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How To Treat Brain Fog In Menopause

Natural Menopause Brain Fog Remedies

3 Tips To Heal Menopause Brain Fog – And Why It’s So Common

Knowing that your hormones will settle down eventually is comforting, but taking active measures can have you feeling like your usual self sooner than later.

1. Eat a Healthy Diet

Every bite of food you take either nourishes your brain or adds to its burden.

While in menopause, its more important than ever to eat a healthy diet.

Because theres so much confusing information about diet, you may wonder what exactly a healthy diet means.

An excellent place to start is with these three words of advice.

Eat real food.

Real food is found in the outer aisles of the grocery store or at a farmers market.

Youll know it when you see it it has no need for an ingredient label and doesnt come in a can, package, or box.

Eating unprocessed food automatically reduces your intake of brain health thieves like sugar, white flour, food additives, and trans fats while ensuring that your brain gets the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Additionally, avoid eating a low-fat diet since progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and other sex hormones are synthesized from cholesterol.

2. Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of liquids.

Dehydration is surprisingly common among women in menopause since both estrogen and progesterone are important for fluid regulation.

The 8-glasses-per-day rule of thumb is a reasonable place to start, but this online hydration calculator will further refine how much water you should drink for your situation.

3. Lose the Belly Fat

5. Exercise

Keep Memory Loss At Bay

Menopause is a really important time for you to stop and think about your health and to make taking care of yourself one of your top priorities. Your general lifestyle can have enormous effects on menopause symptoms and the more you do to manage your own health, the more you can keep symptoms like memory loss at bay.

Book a no obligation free first consultation with one of our doctors at the Australian Menopause Centre and discuss if a treatment program is right for you.

Sleep Stress Or Hormones Brain Fog During Perimenopause

Often when people think of perimenopause, irregular periods and hot flashes come to mind. But some women may notice another symptom: brain fog.

Youre reading a letter and suddenly realize your thoughts have drifted off and you need to start again. Or you draw a blank when youre trying to remember someones name, or find yourself standing in a room, wondering what you came there to get.

The good news is that these small cognitive blips are probably not anything you need to worry about long-term.

Sleep disturbances and stress may be part of brain fog

Those times when you are less focused and a bit forgetful are likely not just due to hormonal changes. Sleep quality, perhaps related to night sweats during perimenopause, could definitely contribute. Increased stress that sometimes accompanies this stage of life may also have you feeling frazzled and distracted. These factors can interfere with concentration and memory.

Not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling cranky and sluggish. This may be why you cant remember whats-her-name: you werent paying close enough attention when she told you her name in the first place.

Stress can have a similar effect by pulling your thoughts off task, because youre preoccupied, worrying about something else.

What can you do to feel less foggy?

If this sounds like you, there are some things you can do to help lift the fog and get your brain re-engaged.

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What Our Patients Say

As of March 2021, I have been a HerKare patient for 3 years. I have driven from the Austin to Ft. Worth and Southlake since March 2018. In fact, today I attempted to drive to Southlake to see the provider, Dania Khoncarly, because she is so amazing, but the roads were too dangerous with the current ice storm in Texas, so I visited the Mansfield location instead as it was closer for me. The patient care has been nothing short of amazing. In fact, I cant imagine my life without HerKare. I struggled with hormone deficiency since 2003 until March 2018. The treatment plan provided by HerKare has positively impacted my way of life socially, emotionally, and physically. One of my closest friends now drives from Copperas Cove to the Mansfield location. I have several friends in my age group mid to late 40s & early 50s who would benefit from HerKare. I understand with our nation experiencing COVID, now might not be the time to open a new location, however, your services could positively impact the well-being of so many women. When the time is right, please open more HerKare locations!

Patient since March 2018

How To Minimize Menopause Brain Fog Naturally

Functional Neurology: Understanding Menopause Brain Fog ...

Edited and medically reviewed by Patrick Alban, DC | Written by Deane Alban

Brain fog and memory problems are common symptoms of menopause. But these issues, and others, can be minimized naturally, without hormones. Learn how.

Brain fog is a common symptom of menopause.

Fortunately, these problems dont last forever and are not risk factors for more serious forms of mental decline later in life.

However, theres no need to struggle with foggy thinking while menopause is running its course.

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The Final Big Question: Does Menopause Hormone Therapy Cause Or Prevent Dementia

So far the focus of this article is on MHT and brain fog. Remembering that brain fog is not the same as cognitive decline or dementia.

Whether MHT provides protection against cognitive aging and Alzheimers disease remains unclear.

Overall, hormone therapys efficacy is thought to depend on the timing of when you start taking it with respect to age at menopause the so-called critical window theory whereby the earlier you start treatment the safer. This is especially the case for younger women who have surgical menopause.

For older women who start taking hormone therapy after the age of 65 , they experience accelerated cognitive decline and dementia.

