Some females express discomfort from bloating or cramps monthly, while others have to manage with perplexity, memory lapses and a lack of concentration before the onset of the menstrual cycle. This is known as brain fog prior to menstrual cycle! Although hormones may be held accountable, there are several other reasons for this occurrence. Let us reveal the causes of brain fog as a premenstrual syndrome symptom and how to cope with it.
Understanding brain fog
Brain fog is a term that depicts a mental state marked by confusion, forgetfulness, difficulty in focusing and mental clarity issues, according to Dr. Ayushi Shukla, Consultant – Psychiatry at SRV Hospitals in Dombivli, Maharashtra. It is transient and not a formal medical diagnosis, but it often feels like a clouding of cognitive function, where individuals may struggle to think clearly or recollect information.
Triggers of brain fog prior to menstrual cycle
Brain fog prior to menstrual cycle can be a symptom of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), says the expert. Here is why it may occur:
1. Hormonal changes
The primary cause of brain fog before a menstrual cycle is fluctuations in hormones. A decline in estrogen and progesterone levels can influence neurotransmitters such as serotonin. This, in turn, will impact your mood, cognitive function, and memory retention.
2. Insomnia and sleep disruptions
Several females experience disturbed sleep patterns during their menstrual cycle. They toss and turn a number of times and fail to obtain sufficient sleep. Insomnia or poor-quality sleep can result in fatigue, which can contribute to brain fog.
3. Emotional changes
Emotional symptoms linked to PMS or PMDD such as irritability and anxiety can affect concentration, focus, and mental clarity, leading to brain fog.
4. Tension and anxiety
Elevated levels of stress and anxiety around the time of the menstrual cycle can affect cognitive function. These emotional factors can create mental haziness and hinder daily activities.
Select Topics of your interest and let us customize your feed.
5. Retention of fluids
Some females experience fluid retention (edema) during their menstrual cycle, leading to physical discomfort and a sensation of heaviness that can also influence mental alertness.
Coping with brain fog before menstruation
During experiencing brain fog prior to menstruation, these methods can help alleviate some of the symptoms.
1. Regulating hormones
Hormone therapies can aid in stabilizing hormone fluctuations, reducing cognitive symptoms, states Dr. Shukla.
2. Dietary and nutritional adjustments
A balanced diet rich in complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids can assist in managing mood and energy levels. Reducing salt and sugar intake may help prevent fluid retention.
3. Physical activity
Consistent physical activity is not solely about staying physically fit. It can also help enhance your mood and reduce stress, thereby improving cognitive function. You do not need one or two hours to work out to reap the benefits. Approximately 20 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises can aid in enhancing your cognitive performance.
4. Managing stress
Relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing are effective means to alleviate stress and anxiety, promoting mental clarity and preventing brain fog.
5. Sleep routine
Prioritize quality sleep by maintaining a consistent sleep schedule and creating a comfortable sleeping environment. This means refraining from checking your phone or watching shows or movies on screens. Strive to get at least seven hours of sleep every night to prevent exacerbation of brain fog.
If brain fog persists, seek advice from a medical professional.