27 FEB CAN BHRT LIFT MY BRAIN FOG?
Clouding of consciousness. That’s the medical term for the condition colloquially known as “brain fog”. Fitting, isn’t it? Most of us can relate to being at least a little bit foggy some days. The manifestations of this condition range from lack of focus or mental clarity to confusion, irritability and impaired judgment. The cause could be something as benign as not sleeping well the night before, or it could potentially be a hormonal imbalance. The best way to know is to consult with your medical provider about your symptoms and get up to date lab work.
Hormonal imbalances can contribute to “foggy” symptoms. Many patients who come into our pharmacy list forgetfulness, irritability, and lack of focus as reasons why they want to get their hormones in balance. At least 60% of women report memory issues as they go through menopause, and it has been shown that the decreased levels of estradiol (the primary female estrogen) in post-menopausal women are partly responsible for a decrease in memory in published scientific trials.
Optimizing estrogen, progesterone and testosterone levels can potentially help patients who are experiencing brain fog. There is also evidence that the hormones DHEA, pregnenolone and vitamin D have a role to play in central nervous system processing. But just as the brain is a complicated organ, the answer to the “brain fog” conundrum is complicated as well. Optimizing hormones is one piece, and proper over-the-counter supplementation is another. However, it is equally important to decrease stressors at home & the workplace and get routine physical activity to maintain our mental clarity.
Llewellyn DJ, Lang IA, Langa KM, et al. Vitamin D and risk of cognitive decline in elderly persons. Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(13):1135-41.
Mayo W, George O, Darbra S, et al. Individual differences in cognitive aging: implication of pregnenolone sulfate. Prog Neurobiol. 2003;71(1):43-8.
Stangl B, Hirshman E, Verbalis J. Administration of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) enhances visual-spatial performance in postmenopausal women. Behav Neurosci. 2011;125(5):742-52.