And the official line on menopause hormone therapy from the Australian Menopause Society

  • At present, it is premature to recommend MHT for cognitive function until more substantiated clinical correlates are available.
  • Lessening vasomotor symptoms with MHT or non-hormonal treatments may improve cognitive function.
  • Improving sleep, using mnemonic devices or engaging in physical activity may also lessen menopause transition cognitive deficits.
  • Cognitive testing is not indicated unless the symptoms are progressive and interfere with work performance or relationships.

And Ill leave the last word to the heroic Jen Gunter,

Can Hrt Help With Brain Fog

Brain fog can be difficult to deal with for some women, which is why doctors may recommend HRT to help with your symptoms.

Brain fog is a serious issue for many women. Some women experience mild symptoms and some wont experience it at all. However, others may start to notice it interferes with their lives. Brain fog can be frustrating and isolating for many women during menopause. Some may even be alarmed and wonder if theyre showing early signs of dementia when brain fog is particularly bad. Brain fog has been associated with the menopause transition, which has led many researchers to consider whether hormones play a part in brain fog. Some studies are also looking at whether hormone therapy can help improve brain fog symptoms.

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Other Factors That Can Cause Brain Fog

Of course, menopause isnt always to blame when it comes to brain fog. Blood vessel and vascular health is an important part of overall health, including brain health. Certain medical conditions, especially if they have been chronic and on-going, can cause blood vessel damage and may affect the amount of blood that regularly flows to the brain. Diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, and elevated cholesterol levels are all health conditions that can have a detrimental effect on the bodys vasculature, and over time, decrease the blood flow to the brain. This will eventually result in poorer cognitive function, with decreases in verbal memory, attention and mental acuity also experienced.

Medical conditions such as anemia, thyroid abnormalities and dehydration can all contribute to brain fog. Mental illnesses like depression and anxiety can also cause a decline in mental clarity and cognition. Even something as common as stress can overload the brain and worsen brain fog if the reaction becomes prolonged.

If you notice an increase in brain fog while taking a particular medication this may be a side effect of the drug. Its important to discuss this with your doctor so they can determine if a change in treatment is needed.

Brain Fog And Hormones

5 Natural Ways To Overcome Menopause Brain Fog

Ovarian hormones have a direct impact on brain function, with the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex rich with oestrogen receptors. Oestrogen promotes neuron growth and survival and influences the formation and function of synapses. Testosterone too has widespread effects in women, including significant favourable effects on verbal learning and memory. In fact, itâs lack of testosterone that gets the majority share of the blame.

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How Long Can Brain Fog Last

This really depends on the extent of the brain fog and whats causing it. Usually once the underlying cause has been determined and corrective actions are in place, such as a change in diet, getting enough sleep, or sorting out any hormonal imbalances, the brain fog will lift and should be gone within a month or so.

If not, there may be other reasons for its presence, which means you and your doctor need to investigate it further. Remember, having the occasional day with some brain fog is expected its the perpetual feeling of being unable to think clearly thats a concern.

Get Your Hormones In Check

Hormones play an important part in how we feel each day . Hormones can fluctuate, and to determine what needs to be altered and how, you need to visit your doctor.

If food, exercise, sleep, and stress reduction havent resolved your brain fog, it might be time to seek a medical professionals opinion maybe hormones are the cause of your brain fog.

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What Causes Menopausal Brain Fog

Since hormones oestrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone , and luteinizing hormone play a role in cognition, scientists hypothesise that fluctuating hormone levels during perimenopause are responsible for brain fog.Though other menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes, night sweats, sleep issues, anxiety, and depression, may contribute to memory problems, they dont appear to be the primary cause of brain fog. Instead, evidence suggests that hormonal changes in particular, those associated with oestrogen are more likely to cause cognitive challenges in menopausal women .

The Association Between Female Sex Hormones And Brain Function

Menopause Brain Fog â What it is &  How to Treat it

The evidence is increasing that changes in female sex hormones associated with pregnancy lead to a noticeable shift in cognitive function. Dr. Rhonda Voskuhl, a UCLA neurologist, has researched the cognitive changes seen in women with multiple sclerosis and their notable improvement during pregnancy. She used this information to develop a patented treatment using Estriol, a female sex hormone for treating women living with multiple sclerosis.

In a clinical trial, 158 women with relapsing-remitting M.S., a type of M.S. in which symptoms flare-up and then resolve, were enrolled in a clinical trial. One group was given standard therapy with Copaxone and a placebo pill. The other group received Copaxone with an 8-milligram estriol pill daily. After 12 months of treatment, the Copaxone-plus estriol groups relapse rate was 47 percent lower than the control group. Since estriol, a female sex hormone produced during pregnancy, seems to improve the cognition of women living with multiple sclerosis. Can it also improve cognition in postmenopausal women who are experiencing brain fog, a time of known decrease in female sex hormones?

Hormone replacement therapy is FDA approved for treating women with premature or early menopause until the average age of menopause. It is also approved to treat some postmenopausal symptoms.

Hormone replacement therapy can

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How Can Hormones Help

Hormones, particularly estrogen, have lots of jobs, but one that is intriguing is the role they play in keeping the brain young and active.4 With a link between estrogen and progesterone levels and brain health, it makes sense to look at hormone replacement therapy as an option for fighting cognitive decline.

