The Cause Of Menopause Brain Fog And Natural Treatments To Manage It

Menopause happens when you’ve reached an age range where you haven’t had your menstruation in 12 consecutive months. Typically, this applies to women who are in their 40s or 50s. When this occurs, a woman no longer produces eggs and thus won’t be able to get pregnant naturally. Unfortunately, this comes with what they call menopause brain fog.

The symptoms of menopause differ for each woman. Some women experience physical changes such as weight gain and thinning hair. On the other hand, many women also go through brain fog, with symptoms ranging from forgetfulness to difficulty concentrating, among others.[1]Maki, P. M., & Henderson, V. W. (2016). Cognition and the menopause transition. Menopause (New York, N.Y.)23(7), 803–805. https://doi.org/10.1097/GME.0000000000000681

What Causes Menopause Brain Fog?

For the most part, scientists believe that the cognitive symptoms you experience during your menopausal stage are caused by changes in hormone levels. These symptoms include memory loss, difficulty concentrating, getting lost in your train of thought, and even being easily confused.

Estrogen and testosterone are the two main female hormones responsible for cognition and memory. Estrogen is the one that stimulates the brain and keeps the brain cells at work. Testosterone, on the other hand, strengthens the nerves in your brain as well as the arteries that supply blood flow to it. If the levels of these hormones fall during menopause, that’s when you are likely to experience brain fog.

woman experiencing menopause brain fog

However, there are other factors to consider that may also contribute to the symptoms – sleep and stress.

When you experience night sweats or hot flashes during menopause, this is when your brain struggles to regulate your body temperature. As a result, it compromises the quality of your sleep if you keep waking up at night. This can lead to spending the day feeling sluggish and cranky which may be the reason you’re having a foggy brain.

Another factor is stress. When you’re preoccupied with a problem, the stress makes it difficult for you to concentrate on a task and even lose your focus.

How To Treat Menopause Brain Fog With Natural Remedies

If you’re experiencing it yourself or want to help a loved one, you’ve already probably asked “How can I get rid of menopausal brain fog?” For many women, this is usually mild and goes away on its own. But for some, it may even last for years.

Below are some of the natural treatments that can help to overcome menopause brain fog:

Exercise regularly.

woman exercising to prevent menopause brain fog

Giving yourself some movement does not only benefit the physical body but the mind as well. Physical activities can help increase the production of chemicals that promotes the growth of healthier brain cells. Moreover, it can also help increase the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain.

In fact, a small study found that postmenopausal women who engaged more in physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness performed better in cognitive function tests compared to those who exercised less.[2]Bender, C. M., Sereika, S. M., Gentry, A. L., Duquette, J. E., Casillo, F. E., Marsland, A., Brufsky, A. M., Evans, S., Gorantla, V. C., Grahovac, T. L., McAuliffe, P. F., Steiman, J. G., Zhu, Y., & Erickson, K. I. (2021). Physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and cognitive function in postmenopausal women with breast cancer. Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer29(7), 3743–3752. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-020-05865-4

Learn to manage your stress.

women doing yoga to prevent menopause brain fog

From time to time, all of us experience stress – some lightly, and some with even more challenging situations. And most of the time, we get headaches when we’re stressed. Believe it or not, stress can be damaging to your brain.

According to studies, chronic stress can impair brain function in ways we might not be aware of. It may cause brain cells to die and even result in brain size reduction. The prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is responsible for memory and learning, may shrink due to too much stress.[3]Yale University. (2012, August 12). How stress and depression can shrink the brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 5, 2022 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120812151659.htm

Keep yourself hydrated.

As experts always advised, drinking eight glasses a day will keep you hydrated and healthier. Doing so has several benefits including helping your body regulate its temperature, providing lubrication to your joints, warding off infections, giving nutrients to your cells, and helping keep your organs properly functioning. It also helps improve the quality of your sleep, mental health, and overall disposition.

Researchers in a small study found that people who usually have a high intake of water felt less calm, less content, and more anxious when they were asked to decrease their water intake. On the other hand, those who were asked to drink more water felt more happiness and positive emotions.[4]Pross, N., Demazières, A., Girard, N., Barnouin, R., Metzger, D., Klein, A., Perrier, E., & Guelinckx, I. (2014). Effects of changes in water intake on mood of high and low drinkers. PloS one9(4), e94754. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0094754

Commit to a healthy diet.

While there’s no specific food that will prevent you from having menopausal brain fog, nutritionists have always advised following a healthy lifestyle for optimal bodily and brain function. A healthy diet usually consists of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and protein from fish. Some of the best brain foods you can try are:

Green, leafy vegetables

These plant-based foods are rich in nutrients such as vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta-carotene which help promote a healthier brain. Examples of leafy plants are kale, spinach, collards, and broccoli. Eating this type of food also helps reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and cognitive decline.[5]Morris, M. C., Wang, Y., Barnes, L. L., Bennett, D. A., Dawson-Hughes, B., & Booth, S. L. (2018). Nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables and cognitive decline: Prospective study. Neurology90(3), e214–e222. https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000004815

Fatty fish

Instead of consuming saturated fats found in butter, meat fat, processed foods, and more, you can opt for healthy fats from fish. They are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids that are linked to reduced risk of developing dementia.

You can consume fish at least twice a week but ensure that you choose varieties that are low in mercury like salmon. Alternatively, consult a doctor about taking omega-3 supplements or find other sources like flaxseeds, avocados, and walnuts.


Fruits like berries can help improve memory with the help of flavonoids, which are dietary antioxidants that protect your cells from oxidative damage. A study also found that older women who have a higher intake of flavonoids from berries benefitted from delayed memory decline.[6]Devore, E. E., Kang, J. H., Breteler, M. M., & Grodstein, F. (2012). Dietary intakes of berries and flavonoids in relation to cognitive decline. Annals of neurology72(1), 135–143. https://doi.org/10.1002/ana.23594


Menopause is one of the most life-changing changes in a woman’s life. Transitioning to this stage, however, may come with unpleasant symptoms that may hinder your day-to-day activities. Experiencing menopause brain fog is even worse, but this should not be a reason to feel hopeless. With the aid of a proper lifestyle and natural treatments, overcoming this condition should help you regain a sharper mind and a healthier brain.

Does menopause brain fog ever go away? Yes, it is temporary. If you know someone who might find this article helpful, feel free to share it with them.


Written by Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at MyDailyBrain is a team of enthusiastic experts who have a passion for human cognitive and brain sciences. View all authors »

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