Have you found yourself forgetting a friend/acquaintance's name or walked into a room and completely forgetting why on earth you're there?

Happy days!  You're absolutely not alone, you're not going crazy, it's just...you guessed it: peribloodymenopause.

Brain fog, forgetfulness, feeling scatty is really common for women in their 40s and 50s.

To stick a statistic on this: did you know there's an 80% chance you'll experience brain fog, memory loss and trouble concentrating as you go through perimenopause and in your first year of menopause.

Here's a really good thing to note with this: this is a temporary situation and isn't going to be a long term issue for you.

These cognitive changes are all thanks to the delightful hormonal sh!tshow taking place at this stage of our lives.

If you know us, you'll know by now, we love this diagram!  It does a brilliant job of showing how much of a hormonal rollercoaster this whole perimenopause thing is: 

Yep, it's chaos in there! No wonder we feel like we're going nuts.

You're not though. 

With the drop and change in hormones come specific symptoms which can really help in terms of how you might approach finding ways to reduce the severity of some of them.

For example...

.....drops in Progesterone usually manifest as the following symptoms:

  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Brain fog and
  • Sleep disturbances (which doesn't help matters - we all know if we don't get enough sleep, we're definitely feeling doolally the next day and certainly not thinking straight).

Changes in Oestrogen levels causes symptoms such as

“The brain represents an important target for Oestrogen and Progesterone effects.

Both hormones provide specific neuroendocrine conditions through which brain structure and function are modulated across a woman's life span. Changes in sex hormones influence functional connectivity, neurotransmission and brain structure.” *1

While we're going through perimenopause (perimenopause = transition years leading up to menopause = a point in time where you haven't had a period for 12 months - more about the difference between the two, here) there are lifestyle choices you can make that will help ease that brain fog.

1. Movement

    Movement of any kind is essential for good brain health and prevention of chronic disease.

    Building muscle has been found to improve cognition, brain energy and reduce your chances of dementia. Exercise also helps improve your quality of sleep and improves circulation.

    More about perimenopause and exercise here.

    2. Better sleep

      Bad sleep impairs normal brain function and contributes to brain fog. Here are our top tips to try and improve sleep in perimenopause.

      These will help you sleep better.

      3. Soothing the nervous system

        Reducing stress through relaxation practices such as meditation, yoga and breathing techniques can help reduce anxiety, irritability and improve sleep.

        Try this and this to help alleviate feeling anxious and stressed

        4. Reversing Insulin Resistance

          Perimenopause is a time when you start to store excess fat around your middle, this can lead to insulin resistance and then into Type 2 diabetes.

          Insulin is a hormone and affects many other hormone interactions as our hormone system and the interactions are very complex; including oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

          So when we enter perimenopause where our hormone levels are changing, other hormones are affected too and cause major symptoms which mean we don't function as well as we would like.

          Untreated insulin resistance can lead to memory loss. Read more on insulin resistance here.

          5. Supplements 

            Magnesium Glycinate and Taurine are our top two recommended supplements that are beneficial for brain health and cognition. 

            You'll find Magnesium Glycinate in these two SheBANG! peri-busting products here.

            Other supplements of noteworthy are try Choline and MCT.

            Choline is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine that supports memory, mood and intelligence. During peri the bodies ability to produce choline can decline, so with supplementation you can improve memory and cognitive function. Food sources are eggs, liver and salmon.

            MCT oil (Medium-chain triglycerides) has been shown to calm the brain, reduce inflammation and block a receptor in the brain that causes memory loss.

            SheBANG!'s Clinical Nutritionist created this first-of-its-kind Protein POWder blend with KSM-66 Ashwagandha: a clinically tested adaptogen to help reduce brain fog in perimenopause.

            6. Are You Deficient in B12?

              B12 is an important vitamin for brain health and nerve function found in foods of animal origin, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products.

              By the age of 50 you will have a 40 percent chance of being deficient in B12.

              Symptoms of deficiency are fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, memory problems, tingling in your hands and feet and issues with balance.

              If you feel like you might be deficient please ask your GP to check your blood levels of B12. 

              7. Reducing Or Eliminating Alcohol

                Booze can really, really, mess with your sleep which leads to, you guessed it, the worst brain fog. 

                Long term use of alcohol reduces your melatonin levels and disrupts your circadian rhythm.

                It will also increase night sweats and hot flashes: all of which disrupt your sleep.

                Read more about alcohol consumption and how to interacts with perimenopause here 

                8. Oestrogen Therapy in Perimenopause

                Oestrogen Therapy can improve cognition if you start within five years of your final period.

                According to neuroscientist Roberta Diaz Brinton:

                “Estrogen has beneficial effects if taken before or at the time of menopause when neurological health is still intact, but detrimental effects if initiated years after menopause when neurologocal health may have already begun to decline” *3

                Remember there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to hormones.

                The most important thing is finding a skilled health professional who can find the right treatment for you.

                9. Exercise Your Mind Through Perimenopause

                It’s important to challenge your mind each day and it can be as simple as social interactions, reading, crossword puzzles or even learning something new like learning to play a musical instrument or studying a new language.

                It's important to remember to be kind to yourself.

                We aren't getting old and forgetful, our hormones are changing and our bodies are getting used to the new normal.

                We love our to-do lists here at SheBANG! HQ. If it’s not written down, it’s forgotten!








                1. Sex hormones affect neurotransmitters and shape the adult female brain during hormonal transition periods
                2. Hormone Repair Manual, Lara Briden ND
                3. Estrogen: a master regulator of bioenergetic systems in the brain and body

                April 03, 2022 — Angela Greely

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