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5 Natural Ways You Can Overcome Menopausal Brain Fog

May 18, 2018

How has your memory been lately?

Have you been forgetting words mid-sentence? Or going into a room and then not having a clue what you’ve gone in for? Or even losing silly things like your car keys or your purse, despite usually being so careful about this kind of thing?

Names slip through your fingers, dates vanish into thin air and sometimes you wonder what has happened to your brain.

If this sounds familiar, I want you to stop worrying. Because you’re probably concerned that you’re either going insane or suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s. Many women do!

So let me reassure you - this group of symptoms is known as ‘brain fog’ and most women suffer from it at some point or other during the peri-menopause and menopause. Like many other menopause symptoms, it won’t be permanent (yay!) and you can definitely do something right now to feel better and get your brain power back.

Let me explain a little bit more about what causes this menopausal brain fog, then share with you five effective tricks that will have you feeling calm, focused and feeling like a capable human being again.

What causes menopausal brain fog?

Whilst brain fog can strike at any point during your life, the problem tends to get worse once you reach the peri-menopause and menopause.

This happens because of declining levels of one of your main sex hormones, oestrogen.

Oestrogen plays many roles within our bodies, one of which is helping those chemical messengers in your brain, also known as neurotransmitters work effectively.

When your oestrogen levels decline as they do during the menopausal years, information can’t travel through your brain as effectively as it used to. This is why you’re less able to assimilate and manipulate new information, like where you left those darn car keys!

As all the hormones in our body work together, you’re also likely to see changes in other important hormones, such as serotonin, dopamine and cortisol. These hormones are associated with your mood, your happiness, your body’s natural cycles and also your stress levels.

Of course this has a knock-on effect on many areas of your life too and you’ll be even less able to think straight or sleep well, and you’re likely to feel quite out of sorts and even stressed.

But of course, these aren’t the only potential causes of menopausal brain fog and memory problems. Everyone can suffer with brain fog, especially if they are suffering with PMT, they’re pregnant, sleep deprived or they have certain health problems.

There are also several other factors which can make matters worse, including how much stress you’re under, your diet, your sleep habits, your gut health, any inflammation present within your body, your mood and so on.

What can we do about menopausal brain fog?

Here are five natural ways you can overcome your brain fog and start feeling normal again.

1. Reduce your stress levels

The first step you need to take towards overcoming your menopausal brain fog is to tackle your stress.

Most of us are under some degree of stress, whether because of a busy lifestyle, life commitments, your career, ageing parents, children at university or even these new worries about what it means to be going through the menopause.

On a physical level, stress increases the levels of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is a stress-hormone which was useful when we were ancient humans who needed to run away from predators on a regular basis.

In modern times of over-stimulation, it has a largely negative effect on your body and will disrupt your hormone balance. As a result, cortisol can worsen your hot flushes, pile on the weight about your tummy, make your insomnia even worse and stop you thinking straight.

If you haven’t already, I’d highly recommend you download my free relaxation recording (click the link) and make it your priority to listen to it daily, if possible.

Also try to find at least a few minutes of quiet time everyday when you can disconnect from the chaos and relax. This might mean sitting with a good book and a cuppa, taking a nice warm bath or even practicing gentle yoga, meditation or self-hypnosis.

2. Get more exercise

It’s easy to believe that during the menopause, you need to wrap yourself in cotton wool. But nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, you do need to give yourself some TLC from time to time, but you also need to stimulate your body in the right way so it can find its own balance and return to full health. This includes making exercise part of your daily routine.

Exercise will bring all kinds of benefits to your life. It will give your circulation a well-deserved boost and help blood flood your brain. It will lift your mood, help you shift any unwanted menopausal belly fat, and help settle several other menopausal symptoms. You’ll also find that you start sleeping better at night, so feel more rested and able to think more clearly during the day.

3. Sleep more

Speaking of sleep, if you want to overcome your menopausal brain fog and boost your memory, you should also do your best to get a great night’s sleep. Because if you’re feeling tired and grouchy, there’s no way you’ll be able to think straight or remember everything. Sleep deprivation has a huge impact upon your ability to focus, learn, and to remember.

I suggest that you try to get to bed as early as you can (before 10pm is ideal) and aim to get at least eight hours per night. If you struggle with insomnia, night waking or you wake early in the morning, it’s worth considering cleaning up your sleep habits.

Great ways to do this include keeping electronics out of the bedroom, avoiding stimulants like tea and coffee, making your bedroom a sleep haven by eliminating light pollution and noise and, again working to tackle your stress.

If this still doesn’t seem to make much of a difference, I’d recommend you read my blog post, ‘You’ve Done Everything to Heal Your Sleep But Nothing is Working. What’s Next?'. 

4. Give your gut some TLC

When you think about menopausal brain fog, you probably don’t give a second thought to what your gut is doing. But scientists are increasingly discovering that what goes on in your gut has quite an impact upon what’s going on in your brain too.

If you’ve ever taken antibiotics or the pill, you’ve been under stress, you’ve eaten a largely processed diet or you like the occasional sweet treat, it’s quite likely that your gut health isn’t what it should be and needs some urgent attention.

You see, what’s happening with the balance of bacteria in your gut also has a massive impact upon your overall hormonal health, your energy levels, your menopausal symptoms and your ability to think straight.

But the good news is that poor gut health is usually quite straightforward to treat. Start by paying close attention to your diet. Reduce the amount of refined carbs and sugars you’re consuming and avoid processed foods and refined vegetables oils like sunflower oil, canola oil and soybean oil.

Instead, switch to eating as many green leafy veggies as you can and start eating more garlic, onion and fermented foods. Also boost your healthy protein intake, aim for organic as much as possible and also consider taking apple cider vinegar with the ‘mother’.

5. Drink more water

Did you know that your brain is approximately 73% water? Or that even a 1% drop in the amount of water in your body will leave you feeling tired, fed up and unable to think straight?

Even when you can remember where you left your keys, your brain will have to work significantly harder if it’s dehydrated.

So become more mindful of your fluid intake. Aim for 2 litres of water per day (tea, coffee or fizzy drinks don’t count and they’re terrible for your hormones) If you can’t face plain water, drop a slice of fresh lemon into a glass or try one of the many refreshing herb or fruit teas out there. It might not sound like much, but it will make a big difference to how you’re feeling and help you overcome your brain fog.

 

I hope these tip will really help you start breaking through that menopausal brain fog and feeling like yourself again. Give yourself a little extra TLC- clean up your diet, get more sleep, look after your gut, drink more water and get some exercise and you’ll soon start feeling like your old self again.

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