You hear and read a lot about menopause and by the time you enter the “change,” it’s only logical to assume you know everything about it. You expect hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia, and you’ve probably noticed vaginal dryness as well. Menopause is more than people tell you and it brings many symptoms that you don’t read about that often. For example, many women experience brain fog and find it quite frustrating. How to deal with this symptom of menopause? Keep reading to find out!
Is Menopause Brain Fog Real?
Menopause brain fog is a subject of many debates between scientists who are still not sure about the underlying cause of this unusual symptom. Brain fog is characterized by following signs:
- Emotional distance
- Memory lapses
- Mental fatigue
- Short attention span
According to some estimates, more than 60% of menopausal women report brain fog. But, most ladies who experience these symptoms usually assume they’re going crazy, or something’s wrong with them. That happens mainly because information about menopause brain fog is rather limited. Is it real? Scientists from Harvard confirm it is. The research team followed 200 men and women using MRI to look at changes in the brain’s memory circuitry. They discovered that when estradiol levels declined, changes in the hippocampus (one of brain areas responsible for learning and memory) were more pronounced. The Journal of Neuroscience published the findings from this study which confirmed that memory problems and brain fog are strongly associated with hormone fluctuations and menopause.
Now that you know brain fog is real and signs that are associated with it; you’re probably wondering if there’s any way to manage this issue. Luckily, there is!
Physical activity helps maintain weight at a healthy range, relieves the severity of many menopause symptoms, and it can also aid in improving brain health. Exercise influences the delivery of neurochemicals throughout the brain that regulate memory. For instance, running increases levels of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is responsible for neurological health and stimulates the growth of new brain cells, according to a study from the journal Neuroscience. Make exercise an integral part of your lifestyle to tackle brain fog and fend off a multitude of diseases.
2. Eat Healthy Diet
What you eat influences how you feel. Food can help you manage different symptoms of menopause including brain fog. A study carried out at the Oregon Health and Science University found that people who eat diets rich in vitamins B, C, D, and E, as well as Omega-3 fatty acids are less likely to suffer from brain shrinkage and other abnormalities associated with Alzheimer’s disease. On the other hand, people who eat heavily processed foods and trans fats are more likely to experience memory problems. It’s encouraged to follow a Mediterranean diet which isn’t restrictive and promotes consumption of fruits, vegetables, and fish. Also, since scientists show that we rarely get recommended daily value of vitamins and minerals from food only, you can opt for supplements such as Menoquil which can help you relieve menopause symptoms and enrich your organism with valuable nutrients.
A study from the Psychological Science found that meditation improves working memory and reduces mind wandering, two major issues women experience during perimenopause and menopause. If you’ve never meditated before you should bear in mind that you don’t really need all those candles or some special setting (unless that’s what you want). All you need is to take a few minutes for yourself in a quiet room and focus on your breathing.
4. Manage Stress
Stress has a negative impact on cognitive functioning which is why it’s important to manage it. A study carried out at the University of Iowa has discovered a link between stress hormones and short-term memory loss. Meditation can be a wonderful way of reducing stress. You can also practice deep breathing, or do any type of activity that you find relaxing. Here, it’s about you and your personality. Every person has a different view of relaxation, and you just have to identify yours.
5. Sleep Well
The brain needs sleep to function properly, and multiple studies have shown that getting enough sleep can, indeed, improve your cognitive functions. The journal Neuroscience demonstrated that sleep triggers changes in the brain that help improve memory. Getting good night’s sleep requires a regular sleep pattern meaning you should go to bed at the same time every night in order to wake up at the same time every morning. Ideally, you shouldn’t use the phone, tablet or other devices in bed because they will keep you awake longer.
More than 60% of menopausal women complain about brain fog, but they usually believe something’s wrong with them. Scientists have confirmed that brain fog is real and it’s associated with hormone fluctuations. It’s possible to improve cognitive functioning with simple methods presented in this article.