10 Reasons You May Have Brain Fog – And Only 1 is Menopause
Brain fog or freeze isn’t something you will find in medical books, but is a term used for certain symptoms that can affect your ability to think.
Though it is not really recognised as a condition by many doctors, women often do find they are feeling confused or disorganized or find it hard to focus or put your thoughts into words. It may be your hormones as this is more common at menopause, but there are also some other common reasons behind it.
The number one cause for many people, whatever their age or hormonal status. We find it hard to focus and can get anxious and easily distracted. Self help measures are the best place to start with exercise, meditation, and simple relaxation techniques have proved themselves helpful.
You may not remember things well or be able to think through problems easily. It’s hard to know if this is linked to the loss of energy and motivation that comes with depression, or if depression affects your brain in a way that causes the fog. Treatment for your depression, which includes medication and talk therapy, should help get you back on track.
Approaching 50, this is one of those symptoms you may find increasing but just put it down to a busy life or ‘one of those things’. The hormonal changes at this time also lead to more stress and anxiety, and more brain fog, so ensure your hormones are in balance to avoid those surging peaks and troughs.
This is one of the key complaints at menopause as sleep is affected by hot flushes, and a more frequent need to get up and pee in the night. Most of us need 7 to 9 hours, but if you are having broken nights then that certainly can make you more brain tired and confused. It’s a good idea to limit caffeine and alcohol after lunch and keep the computer and smartphone out of your bedroom, as well as trying to have a regular pattern for going to bed and getting up.
5 Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
With this condition, your body and mind are tired for a long time. You may feel confused, forgetful, and unable to focus. There’s no known cure for CFS, but exercise, and counselling may help. You should also ask your GP to check for adrenal fatigue as that will contribute to your condition.
Some kinds of drugs, both from your doctor or those you can buy over-the-counter, can cause brain fog. If you take medicine and notice that your thinking isn’t as clear as it should be or you suddenly can’t remember things, then check with your pharmacist for the side effects and then speak to your doctor.
7 Cancer treatment
Chemotherapy can lead to what’s sometimes called “chemo brain” and is usually a temporary effect while having treatment, but for some can persist for some time afterwards. You may have trouble remembering details like names or dates, find multi-tasking difficult, or take longer to finish things.
Often during a day we simply don’t drink enough to keep our body and bran functioning well. Water is essential to avoid feeling tired and lethargic, but if you are devoted to lots of coffee or carbonated drinks then simply reducing or cutting those out can make a big difference to how sharp you feel
This long-term disease causes your immune system to attack your body, and the symptoms can be different in different cases. About half the people with lupus have problems with memory, confusion, or trouble concentrating. 90 percent of lupus sufferers are female, and most first develop signs and symptoms of the illness between the ages of 15 and 44, but it can certainly persist well past menopause.
Many women find it’s harder to remember things during pregnancy because the chemicals released to protect and nourish the baby can bring on memory problems. Perimenopause means you may still become pregnant, so when getting hormonal symptoms such as no periods it is always best to carry out a check.