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DOCTOR PERI: What can I do to minimise brain fog and forgetfulness?

What can I do to minimise brain fog and forgetfulness? I feel like I am forever standing in the supermarket staring into space.

Dr Peri says:

Firstly, I'd like to ask our questioner to consider: 'how do you define brain fog?'

Is it about confusion, forgetfulness, lack of focus, mental tiredness, or feeling low? If that's the case there are lots of phases in our life where we might feel like that. 

Medication can give us brain fog, cancer treatment might bring on brain fog, when we're pregnant, we get brain fog. 

So there are a lot of times in our lives that we experience it, but we certainly have to put a strategic plan in place.

Don't forget that perimenopause is also often a part of the aging process. 

Of course, we know some people have perimenopause in their 20s, but by and large, symptoms of brain fog in perimenopause coincide with the aging process and getting us ready for menopause, so there is a preparation period. 

If that's the case for you, and you're finding that brain fog is part of aging, then I would encourage you to do things to better engage in life. 

Have mental acuity and start to engage in things that stimulate you. 

Engage in the three pillars of mental health, which is good eating, good sleeping, good exercise, and often symptoms will resolve themselves.

We know that brain fog also impacts your sleep. Focus on good sleep hygiene to help stabilise your mood, and reduce irritability and fatigue. 

What I've also heard is that HRT is fabulous for brain fog in perimenopause, and it may be worthwhile to have a discussion with your GP about estrogen replacement. 

There are actually positive antidotes to the symptoms of perimenopause, and they mean being proactive and taking charge of your life.

I think so often people assume mental health is something that just happens, but if we want to want to lose weight, we change our lifestyle to see results.

I think it's a really important that we get disciplined in the same way for our mental health. Get disciplined about what you need to do to manage it.

It might be exercise, it might be doing crosswords, or sodoku. Work out exactly what it is that's happening to you, and develop a method to best counteract it.

Sandy Rea is a psychologist with over 30 years of experience. Her practice is multi-disciplinary, dealing with everyday issues. Holding multiple advanced degrees, Sandy is currently a PhD candidate at James Cook University. Further, Sandy regularly offers commentary on Channel 9 Today, Weekend Today, Today Extra, and 3AW. For 10 years, she was a weekly columnist at Herald Sun, providing her insights into mental health.

Got a peri-related question you'd like answered by an expert? Send it through to [email protected]. (And yes, you'll be completely anonymous).

Feature Image: Mamamia.

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