Most of us suffer from the odd memory lapse, especially when we have a busy home and work life, however, many women suffer ‘brain fog’, short term memory loss which can leave you feeling scared and frustrated.
I have always been known for my photographic memory but since having my hysterectomy and being launched into the menopause head first at the early age of 42, I have found gradually, over the last year and a half, my short term memory has been appalling (I can see my close friends and relatives smirking at this admission). It is however very scary when you literally have a blank as to what program you may be watching when the first adverts come on, or forget if you have taken medication, or even forgetting what your talking about mid conversation! well it is true, there is such a condition called ‘Menopausal infographic’ – Brain fog!
Menopausal memory loss is caused by the fluctuation of hormones during the menopause which affect cognitive function, so even a simple task can seem confusing like adding up sums or remembering addresses. This memory loss is very common in peri-menopausal or menopausal women.
If any woman going through this change in her life, feels short term memory loss has been affected please don’t worry, it is frightening but there are many things you can do to improve it.
Exercise: increasing oxygen will also have an effect on neurotransmitters in the brain raising serotonin, ATP and dopamine levels as well as hormone levels.
Meditation: this helps switch the body from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasymapthetic system, calming and relaxing the mind helps level hormones and brain chemicals. Just make some time through the day to sit still and quite and be mindful.
Avoiding stress: this may seem an impossible task but dealing with what you are able to deal with not what you feel you should deal with can filter out what is important. Remember if it’s not your circus they are not your monkeys! Stress will use resources in the brain that is needed to ‘encode’ new information causing memory loss.
Brain training: We all have a smart device of some sort be it phone or tablet, there are many apps that offer puzzles that will whip the grey matter into shape. Daily mental exercise helps re-balance and rewire the brain, it helps to focus and boosts brain power!
Diet: You are what you eat..right? indeed you are, what you fuel your body with directly impacts your brain function. Your brain is energy hungry at all times. The obvious things like avoiding trans-fats and refined sugars are beneficial but look to foods rich in antioxidants, complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids like omega 3 & 6. B vitamins are beneficial for brain function as are vitamin C (chelated if poss). Make sure you take your time while eating also, don’t rush, be mindful. Eating exogenous enzymes (like raw broccoli or cauliflower) while cooking will boost antioxidant and crucial vitamin intake as well as ones own endogenous enzymes.
Hydration: dehydration, as we all know will cause a headache, think of the rotten hangover! Mental ability and focus will be affected as well as fatigue causing confusion and memory loss. The brain is approx 78% water the rest is lipids, salts, proteins etc. Keeping hydrating is essential for healthy brain function. Not only drinking water but eating foods high in water is also important. I have written blogs on the importance of hydration and always champion the Hydration Duo. These three products are an amazing addition to hydrate the whole body including fascia, skin and vital organs.
Personally since having this problem I have made an effort to walk for an hour every day, increased in seeds, B vitamins, I drink coconut milk everyday avoid electrical devices an hour before bed as well as all of the above. I also swear by a hoemeopathic combination from Energetix called ‘Endocrinepath’ containing well-known adaptogenic herbs, including licorice root, gingko biloba, and gotu kola.
I have found a great improvement, I wanted to write this post as it is so easy to brush this aside and make light of it but as mentioned it can take you by surprise and be frightening.
If you are at all worried consult with your GP but just doing simple changes like the above listed will improve brain fog, I can vouch for it!