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5 Ways to Manage Menopausal Brain Fog

Jun 13, 2023
5 Ways to Manage Menopausal Brain Fog
Menopause can feel liberating for women, but a range of uncomfortable symptoms accompany it, from night sweats to weight gain. Another is brain fog, which encompasses problems with focusing, memory, and more. Learn how to treat it here.

When you think about menopause symptoms, thoughts of dreaded hot flashes and unwanted weight gain often spring to mind, but there are other symptoms you may not hear about. For example, a lesser-known yet very common side effect of menstruation cessation is an unsettling shift in memory and focus.

The caring team at Southdale OBGYN helps women with the full range of menopause symptoms to travel through this transition more smoothly and comfortably. We tailor treatments to your specific needs. Rest assured; we can help with what we refer to as menopausal brain fog.

What is menopausal brain fog?

It may surprise you to learn a survey revealed that 60% of perimenopausal (the 4-8-year period that precedes menopause) women complain of brain fog, and their diverse symptoms include:

  • Memory issues
  • Trouble focusing
  • Shortened attention span
  • Cognitive challenges
  • Working memory challenges (retaining information while staying focused)

These symptoms manifest in many ways. You might notice that you’ve forgotten someone’s name while making an introduction, you’re unable to recap the latest Netflix series you’re binging, or you’ve stopped following a conversation you’re engaged in.

These changes negatively affect how you manage your work, home, and relationships. When your cognitive abilities slip, you have less control over your life.

Sometimes other menopausal symptoms contribute to the brain fog. For example, insomnia and other sleep issues that affect many menopausal women can exacerbate memory and other problems. 

We now know that in addition to impacting your reproductive life, estrogen and other hormones are also responsible for some brain changes during menopause. 

How to win when you’re battling menopausal brain fog

There’s good news about menopausal brain fog: The symptoms do end, but in the meantime, you can do things to mitigate this annoying symptom. Here are our top five tips:

1. Aim for healthy lifestyle habits

We’re talking about what you eat and making sure you move your body daily. Following a Mediterranean, omega-3-rich diet is good — think plenty of fruits and veggies, olive oil, fish, and whole grains.

Getting daily exercise is essential for your body and brain. Research has even shown that exercising moderately (walking, biking, water aerobics) for three days per week expands the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory. 

2. Tame stress

We all live with stress, but engaging in practices like meditation and yoga can calm you, which in turn helps you process information better and enjoy better memory.

3. Get enough high-quality rest

Resist the urge to burn the candle at both ends. Try to retire at the same time each night and power down the screens a couple of hours before bedtime. Rituals like reading or enjoying a cup of decaffeinated tea can also help with sound sleep.

4. Keep your brain challenged

Just like exercise keeps your muscles toned, learning a new skill, adopting a new hobby, and doing that Wordle puzzle daily help your brain. So does staying socially engaged, so join a new club or make plans to grab coffee with a friend.

5. Enlist the help of your OBGYN to get your brain fog under control

We’re here to help you with all your menopausal symptoms, including trouble concentrating and other brain fog issues. 

We offer traditional hormone replacement therapy (HRT), bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT), which employs artificial hormones identical to the ones your body manufactures, and low-dose birth control pills, depending on your particular symptoms and needs. 

If you’re considering using natural supplements or phytoestrogens to address menopause symptoms, please tell your Southdale provider. We can counsel you on product safety and potential interactions with other treatments. 

No matter which menopause symptoms you’re dealing with, we urge you to attend our complimentary Perimenopause Workshop. Our women’s health nurse practitioner, functional medicine, and holistic health practitioner, Krista Berghoft Margolis, leads it, walking you through what to expect during perimenopause and how to address uncomfortable symptoms.

She also welcomes patients to her Mondays: Let’s Talk Menopause sessions. Both of these opportunities give you practical advice, and you meet other women going through the same experience — it’s validating to know you’re far from alone!

Contact our Edina or Burnsville office to schedule an appointment with us, or book one online. We’re here to help.