Brain fog, forgetfulness and then downright stupidity. Menopause Madness!
I am lucky enough to be away on a working trip at the moment, somewhere warm and in the wonderful company of my sister. She is somewhere I admire immensely, very smart, and I always learn loads of new ‘stuff’ when we are together as well as eating wonderful food, experiencing new things and having a lot of belly laughs and maybe the odd fractious moment, but all totally normal.
We were having a conversation the other evening; well, it was an attempt at a conversation because menopausal brain fog and stupidity seemed to take over. We spent about twenty minutes talking about films and actresses / actors without being able to name one of them!!!! Our chatter consisted of...
Me..... do you remember that film, I can’t remember what it was called but it had that woman in it and lots of rabbits, she was also in that series, but only played The Queen in the later episodes? Nope, I can’t remember her name, but she won an award and is in lots of programs at the moment. Hang on let me Google it. (Olivia Coleman in The Favourite, The Crown).
Sister.... I loved that series with that woman who was also in that detective program years ago that I didn’t watch, she was part of a double act, male and female actors. She was also in the one that Olivia Coleman was in, she played Margaret Thatcher (The Crown), oh, I know the actress and the series you mean – I can’t remember what it was called though – I’ll Google it (Gillian Anderson - The Fall).
And so, our conversation went on and on, round and round in circles making no sense and we laughed so much about the things we couldn’t remember and that was ok. It was trivia and it was only us, although I did get a little bit irked about not remembering anyone BUT what about when brain fog and senior moments happen when you are at work or it is about remembering something important?
Continually forgetting things can be scary, you start to question your mental health, you worry about what is going on and you begin to wonder if you are suffering the early onset of dementia, is it an illness, is there something seriously wrong with you?
Did you know that perimenopause /menopause could be the reason? Our hormones could be at the centre of much of this disruption.
I want to share a fascinating article that I read recently about the relationship of estrogen and its effect on the brain which helps explain what is going on. Niki Bezzant, writer and journalist interviews Dr Lisa Mosconi,PHD.
In summary, women’s brains are very different to men’s and rely on estrogen to help them function. When estrogen levels begin to fluctuate and drop, we start to experience these lapses in memory but is there anything you can do to help to support your brain function?
The great new is.... yes!
From the interview, Dr Mosconi says....
Diet is important. She favours a Mediterranean pattern of eating “plant-based foods, front and centre. Focus on vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains. Smaller amounts of fish especially, and then meat, which was always meant to be a treat.” She emphasises the importance of fibre, which she calls our “best friend for oestrogen balancing”; and eating foods rich in the natural estrogens known as phytoestrogens. “Even though they are there in very small amounts and they have a very mild action on the body and brain, if you eat them consistently enough for a long period of time, they seem to actually have a positive effect,” she says. Whole and fermented soy foods such as edamame, tempeh and miso are standouts here, along with flax seed oil.
Another piece of the puzzle is stress. “We don’t talk enough about stress as a brain disruptor or something that can really negatively affect hormonal health and precipitate menopause.” She says we should find ways to ease the stress in our lives “as something that really supports the health of your hormones and your body and your brain”.
We also need to talk more about menopause and ageing in general. “I think we really need to change the conversation around menopause entirely. We need to be able to manage it better, and also revamp it from a social perspective where women are not afraid of entering this phase of their lives, where there’s an understanding of number one, what’s happening. You’re not losing your mind. There’s something objective and measurable and quantifiable and predictable that’s happening inside your brain that we can most likely support and reverse and manage for you, so that the entire rest of your life is a wonderful experience instead of something you’re not looking forward to.”
Well, it is my mission to talk more about menopause, I help educate women first and foremost. I then help with their journey to make this time of change, an empowering process, one that should be embraced and not feared.
If you would like to chat with me about your menopause symptoms, your experience, your curiosity and wish to learn more, then I would love to hear from you and you can book a complimentary call with me here.