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Perimonpause episode 7- Brain Fog!

Ok so I lied , it's not the final episode. How can I round it all up without talking about Brain Fog!

This is one that I suffer with from time to time. A great example of this is looking frantically for my phone whilst I'm talking to my husband on said phone. Really!!!!

Anyway, this is a really common symptom and many women report being really forgetful. I often wondered why my mum kept a pad and pen in her apron pocket, now I know.

So what causes brain fog?

The disruption and later absence of estrogen play a major role in the onset of brain fog. (meaning it protects nerve cells against damage and degeneration); it's known to boost the immune system and helps protect neurons from harm while also promoting new nerve connections. And it's the primary hormone affected by menopause. So when hormones start to ebb and flow during perimenopause,It's not surprising to know that the brain is impacted.

There are also additional perimenopause symptoms at work poor sleep often caused by hot flashes or night sweats, as well as anxiety and depression can also impact memory, focus and concentration.

The good news is that it's usually temporary during menopause transistion and studies show that women still out perform men in cognitive brain trials at any stage of life.

Another reason for brain fog is poor circulation. If you suffer from cold hands, feet and nose your circulation may not be as efficient as it could be. Poor circulation could mean less blood, glucose and ketones being pumped to the brain all of which are brain fuel.

So here are some approaches you can implement into your daily routine to improve brain fog-

  • Estrogen therapy can help the brain use glucose for energy

  • Progesterone therapy promotes healthy neurogenisis (the formation of new neurons in the brain)

  • Sleep- sleep clears out the glymphatic system, basically all the rubbish you have accumulated throughout the day

  • Sooth the nervous system- get out of flight or fight and into rest or digest mode. You can do this with box breathing. Breath in deeply through the nose for 4 seconds, hols for 4 seconds, breath out fully through the mouth for 4 seconds or longer and repeat for 5 rounds or more.

Meditation, Yoga, walking in nature, relaxing and reading a light hearted book, basically anything that makes your shoulders drop and your jaw unclench. Stress also impacts the adrenals which in turn brain function.

Close down all the 'open tabs' in your day and focus on one thing at a time, make lists and prioritize.

  • Brain games- keep the mind stimulated and active just like a muscle. The more we use it the stronger it gets.

  • Magnesium and Taurine- Dr Lara Briden recommends these two supplements together for every aspect of menopause. They are particularly good for brain health and cognition.

  • Manage your blood sugar levels- Eat protein with every meal, healthy fats and low glycemic carbohydrates. Protein's amino acids are the building blocks for neurotransmitters, enzymes and hormones.

  • Plant power- the phytonutrients in plants help with repair mechanisms within the brain as well as fuel for mitochondria so eat the rainbow.

  • Gluten sensitivity- Those who have a sensitivity to gluten can find it causes brain fog. If you suspect this is the cast try cutting it out for a week or two and see how you feel. We can sometimes become more sensitive during menopause.

  • Spices that fight inflammation- Rosemary, Sage, Oregano, Turmeric, Garlic

  • Water- so simple but staying hydrated is vital for our body and brain

  • Electrolytes- support ATP conversion (the energy currency for our body). Try adding a few grains of sea salt into your water in the morning, you won't taste it and if you eat whole foods (which you hopefully do) you need to salt them. Salt is not bad and we all need it. It's when we eat a highly processed diet that it's a problem.

  • Caffeine- Caffeine at the right time and amount is really beneficial for cognition and is full of antioxidants, such as organic coffee, green tea, english tea and if you want a real boost, lions mane coffee.

Although menopause has it's challenges embrace where you are at, there isn't anything you can do to stop your transition into the next phase of life. Along with it comes wisdom, a new clarity, confidence in who you are and what you want. It's time for women to stop feeling ashamed of this stage of life.

In my next episode and final one I promise I'll be bringing it all together along with some tips for fat loss, weight management and any other questions you'd like me to answer so do message me if you'd like to know more about anything menopause related

Until then

Much Love

Coach Tula xx

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