Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on
February 15, 2022
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on:

Perimenopause brain fog can be a real nuisance. If you’re experiencing it, you’re not alone.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the causes, symptoms, and remedies for perimenopause fog.

We’ll 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 you’re looking to learn more about perimenopause and brain fog, you’ve come to the right place!

What exactly is perimenopause fog?

As you may already know, perimenopause is the period of time before menopause.

It’s when your body gradually produces less and less estrogen, which signals your ovaries to stop releasing eggs.

Once you’ve reached this peri-menopausal transition, you’ll have gone 12 months without a period. This usually happens around age 50.

What many perimenopausal women start to notice is that the estrogen levels in their bodies fluctuate during perimenopause.

It’s these fluctuations that can lead to perimenopause fog, also known as peri-fog or, simply, brain fog.

Perimenopause fog isn’t something that happens overnight. It’s a gradual process and can last anywhere from two to eight years.

In addition, perimenopause doesn’t just go away once you hit menopause. Many peri-menopausal symptoms may still be present during this time as well. 

However, peri-fog can be managed so that you’re able to live a happy and healthy life.

What causes perimenopause brain fog?

There are a number of factors that can contribute to brain fog perimenopause. Some of these include:

Hormonal changes

As we mentioned earlier, the fluctuation in estrogen levels is one of the leading causes of peri-fog. When estrogen levels drop, it can lead to difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly.

Sleep deprivation

Not getting enough sleep is a common problem for perimenopausal women. This can be due to hot flashes and night sweats, which often keep many women up at night. If someone is sleep-deprived, their concentration levels are significantly low. 

Stress

When you’re stressed, it’s harder to focus and think clearly. This is because stress hormones like cortisol block the learning and memory parts of your brain, especially verbal memory.

Chronic fatigue

Peri-menopausal women who suffer from peri-fog often experience chronic fatigue as well, which can make it more difficult to focus on tasks and think clearly. 

Brain Fog Perimenopause: Common Symptoms

Some symptoms you may experience if you’re dealing with peri-fog perimenopause include:

  • trouble concentrating
  • difficulty focusing on tasks at hand
  • memory lapses
  • constant confusion
  • anxiety
  • hot flashes
  • mood swings
  • low libido  
  • trouble sleeping
  • rapid weight gain 
  • fatigue
  • night sweats

Perimenopause fog is a common problem that peri-fog perimenopausal women face. If you’re experiencing peri-fog, it’s important to talk with your doctor about some lifestyle changes and natural remedies that can help relieve the symptoms.

If peri-fog is left untreated, it can lead to more serious problems like depression and anxiety disorders.

Brain Fog and Perimenopause: Diagnosis

Diagnosing perimenopause fog is not always easy.

This is because peri-fog can be confused with other types of conditions such as depression, anxiety disorder, and ADHD. In turn, it is directly affecting your cognitive health, especially your memory and learning ability.

The best way to diagnose peri-menopause related cognitive decline is by visiting your doctor and getting a blood test done. This will help determine whether or not your perimenopausal symptoms are due to the fluctuation in estrogen levels or other underlying cognitive difficulties. 

Your doctor may also want to do a thorough physical examination, which includes checking your blood pressure and heart rate.

If perimenopause fog is left untreated, it can lead to more serious problems such as depression and anxiety disorders.

This is because perimenopausal women are at an increased risk of developing these conditions.

Remedies for Perimenopause Fog

The good news is that perimenopause fog can be treated.

Once you’ve been diagnosed with peri-fog symptoms, your doctor will recommend some lifestyle changes and natural remedies that can help relieve the symptoms, such as the following:

Eat a well-balanced diet

Low estrogen levels can make perimenopausal women feel hungry all the time, so it’s essential to eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

This will ensure that your body is getting all of the vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly during symptoms of perimenopause, especially brain fog.

Get enough sleep per night.

Getting enough sleep is vital for your body to function correctly.

When you’re not sleeping well, it can lead to low energy levels and even make it more challenging to think clearly or concentrate on the tasks at hand. 

Perimenopause fog symptoms may be due in part to sleep deprivation, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

Reduce stress levels

When you’re stressed, it’s harder to focus and think clearly.

This is because stress hormones like cortisol block the learning and memory parts of your brain, especially verbal memory.

There are a number of ways to reduce stress levels, including yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.

Talk with your doctor about medication options.

If perimenopause fog is causing you a lot of distress or making it difficult for you to function in daily life, your doctor may recommend trying some antidepressant medications.

