Menopause & perimenopause
Fuzzy thinking in menopause — 5 Ways to get your brain back
Forgetfulness, memory problems, and brain fog can be scary for women entering menopause.
What important thing will you forget today? We all worry about the big stuff, like
Alzheimer’s, dementia, and ADHD. But the truth is fuzzy thinking in menopause and
perimenopause is extremely common, and more often than not this alarming symptom
is not connected to a larger diagnosis.
Estrogen levels are integral to your brain function, and as this hormone jumps up
and down during perimenopause and menopause, your mental clarity, memory and thinking
can suffer. Scientists have also recently learned that progesterone, another hormone
that fluctuates in menopause, may protect the brain against free radical damage
and promote the repair of damaged nerve cells.
Though it may seem like taking prescription estrogen and progesterone is the answer,
taking prescription hormones likely won’t help your brain function, according to
the results of the Women’s Health Initiative Study. So what should you do to protect
and boost brain function during menopause? Science shows that there are several
key steps to take — on your own at home — to clear your brain fog and memory problems
1. Balance your hormones without a prescription.
The fluctuation of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone during this time of hormonal
instability can lead to all kinds of symptoms like brain fog and memory issues.
But herbs like black cohosh, red clover and kudzu can minimize the shock of plunging
estrogen levels by helping your body make more of its own hormones or by binding
to empty estrogen receptors. Passionflower and chasteberry are believed to mimic
the actions of progesterone, soothing anxiety, irritability and insomnia. Find an
herbal menopause combination with these ingredients in the proper amounts or try
Recommended products for fuzzy thinking
See our SHOP for more ideas.
2. Be real about stress. This is the time in life
when all the stress we’ve been carrying for years comes to the surface — sometimes
like a volcano erupting in the form of angry outbursts, health problems, insomnia
and more. Cortisol is the stress hormone that gives us the energy to plow through
stressful situations, but over the long-term cortisol can influence cellular changes
in the part of your brain that manages attention, short-term memory, word-finding,
and learning. If your thinking is fuzzy, take this as a warning sign from your body
that it’s time to slow down. Whatever that may mean for you in your life, it usually
involves finding ways to unplug, connect with those you love, restore and have fun.
3. Boost brain-healthy nutrients. B-vitamins like
B1, B2, B6, and folic acid are essential to our ability to reason, verbalize and
remember. That’s why you feel more alert after you take them. Research is also showing
us that antioxidants (like vitamin E) and omega-3 fatty acids are protective for
the brain. In people with ADHD, blood levels of omega-3’s are much lower than normal.
Omega-3’s are thought to reduce inflammation in the brain and decrease plaque production
along nerve endings. Many studies show behavioral and cognitive improvement with
supplemental omega-3’s and vitamin E. Find a high-quality multivitamin and omega-3
supplement or check out ours, formulated especially for women.
4. Sleep! We can’t say enough about the benefits
of sleep for clearer thinking. Getting a good night’s sleep on a day-to-day basis
is one of the best ways to stay sharp, youthful and healthy. Anxiety and night sweats
are common symptoms that keep women awake during the menopause transition. Yet,
if you can support your hormones with herbs, these symptoms often resolve allowing
you to get the rest you need. Some of the best herbs for sleep are passionflower,
chamomile, and valerian. We developed our Serinisol with passionflower and phosphatidylserine,
an important natural chemical that can protect brain cells against the harmful effects
of cortisol and promote healthy communication between the brain and adrenal glands
(our stress responders).
5. Investigate food sensitivities. Here’s one that
most women don’t think of when it comes to fuzzy thinking or brain fog. But food
sensitivities can definitely create mental challenges — even if you don’t notice
any digestive symptoms at all. One of the biggest culprits is gluten. We recommend
removing gluten from your diet for two weeks and seeing how you feel. The other
common food offenders include: diary, soy, eggs, peanuts, corn and citrus fruits.
We developed an elimination diet
with supplement support to reset your digestion and clear your mind and body.
Don’t let fuzzy thinking scare you — do something about it instead. Brain chemistry
is not a fixed state and will react for better or worse to the way we treat ourselves
and our bodies. Though you should always check in with your doctor if you have
major concerns, there are many contributing factors to mental fogginess in menopause
and chances are good that you can clear the cobwebs and get back to your life. We
offer a Hormonal Health Package
that includes our Herbal Equilibrium, women’s multivitamin, omega-3’s and suggested
dietary changes. In addition, you have full phone support from our Wellness Coaches
located right here in Maine. If the Package isn’t right for you, we offer individual
products in our SHOP as well. Take care of your brain and your body today — you’ve
got a long life ahead of you!
Last Modified Date: 08/13/2013