barley, or oats.

If you are unsure about a portion of food, it is always best to err on the side of caution and avoid it.

There are many gluten-free products available on the market for people battling celiac disease. However, not all of these products are created equal.

Some gluten-free products are made with gluten-free ingredients, while others are made with gluten-containing ingredients that have been processed to remove the gluten.

The best way to avoid gluten is to eat whole, unprocessed foods. This includes fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, and fish.

You should also avoid processed foods, as they often contain gluten.

If you are struggling to avoid gluten, there are many resources available to help you. There are cookbooks, websites, and support groups that can help you live with a gluten-free diet and lifestyle.

Supplementing with probiotics

Another popular gluten fog treatment is probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria that can help improve gut health.

They are often taken in supplement form, but they can also be found in fermented foods like yogurt and sauerkraut.

Studies have shown that probiotics can be beneficial for people with gluten fog.

One study found that people who took a probiotic supplement for eight weeks had significantly less fatigue and brain fog than those who did not take a probiotic.

Another study found that people with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease who took a probiotic supplement for eight weeks had less intestinal permeability, which is thought to be one of the mechanisms behind gluten mental fog.

Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids

Another popular gluten fog treatment is omega-three fatty acids. Omega-three fatty acids are a type of essential fat that is important for health.

They can be found in foods like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds.

Studies have shown that omega-three fatty acids can help reduce inflammation, which may be helpful for people with gluten cognitive fog.

One study found that people who took an omega-three supplement for eight weeks had less fatigue and brain fog than those who did not take a supplement.

Another study found that omega-three fatty acids improved cognitive function in people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

There is some evidence that omega-three fatty acids may be helpful for people with gluten fog, but more research is needed.

Managing stress

Stress can also play a role in your gluten fog. When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol, which is a hormone that can aggravate gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

This means that managing your stress levels may help reduce the symptoms of gluten mental fog.

There are many different ways to manage stress, including yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.

Finding what works best for you is important.

Living with gluten cognitive fog let alone gluten sensitivity or celiac disease can be difficult, but managing your symptoms and living a healthy life is possible.

With the proper support, you can make gluten fog a thing of the past.

Gluten-Related Neurological Symptoms and Conditions

There are a number of neurological symptoms and conditions that have been linked to gluten.

These include:

Gluten ataxia

Cerebellar ataxia is a type of neurological disorder that affects balance and coordination. It can be caused by gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.

One study found that people with gluten ataxia had significantly higher levels of gluten antibodies than those without ataxia.

Another study found that eating gluten-free foods improved symptoms in people with gluten ataxia.

If you have gluten ataxia, it is essential to avoid gluten to prevent further damage to the nervous system.

Demyelinating neurological disorders

Demyelinating neurological disorders are a type of neurological disorder that affects the myelin sheath, which is the protective layer around nerve cells.

Gluten can cause demyelinating disorders by damaging the myelin sheath through brain inflammation.

One study found that people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease were more likely to have a demyelinating neurologic disorder than those without gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.

Another study found that a gluten-free diet improved symptoms in people with gluten-related demyelinating disorders.

If you have a demyelinating disorder, it is important to avoid gluten to prevent further damage to the nervous system.

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy is a type of neurological disorder that affects the nerves outside of the brain and spinal cord.

It can be caused by gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.

One study found that people with gluten sensitivity were more likely to have peripheral neuropathy than those without gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.

Another study found that a gluten-free diet improved symptoms in people with gluten-related peripheral neuropathy.

If you have peripheral neuropathy, it is important to avoid gluten to prevent further damage to the nervous system.

Depression and Anxiety

Depression and anxiety are common mental health disorders that have been linked to gluten.

One study found that people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease were more likely to have depression and anxiety than those without non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Another study found that a gluten-free diet improved symptoms in people with gluten-related anxiety.

If you have depression or anxiety, it is crucial to speak with a mental health professional about treatment options.

A gluten-free diet may also be helpful in managing your symptoms.

The Bottom Line

Gluten fog is a condition that can be caused by gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. It can cause neurological symptoms and mental health disorders.

A gluten-free diet is the best way to manage gluten mental fog. If you think you may have gluten fog, speak with a doctor or dietitian about getting tested for gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.

Living with gluten cognitive fog can be difficult, but managing your symptoms and living a healthy life is possible. With the right support, you can make gluten fog a thing of the past.

If you want to learn more about brain fog and how to get rid of it efficiently, check out these helpful blog posts and feel free to join this online community of brain health enthusiasts.

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