Brain Fog in Women
If you find yourself confused at times, and the words you are hearing are getting jumbled in your mind, you may be experiencing brain fog. Read this article to know a little more about it and see how you can best deal with this condition.
Have you ever experienced having difficulty answering simple questions like: “Where do you want to eat?” You know you’ve heard each word clearly but somehow, you can’t understand what they mean. It takes you more than a few seconds to answer. Why is this so? Is there something wrong with my brain? Well not exactly. What you just experienced is called brain fog.
What is Brain Fog?
It is not a medically recognized condition but, it perfectly describes the feeling of forgetfulness, confusion, lack of focus and lack of mental clarity. It is really as if a fog has settled in your brain, making it very hard to understand and process the information it just received. The worst thing that can happen is when a you’ll have an episode of foggy brain at work and it messes up your productivity.
What Causes Brain Fog?
There seems to be quite a few factors that trigger the condition. Brain fog in women can be caused by menopause. Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center published a study in the “Journal Menopause” that confirms what has long been a common complaint of women going through menopause – memory lapses.
According to researcher Miriam Weber, PhD, one of the neuropsychologists at the university, “If a woman approaching menopause feels she is having memory problems, no one should brush it off or attribute it to a jam-packed schedule.”
In one website, “The Perimenopause Blog”, Magnolia Miller, a certified healthcare consumer advocate in Women’s Health identified the causes of menopause brain fog as thyroid dysfunction, hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, unbalanced hormones, stress, insomnia, and any combination of the mentioned conditions.
Brain fog in women is not confined to the premenopausal stage as it can also be experienced during their child bearing years. In fact, brain fog is often called baby brain because a woman experiences it as she carries, delivers and takes care of her baby after delivery. Some say that this is because of all the “googoos” and “gaagaas” mothers are doing with their babies but it’s really all about something else.
Experts believe that it’s the combination of the stress of the recent child birth, the sleepless nights that follow right after, and the frequent sleep interruptions for diaper changes that’s causing both mental and physical fatigue.
Chandler Marrs, PhD confirms that pregnant and postpartum women tend to exhibit detectable cognitive deficits across multiple domains and that these memory problems were linked to both the excessively high hormones of late pregnancy, the low hormones following delivery and the large changes in hormone concentration from pregnancy to postpartum.
According to Jens Pruessner, director at the McGill Centre for Studies in Aging, brain fog on women during late pregnancy and childbirth is cause by the excess of “steroid hormones” such as cortisol which is necessary for fetal development but causes some negative effects on cognitive ability.
He says; “Cortisol is our major stress hormone, so it provides you with energy to cope with any increase in demand or any threat at hand, which is a good thing but, at the same time, it shuts down the areas in your brain that would allow you to think more clearly.”
How Should You Deal with Brain Fog?
The first thing you have to do is to relax and don’t get stressed about it because according to the experts, brain fog is normal and you should expect it during late pregnancy, post-partum, premenopausal and menopausal stages of your life.
Read up as much about it as you can. There are many informative websites discussing brain issues and finding recounts you can relate to will support you and help you find a similar solution.
To minimize its effect you can do the following:
- Make sure to get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep and take advantage of its rejuvenating benefits to help reduce your brain fatigue during the day.
- Increase your intake of antioxidants to rid your system of free radicals that can contribute to the condition.
- Quit smoking and avoid alcohol as these vices increase the number of free radicals being produced in the body which can help cause mental confusion and poor brain health.
- Eat foods that are rich in Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, magnesium and Complex B vitamins as these vitamins and minerals can help reduce brain fatigue.
- Reduce your stress levels with exercise, meditation and other calming activities to help alleviate the condition of brain fog.
Are Brain Supplements Effective?
In some cases people suffering from brain fog turn to supplements to help improve focus and concentration. As with all medication, natural or not, it is important to do your research and find out as much as possible about a product and how it will work for you. Some brain supplements and nootropics have been recommended by those suffering from brain fog and have been found to help improve mental clarity. Make sure you read a variety of product reviews and information. There are many good sites around offering great advice on brain supplements and tips for helping brain fog.
Whenever brain fog hits you, always remember that it’s normal and only temporary. The worst that you can do is to stress about it. Tell your loved ones exactly what you are feeling as this will help you get over this temporary confusion with the least discomfort and embarrassment.