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“Brain Fog” and Menopause

menopause brain fog

Studies confirm that memory problems or “Brain Fog” are common during menopause.

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Brain fog does exist! For those who suffer from its symptoms it can be very frustrating to deal with.


What is “Brain Fog”?

what is brain fog

Brain fog or more professionally known as “cognitive dysfunction” is a state of mental fuzziness or confusion that is generally caused by an underlying health issue.

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Symptoms of Brain Fog

1. An inability to concentrate or to focus on details.

2. A feeling of mental fuzziness or cloudiness.

3. A lack of mental clarity.

4. An inability to remember things, events, names, or details.

5. A decreased attention span.

6. Mental fatigue.

7. A feeling of being emotionally distanced, or of not caring as much as you normally would, in any given situation.


Don’t these symptoms sound a lot like menopause symptoms?

You’re not alone!

Roughly two-thirds of women complain of forgetfulness or “brain fog” during menopause.

Many women suffer from brain fog during menopause. Women report that they just don’t feel quite right; that they’re not able to think as clearly as they used to. Brain fog can feel episodic; sometimes you are as sharp as a tack, while at other times, you feel like you forgot to take your brain with you when you left the house, a feeling that you’re not present, lack of attention to detail or attention deficit, an absence of focus or a lack of clarity.

Although brain fog is a very common complaint, it is not a recognized diagnosed illness within the realm of conventional medicine

Many brain fog sufferers blame their mental decline on the stress of daily living or “the signs of aging.”

For many years “Brain Fog” has been avoided as it wasn’t recognized as diagnosed illness. But recently, TWO studies have found and research suggests that cognitive decline and memory problems associated with menopause are real and may be linked to fluctuating levels of hormones in the brain.

In one study it was discovered by researchers at the University of Rochester in New York that pre and post-menopausal women in the age range of 40-60 performed worse on tests of memory and cognition in the year after they had their last period than in the time leading up to menopause.

Researchers also found that while it is unclear why menopause may affect cognition, hormones most likely are involved. “In the months after a woman has her last period, hormonal changes are most abrupt,” said senior study researcher Pauline Maki, director of women’s mental health research at the University of Illinois at Chicago. As a woman approaches menopause, the ovaries gradually produce less estrogen, which is crucial for thinking and remembering.


Roughly two-thirds of women complain of forgetfulness or “brain fog” during menopause. Now two new studies add to the growing body of research suggesting that cognitive decline and memory problems associated with menopause are real and may be linked to fluctuating levels of hormones in the brain.

They also found and believe that changes in memory associated with menopause appear to be temporary and are not linked to diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


The second study led by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, suggests that the younger a woman is when she experiences surgical menopause, the removal of her uterus (hysterectomy) and one or both ovaries (oophorectomy), the faster she experiences declines in her ability to remember times and places.

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6 Ways to Reduce Brain Fog


1. Decrease or Remove Wheat (Gluten)

Eating the wrong food is one of the biggest causes of long-term brain fog. It has been said that no single food is worse at causing and sustaining it than wheat. gluten sensitivities that lead to brain fog.

Gluten is a protein in most grains, including wheat, rye and barley. What people eat does affect the brain.

Some are allergic to gluten but may not realize it.  Food allergies can disrupt the sensitive balance of hormones and chemicals in the brain. . Avoiding gluten improves cognition, lifting the brain fog so people can think more clearly. Getting off the gluten can stabilize mood, increase motor skills, improve concentration and eliminate brain fog.


In the book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis, he speaks of how wheat (gluten) has a devastating impact upon our cognitive faculties and the stimulation of chronic brain fog. He describes how weight loss, reduced fatigue, and  superior mental clarity is the biggest benefit reported after going wheat or gluten free.


2. Stay Hydrated

Drinking water (preferably spring or distilled water) helps to release the toxins that accumulate in the intestinal tract, which is important since bowel toxicity is directly linked to brain fog. Water also helps to flush the blood of metabolic waste products that can travel to the brain and disrupt its functioning.


3. Exercise

Exercise enhances mood. Many women experience mood, sleep and brain fog disturbances. Vasomotor symptoms are less common among physically active menopausal women than women who are sedentary. Regular exercise improves cognitive function, enhances mood and promotes daytime alertness. Party!


4. Socialize

Staying social is crucial to brain health. As you get older, you may be tempted to take the path that leads to the cushy sofa in front of the TV. Instead, put on your dancing shoes. So get connected: Start a book club, sign up for a class, volunteer, throw a party.


5. Feed Your Brain

A balanced diet with lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy and lean protein, is good for a wide range of things, including heart health and lowering your risk of developing diabetes.

What’s more, according to The Menopause Book, written by Pat Wingert and Barbara Kantrowitz, is that a healthy diet is believed to reduce your risk of dementia.


6. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Estrogen and progesterone in the form of medications may help women better manage brain fog and fatigue. However, HRT has been linked to many health problems. Studies have not been able to definitively determine that HRT helps improve cognitive function in menopausal women. It is important that you talk with your doctor about your particular symptoms as well as HRT’s individual risks and benefits before using this treatment.

Note: Using HRT is not suggested solely for memory loss but if you start using them for relief of severe menopausal hot flashes, you may also see a memory improvement.


Share your thoughts in the comment box below. We would love to hear them.  We are always open to learning new thoughts along with information and are always here to answer your questions.

Until Next Time Stay Active, Stay Positive, and Embrace Your Beauty

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