These medications can help improve peri-menopausal symptoms like mood swings, anxiety, and depression. 

Exercise your body

Regular exercise has been shown to improve perimenopausal symptoms.

Exercising at least 30 minutes per day can help you feel better, increase energy levels, and even reduce stress levels.

It’s important to talk with your doctor before starting any new exercise regimen because perimenopause fog may make it more difficult for some women to exercise safely.

Exercise your mind

You can also help perimenopause fog by exercising your mind.

Try playing games that require concentration or focus, such as chess or crossword puzzles.

These types of activities are good for perimenopausal women because they help you use both sides of your brain at once, which may improve memory and cognitive function.  

Limit nicotine and alcohol consumption

Nicotine and alcohol can also worsen perimenopause fog symptoms.

Smoking has been shown to increase the risk of developing dementia, and alcohol can interfere with sleep quality and cognitive decline.

So, if you’re experiencing perimenopause fog, it’s best to limit your nicotine and alcohol consumption as much as possible.

Get other health conditions under control.

If you’re also dealing with other health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or obesity, it’s essential to get them under control.

This will help improve perimenopause fog symptoms and make you feel better overall. 

Consider taking dietary supplements.

Dietary supplements such as Omega-three fatty acids and Ginkgo biloba may also help perimenopausal women with perimenopause fog symptoms.

These supplements have been shown to improve memory and cognitive function, which can reduce peri-fog symptoms.

However, it’s highly recommended that women who are experiencing perimenopause fog should talk with their doctors before taking any dietary supplements.

More Treatment Options for Perimenopause Fog

There are a number of different ways to treat perimenopause fog, depending on the individual woman and her symptoms.

Some treatments that may help include:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

CBT is a type of treatment that helps perimenopausal women learn how to manage their cognitive difficulties better.

It includes strategies like relaxation techniques, problem-solving skills, and time management skills.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormone replacement therapy is a common treatment for perimenopause fog.

It involves taking hormones like estrogen and progesterone to help relieve perimenopause symptoms.

However, not all women are candidates for hormone replacement therapy, so it’s important to talk with your doctor about whether this treatment is right for you.

Cognitive Stimulation Therapy

This type of therapy is similar to CBT but focuses more on improving perimenopause fog symptoms by using specific strategies.

For example, perimenopausal women who experience peri-fog may benefit from memory training exercises, word games, and other activities that stimulate brain function.  

Meditation and Mindfulness Therapy

Meditation is another way perimenopausal women can help manage perimenopause fog symptoms.

The practice of meditation involves focusing on one thing, such as your breath or a mantra, for an extended period of time without distractions. 

This type of therapy helps you get rid of peri-fog by clearing your mind and allowing you to focus more clearly.

Mindfulness therapy is similar but focuses on being present in the moment without judging yourself or others.

Yoga and Tai Chi

These types of exercises can help perimenopausal women manage peri-fog symptoms by improving strength, balance, flexibility, coordination, and focus.

Both yoga and Tai Chi are low-impact exercises that can be done at home with little equipment needed.

So, if you’re looking for another way to help manage perimenopause fog symptoms, try incorporating some yoga or Tai Chi into your routine.  

How to Help Someone with Perimenopause Fog

If you’re worried about someone close to you who is experiencing peri-fog, there are a few things that can help them.

First of all, let your loved ones know they’re not alone, and it’s okay to talk about perimenopause symptoms.

Offer to help them keep a journal of their symptoms and what seems to make them better or worse.

You can also help by creating a supportive environment that’s free from judgment.

Encourage your loved ones to stay active and engaged in activities they enjoy and be there to listen when they need to talk. 

Most perimenopausal women will experience peri-fog at some point in their lives, but that doesn’t have to be the end of life as they know it.

There are ways many women who deal with perimenopause can help themselves and get support from those around them if they need it.

So if you’re experiencing perimenopause fog, know that you’re not alone and there are ways to manage your other menopausal symptoms.

Concluding Thoughts

Perimenopause fog can be frustrating and debilitating. However, there are a number of different treatments available that can help perimenopausal women manage their symptoms.

If you’re looking for ways to reduce peri-fog and improve your overall brain function, try incorporating some of the remedies and therapies mentioned in this article into your routine.

And if you know someone who is experiencing perimenopause fog, be there for them and offer your support.

We hope this article has been helpful and informative.

If you want to learn more about brain fog and how to get rid of it efficiently, here are educational articles that can help. Also, check out this online community for brain health professionals and enthusiasts.

 

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