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Brain fog in the menopause transition

As you go through the menopause, brain fog is a familiar feeling. Are you finding it hard to remember things and focus? Don't worry, many women feel the same. Here we are looking at what causes brain fog, its symptoms, and how to fight it during this important life phase.

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We'll discuss the changes in hormones that affect brain function, and we'll talk about hormone replacement therapy.

Whether you're just starting perimenopause or already in your post-menopausal period, we aim to help. This guide will give you hope and ways to manage your cognitive health.

brain illustration

Understanding Brain Fog During Menopause

As you move through menopause, brain fog is a regular thing. It is a time when women might struggle with memory, concentration, and focus. It makes people worry about dementia or other big problems.

What Is Brain Fog?

Brain fog means not thinking clearly. You feel tired and confused. Remembering things, staying focused, and doing daily tasks seems hard.

Symptoms of Brain Fog

With brain fog during menopause, you might forget things or find it hard to focus. Memory issues and feeling mentally cloudy are common. Multitasking, remembering names, or following instructions gets tougher. Brain fog is real for menopausal women. It's a known effect of the body's hormonal changes then. So, while worrying, it's a common part of this life stage.

woman with her hands over her face

Causes of Brain Fog in Menopausal Women

Your hormone levels will change, affecting your brain. Oestrogen is key for your brain's work, and when its levels drop, You might see see less cognitive performance. The changes in hormones during menopause greatly affect your brain. When oestrogen drops, serotonin and dopamine levels can be impacted and memory and focus can suffer. Oestrogen is vital for a healthy brain, keeping the brain sharp. Oestrogen normally boosts brain cell growth and communication. But when levels decrease, you might feel forgetful and struggle to focus.

Stress and Cortisol Levels

Menopausal stress and anxiety also worsen brain fog. High cortisol levels from stress can impact how you process information. It can make you forget things and find memory recall difficult. Knowing what causes brain fog during menopause will help you deal with it better. You can manage hormones and stress which will help you to stay mentally sharp. This is key in staying strong throughout this important life phase.

Other factors

Lack of sleep, low thyroid function and metabolic changes that occur in the menopause transition can also cause brain fog. There are so many factors and everyone will have different contributors. 

How Common Is Brain Fog During Menopause?

Research by the British Menopause Society shows almost 40% of women talk about memory and focus problems. This finding shows how many women are affected by brain fog at this major life point. The menopause symptoms you're dealing with aren't just yours. Many women, just like you, find it hard to remember things and concentrate.

woman holding her head

At What Stage of Menopause Does Brain Fog Occur?

Brain fog can start in perimenopause and menopause. It's often heavy in early perimenopause. This time comes before full menopause, introducing menopausal symptoms. These can include memory and thinking changes. Menopausal brain fog kicks in when oestrogen levels waver. As these levels drop, so does brain function. Memory, focus, and mental clarity take a hit. Women might feel surprised as they notice these changes.

Brain fog isn't limited to early stages. It could show up later, even after menopause starts.

The impact varies. It depends on hormone shifts, health, and stress for each person. Knowing about brain fog can make it easier to deal with. Women can prepare and find ways to cope. This knowledge is a key to keeping mind sharp and wellbeing high through perimenopause and menopause.

Strategies to Combat Brain Fog

Brain fog is a common menopause sign. It often fades by itself. Yet, it can make daily life hard. Many tips and tricks can ease brain fog. They also support your mind's health during menopause.

Prioritise Quality Sleep

Getting good sleep is key for clear thinking. Try to sleep 7-9 hours each night. Stick to a bedtime routine. This can make your sleep better. Avoiding screens and relaxing before bed also helps.

Incorporate Regular Exercise

Regular exercise boosts brain health. It makes you sharper. Mix aerobic and strength exercises. Add in mind-body activities like yoga. These help memory, focus, and brain work.

Maintain a Balanced Diet

Eating well aids brain health in menopause. Eat whole foods and include proteins and healthy fats. Also, drink enough water. Limit caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods. They can worsen brain fog.

Manage Stress and Practice Relaxation

Stress makes brain fog worse. Relaxing is important. Try meditation, deep breathing, or mindfulness. These calm the mind.

Develop Coping Strategies and Brain Activities

Coping strategies are great for memory troubles. Make lists and use memory tools. Do activities that challenge your brain.

These include puzzles, reading, or learning something new.

The Role of Testosterone

Testosterone is often linked to men, but it's important for women too. Women during menopause can benefit from it. A specialist might suggest testosterone for women, helping with issues like brain fog.

Testosterone, much like oestrogen and other hormones, helps keep our brains working well. Studies show that it boosts memory, focus, and concentration.

The link between testosterone and women's brain health is not simple. But it's key for women heading through menopause. Talking to doctors about the benefits of testosterone could lead to a better plan for brain health. This approach might help tackle brain fog.


Role in Brain Function


Contributes to maintaining normal cognitive abilities, including memory, focus, and concentration.


Plays a vital role in how the brain functions, and low oestrogen levels can be linked to reduced brain performance.

Other Hormones

Work in harmony with testosterone and oestrogen to support overall brain health and function during the menopausal transition.

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When to come and see me

If you're worried about your memory or thinking, book in a discovery call and work with me at the clinic. Brain fog might be due to several health issues.

These can include thyroid problems, heart issues, and stress.

Getting checked is key to finding the right help.

Ruling Out Other Conditions

I can look into your health history. We might order some tests to see if other health issues are causing your brain fog. Not getting enough nutrients can also lead to brain fog, there are tests we can do to check if you lack vitamins or minerals.

Embracing the Menopausal Journey

The menopause journey is a big change that affects body, feelings, and thinking. Dealing with brain fog can be tough. But, taking care of yourself and trying out new ways to feel better is the key.

Adding calming activities like meditation can reduce the stress. And moving the body, even with a daily walk, can make you feel better. 

Eating well also matters a lot at this stage. It's important to get nutrients like omega-3s, B vitamins, and antioxidants. They look after the brain and can help with brain fog. 

This menopause journey is different for everyone. It's okay to take my time and be nice to myself. Using self-care tips and asking for help helps me feel more in control and strong.

Milli xxxx


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Dr Milli Raizada

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If you would like to work with me on your thyroid health and supporting your lifestyle contact me today to see how my bespoke packages can help you become the best version of yourself.


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