About Menopause - 4 minute read

Is Menopause Brain Fog Real?

The midlife evolution comes with some pretty big changes. Hot flashes and night sweats will start to ease into your daily life, mood changes are on the horizon, and overtime you quit having a period every month. Oh, not to mention, the fluctuating estrogen levels that lend to each of these signals and more. Menopause brain fog is one of the biggest changes that often flies under the radar. Changes in estrogen levels lend to shifts in cognition, which can range from minor forgetfulness to feeling like a serious cognitive impairment. This is all to validate that yes, menopause brain fog is extremely real. Read on for more intel on your options for support and relief. 

Where It All Begins: Perimenopause Symptoms

Here's a statistic to remind you we're all in this evolution together: 60% of midlife (ages 40 to 65) women experience trouble concentrating, struggles with verbal memory, and overall decline in cognitive function. In taking a closer look at the specifics of the women reporting these troubles, many are in the perimenopause stage. Perimenopause is the first stage in the menopausal era. It is the four years, give or take, that lead up to the final menstrual cycle. According to the North American Menopause Society, the average age of perimenopause onset is around 47 years old, though those who are experiencing early menopause may experience it closer to age 40 and those entering premature menopause may begin to feel perimenopause onset in their late 30s. While it is possible that cognitive function declines during perimenopause, researchers are more inclined to believe that an overall negative affect is what contributes to the brain fog. This is because perimenopause is the phase when a lot of new experiences hit at once - and more often than not, these experiences don't feel too pleasant. When navigating these new experiences, a negative mood can contribute to the brain fog. 

What exactly causes this change in brain function? It isn't just the fluctuating estrogen. During the menopausal era, oestrogen, progesterone, follicle stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone are all subject to ebbs and flows. Each of these hormones directly affect cognition. As these levels change, it only makes sense that your working memory would be affected. 

In menopause, many symptoms intertwine with others, often causing more challenges. Brain fog and night sweats are a key example of this. Night sweats can lead to sleepless nights and even menopause-induced insomnia. With a lack of sleep comes brain fog, memory loss, and overall cognitive decline. We'll talk more about options for relief in the next section. 

Combating Brain Fog Holistically 

When it comes to managing brain fog, we believe holistic and natural is the way to go. While some doctors will suggest hormone replacement therapy, it has been linked to breast cancer and therefore isn't an option for many - especially those who have a history of breast cancer in their family. We encourage folks to research all the natural and holistic options available to ensure they find the best individualized support. 

Kindra has two specially formulated supplements that help mitigate brain fog. The first is our Core Dietary Supplement, it’s our all-in-one formula that tackles some of the most common symptoms of menopause, including brain fog. The formula's key ingredients include Ashwagandha, a focus-boosting herb that levels out mood changes while enhancing cognitive function. The second supplement that fights cognitive issues is the Energy Boosting Dietary Supplement. And of course the  Sleep Enhancing Dietary Supplement. This formula works to fight night sweats, thanks to the aforementioned Ashwagandha and sleep-inducing herb Melatonin. Pycnogenol® is another plant-powered ingredient that overall balances the body, thus supporting those fluctuating hormone levels. A good night's sleep can lead to less memory problems. 

Shifts in your diet can also combat brain fog. Fatty acids can support cognitive function - consider fish like halibut, salmon, sardines, and tuna. The mediterranean diet is another strong contender in supporting cognitive function with food, thanks to its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats. Leafy greens, olive oil, and vegetables are all strong treatment options when using nutrition as medicine!

Regular exercise is great not only for brain fog, but for all menopausal symptoms. It can soften mood changes, clear up memory loss, strengthen bones, and provide an outlet for all the changes that come with the menopausal evolution. Physical exercise isn't the only type of workout necessary - keep your brain busy, too! Crossword puzzles, learning to play an instrument, reading, and staying organized are all strong supports. 

Seeking Professional Support

If you find that clouded thinking is significantly impacting your daily life, it may be time to see a healthcare provider. A women's health expert can help you rule out the difference between menopause brain fog and alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease is a progressive condition and will get worse over time, while menopause brain fog does it. Some key signs of Alzheimer's disease are memory issues, having trouble with verbal memory, confusion, getting lost in areas you're typically comfortable with, and even general mood or personality changes. Your healthcare provider may even refer you to a psychiatry specialist to get to the bottom of your brain health. 

Sources: 

https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/menopause-brain-fog

https://www.memoryhealth.com/blogs/the-brain-blog/natural-treatments-for-menopause-brain-fog

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/17/well/live/the-brain-fog-of-menopause.html

https://www.webmd.com/menopause/news/20161012/more-evidence-menopause-brain-fog-is-real#1

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-antidepressant-diet/202006/clearing-the-brain-fog-menopause

https://womenlivingbetter.org/memory-fog

https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopauseflashes/menopause-symptoms-and-treatments/menopause-101-a-primer-for-the-perimenopausal

 

 

 

 

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