Prescription Therapies To Treat Menopausal Brain Fog
What is estriols role in potentially treating postmenopausal brain fog? Studies on the effect of hormone replacement therapy to improve the symptoms of postmenopausal brain fog are mixed. Overall, when estrogen replacement therapy was started in early menopause, benefits were noted . Whereas women who were started on estrogen replacement therapy after the age of 65 did not notice an improvement in cognition or memory. In fact, supplementing with estrogen well after menopause may even be detrimental to cognitive function . The type of estrogen hormone used, dosage, and whether it was combined with other hormones may be important when interpreting these studies.
Estriol is a female hormone excreted in the urine by pregnant women. Estriol is not approved for use by the FDA or Health Canada. It is available in the U.S. by prescription to be filled at a compounding pharmacy. Estriol has been approved and marketed throughout Europe and Asia for approximately 40 years to treat postmenopausal hot flashes.
The North American Menopause Society and The Endocrine Society suggest a shared decision-making approach to decide on the appropriate hormonal dose, route of administration, and to discuss each individuals risks, treatment goals, and duration of therapy.
Give Your Brain A Workout
Getting physical isnt just good for your body. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently reported that aerobic exercise and strength training may help keep your mind in shape, too. They reviewed data from 111 studies and found that exercise may trigger the growth of new nerve cells and blood vessels in the brain. Physical activity also increases the production of chemicals that promote the repair of existing brain cells and the growth of new ones.
What Are The Symptoms Of Fatigue
There are a number of possible mental and physical characteristics of fatigue, and these will be felt to a different degree by each sufferer. Some will experience extremely severe symptoms that have an adverse effect on everyday life, while others will feel symptoms more mildly and find they can still get on with things. A few symptoms are:
- Muscle pain
- Memory lapses
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Lifestyle Choices And Brain Fog
Lifestyle choices can help support memory function. The following may benefit memory function:
- Maintaining an extensive social network
- Remaining physically and mentally active
- Increasing omega-3 fatty acids in your diet
- Following a Mediterranean diet
- Consuming alcohol only in moderation
- Reducing your risk for high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, and high cholesterol
These lifestyle choices probably have their positive effect on memory function by supporting good overall health.
Does Hormone Therapy Help Menopause Brain Fog
If hormones are the likely culprit of menopause brain fog, you might think that hormone replacement therapy would be the answer.
Some time ago, it was believed that HRT would prevent mental decline after menopause, but that idea has fallen out of favor.
Interestingly, the use of the male hormone testosterone does show promise.
Women who used testosterone gel experienced significant improvement in learning and memory.
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Should You Worry About Menopause Brain Fog
Brain fog is a common physical symptom of the hormone transition of perimenopause and menopause. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to improve your memory and ability to think clearly – both now and into the future.
Wed suggest you do your best to stop worrying, take this new symptom of an important life change in stride, and get proactive about your brain health. With your sense of humor, support from your female friends, and some brain fog natural treatments, you can most likely minimize menopause brain fog and get your cognitive abilities back on track.
Why Menopause Brain Fog
When you enter , your body goes through a lot of changes that can easily affect your memory. We think changes are related to changing hormones during this timemostly loss of estrogen, says Miriam Weber, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Rochester. But, they may also be related to sleep disturbance, increases in depression and anxiety, and hot flashes.
In a study led by Weber and published in the journal Menopause, women experiencing menopause brain fog were also more likely to report symptoms of depression, anxiety, and trouble sleeping.
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Memory Loss Or ‘brain Fog’
Familiar faces whose name you can’t quite recall, and lost keys, glasses and phones you just put down memory lapses arent unusual for women going through menopause but boy, are they infuriating!
Forget Me Nots Patrice Rushens 1982 disco ditty, reminds us of the infuriating moments of menopausal memory loss!
The Best Ashwagandha Benefits For Menopausal Women
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure for more info.
Ashwagandha is excellent support for your menopause symptoms! It balances your body, calms your mind and keeps your body functioning in harmony.
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb for women. Its widely studied for its libido and fertility-boosting effects. Ashwagandha is a true wellness promoter that I love!
Relieve menopause discomforts, regain hormone balance, boost your energy and make your menopause journey more enjoyable by tapping into 6 of the best Ashwagandha benefits!
Mood swings, Anxiety and Depression. Ashwagandha balances your emotion-regulating hormones, like serotonin and dopamine. These hormones make you calmer, which helps us gain better control of our emotions. This aids mood swings, anxiety and depression during menopause.
Sleep troubles. Elevated cortisol, caused by stress, impedes sleep and causes serious sleep problems such as insomnia. When your cortisol is high, your body is always on alert mode, which explains your sleep troubles. Ashwagandha stimulates melatonin production, a hormone that aids in better sleep, as well as releasing calming hormones!
