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Clearing the Air on Menopause Brain Fog

by Holly Osterman on April 27, 2012

If you ever wondered if menopause brain fog was a real symptom, a recent study led by Miriam Weber, a neuropsychologist from the Rochester Medical Center in New York, may put your mind at ease. Her findings add some validity to the complaints of many women in menopause who have issues with memory. While it’s still unclear as to exactly why this happens to women during their menopause transition, the medical community is paying attention. And you’re not alone.

The women in the study were asked about their menopause symptoms, including hot flashes, anxiety, sleep disturbances and depression. Two of the common complaints about memory were related to the ability to think on the fly and the difficulty in completing tasks that required close attention. No surprise there. How many of us have wandered aimlessly around the house or office wondering what we meant to do next? Frustrating, but not hopeless.

In our menopause forum, many women open up on a lot of different symptoms. But lately, there’s been a lot of chat specifically about menopause brain fog. Signs range from forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating to confusion and even mild depression. Your attention span may wander a bit or it takes a lot more effort to focus on the simple things. And it can strike at any time or in any place. One member struggles at work, where she’s productive, but doesn’t feel like she’s really there.

Okay, so now you know that menopause brain fog is more than just another sign that you’re getting older—and that other women can relate—but what can you do about it? Well, unfortunately, there’s no magic cure. But there are a few things you can do to stay focused and clear your head.

Get plenty of sleep. You can’t expect to function well mentally if you’re exhausted physically. Eight to ten hours may seem impossible in your busy lifestyle, but there’s a good chance you’re just not getting enough sleep.

Drink lots of water. Staying properly hydrated is important for brain function and also helps the body rid itself of toxins.

Mind your diet. Poor dietary habits may be one of the culprits behind your memory lapses. A balanced diet should include plenty of protein, leafy greens, and Omega 3 fatty acids. And remember that all carbohydrates are not created equal. The right carbs can help keep your blood sugar stable and potentially clear the brain fog.

Exercise regularly. It may be hard to find the time in your busy schedule, but aerobic exercise can help get your blood flowing and carry oxygen and glucose to your brain. Get in at least 30 minutes a day.

And while you’re trying to eat healthy and get some exercise, be kind to yourself. You may not feel like you did when you were twenty, but who does? You want to feel your best at whatever age you are now.

So get to it before you forget why you were reading this blog in the first place.

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