by Errol Greene
It was while trying to board a flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles in 2017 that I knew I was in trouble.
I was only 54 at the time but I knew something was wrong—my ability to think and remember had been reduced greatly over the last year or so and was reaching a critical point. Would I be able to continue my career? Would I need someone to travel with me moving forward? What was going on inside my brain, and… did I really want to know?
Perhaps you have experienced something similar. We all have our good and bad days, but those of us in our 50’s and above can sometimes have positively scary bouts of brain fog. Days that make us question if we are just having a bad day or if it could be something more serious.
For me, the supplements recommended by my physician were unquestionably the real deal. Here’s my story.
How it started
While traveling through airport security two years ago, I placed my laptop, tablet, and phone in the x-ray tray like everyone else in line. Lucky me, a TSA agent pulled my carry-on aside and asked to examine it. “Sure, that’s fine,” I said, knowing there was nothing in it that should cause a problem. I dutifully went back to the TSA table and let them scour my bag. Nothing being found, I was thanked for my cooperation, grabbed my bag and was sent on my way.
It was only when I was about to board my flight I realized I left my computer at security.
If you’ve ever done this yourself, this realization provides a severe shock to the brain and then the pit of the stomach that you won’t ever forget. You see your working, personal and financial life— or loss thereof— all flash before you.
My flight was scheduled to leave in twenty minutes and now I had no choice but to leave my seat, explain what happened to the flight attendant, go back into one of the largest airports in the world and navigate my way back to security. Without my computer I had no way to function once I got to LA.
I eventually got my laptop back— after it was sent to the airport lost and found, but I missed the flight. They had taken my bag off the plane and I had the added pleasure of hunting it down as well. I wound up getting out on a late-night flight that evening, arriving in LA past midnight. I arrived at the hotel around 2:20AM.
I realized something was very, very wrong with my ability to think.
And the brain fog continues
This isn’t the only issue I had like this. In the past year, I also left my cellphone in my car at the airport, lost countless pairs of reading glasses, sunglasses, notebooks, umbrellas at restaurants, and a few other things that, surprise, I likely didn’t even realize I lost.
But there was more; I forgot names of business associates within a minute of being introduced. I had difficulty organizing my thoughts for presentations. I couldn’t present effectively because I often couldn’t come up with basic words I was trying to communicate.
Fearing the worst, I reached out to my doctor for testing. To say I was nervous was an understatement.
My diagnosis and treatment plan
I requested an Alzheimer’s test but based on our recent interactions, my doctor assured me that she didn’t think that was the problem. Instead, she asked me to first try a variety of nootropic supplements, substances designed to improve cognitive function, memory, creativity, or motivation in otherwise healthy individuals.
Recommended nootropic supplements:
The first and most important supplement she suggested was vitamin B12. My diet was a more plant-based one and she believed a B12 deficiency might be a major contributing factor. Many people don’t realize the critical role B12 plays in the function and development of the brain, nerve cells, the myelin sheaths that protect nerves and blood cells – or how common it is to be deficient. This vitamin is often used to treat memory loss, poor concentration, Alzheimer’s disease and to boost energy levels and mood. In short, you can’t go wrong in your 50’s and beyond making sure you’re getting enough B12.
Secondly, she suggested a phosphatidylserine supplement. After asking her to pronounce and spell it about six times, she told me that it covers and protects your brain cells. It enables and supports the synapses that allow them to communicate effectively. NIH studies report this supplement can help older people with memory issues as well as younger people with ADHD. It even helps the body recover from the stress of exercise. As a result, phosphatidylserine plays an important role in keeping our minds and memory’s sharp. It’s believed that as we age, our levels of this important phospholipid decrease, so supplementing can lead to a marked increase in cognition, especially in those over 50.
The third supplement recommended was huperzine A. She explained it is used by doctors as an Alzheimer’s supplement, supporting memory and learning enhancement and fighting age-related memory impairment. It is known for increasing alertness and energy, and for protecting nerve damage.
Ginko is a supplement well known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is believed to increase blood flow and support better processing of neurotransmitters in the brain. This was one with which I was familiar and knew could help.
Her final suggestion was chromium picolinate. “Chromium? How does that help the brain?” I asked. She said many people aren’t aware they have low-blood sugar sensitivity and how that sensitivity can lead to bouts of brain fog. I agreed with her, remembering some of my worst issues occurred when I was especially hungry.
Anxious to get started, I ordered all of the above. Within a few days I felt much better overall. The best way I can explain it is that if felt like a squeegee cleaning the dirt off my windshield; what had been murky was suddenly… clear. Really clear.
In some ways, I am able to think even more clearly than I had in my 20’s and 30’s when I dealt with ADHD. I now remember names easily. I no longer leave important pieces of my life at restaurants and airports. In fact, I’m now the one who catches people leaving their things behind. I’m able to communicate effectively again. I no longer search for my words.
In short, I’m me again.
The bottom line
If you decide you want to try these brain fog supplements for yourself, the next step is to consult your doctor to make sure they are safe for you and won’t interfere with medications you currently take. You also want to verify that the amounts you take are enough to be effective but not so much to be toxic. Taken correctly and in the spirit of supplementing, and not replacing, other recommended treatments, these remedies might prove effective for you.
I learned from my experience that it’s difficult to have a high quality of life living with brain fog, but that there is hope for even cases like mine. I discovered it’s a good idea to periodically check to make sure our brains have all the nutrients they need to function properly. And finally, I learned that if we’re proactive in addressing our cognitive issues, we can play an active role in leading better, more productive lives.
And best of all, you can do it without having to first run through an airport looking for your laptop and checked baggage.
Always consult your personal physician for specific medical advice.
Errol Greene is the founder of Greene Nutraceuticals, an Atlanta, Georgia-based nootropic supplement company designed to help people operate at their most efficient. He founded it based on his own struggles with brain fog and memory problems. The company’s flagship product, Instant Clarity™ is a nootropic cocktail designed to help people overcome cognitive challenges in a natural, healthy, drug-free way. When not working or writing, he lives with his three rescue dogs, a foster dog-or-two, and a 23-year old cat that has plans to live forever. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org and at www.greene-nutraceuticals.com.
The statements made in this article are based on the experience of the author and not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease of any kind in other individuals. 50Plus-Today.com does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the message and will not be held responsible for the content of the article. 50Plus-Today.com strives to educate readers by providing information from a variety of authors with different perspectives.