1

votes

hormonal imbalance causing brain fog?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 17, 2012 at 9:02 PM

I have been struggling with debilitating brain fog for most of the year. I feel like an idiot most of the time, make stupid mistakes, can hardly pay attention or focus.

I dropped almost 20lbs and lost my period about the same time the brain fog hit. I also suffered a kidney infection and took antibiotics at that time. I still haven't gotten my period and it's been 10 months. for the past few months I have been eating a super nutrient dense diet and my blood work tends to look good except my estradiol is close to zero. I weigh about 114 now and am eating tons of fat trying to get my period back and get this brain fog to go away.

tl;dr could my brain fog be caused by my hormones being out of whack? I have read that some women experience brain fog when going through menopause.

Medium avatar

(-5)

on June 07, 2014
at 12:32 PM

I'm very interested in your answer but it's hard to understand. Are you able to explain things a little bit more simply and without so many abbreviations?

04288221d91c389afea685c492d75398

(0)

on May 30, 2014
at 10:26 PM

The Quilt, I am 30 and have been experiencing about 4 or more years of brain fog which is now extreme and debilitating. Other problems are PCOS, extreme PMS symptoms & mood disorder, abnormal periods (2 - 3 mos apart)., digestive disorder, anxiety, some depression. My thyroid tested normal. Originally, brain fog & digestion improved significant after candida diet. Have since done candida and various paleo diets with no cognitive improvement, and possibly a worsening. I have tried everything I can think of and am desperate to know what to do. Cogn function is worse day after alcohol consumptio

A3c56c85290f748410a6f340ddd552b3

(321)

on January 02, 2013
at 11:10 PM

Thank you for the honesty on why you lost weight. Often it is really that simple when it all starts...

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on November 12, 2012
at 04:19 AM

I wish I knew what to tell you...if you do decide to take a progesterone supplement use a bioidentical hormonal cream...

6b365c14c646462210f3ef6b6fecace1

(1784)

on November 09, 2012
at 11:28 PM

you should try intcreasing your carb intake to drive the nutrients into your cells. Forget the starches, go for the super ripe fruits

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on October 19, 2012
at 12:41 PM

Nursling to fix it you must test it and then reverse it. If you allow it to persist than what ultimately will result in your brain is lowered dopamine level chronically. When that happens lots of bad things happen. I just posted the end result on my FB wall this AM because I gave webinar last night about this very topic. You can fix it if you choose too.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on October 18, 2012
at 10:20 PM

I am just trying to figure out what I should pursue next, or should I keep on the path I am on and hope that my body/brain/hormones are slowly going to catch up with me?

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on October 18, 2012
at 10:19 PM

hi Dr. Kruse, thanks for answering my question. I know my cortisol and melatonin are disrupted since my sleep quality is horrible and broken, though I no longer have early wakening. I have been eating a diet very rich in brain specific nutrients (lots of sardines, canned cod liver, beef liver, egg yolks, kelp, a couple Brazil nuts/day) for a few months now. as well, my B12/folates are off the charts high and my copper/zinc are fine in serum tests. what should I pursue next? I don't feel like dialing in my nutrition has helped my brain fog even though I had high expectations that it would.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on October 18, 2012
at 02:54 PM

thanks, I am following a nutrient dense ketogenic diet at the moment trying to do exactly that and have gained weight. I hope that my body will normalize with time...

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on October 18, 2012
at 07:33 AM

Also, it is very important that you keep your carbs down - like no fruit, very little berry, no starchy veggies. I think that taking antibiotics while losing so much weight might have damaged your gut flora. So you do not want to feed your opportunistic flora.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on October 18, 2012
at 05:36 AM

Thanks for clarification, I did not know that. Maybe your body has become malnourished and need extra nutrition. I would continue eating your diet high in nutrients (liver and bone broth are a must), but I would add sauerkraut and therapeutic strength probiotics. I do not know if it is going to reduce your brain fog, but it cannot hurt.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on October 18, 2012
at 12:22 AM

I wanted to be really thin.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on October 17, 2012
at 10:45 PM

Thanks for your feedback on GAPs. When a woman loses too much weight, her periods stop - that's very common. So what was the primary reason for your weight loss? What triggered it?

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on October 17, 2012
at 10:32 PM

I have done GAPS and it didn't make a difference. I didn't have brain fog before I lost weight/my period. It seems very Occam's Razor to me that this is tied to my period.

211ce7026d0c78a1d5aa23d2cfcc24dc

on October 17, 2012
at 09:46 PM

My wife has had brain fog for a year or so as well as cold hands, low body temperature, no period, and other issues. She was athletic and healthy before all of this (and only 31 years old), so we're as frustrated as you sound too! Hopefully someone has some good advice!

293ba4c95d190bc616b27d85b10d705a

(661)

on October 17, 2012
at 09:35 PM

i am not in menopause but my progesterone is very low and my estrogen is a little low and i definitely have brain fog!!

