So, I’m in my late luteal phase and find myself experiencing some serious brain fog so, I decided to do a little research.
Here’s what came up.
There is a link between a woman’s sex hormones, primarily oestragon and progesterone and her ability to think, learn and understand. Known as cognition skills. An article from yourhealthhub.com peaked my interest after a flick through google. Feeling both comforted and curious I read onwards, only to discover that brain fog is not only normal but to be expected just before your period hits. Once again, it’s not you, you’re fine, its your hormones. I’ve included my favourite bits of the article below, as well as a link to the full version, to shed some light on this fact that we far too often overlook because we’re too busy judging ourselves for being foggy in the first place.
The menstrual cycle creates fluctuations in levels of these hormones. And the more severe a woman’s premenstrual symptoms are, the more likely they are to experience changes in their cognition skills, or brain fog, says Associate Professor Caroline Gurvich, a Senior Research Fellow and Clinical Neuropsychologist at Monash Alfred Psychiatry (MAP) Research Centre.Assoc Prof Gurvich estimates that about 80% of women have at least one symptom, physical or psychological, before they get their period. Up to 8% of women suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), a significantly more severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that can cause debilitating emotional and physical symptoms.
“Sex hormones affect the way we think,” says Assoc Prof Gurvich. “The effects across the menstrual cycle can be very subtle. Women who are more sensitive to hormone fluctuations are probably more likely to experience brain fog, but we don’t know that for sure.”
Brain fog is yet to be formally recognised as a medical or psychological condition, but the good news is that it is finally being acknowledged.
“It is real,” says Assoc Prof Gurvich.
“Our hormones that regulate our reproductive functions have direct effects in the brain and affect brain regions that are involved in our thinking skills.”
Tips to help to ease the fog include:
💨Eating healthily, trying to avoid too much sugar, caffeine and alcohol
💨Get some gentle exercise in i.e walking, yoga or Qi gong
💨Get some zzzz’z
💨Try to avoid stress (tough I know, but try)
💨MOST IMPORTANTLY ….don’t be too hard on yourself, in the words of Shakespeare ‘This too shall pass!’
Link to full article here: https://www.yourhealthhub.com.au/general-practice/womens-health/your-hormones-and-brain-fog/