How to Get Rid of Brain Fog

September 07, 2020.

Brain fog is a common, albeit disconcerting, symptom women experience during menopause. Regrettably, brain fog is not talked about, especially in relation to menopause, so most women muddle through the fog without really understanding what is going on. If you are struggling with brain fog in menopause, here are some tips on how to get rid of brain fog.

Let’s talk about brain fog for a minute.

People can experience brain fog at various points in their life. For example, people can have brain fog in times of high stress, illness, after childbirth, and hormonal imbalance. Not surprisingly, menopause is a time where your reproductive hormones are greatly fluctuating.  And, let’s not forget how menopause can be a stressful time as many women often feel unwell during this time and life stressors tend to add up. 

Here are some symptoms of brain fog:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Troubling recalling things
  • Concerns about memory
  • Having a hard time focusing
  • Lacking mental clarity
  • Feeling hungover

Brain fog gets its name because people tend to feel like they are viewing their life through foggy lenses – like they feel removed from actual life and are viewing if through clouds. Sometimes, people describe it as thinking or seeing through mud. 

Is it something more than just brain fog? 

Generally, if you are just not feeling very sharp during menopause, you may be struggling with brain fog. With that being said, it is important not to dismiss your symptoms, especially if they are impacting your quality of life. Women sometimes feel they struggle with early cognitive decline, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. The likelihood of this is very low unless you have a family history of early-onset Alzheimer’s or you have other conditions that may cause cognitive decline. Thus, while brain fog is normal, it is important to talk to your doctor about this symptom if you are struggling with daily tasks. 

Can anxiety cause brain fog?

Brain fog anxiety is another unpleasant manifestation of brain fog and even menopause. Women in menopause are at a higher risk of struggling with anxiety. Not surprisingly, women can feel anxious about their brain fog symptoms. Whether you are worried about your ability to think critically, remember your co-worker’s name, or feel removed from your life, brain fog can cause anxiety. Indeed, the two often perpetuate one another, making for a perfect storm of unease. Make sure to clue your doctor in on your brain fog anxiety as there are medical and therapeutic ways to ease anxiety.

How To Get Rid Of Brain Fog

If you are curious about how to get rid of brain fog, try incorporating these strategies into your daily life.

Stay Social – As much as we would like to retreat when we cannot formulate words, think clearly, or remember people’s names, staying social is vital. Indeed, seeing friends and family regularly helps you remain sharp even when your head is feeling particularly dull.  

Be Active – Exercising every day, whether it is a walk around the block, hike, or spin class, is a surefire way to lift the fog in your head. Exercise not only releases feel-good neurotransmitters, but it also brings more oxygen to your brain. And speaking of exercise, don’t forget to work out your brain by giving yourself foreign tasks. For example, try to learn a few new phrases in a new language each day or do a crossword puzzle. 

Get CreativeResearch in neuroscience shows that getting creative releases neurotransmitters and creates neuropathic ways that improve cognition and boost your mood. Creativity can extend beyond paintbrushes and clay, so if you don’t aren’t feeling particularly crafty or artistic there are numerous ways to get creative. Start by letting your mind wander and be bored. It is amazing what your brain will do as you sit and ponder life. 

Limit Toxins – Alcohol, caffeine, and smoking can worsen brain fog. Try to limit alcohol and caffeine and stop smoking to help your head feel clearer. 

Eat for your body, not your emotions – When we are feeling low, we tend to crave foods that provide comfort. Regrettably, comfort foods rarely have wholesome, clean ingredients. A poor diet can worsen brain fog, so work to incorporate healthier ingredients into your diet.

Get consistent sleep – As we move through adulthood, we often assume we need less sleep. While this may be true for a small number of the population, women in menopause need more sleep as their bodies adjust to this new season. Yet, as most women in menopause will share, getting a good night’s rest is tough. Try to establish sleep habits that help reduce nighttime waking from hot flashes and anxiety. If you struggle with insomnia, consider sleep aids and talk to your doctor about other ways to improve your rest.

Unfortunately, brain fog is not talked about enough in public spaces. So, that is why we love to talk about it in the our free perry community app! Join other women and menopause experts to breakdown all your questions about the menopause journey. 

 

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, does not take the place of medical advice from your physician, and is not intended to treat or cure any disease. Patients should see a qualified medical provider for assessment and treatment.

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Julia Walker
perry expert Julia (RN, BSN, BA) is a registered nurse based in Colorado. Julia's nursing background in women’s health has ranged from neonatal and postpartum care to labor and delivery, to outpatient gynecological medicine for both adolescent and adult populations. She specializes in helping women optimize their health during perimenopause and beyond.

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