Brain Fog? Memory Loss?
I didn’t learn about reactive hypoglycemia (low blood sugar induced by eating sugar or refined carbohydrates) until after medical school. On the way across Kansas City to KU Medical school in my junior year I remember every day drinking a large soda with two chocolate cupcakes in the car before early morning rounds. By 9:30 I would become so sleepy and forgetful that I had to go up to the residents quarters and take a nap for an hour or so before I could resume functioning. When you eat concentrated sugars like this ( 9 + teaspoons in a small soda) the blood sugar rockets upwards. The body then thinks it has consumed a big meal and secretes a lot of insulin from the pancreas. This causes all the sugar to go into the cells of the body and drops the blood sugar quickly. In turn all the symptoms of low blood sugar including memory loss, cognitive difficulty, fatigue, confusion, feelings of frustration, inability to concentrate, not to mention apprehension,
irritability, lightheadedness, faintness, headache and the craving for more sugar occurs.
Many people are nibbling on sugar or simple carbohydrates all day long to combat their low blood sugar and brain fog. Let’s not give little Johnny highly sweetened breakfast cereal, orange juice and waffles with syrup before school if we want his brain to work.
One of our most difficult patients who had an intractable seizure disorder came to us with a history of drinking six-64 oz. sodas per day and no food. Talk about blood sugar problems! His condition improved greatly when he stopped soda and added protein to his diet.
Not only regular white sugar but any kind of sugar can cause blood sugar problems. Sugar substitutes are also problematic. Aspartame has been shown to cause memory loss, drowsiness, sleepiness, headaches, ADD, chronic fatigue, weight gain and just about every neurological symptom in the book. I saw one patient this summer whose MS symptoms melted away after she stopped sugar less gum. A word to the wise, practically all gum has aspartame in it and my MS patient was chewing 6 to 8 sticks per day.
In the book by Peter J. D’Adamo, ND, PHd, Eat Right 4 your Type, proposes that blood type can govern your dietary needs. While not right for everybody it has helped many of my patients. O’s are generally carnivores and do well with meat while A’s tend to run more toward the vegetarian side for favorable energy production. He portends that lectins (which are large proteins made when one consumes the wrong food for your blood type) clog up the body cells and make it difficult for them to process oxygen and blood sugar and hence cause foggy thinking, memory difficulties and chronic illness. Wheat is one of the bad foods for both O’s and A’s. A whole wheat sandwich for lunch can cause sleepiness in many people. It is better to use spelt bread or sprouted grain breads instead.
In upcoming articles I will discuss the importance of removing heavy metals and the use of powerful nutrients to prevent and reverse brain fog.
A story from Dr. Michael Gerber on why Diet and Toxicities cause Brain Fog |
1. Speroff L, Glass R, Kase N. Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility. 7th Edition, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, MD.
2. Williams, R, Textbook of Endocrinology. 5th Edition, W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, PA.
3. Duffy, W, Sugar Blues. Warner Books Edition 1975
For more info, contact Michael Gerber, MD, HMD of the Gerber Medical Clinic at (775) 826-1900 or visit www.gerbermedical.com.