10 tips to get rid of menopausal brain fog and boost your memory after hysterectomy

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When you notice your short-term memory is worsening after a hysterectomy, you may suffer from so-called menopausal brain fog. You may not remember names, search for the right words or find it hard to think clearly. And as a result, you may start feeling irritated and insecure. Even though it is generally a passing phenomenon when these things happen to you regularly, it can be very stressful.

menopausal brain fog

Symptoms of menopausal brain fog after a hysterectomy include:

  • Problems with multitasking
  • Struggle to remember names
  • Short-term memory issues
  • Difficulty concentrating

If this sounds familiar, then keep on reading. I will share with you why this happens and several lifestyle changes that may improve your memory and organize your mind.

What is menopausal brain fog?

You probably have heard of brain fog.  It often describes a temporary inability to think clearly, focus, and put your thoughts into words. After a hysterectomy, brain fog is usually a short-lived condition that women experience during the transition from pre-menopause through perimenopause.

Now brain fog can happen to anyone, regardless of age or gender. However, it is prevalent among women over 40 and women who have had a hysterectomy. These forgetfulness episodes are known as “menopause brain fog” or “low estrogen brain fog.” Various survey studies report that about 60 to 80 percent of women face memory issues during menopause.

What causes menopausal brain fog?

What’s causing this reduced mental clarity? Scientists believe it is related to hormonal changes. Throughout the perimenopausal years, your hormone levels may fluctuate turbulently. This may provoke many symptoms while your body and mind try to adjust. One of these hormones, estrogen, protects nerve cells from damage and degeneration. It enhances the communication between neurons in the hippocampus. This part of the brain is associated with concentration, word retrieval, and memory.

However, new research suggests that our uterus may not be solely for reproduction. A study using a rat model indicates there is a link between the uterus and brain function. This study shows a unique negative effect on short-term memory when only the uterus is removed. Surprisingly, they observed no memory loss in the rats with their ovaries removed along with the uterus. 

Researchers only just started looking more closely at the uterus-ovary-brain triad. Nor are they sure if the diminished memory is permanent or just a short-term issue. Therefore, further study is required to understand better how the uterus connects with the rest of the body.

What helps with menopausal brain fog?

How can you naturally combat brain fog? If you like to uphold optimal brain function, there are several things you can do starting today. Check out these 10 proven ways to improve your cognitive performance.

1. Get enough sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep can be hard during menopause. At this time, sleep disturbances are often associated with hot flashes. As well as anxiety and depression some women suffer during menopause. Without enough sleep, paying attention or memorizing new information can be hard.

A few steps you can take to get a better night’s sleep are to keep your bedroom distraction-free. For one, avoid computer screens or cell phones before bedtime. They emit blue light that suppresses melatonin production, the hormone that regulates our sleep cycle. Second, you will sleep better if your bedroom is dark and cool. And last, do not go to bed with a full stomach or drink beverages containing caffeine or alcohol. Are you having trouble sleeping? Read this post.

2. Eat a balanced diet

A healthy diet is essential for optimal brain function. Make sure your diet includes enough omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fats carry out several tasks. In particular, they build cell membranes within the body and the brain. “There’s sufficient proof they can also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. This suggests that they might promote healthier brain cells and less brain decline. Rich sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, and sardines. But also food sources like vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds.

3. Supplement for menopausal brain fog

Ginkgo biloba is a popular supplement many people take to power their brains. Some even refer to it as the “brain herb.” Ginkgo Biloba is a plant extract rich in antioxidants. It can be beneficial for people suffering from weak memory and poor concentration. There are some known negative side effects of this herb, so before taking this supplement, consult your doctor first. 

4. Alleviate stress

Besides memory, stress affects many other brain functions.  Chronic stress can destroy brain cells and even shrink the size of the brain. Researchers are convinced that the constant production of the stress hormone cortisol is detrimental to the brain. It can harm the part of the brain where memory and learning are processed. So, bad stress can cause memory issues and rob you of your focus to perform your daily tasks. This is why finding a healthy way to ban stress from your life is crucial.

5. Exercise to improve memory

Exercise may well be the best tool to help with brain fog. Cardiovascular exercise increases heart rate and blood flow, which supplies the brain with more oxygen and nutrients. Aim for about 5 days of 30-minute cardio exercises each week. This can be in the form of brisk walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling. According to this study, brisk daily walks can lower one’s risk of developing dementia later by 38%. Even an activity as simple as daily gardening will lower that risk by 36%.

6. Strengthen the mind

Not just our body needs to exercise to stay in optimal shape. But our brain also needs to be stimulated to stay mentally sharp. Boost your memory and focus by continuously challenging your mind. Whether you do this by learning to play a musical instrument or a new language, keeping your mind engaged ensures it will stay sharp as you age.

7. Breathing techniques for menopausal brain fog

Mindful, deep breathing is a simple yet powerful tool to clear menopausal brain fog quickly. Daily meditation relaxes the body, makes you breathe slower, and helps to reduce stress.

Check out the benefits of Yoga after hysterectomy

Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet of Sweden discovered that when we breathe through our nose instead of our mouth, we can learn and memorize certain smells better. 

8. Lose weight to strengthen your memory

Losing weight is not just beneficial for the body. The finding of this study shows that losing weight improves older women’s memory after being on a diet. Weight loss actually changes the activity in the part of the brain that is important for memory tasks.

Moreover, losing weight will reduce the strain on the blood vessels when you are overweight. This will enhance blood flow to the brain and improve overall brain function.

9. Recharge your mental batteries

Taking occasional downtime after learning new things appears to have remarkable memory-boosting benefits. Short breaks of undisturbed rest may help your short and long-term memory. Participants in a study were given a list of items to remember. Those in the group who took 10-15 minutes to sit with closed eyes and gave their minds some time to encode the new information recollected almost 50% more than those immediately given another list to remember. This is a simple intervention that may significantly improve your memory.

10. Be organized for better memory

Organizing things is key if you want to improve your foggy mind. Women suffering from menopausal brain fog will truly benefit from being organized. Simple things like having a dedicated place to keep things like car keys, your purse, reading glasses, and so on will save you a lot of frustration.

Using a reminder app on the phone removes the fear that you will forget important tasks or appointments. Apps that can be shared between devices and are worth mentioning are Evernote, Google Calendar, and Remember the Milk.

You can also make your own manual checklists if you can better remember when you write them down. It may also be a safer option for keeping the financial details of your credit cards, bank information, and passwords.

The bottom line

Why do some women become very forgetful while others, the mind stays razor-sharp? You can blame it on the genes, as they certainly play a role. However, our attitude and our lifestyle can make all the difference. Proven methods to preserve memory involve eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight. Get regular exercise and do not smoke. And not to forget, it’s important to stay mentally active to clear your mind from menopausal brain fog.

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