The 'M' word Part 2 - coping with 'brain fog', and memory impairment.

If you are wondering why you are experiencing 'brain fog' it is because your hippocampus, that part of your brain associated with memory is sensitive to oestrogen levels. Rest assured though that once the menopause is over, you will return to your pre-menopause sharpness. In the meantime there are several ways you can help reduce 'brain fog' and memory impairment.  
  • Make sure your diet is rich in omega 3s which protects brain cells. Antioxidants in fruit and vegetables also protect brain cells from free radical damage which may cause brain cells to die.
  • Keep your mind active - learn a language, do crosswords etc. Although some brain cells do die as we get older, we can form new connections between brain cells to compensate to a large extent.
  • Exercise - the hippocampus is also sensitive to lack of oxygen. By exercising you can give the oxygen concentration in your blood a boost as well as improving your circulation to bring that oxygen rich blood to your brain. Yoga chest openers and inversions are good for this too.

  • Inhaling rosemary essential oil (use an infuser according to instructions) has been associated with good memory for hundreds of years.  To read more on this please see this BBC News article
  • Use props - write lists, have a designated place to put your keys etc
  • Stress can actually cause the hippocampus to shrink so take steps to get on top of stress with yoga, Tai Chi, relaxation techniques and meditation. Did you know meditation can increase the amount of grey matter in your brain? To start practicing meditation, find a comfortable seated position, close your eyes and simply watch your breath without trying to change it in any way. If any thoughts come into your head (and they will!) gently but firmly bring your attention back to your breath. Continue for several minutes. Practice this daily to gain the benefits. 

Please see also 'The M-Word Part 1-Diet to help ease your way through the menopause'-

Stay sharp,
Janet x

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