Are you always forgetting where you left things?

Image by Lee_seonghak from Pixabay

If you find it hard to concentrate, or always forget where you’ve left things, or feel like you’re operating at half-speed all the time, you may be suffering from Brain Fog, according to an article in Platinum magazine.

Of course, there are multiple reasons why this may be.  Working long hours, lack of sleep, stressful situations, or being a woman of a certain age.  Apparently some 600 million people worldwide suffer from this to the extent it disrupts quality of life, despite there being no formal diagnosis, disease or disorder.

The term Brain Fog comes from a collection of symptoms giving rise to mental fatigue, lack of concentration, confusion and general inability to process information.  You may see slower reactions, trouble remembering things, difficulty in finding the right word, exhaustion or irritability.  There may be underlying medical reasons including some autoimmune diseases, inflammatory diseases and thyroid disorders, hormonal fluctuations or side effects to medication. Some have sited Long Covid as experiencing similar symptoms. With 75% of the brain being made up of water, even the slightest dehydration may have a negative effect on your ability to focus and think clearly.

As a woman of “a certain age” and heading into perimenopause, I often have times where I can’t focus, or remember something that only happened a short time ago.  This is typical of my #bellringing where I can’t remember a method five minutes after having rung it. However, I think I’ve experienced that most of my life, I don’t think I can put it down to perimenopause. 

According to the article two thirds of women mention some sort of brain fog during and after menopause and there is growing research suggesting cognitive decline and memory problems associate with menopause are real and linked to fluctuating hormone levels. The effects of reduced levels of oestrogen and other hormones on the brain are still not yet fully understood.

The article’s menopause expert suggested four ways to help ease menopausal brain fog:

  1. Take regular breaks away from whatever task you’re tyring to complete to give you the opportunity to think clearly and rationally;
  2. Start the day with a  to-do list, but with a maximum of three things on it so it isn’t overwhelming;
  3. Exercise regularly to help release chemicals that can sharpen your focus and help you concentrate;
  4. Boost your intake of vitamin B12 through food including egg, salmon, liver and sardines to help improve brain clarity and memory.

A different expert offered six sure-fire ways the help you cope when brain fog starts to serious impact everyday life:

  1. Avoid multi-tasking if possible;
  2. Remove distraction – turn the tv, radio, phone etc off;
  3. Focus on what you can do and not on what you can’t;
  4. Keep a list of easy or repetitive tasks to do so you can still be productive even when brain fog hits;
  5. Move around = aerobic exercise enhances alertness and makes learning easier.
  6. Try not to catastrophise thinking brain fog is dementia.

So next time I can’t remember where I’ve left something, or why I walked into a room, I needn’t be too concerned, I can put it down to my hormonal fluctuation and open a can of sardines.

What’s the strangest thing you could put down to Brain Fog?


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