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8 Answers

1
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on October 18, 2012
at 10:07 PM

Sounds like acute pregnenolone steal syndrome causing a low Progesterone to E2 ratio. Brain gut 9 and 12 explain this is some detail. When progesterone is low in the brain it means cortisol is too high from the PVN. This means you live in the oxidized pathways of human biochemistry. When brain PG is low and cortisol is out of its normal diurnal cycle it also does not allow us to make new neurons at the hippocampus of the brain. This is partly why you have brain fog. If you can not make new neurons you have to use the ones you have and they are not adequately reduced at night as you sleep. This means the remaining neurons are also metabolically sluggish. Ketosis can help the functioning a bit but it wont approach optimal. the others issue is a highly likely hood of deficiency in brain specific nutrients that cause the sluggishness to persist. I have written about this in BG 5 and in my top ten paleo supplement blog. It is complex but digestible. Anyone who has this issue also by definition has altered IGF-1 and salivary melatonin cycle. I cover that in BG 11. Dont settle for less. When you know better you do better.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on October 18, 2012
at 10:20 PM

I am just trying to figure out what I should pursue next, or should I keep on the path I am on and hope that my body/brain/hormones are slowly going to catch up with me?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on October 19, 2012
at 12:41 PM

Nursling to fix it you must test it and then reverse it. If you allow it to persist than what ultimately will result in your brain is lowered dopamine level chronically. When that happens lots of bad things happen. I just posted the end result on my FB wall this AM because I gave webinar last night about this very topic. You can fix it if you choose too.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on October 18, 2012
at 10:19 PM

hi Dr. Kruse, thanks for answering my question. I know my cortisol and melatonin are disrupted since my sleep quality is horrible and broken, though I no longer have early wakening. I have been eating a diet very rich in brain specific nutrients (lots of sardines, canned cod liver, beef liver, egg yolks, kelp, a couple Brazil nuts/day) for a few months now. as well, my B12/folates are off the charts high and my copper/zinc are fine in serum tests. what should I pursue next? I don't feel like dialing in my nutrition has helped my brain fog even though I had high expectations that it would.

04288221d91c389afea685c492d75398

(0)

on May 30, 2014
at 10:26 PM

The Quilt, I am 30 and have been experiencing about 4 or more years of brain fog which is now extreme and debilitating. Other problems are PCOS, extreme PMS symptoms & mood disorder, abnormal periods (2 - 3 mos apart)., digestive disorder, anxiety, some depression. My thyroid tested normal. Originally, brain fog & digestion improved significant after candida diet. Have since done candida and various paleo diets with no cognitive improvement, and possibly a worsening. I have tried everything I can think of and am desperate to know what to do. Cogn function is worse day after alcohol consumptio

Medium avatar

(-5)

on June 07, 2014
at 12:32 PM

I'm very interested in your answer but it's hard to understand. Are you able to explain things a little bit more simply and without so many abbreviations?

1
46f6b440a524a0af9e24501ae72bea77

on October 17, 2012
at 09:53 PM

I have similar symptoms that is associate eith my ADD which I am now succumbed to get medical intervention for in a week. ADD runs in my family.

0
7a777966a2b7f30251c358b6fe35936f

on May 31, 2014
at 12:12 PM

A test was performed by University of Rochester in New York on 117 women aged between 40-60 in menopause different menopause stages. In postmenopausal year women performed very badly in tests of memory and verbal learning. The test that helps to analyze how could they recall list of words. Also other factors were not in favor of women incase of recalling longer strings of digits. Hormonal imbalance definitely leads to brain fog.

0
04288221d91c389afea685c492d75398

on May 30, 2014
at 10:18 PM

We have a lot of similarities in our problems! I am also believing my issue to be hormonal - and have considered an imbalance in progesterone/estrogen or adrenal fatigue. I have also started having severe PMS symptoms. There is a great book on hormones by Dr. Sara Gottfried called the Hormone Cure. I am waiting on hormone tests to come back, and am trying some of her treatments. In the questionare section, I tested very likely to have each of the hormone problems! Including both low AND high estrogen. So that is very confusing! I will keep you updated with what I find out. My e-mail is BLUllmer@live.com. If you would like to e-mail me directly, we can correspond easier. I can sooo relate to how you feel, though! And I am starting a new job in banking, and am struggling to get through the training!!

0
8ad44024c24e6f558583a937190588ef

on April 10, 2014
at 03:12 PM

I have had debilitating brain fog that has started at age 19 and at age 25 I still suffer some the symptoms. This has got to be one of the worst symptoms you can have at my age when you are supposed to be at the peak years of your life. It has completely destroyed my life including job prospects since my short term and long term memory is horrible. I had to drop out of classes and change my career goals. I feel like I have some sort of teenage onset dementia.

