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Brain Fog & Concentration Problems

PMS & PMDD Brain Fog & Concentration Problems & 7 Natural Relief Tips

by Dr. Daniel J. Heller
Dr. Daniel J. Heller Dr. Danie J. Heller

Dr. Heller is a family practitioner who specializes in helping patients with hormonal conditions like PMS & PMDD; diabetes and prediabetes; and other chronic diseases. He is the founder, formulator, and clinical director of PMS Comfort. [more]

 

It’s a few days before your period and you’re at work, feeling a little more anxious and emotional than usual, and maybe bloated and achy, too. On top of that, you learn that you misunderstood the assignment your boss gave you this morning, and fear she may now assign it to someone else. You’re not your usual efficient self, because PMS is making concentration difficult, creating fuzzy thinking, and tripping up your memory. PMS brain fog means you just don’t accomplish as much as you usually can.

If you’re a student, on top of your studies and other responsibilities, you may find you have to plan your studies around your cycle, because a week before your period you know you won’t be able to process and retain information the way you normally can. You may even dread tests that are scheduled at the same time as when your PMS symptoms typically occur. Your academic career is more difficult than it should be, all because of your hormones.

If you're a stay at home mom, or a working mom, you may find that your multiple jobs—wife, mother, nurse, taxi driver, cook, cleaner, classroom assistant, homework tutor, social secretary, and household manager—all get a little or a lot harder before your period. Keeping track of responsibilities, staying focused on dinner prep when your brain just isn't clear, struggling to keep your household in it's usual order—you may feel that the difficulty concentrating, fuzzy thinking, and brain fog that come with PMS keep you from being the wife and mother you know you can be.

What is PMS Brain Fog?

The way PMS affects your brain and your ability to think clearly, to concentrate and learn, and to function effectively in your life is too often overlooked. For many women, this mental fog, or brain fog, is one of the worst parts of PMS—just as important to them as anxiety, irritability, aches and pains, bloating, food cravings, and other annoying and debilitating PMDD and PMS symptoms that make many women feel "not like themselves" for days or weeks each month.

Brain fog is a funny name for something that is not funny—at all. But it is a remarkably accurate description of the lack of clarity and difficulty concentrating that can occur before the period. PMS brain fog can affect work performance and school and studying; can make it hard to learn new things; and can render you less efficient and capable at home.

This often feeds into an unfortunate and vicious cycle, where mistakes at work, poor performance at school, and not keeping up at home undermine your self-confidence and self-esteem, especially if you don’t realize that hormones are the cause. And the last thing a woman with PMS needs is, something else to chip away at her self-esteem, because as it is the other symptoms such as bloating and acne can already make life feel like a real struggle.

Premenstrual physical, emotional, and concentration problems can impact work relationships and make you less effective at work, or even force you to miss days at work. In fact, PMS and PMDD contribute to work absenteeism, and decrease your productivity in the workplace. In fact, the very definition of PMS and PMDD includes "impairment of functioning" at work, school, and in the home.

So many people don’t realize the real impact that PMS and PMDD have on concentration and mental clarity. Unfortunately, women are often unjustly accused of not being able to think clearly—a temporary health problem is confused with a lack of intelligence or another negative trait. But these are uninformed and ignorant opinions that aren’t based on facts. PMS and PMDD medical researchers know that the premenstrual phase can be marked by difficulty with cognitive tasks that are ordinarily not a problem.

7 Tips for Maintaining Your Focus All Month Long

  1. Discover and avoid your food allergies: food intolerances and sensitivities are more common than you may think, and avoiding them is not as hard as you may have heard. Don’t worry about what you’ve heard about gluten or about celebrities becoming vegan—you can discover your food sensitivities, and avoid them, while maintaining much of your usual diet. But most importantly, avoiding food allergens can clear your mind and cure brain fog. You’ll have to try it to believe it, but it works. Research shows that when we eat foods that our body doesn’t like, we absorb chemicals that our brain doesn’t like, and that interferes with clear thinking. You probably don’t need food allergy blood tests: the gold standard of food allergy testing is elimination and reintroduction.
  2. Maintain healthy sleep habits throughout the month: you know that when you have a bad night’s sleep, you’re more tired and irritable, and simply can’t concentrate as well the next day. Many women experience some degree of insomnia before their period, but maintaining healthy sleep habits that help keep you well rested throughout the month will help keep PMS and PMDD symptoms at bay.
  3. Stay regular using ground flaxseed: just as food allergies can create brain-fogging chemicals in your bloodstream, so can constipation. Stay regular by adding 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed to vegetables, cereal, or yoghurt, twice per day. You’ll be adding essential fiber, plus lignans that may help prevent cancer, and some important Omega-3 fatty acids, too.
  4. Stay active: if you’ve ever felt disoriented and out of it, and then gone for a workout or a brisk walk in the fresh air, and afterwards felt refreshed and invigorated, you’ll have an appreciation for how important physical activity is to keeping your mind clear. Exercise isn’t just for your figure anymore. It protects your heart, fights depression, and helps you sleep better. It may even help prevent Alzheimer’s. And, it probably helps reduce the symptoms of PMS and PMDD, including problems concentrating.
  5. Junk food makes you foggy: what you eat determines much of your brain chemistry, which means what you don’t eat is also essential. Just like food allergens, junk food interferes with clear thinking by playing havoc with your brain chemistry. Among the worst culprits are artificial colors and flavorings, so avoid those artificial foods and candies that are colored fluorescent green, blue, and pink.
  6. Maintain stable blood sugar: glucose, or blood sugar, is the only fuel your brain can use. But this doesn’t mean eating sweets will help you focus. What you really need is stable blood sugar, so that it doesn’t ever go too low. When your blood sugar falls, you can feel faint and irritable, and it can be hard to focus. Our special diet for hypoglycemia will help you stay on an even keel premenstrually and all month long.
  7. Adjust your schedule to how you feel: You don’t have to be superwoman, nor do you have to accept not feeling well or resign yourself to letting PMS interfere with your life. But if you’re having a hard time concentrating, or you anticipate that you’ll experience premenstrual brain fog, don’t be afraid to rearrange your appointments, obligations, and schedule until you have your usual clarity back.

Real, Natural Relief—So You Can Feel Great All Month Long

PMS and PMDD misery aren't always taken seriously enough by doctors, family, and friends. At PMS Comfort, our whole purpose is to empower and educate you about premenstrual symptoms, and to provide real, natural relief so that you can feel great all month long. Our all-natural doctor-designed programs are based on decades of experience helping thousands of women recover from what you've been going through. Our Herbal Relief formula, when combined with our diet and lifestyle guidance, addresses more than just your symptoms—it can help bring your body and mind back into balance, and help you get and stay healthy. Plus, we're here to support you, every step of the way.

To learn more about your PMS and PMDD symptoms, take the PMS Comfort quiz. Or, start feeling better today, for as little as 89 cents per day.

We want to help. Give us a call at 1-800-731-6327, drop us an e-mail, or send us your question.

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