Chronic Stress, Neuro-Inflammation, and Brain Fatigue

How do you know if you are a victim of neuro-inflammation of the brain?  Simple, as the brain fatigues, an inflammatory response follows. You take a five hour drive when you are used to driving only 15-20 minutes a day. After the five hour drive suddenly your joints are achy and inflamed or your gut is inflamed and you suddenly can’t digest anything. Basically, your brain is probably degenerating and receiving more stress than it can handle and it fatigues as a result causing a real stress response in the body stress in the brain (neuro-inflammation) causes stress in the body.

When stress is involved the first instinct of both the lay public and the majority of natural medicine practitioners is to target the adrenal glands for support (truthfully the first instinct for most Americans and doctors is to prescribe a drug-for stress or anxiety). Adrenal glandulars, minerals, B vitamins and a variety of herbs are all attempts to restore the adrenal glands and there are times when this is a valid approach.

However with brain fatigue, it’s the stress pathways in the brain that are the problem. The adrenals are simply cortisol factories churning our adrenal hormones in response to orders from a stressed and fatigued brain. The best thing to do is support brain function and slow brain degeneration. This in turn will relieve the brains over activation of the adrenal gland.


  • Are you getting enough of the right nutrients for the brain (omegas, methyl B-12)
  • Are you low in seratone or gaba?
  • Are you spending too much time in front of the TV and too little time walking, engaging in social activities or working on intelligently stimulating problems?
  • Is your diet inflammatory, especially gluten?
  • Have you considered adaptogens if under chronic stress (these are often confused with addressing the adrenal glands but in fact these herbs do not work on the adrenal glands, but instead on the stress pathways of the brain)
  • Herbs and nutritional compounds that temporarily act on brain inflammation can have a profound effect.
  • Methods to increase O2 to the brain can help.

Along with or separate from specific brain based rehab exercises (a subject for another day) these strategies to reduce stress responses, dampen brain inflammation, and support blood flow to the brain have the potential to short circuit fatigue and halt the potential nosedive into escalating brain degeneration (think Alzheimer’s, short term memory loss, brain fog) and restore healthy function.

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