top of page

What Helps With Brain Fog in POTS and Long COVID?

The transcript can be found under the video.

Do you often feel like your thinking is fuzzy foggy or muddled?


Do you often feel like your thinking is fuzzy foggy or muddled? You might do things like leave your glasses in the fridge or use the wrong words to refer to things or just find it harder to focus.

You might be having difficulty following conversations or have difficulty learning something new. You might also feel like sometimes the environment around you seems foggy or unreal or disconnected.

These are just some of the symptoms of brain fog. This has also been referred to as cognitive dysfunction. It might make you feel confused, frustrated, disoriented or even powerless.

So, in today's video I want to talk about a few causes, as well as a few treatment options for brain fog. It's estimated that around two-thirds of those with Long Covid suffer from brain fog. Brain fog is also very common in POTS as well as in other illnesses as well.

Causes of brain fog

Now, there's still a lot we don't understand about the cause of brain fog.

So, some causes might be: For those that had, for example, a severe Covid infection they might have had decreased oxygen to the brain that might contribute to this. Depression, anxiety and PTSD can also contribute to brain fog and when battling an illness depression and anxiety and even PTSD medical traumas, also unfortunately common.

A third cause could be sleep. Sleep is also impacted in POTS or Long Covid and this, again, contributes to brain fog.

It also might be harder to focus due to pain. So, pain is a problem.

Then, there's also post-exertional malaise. That's also very common and that also contributes to brain fog. And medications, some medications that are given for POTS and for ME, for CFS do have side effects that actually do make it harder to think.

And on top of that there might also be abnormal brain flow to some areas of the brain.

So, these are just a few causes as there's still a lot of uncertainty around this and it could very well be a combination of the above factors. Now, research has also found that the biggest triggers for brain fog and POTS specifically were fatigue, lack of sleep, prolonged standing and dehydration.

I'll link the study below if you want to read a little bit more about it.

So, now that we've spoken through a little bit about, kind of perhaps, some of the causes which might be useful to know and understand it better, perhaps why it's happening and kind of be able to even see if there's any triggers that you can pinpoint.

Let's talk about what can help. I think one of the best ways to talk about it, because this is such a broad topic, is to break it down since not everyone's brain fog is the same.

Mental fatigue

Let's talk first about the mental fatigue. So, what helps here? Pacing is a big one. making sure that you're staying within your energy envelope, not taking on too much.

This also means planning for rest periods and more importantly incorporating moments of laying down, laying flat. It might not make it better in the moment, but it could prevent the brain fog from getting worse, from too much standing upright.

It might also help with the blood flow. And since we're also talking about blood flow, compression stockings help by keeping some of that blood flowing upwards. This is a big problem in POTS.

You don't want all your blood flowing, kind of, in your lower extremities. You want everything kind of towards the top in your head and your heart. Drinking lots of fluids and salt is a good way to boost the blood volume and, of course, salt is needed for that water for that volume to stay in.

People always find it surprising how much of a difference electrolytes can actually make to brain fog, so, that's also been very interesting to notice. And dehydration also makes brain fog worse, so, make sure you're getting enough fluids in.


When we're talking about memory, there’s also a few things that can also help.

It might help to plan on your day or to use lists, checklists, alarms or other apps on your phone that can remind you about things.

Before you start on a task, it's really important to mentally walk through it, this helps a lot of people, walk through, walking through all the steps that are required of this task. And this might also help you keep you focused on the task a little bit more.

So, for example let's say that I want to reply to an email on my computer, so, I'll kind of walk through the steps of, okay, first I need to turn on my laptop, I need to open the browser, I need to log into my gmail and I need to reply to that email.

Otherwise, due to kind of the brain fog, it might be a little bit more difficult just logging into the computer, you might completely forget what you were doing.


This also helps with focusing. Humans were never ever meant to multitask yet in our busy society it seems that a lot of us do this and when you have brain fog this is incredibly hard to do, it's already hard to focus on one task, but we're still kind of often used to kind of the way we used to be before which is kind of perhaps we have multiple things going on at the same time.

So, it's important to keep things simple. Turning off the TV or turning off the music in the background is one easy way to start having a clean and tidy space around you.

Getting rid of stuff that's too distracting. We often might not think of the fact that even just having stuff around us, maybe a cluttered desk or just a cluttered room, might actually also contribute to brain fog.

And if you're easily distracted, having white noise playing over or other soothing sounds and using headphones for that. And most importantly, focusing only on one task at a time. Now, the things I mentioned are things that can help you cope a little bit better in the moment.


There are little hacks for in the moment but when we're talking about long-term positive changes one important thing is diet, for example.

Eating brain-friendly foods is important, as well as energy boosting foods. When clients do an elimination diet, they're often surprised how much more energy they have after a few weeks both mentally and physically.

We might be eating foods that we have a sensitivity to without knowing it, so, it's worth experimenting and exploring with that sensitivity and trying to see into what nutrients as well you might be missing.

So, of course this means a diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, healthy fats.

And when it comes to fats our brain consists of at least 60% fat. So, we need to eat healthy fat to maintain the stamina of the brain. Omega-3 fatty acids are also important for brain health, for example. And although our brains are made up of mostly fat and protein, these are the food groups we tend to eat the least of and mostly when you're feeling tired or unwell.

It's incredibly tempting to reach for carbs and sugar as a quick boost instead of the ones that I mentioned before. It's natural. But the right diet also helps with POTS symptoms as it keeps more of that blood up top than from pooling in our gut.

Some people also find that intermittent fasting also improves their cognition and decreases their brain fog.


Another lifestyle change that can make a big difference is movement. Now, this is a really tough one. Too much movement done too soon can lead to post-exertional malaise, which worsens brain fog. So, it's important to start really slowly, to find that middle ground before you ramp up. There's also low intensity movements that are mind-body exercises, such as yoga. And exercise rejuvenates the brain so it's quite important.


The third one is sleep, now sleep is a big one. And it's one of the ones mentioned in the study that I linked to below. Lack of sleep and unrefreshing sleep makes brain fog significantly worse. If you have an irregular sleep and wake time, if you're getting less than seven hours of sleep, if there's blue light exposure before bed, this all aid to disrupt the natural circadian rhythm.

Even waking up with an alarm, that disrupts your sleep cycle, can contribute to brain fog. For the last one, there are apps that track your movement and how much you're moving throughout the night, and that way they can determine your sleep cycle and they can determine the end of your sleep cycle.

So, it could actually wake you up at the end of a sleep cycle or not right in the middle of it and that can make you feel more refreshed. Now, the last three that I mentioned and I realized I've touched on everything, kind of, briefly because I wanted to keep this video short but I also wanted to give you more information.

The last three are about sleep, exercise, and diet. Now, this is exactly what health coaches are specialized in working with clients on. So, if you're looking to find out more about how to implement these three in your life check out I actually have a free three-day video training below and it goes into more detail on actually each of these and it even gives you useful exercises that you could do.

I hope you found this video helpful. I'd love to hear your biggest takeaway down in the comments below.

Let me know what have you found that helps with brain fog, maybe others can also learn from you and from what has helped you, so that's really helpful.


bottom of page