Control Menopause Brain Fog Using These 5 Methods

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Menopause provides an unpleasant turn of events in women. During this stage, women's sex hormones drop dramatically, causing a tailspin in their physical, mental and emotional well-being. While symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep problems and mood swings were well-documented, confusion and skepticism cloud our understanding on brain fog.

Brain fog, formally known as cognitive dysfunction, refers to the state when the mind feels tired and overwhelmed. While many people consider this cognitive problem as a part of old age, experts debate whether it is just a side effect of sleep problems of menopausal women. Only recently did a study confirm that it is an independent health condition linked with menopause.

Brain fog or something else?

But still the debate remains as to what causes brain fog. Scientists associate it with the following health problems: ADHD, alcohol, anxiety, brain injuries or brain damage, brain tumors, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, among others.

Many doctors believe hormone imbalance is the main reason behind cognitive dysfunction. Experts are still clueless on the capacity of menopause to affect cognition. Two recent studies link hormone problems to losing mental powers during menopause. The ovaries drop its production of estrogen, the hormone crucial to thinking and remembering.

Symptoms

According to an estimate, about two-thirds of women during menopause experience brain fog with the following symptoms:

    Memory lapses - sufferers find it hard remembering things, events, names, or details
    Confusion - feeling of mental fuzziness and cloudiness
    Shortened attention span - difficulty in concentrating and focusing on details
    Mental fatigue - decrease in alertness
    Emotionally distanced - feeling that she is not as caring as the usual

Lifting the fog

Specialists believe brain fog only persists during the menopausal period. They said that menopausal women will regain their intellectual abilities to the usual after the menopause transition. During the menopause stage, experts advise women to be proactive in handling cognitive dysfunction. They recommend constant monitoring of the onset of symptoms as well as doing the practical ways to help women control lapses in mental activities during menopause:

Eat smart - Energy levels are mostly dependent on a well-planned balanced diet. Nutritionists advise women to eat real food and avoid processed food, those stored in cans, packages or boxes. During the brain fog stage, the brain needs the essential macronutrients, including proteins, for the healthy production of neurotransmitters, complex carbohydrates for regulated brain glucose levels, as well as healthy fats. Women are also advised to avoid alcohol, caffeine and hot or spicy foods that may lead to hot flashes, which can contribute to fatigue.

Also, be cautious about when to eat. Skipping meals will upset a woman's metabolism and leave her mind fuzzy, so does eating too much in a meal.

Make exercise a habit - Exercise is vital to maintaining a quick and sharp mind. According to a 2003 review of 43 studies, a single session of moderate aerobic exercise boosted a person's capability to plan and execute tasks quickly and efficiently for a while. Another analysis that combined the results of 18 studies revealed that regular exercise is mostly beneficial to older adults. The paper reported that regular exercise produced more long-term improvements in executive function for them.

Manage stress - Chronic stress brings out the worse in our health. It elevates hormone levels, such as cortisol, that may result in chronic brain and body inflammation. Chronic stress can also lead to glucose imbalances, kill brain cells, increase fatigue, and trigger depression. Stress management practices such as meditation, tai chi, and yoga, will limit the release of cortisol.

Get ample and quality sleep - Just as a computer needs to be restarted after heavy use, our brains need regular quality sleep to refresh. You should keep a sleep schedule when to wake up and go to bed at the same time each day. Ample amount of sleep -- seven to nine hours -- is instrumental in keeping your memory sharp. To sleep soundly, you should avoid eating too much, drinking alcohol, smoking, or exercising an hour before bedtime. Also, prepare a sleeping environment by creating a dark, silent, and cool room.

As hormone imbalance causes menopausal brain fog, hormone treatments -- such as bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) -- are helpful. Aside from minimizing cognitive dysfunction, BHRT can also bring back your youthful glory.

While brain fog is a relatively temporary event, it pays to ready yourself for it to avoid wasted opportunities.Tony Chester Miller 

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