BRAIN FOG EXPLAINED
What Causes Brain Fog During Menopause?
Many factors can contribute to brain fog, and each person may experience it differently and to varying levels.
Having said that, here are four reasons why brain fog may be an issue through the menopause.
REASON # 1: ESTROGEN AND PROGESTERONE
Most hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, have receptors in the brain. This means they can affect the brain systems involved in cognitive capabilities, learning, memory, planning, reasoning, and decision making functions.
Both estrogen and progesterone have also been shown to have anti- inflammatory effects on the brain. Supporting brain cell growth and affecting blood flow.
It makes sense, then, that the hormonal fluctuations of menopause can come with side effects, and women may experience brain fog, forgetfulness and trouble concentrating.
REASON # 2: POOR SLEEP
After a bad nights sleep, you are more likely to feel slower and less focused, so we all know how sleep can impact on your cognitive capabilities.
Sleep is crucial for learning, memory, moods and more. Since poor sleep patterns are a common symptom for menopausal women, it’s no surprise that many women will struggle with brain fog.
REASON # 3: GENERAL AGEING AND OVERALL HEALTH
Many people associate brain fog and reduced mental capability with ageing and although this may be a contributing factor, it is not the only reason you may be suffering with brain fog.
Like the rest of our body, our brain health declines as we age. Some find they may be a little more forgetful while others suffer severe memory problems and capability to perform simple tasks.
Further, other health issues such as cardiovascular disease or metabolic syndrome, or infectious diseases such as COVID-19, can affect brain health too but there are a range of factors contributing to cognitive changes.
Importantly, this doesn’t mean that brain fog is permanent or something you just have to live with.
The point here is that menopause and overall health play a role in how we feel as we age — and healthy nutrition strategies can help promote improved brain health.
REASON # 4: DIETARY DEFICIENCIES
Good nutrition, or lack of, may exaggerate or contribute to cognitive problems such as brain fog.
If you have been practicing restrictive eating habits or over consuming highly processed foods, you may be missing out on key nutrients that are necessary for healthy brain function. And, ultra processed foods have been linked to more inflammation throughout the body, including the brain
Watch out for my next blogs on changes you can make to alleviate brain fog and improve your memory and cognitive wellbeing