Do you find yourself struggling to concentrate on your work on a busy, hectic day? Or do you constantly keep forgetting details and dates? Then your issue of concern is probably brain fog.
What is Brain Fog?
Brain fog is a condition when a person feels numb mentally, has a hard time thinking and concentrating, and more often becomes indecisive and apathetic. And one of the most common symptoms of menstruating people is brain fog.
The latest theory suggests that there is a link between high hormonal level fluctuations and cognitive skills. So brain fog or brain fatigue is a serious topic in women’s health now.
How Brain Fog and PMS is related?
An imbalance in your sex hormones could potentially give rise to forgetfulness around the time of your period.
In the second half of your menstrual cycle, you have elevated levels of progesterone relative to estrogen; however, in the days leading up to your period, estrogen and progesterone levels both fall. This is thought to have an impact on other hormones and neurotransmitters.
For example, lower levels of serotonin and higher levels of cortisol, both of which can affect your mood and how alert you feel.
Brain Fog before your period is often accompanied by other symptoms of premenstrual syndrome that can be, at the very least, annoying. In severe cases, the inability to focus and engage your mind can harm your daily life and your work or school performance.
What Causes Brain Fog?
- Poor sleep before the period- One symptom of PMS is insomnia and poor sleep quality. The hormonal fluctuations during the Luteal Phase of the cycle are known to disrupt sleep. So insomnia before periods is one of the major causes of brain fatigue.
- Medication– A number of drugs like antidepressants and antihistamines can cause mental numbness and exhaustion. The effect of these drugs increases just before the period and causes tiredness and brain fog.
- Mental Health Issues– Depression manifests in feelings of numbness, sadness, an inability to enjoy daily activities, and brain fog due to altered hormonal secretions and stimulation of the brain. Some women experience intensifying feelings of depression, anxiety, and emotional eating right before their periods because of premenstrual exacerbation (PME), which is characterized by a worsening mental state before menstruation.
- Anemia– Anemia is a condition in which the blood lacks sufficiently healthy Red Blood Cells or hemoglobin to carry oxygen. When your brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen, you feel dizzy, fatigued, and foggy. Anemia tends to worsen before and during your period starts your body uses more energy than usual and loses blood for several days. Hence, Anemia is associated with Brain Fog.
- Improper diet– The brain consumes a lot of energy, primarily 60% of the body’s glucose consumption, which derives from macronutrients, micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
If your body is preparing for menstruation, which takes a lot of energy, and you aren’t eating enough nutrient-rich foods, you might lack the energy for healthy brain function.
What can you do to avoid PMS brain fog?
If brain fog isn’t a symptom of illness or a side-effect of medication, you can try making some changes to your lifestyle to feel sharper, especially around menstruation.
- Get more sleep
- Be active and move your body.
- Get enough nutrition and vitamins.
- Check for hormonal imbalances and get hormone replacement therapy if needed.
- Get regular health checkups from your doctor.
Foods to Fight Brain Fog:
Here we are providing you with a list of food items that you must include in your diet to fight Brain Fog:
Have you noticed how walnuts look like tiny brains? Well, it has a high concentration of DHA, which maintains healthy brain function. It also protects the brain from tissue inflammation. They are an excellent source of magnesium which is essential for memory and learning. So next time, include walnuts and nuts in your snack list instead of a bag of potato chips.
Salmon, cod liver, or tuna improve concentration. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which enhance the cognitive functioning of the brain and improve neurological functions. Avocados, also rich in these nutrients, help the brain to perform skilled work and thoughts with greater precision.
Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric which adds to the yellow color of the spice, can protect brain health, enhance mood and improve memory function. It stimulates the hormone BDNF, which protects neurons from damage and boosts neuronal activities.
Vitamin D is extremely necessary for brain health and functioning. The deficiency of Vitamin D can cause mental confusion and is also associated with depression and Vitamin C significantly increases attention and memory.
Vitamin C deficiency in the diet can cause a lack of focus and high anxiety levels. Also, a deficiency of Vitamin B6 and Folate can worsen brain fog. So it is important to include fruits and vegetables in our diet, which are high in their Vitamin and mineral content. Also, supplementation in severe deficiency of Vitamins can help improve memory, concentration, and mood in people, which helps in alleviating brain fog.
The most important and the most neglected element is water. Chronic dehydration might lead to a deficit in brain function and contribute to the symptoms associated with brain fog.
Make sure to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water every day. Staying hydrated and active boosts the skilled function of the brain.
Luckily, these PMS brain fog symptoms are now predictable and manageable to a greater extent. Incorporating these food items in your diet can help you have more energy, brainpower, and above all, self-confidence all month long.