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Perimenopause and Brain Fog: Navigating the Mental Maze

Perimenopause and Brain Fog: Navigating the Mental Maze

Woman with brain fog

Since you hit your 40s or 50s have you noticed that you’re forgetting names or words mid-sentence? Or feeling like you can’t think properly? I feel you!

Today, let’s talk about a common but often misunderstood symptom that many women experience during perimenopause – brain fog!

You may have heard the term tossed around, but what exactly is brain fog, and why does it seem to show up when our bodies are going through perimenopause? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the mysteries of brain fog, its connection to perimenopause, and some strategies to help you navigate the mental maze. So, grab a cup of tea, relax, and let’s get started!

Understanding Brain Fog

First things first, what is brain fog? Well, imagine waking up one day, and suddenly, it feels like a dense fog has settled inside your brain. Your thoughts become fuzzy, concentration becomes a challenge, and you may experience memory lapses or difficulty finding the right words. It’s as if your mental clarity has taken a holiday, leaving you feeling a bit lost and frustrated.

Perimenopause and Brain Fog

Now, let’s explore the link between brain fog and perimenopause. Perimenopause is the transitional phase leading up to menopause when hormonal fluctuations occur. During this time, oestrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate, causing an imbalance that can impact various aspects of our health, including cognitive function.

Oestrogen, one of the key hormones involved, plays a crucial role in maintaining optimal brain function. It affects neurotransmitters (brain chemicals), such as serotonin and dopamine, which are involved in mood regulation and cognitive processes. When oestrogen levels decline, it can disrupt the delicate balance of these neurotransmitters, leading to brain fog.

Strategies to Combat Brain Fog

1. Prioritise Sleep: Quality sleep is crucial for overall cognitive function. Establish a regular sleep routine, create a comfortable sleep environment, and practice relaxation techniques before bedtime to improve the quality of your sleep.

2. Nutrition: This isn’t a surprise – right? A balanced, nutritious diet rich in wholefoods is vital for brain health. Include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and B vitamins. Minimise processed foods, sugar, and caffeine, as they can exacerbate brain fog symptoms.

3. Mental Stimulation: Engage in activities that stimulate your brain (preferably not on a screen), such as puzzles, reading, learning new skills, or playing memory-enhancing games. These activities can help keep your mind sharp and enhance cognitive function.

4. Stress Management: Chronic stress can worsen brain fog symptoms. Practice stress management techniques like mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga to calm your mind and reduce stress levels.

5. Move Your Body: Physical movement not only benefits your body but also your brain. Engaging in regular physical activity improves blood flow to the brain, reduces stress, release endorphins and enhances cognitive function.

Brain fog during perimenopause may feel like a frustrating mental maze, but if it’s any consolation, it’s a common symptom that many women experience. By understanding its connection to hormonal fluctuations and adopting strategies to manage it, you can navigate through this phase with greater ease. Remember to be kind to yourself, prioritise self-care, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and seek support from healthcare professionals if needed.

Want to get a handle on your perimenopausal symptoms?

Let’s jump on a FREE Pre-Screening Call to talk about how we can get you looking and feeling amazing now and for decades to come!

Susie Garden | Clinical Nutritionist & Naturopath

Are you a woman feeling stressed, flat and experiencing the challenges of peri/menopause?
It’s time to reclaim your youthful energy, radiance and self-assurance (and your ideal weight).
I’m here to help with my proven method.

Book your complimentary Pre-Screening Call here, and let’s see how I might help you.

Is Your Blood Sugar The Reason You’re So Tired All The Time?

Is Your Blood Sugar The Reason You’re So Tired All The Time?

There are many reasons that you feel constantly fatigued. But a commonly overlooked one? How your body regulates blood sugar levels.

The food that you eat, the rate that you absorb energy and your body’s ability to move the energy into your cells via insulin can all alter your sense of energy. So let’s take a closer look at how your blood sugar level could be exhausting you.

The links between blood sugar and fatigue

EATING HIGH-CARB, LOW-FIBRE FOODS

Hands up who has eaten a carb-heavy meal like a massive bowl of pasta and needed a nap right afterwards? Welcome to the effect of your blood sugar level!

When you eat these types of food, the energy suddenly floods into the bloodstream. But too much glucose in the system can be damaging, so your body kicks into overdrive to store it away safely.

You produce a large dose of insulin, which will store it away in the cells and into fat stores. As a result, you’ll have a burst of energy, followed by a crash as your blood sugar level drops rapidly.

If that isn’t enough reason for a ‘food coma’, there’s a secondary action as well. The increased insulin level increases tryptophan uptake into the brain, causing you to feel tired.

INSULIN & BLOOD SUGAR BALANCE

Over time, consistently elevated insulin levels can lead to the development of insulin resistance (IR).

In IR, your body is producing plenty of insulin, but your cells don’t get the ‘message’. To try and fix the problem, your body will produce more insulin. Unfortunately, this just perpetuates the cycle by increasing the cells’ resistance to insulin.

How does this affect your energy? The primary cause is that the cells won’t accept the glucose they need to fuel them. Without fuel, the cells can’t work efficiently, and therefore cannot produce sufficient energy for your daily needs.

There are some indirect mechanisms that cause fatigue as well. For example, when there is too much insulin in the bloodstream, it can cause inflammation. Then there’s also more sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream because cells aren’t ‘listening’ to insulin, which is a double-whammy for inflammation!

Chronic low-grade inflammation can further reduce the energy available to your cells. Plus it also reduces your insulin sensitivity, causing a vicious cycle!

IS FATIGUE CAUSED BY BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS ONLY EXPERIENCED BY DIABETICS?

Not at all! While it’s more common for those diagnosed with diabetes to experience these effects, it’s not exclusive to them.

Fatigue is a well-recognised symptom of insulin resistance, which is considered a pre-diabetic state. But anyone can experience the effects of a rapidly changing blood sugar level, including lower energy or a sudden crash in energy.

If you’ve noticed a pattern of fatigue around your meals, it’s worth investigating if insulin resistance is to blame. Here are some simple management tips if IR is an issue for you.

CAN SUPPLEMENTS HELP TO BALANCE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR?

Supplements can‘t replace a balanced diet and exercise regime, but they can support pathways involved with insulin resistance and sensitivity. However, not all supplements are created equal!

That’s why I’ve formulated my own innovative supplement designed to support healthy ageing! Plus it helps to support healthy blood glucose & metabolism of carbohydrates, both of which play a critical role in insulin resistance. Learn more about Energy Glow NR here.

Susie Garden

I help women feeling stressed, flat and older than they’d like regain their youthful energy and glow using a proven method so their natural beauty and confidence shines through.