Brain fog is a common symptom associated with menopause – and many women struggle with remembering everyday things like where they put their keys or why they walked into a room.
In fact, approximately 83% of women in perimenopause and menopause have some kind of cognitive dysfunction.
Menopause-related cognitive impairment is due to a decrease in estrogen production. Estrogen is crucial to brain function and affects the hippocampus and regions of the brain that are responsible for learning and memory. When estrogen decreases, there is a drop in synapse formation. These synapses act as bridges that allow neurons and chemical signals to travel to and from the brain.
There are ways to combat brain fog, but it is helpful to know what triggers brain fog when going through menopause.
5 Causes of Brain Fog
1. Lack of Sleep
Sleeplessness is often associated with menopause because of hot flashes. During menopause, women also develop sleep disorders like sleep apnea, caused by a loss of estrogen and progesterone. Loss of sleep can also be a result of depression and mood swings.
2. Hormone Changes
Estrogen and progesterone levels can affect memory and short-term cognitive dysfunction. The drop in estrogen causes depression affecting brain fog. Symptoms are often associated with transitional levels of estrogen who are tied to natural declines in brain function.
What you eat plays a large role in your brain activity and overall health, that’s no secret. Eating foods that are high in fat and cholesterol are bad for the brain and heart. A diet, such as the Mediterraneaan diet, that is high in Omega-3 and unsaturated fats is proven to help with brain health and function. Eating nuts and seeds, fish, eggs, kale, broccoli, and whole grain helps promote memory and brain health.
4. Pre-Existing Conditions
Pre-existing health conditions can worsen brain fog. If you suffer from multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia, brain fog is a common symptom. Menopause can also increase the probability of depression and anxiety, which even if they are pre-existing conditions, worsen during this time.
Dehydration is often a result of perimenopause and menopause because of hot flashes and excess sweating. Symptoms of dehydration are brain fog, depression, and loss of cognitive function.