Many studies focused on menopause have failed to report estrogen as brain protective. New studies have shown that starting estrogen replacement therapy earlier might help fight cognitive declines.3,4

One way for women to minimize the dramatic hormonal changes that occur at menopause is to use HRT. That approach fell out of favor with the Women’s Health Initiative. More recent studies suggest that hormone therapy can be really helpful if women get it early enough.6 The effects of hormone therapy depend on the timing of use.

When women started taking estrogen after age 65, they were more likely to have trouble with memory. But women who started taking estrogen earlier did not have memory issues. Estrogen may benefit the mental function of younger women because it reduces hot flashes and so many other menopause symptoms.6

“The more hot flashes a woman has, the worse her memory performance. And when we intervene to address those hot flashes , her memory performance bounces back.”6

Brain Fog During Menopause Is Common

Memory loss and brain fog are very common experiences for women going through the menopause transition.

And one of the fears midlife women have is whether their foggy brain is an early sign of an inevitable decline towards dementia.

When I was writing my book on womens brain health, I spoke to a friend who is a dementia researcher in her late 40s. She confessed to shed visited her GP to discuss symptoms as she was terrified she had early-onset dementia. Her fears were not unfounded menopausal brain fog and early-stage dementia share many of the same symptoms, including those my neuroscientist friend had a detailed professional understanding of.

But, it is important to know that brain fog is not an early sign of dementia.

Menopausal brain fog is temporary and typically disappears after the transition is over.

Obstetrician and gynaecologist Jen Gunter who has written the excellent book The Menopause Manifesto, likens brain fog and the hormonal chaos of the menopause transition to a computer uploading a new program:

During the upload things run a little slower. Once loaded, there may be a glitch or two before this new program is running smoothly and then things settle as the new program takes over. After all, both computer code and hormones are forms of language.

Jen Gunter, The Menopause Manifesto

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Brain Fog Is Memory Impairment

The ability to acquire and use knowledge is called cognition. Most women do not give this process much thought until they have difficulties with it. Imagine this. You have worked hard throughout your career and reached your career goal of senior vice president of marketing. You meet with your team biweekly. Of course, the meetings are by Zoom nowadays. You have never had to write down your agenda or take notes during your work sessions, but you have noticed yourself carrying a notepad with you everywhere.

Your first stop is your doctors office. You have a thorough physical exam, cognitive testing, and lab work. Everything is normal. Good news, right? You are completely healthy, but that does not explain the symptoms you are having:

  • Trouble paying attention
  • Word-finding problems
  • Taking longer to make a decision or solve a problem

It is a relief that you do not meet the criteria for dementia, and any fears that you may have had that your symptoms indicate early Alzheimers disease have been allayed. However, you are still uncomfortable with the knowledge that your brain function has changed. Though the change may be subtle, it is affecting your job performance. It may be due to menopause, a natural process, but it impacts your relationships and career, and you are hoping there is a solution to treat and ultimately beat postmenopausal brain fog.

How Long Does Menopause Brain Fog Last

All About Brain Fog (or “Menopause Brain”)

Its great that menopause brain fog isnt forever, but the fact is it usually starts in perimenopause and can hang on even into early menopause, meaning women may not feel as sharp or focused for several years. Given that women in their late 40s and early 50s are often at the height of their careers, who can wait?

So do we just resign ourselves to hiring a random teenager to program the DVR?

You can, if you want to. Or you can leverage your brains natural neuroplasticity, training your brain to make new connections when older ones fail. Hormones and 50th birthdays notwithstanding, you yes, you can program your own DVR.

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How Do I Know If I Have Brain Fog Or Dementia

When I posed this question to Professor John Eden at WHRIA, he answered that it can be difficult, and often the simplest way to find out is to give women two months of hormone therapy and see if their symptoms improve .

The symptoms of dementia and brain fog may be similar, but remember that dementia is a disease of unhealthy ageing.

Jen Gunter reminds us that dementia is uncommon in women in their 40s and 50s, and men of the same age rarely worry about memory lapses, she notes,

The way we think about menopause feels like an exercise in confirmation bias about the supposed ineptitude of older women.

Jen Gunter, The Menopause Manifesto

Dementia often begins with lapses in memory and difficulty in finding the right words for everyday objects, and according to Alzheimers Australia, other symptoms may include:

  • Persistent and frequent memory difficulties, especially of recent events
  • Vagueness in everyday conversation
  • Apparent loss of enthusiasm for previously enjoyed activities
  • Taking longer to do routine tasks
  • Forgetting well-known people or places
  • Inability to process questions and instructions
  • Deterioration of social skills
  • Emotional unpredictability

It is important to realise a certain degree of forgetfulness is normal at any stage of life. We all have tip-of-the-tongue moments, call our children by the wrong name, or cant remember why we walked into a room. We just tend to become more conscious of them and fret over moments of memory loss the older we get.

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