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Brain fog is the most ‘overlooked menopause symptom’ expert says

A menopause expert has said brain fog is the number one symptom that is not being given any recognition in comparison to the other more common signs

Dr Asha Kasliwal, of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, said she had seen firsthand how terrified patients are by the symptoms with many fearing it could be the onset of dementia or another serious illness.

According to the NHS, menopause, and perimenopause usually affect women between 45 and 55, and can take place when hormone levels begin to fall.

Symptoms can include mood swings, hot flushes, irregular periods, and brain fog.

Dr Kasliwal told the Manchester Evening News: “Brain fog is quite common and becoming more common as people start to recognise what it is. In the past, people did not know that it could be part of menopause.

“The kind of things that patients tell you is that they have difficulty remembering words or numbers, they are missing appointments, and they are forgetting important events, such as birthdays.

“Women are quite used to multitasking and they find that they are not able to do it anymore or find it difficult to switch to different tasks. They have trouble focusing or concentrating on what they are doing. Simple things like not being able to find your car keys.”

But even though it is important to recognise the symptom, treating them is another thing.

She said women need to be wary of using testosterone to treat brain fog, and it should be limited to women who have already had their Hormone Replacement Therapy(HRT) dose optimised.

Dr Kaliwal said: “One of the most important things to understand is that HRT is not a magic wand to treat brain fog. This is where HRT might be helpful, but not directly for the brain fog itself, but if it helps you sleep better.”

She said one of the most important things to do was to be open about your symptoms as it will relieve the pressure and help promote discussion on menopause.

She said it was also vital that women know that brain fog is not directly linked to dementia.

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