Sluggish metabolism. Your metabolism usually slows down during menopause. As a result, you tend to gain weight. Ashwagandha increases the conversion of T4 hormone into active T3 hormone, which is responsible for boosting metabolism.
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Natural Treatments For Brain Fog
Roll up your sleeves, because its about to get all science-y up in here. The best natural remedy for menopausal brain fog might be thinking. Learning. Using your brain in new ways helps it learn to learn again.
Research scientists Denise Park and Gérard Bischof define neuroplasticity as the brains ability to increase capacity in response to sustained experience. Because the human brain is plastic, its flexible enough to reorganize itself and form new neural connections. Our plastic might become a bit less malleable with age, but theres still plenty of opportunity to learn. And it gets easier.
Neuroplasticity typically comes up when the brain has suffered damage from, say, a stroke or accident. When part of the brain is damaged, the function it controls may be lost or impaired: the person may no longer be able to speak or they might lose the ability to walk. Neuroplasticity allows the brain to reroute the function to other, undamaged areas of the brain.
In fact, our brains are constantly reorganizing, like a computer defragmenting to make more space and increase efficiency. And we can take advantage of that fact, even when our brains arent damaged by anything more than age.
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This discord family is a safe place where we can all talk about and seek help for what is going on in our heads.
Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team
Perimenopause brain fog can be a real nuisance. If youre experiencing it, youre not alone.
In this blog post, well explore the causes, symptoms, and remedies for perimenopause fog.
Well also discuss the link between perimenopause and brain fog, how the transition affects your brain function, and dispel some of the myths that are out there.
So, if youre looking to learn more aboutperimenopause and brain fog, youve come to the right place!
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Why Is Brain Health Particularly Important For Women In Menopause
Hormonal brain fog is frustrating and annoying, and the impact on a womans self-confidence can have downstream effects on families and careers. Women are amazingly adept at dealing with the occasional inconveniences of our own reproductive systems shall we name the ways weve discreetly carried a tampon into the ladies? but the stress of feeling foggy plus the stigma attached to talking about menopause in the workplace can take their toll over time.
Further, women are more at risk than men of developing Alzheimers disease and dementia: women over 65 stand a 1-in-6 chance of developing Alzheimers for men, the risk is 1 in 11. Its possible that training our brains early, well before the brain is significantly impaired, allows for a later onset of the disease. Like any muscle, the earlier we start strengthening, the more benefit well see.
Balance Your Body With The Right Supplements
Finally, once we have taken care of our mind, body, sleep and diet we need to fine-tune our efforts to eliminate brain fog by getting the right supplements into our system.
If you want to effectively get rid of brain fog and other symptoms of menopause, you have to restore the balance in your body especially in your hormonal system. In my experience adrenal adaptogens can help you with that.
Adaptogens calm and nourish the adrenal glands, and support their function from blood sugar and immune system regulation to hormones and blood pressure. The list of supplementary adaptogens is quite long, but some of my favorites would be:
- Holy basil
But my all time favorite would be Maca.
This Peruvian super root has been proven to boost energy, improve fertility, enhance libido, relieve symptoms of PMS, hot flashes, menopause and much more.
Recommendation: Herbal supplements take time to take effect, so have patience with yourself , and trust that it is working its magic within your system. Add some Maca into your daily diet.
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Add More Healthy Fats
Maintaining a healthy diet is also hugely beneficial for cognition. The Mediterranean diet has been widely touted for its brain-protective properties, thanks to its inclusion of omega-3s and unsaturated fats. Empirical data reports that eating a mainly Mediterranean diet is linked to a slower rate of cognitive decline and a lower risk of cognitive impairment .To support your cognitive health, add more vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, grains, cereals, oily fish , and unsaturated fats , to your diet.
Natural Menopause Brain Fog Remedies
Knowing that your hormones will settle down eventually is comforting, but taking active measures can have you feeling like your usual self sooner than later.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
Every bite of food you take either nourishes your brain or adds to its burden.
While in menopause, its more important than ever to eat a healthy diet.
Because theres so much confusing information about diet, you may wonder what exactly a healthy diet means.
An excellent place to start is with these three words of advice.
Eat real food.
Real food is found in the outer aisles of the grocery store or at a farmers market.
Youll know it when you see it it has no need for an ingredient label and doesnt come in a can, package, or box.
Eating unprocessed food automatically reduces your intake of brain health thieves like sugar, white flour, food additives, and trans fats while ensuring that your brain gets the nutrients it needs to thrive.
Additionally, avoid eating a low-fat diet since progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and other sex hormones are synthesized from cholesterol.
2. Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of liquids.
Dehydration is surprisingly common among women in menopause since both estrogen and progesterone are important for fluid regulation.
The 8-glasses-per-day rule of thumb is a reasonable place to start, but this online hydration calculator will further refine how much water you should drink for your situation.
