ZocdocAnswersWhy would someone's head feel foggy?

Question

Why would someone's head feel foggy?

My teenage daughter (age 19) has been saying her head feels 'foggy' and she has been acting more forgetful lately. Is this a mental illness type problem? Is it neurological?

Answer

A "foggy" head is a difficult symptom to diagnose. Regardless, it requires medical attention. I would strongly encourage you to take your daughter to her primary care physician in order to diagnose and potential treat this condition. "Foggy" is a general description that is hard to pinpoint. As symptoms go, the generalized feeling of "unwell" or "not myself" is hard to localize to a specific problem, but certainly is a concern. There are many thinks that can cause what we probably describe as ALTERED MENTAL STATUS. Infections can be a cause. Small infections like a skin infection (cellulitis) or urinary tract infections (UTIs) can commonly cause a generalized feeling of unwell. In addition, more serious conditions can do this as well. Viral infections (including but not limited to HIV) can cause this. Nutritional problems can also cause this. Anorexia, vitamin deficiencies or other nutrient deficiencies can cause this is young women. Endocrine disorders like thyroid problems are common. Psychological problems are a common cause, especially in young girls. Depression MUST be ruled out. Neurological problems can cause it as well. This is less likely without other neurological signs (weakness, numbness, etc) but is possible. There are many causes. I would encourage a doctor's evaluation to get answers. Good luck!

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