How To Combat Menopausal Brain Fog?

May 14, 2013 3 min read

We were not surprised when we read new report saying that  menopausal brain fog is real!  It's great that the world of science is catching up with this annoying reality after years of telling women patients that it is all in your head....no pun intended. The good news is that there are many natural ways to improve the  brain fog that's interfering with your working memory. Brain Fog Brain Fog Working memory is your brains place to store info that you'll need within the next few minutes. A weak working memory lets important info just slip away...making simple math problems difficult (How much is left in the account after I write a check),  focusing while in a business meeting (What did he just say?), and much, much more. ( We already know that hormonal shifts at menopause can cause night sweats and hot flashes, but now we know that fluctuating hormones can also  throw   off your working memory. The reason: There are loads of estrogen receptors in areas of the brain (like the frontal lobe) that control working memory. When there is less estrogen to turn these receptors on, memory degrades until the receptors adjust. With the fluctuations of menopause, the receptors often cannot adjust fast enough, and you forget your dentist appointment. Up to two-thirds of women report forgetfulness and other mental hiccups at this time. Things often improve once the wild hormone swings stop, but plenty of other factors like sleep, diet and how often you exercise can help or hurt this important brain function, too. What is a woman to do? Here are a few ideas to help get your mental groove back

Hormone therapy. Talk to your doctor about hormone replacement therapy to see if it is right for you. Some women prefer a more natural approach, but HRT can help clear up many menopausal symptoms.  These next tips can benefit anyone's working memory whether you're menopausal  in the middle of hot flashes or not.

Exercise Everyday:  Strength training is great for keeping in shape,  but for working-memory brain benefits you need to do more cardio. Fast walking is enough to boost volume and activity in brain areas associated with a super-efficient working memory. The more help you need with working memory, the more exercise seems to help. Three specific ways a stroll boosts working memory: Exercise increases the number of connections between brain cells, makes the connections stronger and improves blood flow in these brain regions.Try spin classes, boot camp, hiking, biking or dancing....all terrific for brain fog elimination.  

Take Omega 3's. : These good fats are super brain food and help working memory work better. They help kids with ADHD as well as adult brains replenish and regrow new cells , it makes sense that you need plenty of these fats. The good omega-3 fatty acid, called DHA, is an important building block of brain cell membranes, the place where signals move from cell to cell. Have fatty fish three times a week, or get 900 milligrams of DHA a day from algal oil or fish oil capsules. We do.  

Sleep Deeply and Get Enough:Menopause can wreak havoc on a good night's sleep.  Not getting enough  sleep erodes your  working memory making it difficult to concentrate and focus on anything.. Go to bed earlier, turn off electronics an hour before bed and adopt a calming bedtime routine (a couple of stretches, a warm shower, some light reading or a snuggle, then lights out.)Be sure to wear your menopause pajamas AKA moisture wicking sleepwear to help keep your cool, dry and temperature regulated while sleeping.