Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Brain Fog and Menopause


This week I went to my doctor and the official word was that based on my blood tests I’m in the thick of menopause. Some of the main symptoms that I’ve experienced over the past year are night sweats, headaches and brain fog. I’ve spoken to many women who agree that as we age, the memory just doesn’t work the same. According to my doctor, this so called “brain fog” is fairly common among menopausal women.

The trigger to this fuzzy brain issue seems to be the decreased estrogen levels during menopause. As our ovaries slow down on estrogen production, our internal thermostats keep trying to readjust. This is actually a confusing time for the body, so no wonder we end of with “brain fog”, night sweats, headaches, hot flashes and a host of other menopausal symptoms.

Some researchers are saying that the “brain fog” is actually a sub symptom of night sweats and other menopausal sleep issues. Simply put…if you don’t sleep well, your brain doesn’t function well, thus the “brain fog”. The good news is that you can do some things about the sleep issues.

There are lots of natural remedies available to help combat menopausal symptoms. I’ve had success with yoga, exercise and wicking pajamas to help with night sweats.

Additionally, to help with the "brain fog", I encourage women to learn new things to help stimulate their brains. Studies have shown that as baby boomers age, they can keep their minds sharp by exercising their brains, just like they exercise their bodies. Why not try learning a new language, learning to play an instrument or taking up bridge or crossword puzzles. Not only will you be able to enjoy a new skill, but you’ll keep your brain sharp and fit.

4 comments:

Jerry Lewis said...

Stress management is a very important factor to improve short term memory loss. Stress causes the body to release a hormone called cortisole which blocks the memories from being registered. Since it is a known fact that all women going through early menopause have stress, it is essential to stay positive and stay stress free. http://www.xanax-effects.com/

Anonymous said...

I would like to talk to the author of this blog (or others) about brain fog. I am a reporter for ABCNews.com writing about a study that shows women's learning is actually impaired in perimenopause. Can you call me at 212-456-4875 or write me a susan.james@abcnews.com

Thanks! Susan James

Anonymous said...

It's more than just sleep - I had brain fog so bad that I was in danger of losing my highly demanding technical job even though I was sleeping fine (both with and without sleep aids).

I finally went on HRT and my brain is BACK.

I'm so damn sick and tired of the platitudes surrounding menopausal brain fog - "get more sleep", "learn something new" - while there are millions of previously intelligent women suffering from this badly to where their job performance is impacted, they're getting lost on the way to the mall and forgetting their home phone numbers (all of which I did multiple times until I caved in and went on hormones).

Yes, I'm angry. If men suffered from this it would've been addressed already.

Dr. Eric said...

Might be a good idea to pay attention to what you are thinking at the time you are feeling stressed. Sometimes we can have negative thoughts that produce stress without really realizing it. Just watch what you're thinking and then flip it to something positive.

Psychological Therapist