3. Lose the Belly Fat
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Can Hrt Help With Menopause Brain Fog
Where did I leave my keys? Whats their name again? I know I walked in here for a reason Brain fog is a common menopause symptom that can be frustrating for many women. It can cause issues remembering things, difficulty concentrating, and confusion. An estimated 60% of women experience brain fog during menopause. However, HRTmay be able to help reduce brain fog and help you feel more like yourself. Lets talk about why hormones might affect your brain.
The Debate Over Hormone Replacement Therapy
Concerns about using female sex-hormones after menopause are based on estrogens stimulatory effect on the breast and uterus. This effect can increase the risk of breast and endometrial cancer and endometrial hyperplasia. Endometrial hyperplasia is an increase in the number of cells lining the uterus. Endometrial hyperplasia is not cancer, but in some women, it may increase the risk of uterine cancer. The risk for endometrial cancer is increased when estrogen is taken unopposed or without also taking progesterone.
The risks and benefits of estrogen supplementation have been widely debated for years. All estrogens can increase the risk for heart attacks, strokes, pulmonary emboli, and deep venous blood clots in susceptible women 50 to 79 years old. Early studies on hormone replacement therapy showed promising results for decreasing osteoporosis, coronary artery disease, and mortality. Later studies conducted by the Womens Health Initiative concluded that the risk of hormone replacement therapy was greater than the benefits. More recent studies have swung the pendulum back the other way. These studies indicate that starting hormone replacement therapy early in menopause improves quality of life and decreases osteoporosis and heart disease risk .
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Is There A Link With Alzheimers Disease
Instead, the loss of estradiol associated with menopause has been suggested to play a role. Early menopause, such as surgical menopause before the age of 45 years, has been associated with an increased risk of dementia later in life as well as a faster rate of cognitive decline.
Because similar symptoms may present during menopause and the early stages of Alzheimers disease perimenopausal women can become concerned about dementia.
Women should be reassured that dementia that begins before age 65 called young onset dementia is not common . Forgetfulness and other cognitive difficulties during the menopausal transition are common and a normal part of menopause.
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What About The Relationship Between Ovarian Hormones And Cognition
Neurally speaking, oestrogen keeps your brain healthy.
As discussed in the blog post Are your menopause symptoms all in your head? Or brain?, oestrogen enables sharp thinking by promoting neuron and synapse growth and survival.
We know exactly what happens in rats and mice when oestrogen surges during the oestrous cycles of rodents, dendritic spines from the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex flourish. The spines are later pruned away as oestrogen levels wane.
Dramatic pruning of spines is seen in menopausal monkeys and rats whove had their ovaries removed. And in both monkeys and rats spine pruning is correlated with worse memory. We have no idea if this is the case in women going through menopause, but is certainly plausible.
We also understand that oestrogen supports the biochemical pathways that use insulin and generate energy from glucose. Changes in oestrogen may change how efficiently neurons use glucose and in turn memory and attention.
Mosconis 2021 research provides strong support for this notion. Glucose metabolism slowed in the brains of post-menopausal women. However, the brain compensated for this slowing by increasing blood flow and increasing ATP metabolism.
Mosconi suggests instead the brain cleverly compensates for changing hormone levels, and finds a new normal after menopause.
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Menopause Brain Fog: A Real Disorder
Until recently, most doctors did not acknowledge that menopause brain fog was real.
But numerous studies support that it exists.
One major study known as SWAN confirmed that cognitive decline, the ability to learn new things, and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression frequently occur during menopause.
Studies show that these symptoms can occur during perimenopause as well.
So dont let your doctor brush it off as your imagination or scare you into thinking that something worse is going on.
Supplements For Menopause Brain Fog
If lifestyle changes havent given you the menopause relief youre hoping for, there are several supplements you can try.
Unfortunately, some of the most popular menopause supplements do not live up to their reputations.
Overhyped Supplements for Menopause
But research shows that theres little evidence its effective for hot flashes and no evidence that it helps with menopause-related brain fog or memory loss.
Soy isoflavones improved cognitive function and memory in a review of studies that included over 1,000 postmenopausal women.
However, numerous studies have found them to be of no help for menopausal symptoms.
And theres concern that soy products, which are estrogenic, may increase your risk for breast cancer.
Heres a look at other supplements with better track records for menopause symptom relief and safety.
A top sign of vitamin D deficiency is memory loss.
One study found that more than 90% of postmenopausal women were vitamin D-deficient.
If you rarely spend time outdoors without sunscreen or you live in a four-season climate, its very likely that you dont get enough of this sunshine vitamin year-round.
You can safely take 125 mcg of vitamin D daily, but to know where you stand for sure its recommended that you get tested.
Your doctor can test your vitamin D level or you can order a test yourself from an online lab like Personalabs.
Pycnogenol is a patented form of pine bark extract.
- control inflammation
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