First things first - menopause brain fog is real! If you’re a woman over forty, you’ve probably noticed that it’s become more difficult to remember little things in daily life. You can’t recall the name of “that actress” in “that movie” in conversation, even though she’s your favorite actress and you just saw the movie last week. You may feel stupid when you have to stop and search for a word in the middle of a sentence over dinner and drinks with the girls. It’s okay. In fact, it’s normal and you CAN do something about it.
Perimenopause is the time in your life when your hormone levels start to decline, usually when you’re in your mid- to late forties. Hot flashes, weight gain and brain fog start to show up as your body produces less and less estrogen, progesterone and the related female hormones. Your periods become irregular and eventually stop. Once your hormones have settled down, you officially enter menopause and many of the symptoms are alleviated, too. The brain fog, though? That can stick around.
Sixty percent of women experience cognition issues, like short-term memory loss or fuzzy thinking, during perimenopause and menopause. In some cases, it can be so severe, it causes concerns about dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. And those concerns are valid, since MRIs reveal increasing brain deterioration in women after menopause. In fact, during the transition between perimenopause and menopause, women’s brains metabolize glucose 20% to 25% less efficiently. To put that in perspective, the brain requires glucose for fuel! So you are fueling your brain 20-25% less efficiently.
Brain fog is a common physical symptom of the hormone transition of perimenopause and menopause. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to improve your memory and ability to think clearly - both now and into the future.
We’d suggest you do your best to stop worrying, take this new symptom of an important life change in stride, and get proactive about your brain health. With your sense of humor, support from your female friends, and some brain fog natural treatments, you can most likely minimize menopause brain fog and get your cognitive abilities back on track.
How can you address brain fog with natural treatments? There are several things you can start doing immediately to help support your brain health and increase the flow of oxygen, glucose and supportive nutrients to your brain. Here are just a few suggestions.
Aerobic Exercise: Exercising your body supports your brain health in several ways. Research shows that yesterday’s 60-minute cycling session or three-mile walk probably triggered your brain to grow new nerve cells, create new blood vessels, repair existing cells and grow new ones. Aerobic activity also increases the flow of fresh blood and oxygen to your brain.
Stress Reduction: According to research shared by Everyday Health, stress is damaging to your brain. Studies show that the hormone cortisol, which your body creates in response to high-stress situations or events, actually damages the brain tissue that’s responsible for memory and learning. With today’s fast-paced lifestyles, many women, particularly working moms and members of the sandwich generation, would say they feel stress several times a day.
Fortunately, simply recognizing when you’re feeling stressed gives you the chance to take a few deep breaths to reduce it. You can also take up a meditation practice, attend a bi-weekly yoga class or commit to a daily 20-minute aerobic exercise session. All are proven stress reducers that aren’t difficult to incorporate into your schedule.
Drink Up: Dehydration isn’t kind to your body or your brain. When you don’t consume enough water, toxins can build up and your brain can actually shrink in size. Not getting enough fluids can also cause headaches and lightheadedness. Set a goal of drinking at least 4 large glasses of plain water a day to ensure you’re getting enough H2O. Staying hydrated is one of the easier ways to support your brain health during perimenopause and menopause.
Give Your Brain Necessary Nutrients: Your brain thrives when it receives the fat-based nutrients it needs, specifically Omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA, along with antioxidants and carotenoids (plant-based nutrients found in leafy greens like broccoli, spinach and kale). Focus on eating a varied diet made up primarily of fruits, vegetables, high-fat fish, lean protein in the form of chicken, and nuts, while avoiding processed foods, sugar and alcohol. This diet will help support your brain with valuable nutrition that can enhance cognitive functioning, help lessen menopause brain fog, and support your future brain health. To ensure your brain receives all the necessary nutrients required for optimal health, consider fortifying your diet with supplements.
Use Supplements: Scientific evidence and clinical research has shown that it is possible to improve brain health through daily nutritional supplementation. Brain health supplements can provide some of the nutrition and support your brain needs when you’re dealing with menopause brain fog. These supplements can also help make up for some of the negative effects that the typical American diet (filled with preservatives, chemicals and sugar) can have on your brain. This is particularly important since research shows that today’s diet is lacking in vital nutrients. Professor Riona Mulcahy (who specializes in brain/dementia research) said it best in a recent interview with Sky News: "The difficulty is that to get the amount of these nutrients that you need per day to achieve results, isn't possible from your normal every day diet. We know a healthy diet helps, but [supplementation] gives you the right amount to give the results that you need... So it's not just diet alone, it's really getting enough of it! This is especially difficult today as a lot of our food is now mass-produced, fish is farmed, and the nutritional value of our food is going down. So even with a healthy diet, we don't receive enough of these nutrients.” In other words, even if you’re 100% focused on eating healthy, you still won’t be able to provide your brain with enough nutrients to stay healthy. Because of this, scientists now believe supplements are necessary for optimizing brain health. If you're interested in learning more about brain health supplements, be sure to read my Brain Blog article on "The Best Supplements for Brain Health".
To address the lack of nutrients in today's diet, consider the Memory Health® brain supplement, an all-natural, supplement that is clinically proven to support long-term brain health. In fact, recent clinical research confirmed that cognitive performance can be improved in individuals following daily supplementation with the Memory Health® formula. The patented formula delivers key targeted nutrients directly to the brain — powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to nourish, protect, and improve brain health. Benefits of the Memory Health® supplement include improvement in focus and clarity, reduction in brain fog and mental fatigue, and improvement in mood! If you’re experiencing menopause brain fog, start with a 30-day supply of Memory Health® or sign up for a monthly subscription to receive 10% Off every month.
If you’re looking for smart holiday gift ideas for the people you care about, this Healthy Brain Holiday Gift Guide can help you select a gift that supports your loved ones’ brain health and ensure the memories of this season’s holidays aren’t forgotten.