If you’re in perimenopause, you might be experiencing forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, and overall mental fatigue. So, is brain fog a symptom of perimenopause?
As any woman who’s gone through menopause can attest, brain fog is a very real phenomenon. You might find yourself forgetting things more often, or struggling to concentrate and think clearly. Now, there’s even more evidence that brain fog occurs even during perimenopause.
Is brain fog a symptom of perimenopause? Researchers have found that women who are in transition to menopause are more likely to experience memory problems and difficulty thinking clearly than women who have their regular cycle. And, these problems can begin at a relatively young age of 40s or 50s.
If you’re experiencing brain fog, talk to your doctor about ways to manage it. There are treatments available that can help.
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Is Brain Fog a Symptom of Perimenopause?
Those who are suffering from menopausal brain fog often find it hard to absorb and recall information or concentrate on simple tasks. You may experience common memory problems, such as losing track of what you were doing or not being able to remember your neighbors’ names.
Some women are worried that they may develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia after suffering from menopausal brain fog. However, evidence suggests that memory returns after menopause.
In 2009, researchers found that women who had gone through the menopausal transition experienced improvements in their cognitive function after menopause.
Since every woman’s body is different, there is no particular age when menopausal brain fog starts to happen. Some women may start to experience brain fog during perimenopause, while others may not notice any changes until after menopause has begun.
However, research shows that lapses in memory, verbal learning, and fine motor skill are more evident in premenopause than postmenopause.
What Causes Menopausal Brain Fog?
Scientists believe that fluctuating levels of estrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH) during menopause are responsible for the brain fog that women experience.
While other menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and mood swings may be contributing factors to memory loss, they are not the cause of brain fog.
Studies suggest that changes in hormone levels — especially that of estrogen — are more likely to be the cause of women’s cognitive decline.
What are the Symptoms of Brain Fog During Perimenopause?
As we age, our bodies go through a lot of changes. One change that can happen during the perimenopause transition is brain fog.
What is brain fog?
Brain fog is a symptom of perimenopause that can leave you feeling forgetful, confused, and unfocused. It can be frustrating and even scary at times.
What causes brain fog?
There are a few things that can contribute to brain fog during perimenopause.
As your estrogen levels start to fluctuate during perimenopause, it can cause changes in brain chemistry and lead to brain fog.
Stress can be a big trigger for brain fog. If you’re already feeling overwhelmed by the changes happening in your body, stress can make the symptoms of brain fog worse.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, it can contribute to brain fog.
Depression and Anxiety
These mental health conditions can also make it hard to focus and remember things.
How to Manage Menopausal Brain Fog
Are you in your 40s or 50s and feeling like you’re in a mental fog? is brain fog a symptom of perimenopause?
You’re not alone. Many women experience brain fog during perimenopause, the time leading up to menopause.
Brain fog can be a frustrating symptom of perimenopause, making it difficult to think clearly and concentrate. You may feel like you’re in a mental fog, struggling to remember things or make decisions.
If you’re experiencing brain fog, there are some things you can do to help improve your mental clarity.
75% of your brain is water and slight drops in hydration levels can impair your cognitive abilities, causing you to forget things and have trouble concentrating.
Drink plenty of water. Have at least two cups of water first thing in the morning or get up from your seat and refill your glass every hour or so. Add a few slices of lemons, cucumbers, or mint leaves to your water to make it taste better.
Eat More Healthy Fat
Eating a Mediterranean-style diet, which is high in Omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fat, has been linked to slower rates of cognitive degeneration and a decreased risk of dementia.
To keep your brain healthy, eat more veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds, beans and lentils, whole grains, fatty fish, and olive oil.
Exercise has many benefits for menopausal women, especially with regard to cognitive function. One study indicates that exercising at a moderate intensity can improve mental flexibility, while high-intensity exercises can enhance the speed at which information is processed.
To get the most benefit from your cardio, try to work out for at least 30 minutes, five times a week. Pick an activity that you actually enjoy, like running, biking, walking, or aerobics.
In addition to cardio, you should incorporate some weight training into your exercise routine. Two times a week, perform squats, lunges, or pushups.
Get Sufficient Rest
Sleep is vital for the brain to store memories and process information. REM (rapid eye movement) is the final stage of sleeping where the most amount of memory consolidation occurs.
Due to the hormonal fluctuations of menopause, many women suffer from insomnia which makes it even more important to prioritize your good sleeping habits.
Anxiety and stress can both contribute to sleeping problems, so it is important to wind down before you go to sleep. You might try meditating, taking deep breaths, doing yoga, or soaking in a hot bath, for instance.
To avoid having sleep disrupted by night sweats, keep your room between 16-18 degrees Celsius, wear light clothing, and avoid using thick bedding.
Avoid eating a large meal, drinking caffeinated beverages, smoking, or drinking alcohol before going to sleep. These activities can disrupt your sleep and make it more difficult to fall asleep.
Although memory loss and mental confusion are common symptoms during perimenopause and menopause, they can usually get better over time. If, however, your symptoms persist or get worse, then it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor.
Is brain fog a symptom of perimenopause? If you’re experiencing brain fog during perimenopause, know that you’re not alone. Many women struggle with this common symptom.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to managing brain fog, there are some things you can do to help ease your symptoms. Talk to your doctor about ways to manage your brain fog and make sure to get plenty of rest, exercise, and eat a healthy diet.
With some lifestyle changes and the support of loved ones, you can help minimize the impact of brain fog on your life.