When I was 19, I felt like I can perfectly relate to menopausal women who complain of brain fog and memory problems and spent time reading those forums.

Just like the topic starter, it coincided with weight loss and a brief period of amenorrhea. Now I have regular periods, but the mental clarity is still not there. But I also add, that I have had brain fog associated with ADD since I was young, but nothing as bad as what I am currently experiencing.

I just bought some phytoestrogen pills (plant based estrogen) thinking that it is due to low estrogen levels, but now I hear that this problem may be due to a progesterone insufficiency which further complicates matters. I have found that DHEA and pregnenolone have helped some for adrenal support suggesting it may be related to "adrenal fatigue" (a term unfortunately not recognized in the medical community) but it is not by any means a complete cure.

0
04288221d91c389afea685c492d75398

on April 03, 2014
at 12:46 AM

@Christina 12 - I have been experiencing very similar problems. First came gradual onset brain fog about 4 years ago, then digestive problems. The candida diet cured both, temporarily. Then both returned, and I have been using diet, antifungals, probiotics off and on ever since with no luck. My digestive symptoms will improve while I'm following a rigid diet, but the brain fog doesn't. I have been on an extra strict version of the SC diet for the past 5 months and still have no improvement, but a worsening, of brain fog.

I also have hormonal imbalance, and also believe this to be the main problem that is throwing everything else out of whack! My periods come months apart, and I have been diagnosed PCOS. I have also begun having horrible emotional PMS symptoms including suicidal thoughts and hopelessness. The PMS often lasts for a couple weeks before my period, and during this time I have digestive symptoms (foul smelling gas, pain) regardless of what I eat. I am almost 30 yrs old, and wonder too if I am premenopausal. This seems early, though.

I have been seeing an NP and he has me on pregnenolone and HTTP as well as boiron sepia, but things just aren't improving! I am desperate because the brain fog is so debilitating! Christina - I would love to talk and see if we have any hints or tips for each other. My email address is BLUllmer@live.com. I greatly appreciate any tips, thoughts, or suggestions!!!

0
6c97aec15cbeb598346122c83e2e7024

on November 09, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Don't know, but I think I have brain fog from my hormones being whacked out as well! I don't know what to do about this??

I made the mistake 6 years ago of being convinced into going back to 'traditional medicine' for some time because of my uveitis and autoimmune, as well as slightly 'traditional eating' because I'd lost so much weight (there are a lot of foods I'm sensitive to), as I'm coming to and coming out of that by the grace of the Higher Power. I am now coming out of denial that when I took bone density medicine for one month (I'm premenopausal), it messed up my hormones and I now have severe brain fog issues, too... I know that one Rheumatologist I saw (before I started eliminating soy and sugar and trying to work on the RA, Sjogren's, Uveitis on my own, except for the Uveitis which I still get meds for) told me that 'the FDA is trying to crack down on the use of bone density meds for premenopausal women' (and that's the one that was supposed to be 'okay' for premenopausal women!...)... So, I guess I'm screwed?... (I forgot how to use supplemental creams to repair the hormones) I would think I'd need someone to help me and I can't afford a gyno...

Also, I used to have absence of periods when I'd dropped under my goal weight (I definitely remember it happening when I was 99 lbs...)... Now, my periods have been 20 days on, 3 days off, then again, then 2-3 days, then 19 days off, then back to around 7 days or higher!... This is driving me nuts, I don't know whether or not I should take a progesterone supplement and my adrenals are also very much fatigued...

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on November 12, 2012
at 04:19 AM

I wish I knew what to tell you...if you do decide to take a progesterone supplement use a bioidentical hormonal cream...

0
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on October 17, 2012
at 10:08 PM

I have just listened to GAPS lecture... sounds so GAPS to me. Have you ever considered doing it? If you are interested, I can include the lecture link.

I honestly do not think it is hormonal. I think all your symptoms are tied together and they all have the same underlying cause. Whether it is gut flora (GAPS) or some metabolic/inflammatory problem, it is a part of the same vicious circle and there is only one solution - a very very strict, regimented diet for a while. Paleo is for healthy people who want to stay healthy. GAPS is for sick people who want to get better.

Once you are done with the intro diet and Stage 1 I would still stick with Paleo (I disagree with her on some things).

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on October 18, 2012
at 12:22 AM

I wanted to be really thin.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on October 18, 2012
at 07:33 AM

Also, it is very important that you keep your carbs down - like no fruit, very little berry, no starchy veggies. I think that taking antibiotics while losing so much weight might have damaged your gut flora. So you do not want to feed your opportunistic flora.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on October 18, 2012
at 02:54 PM

thanks, I am following a nutrient dense ketogenic diet at the moment trying to do exactly that and have gained weight. I hope that my body will normalize with time...

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on October 17, 2012
at 10:45 PM

Thanks for your feedback on GAPs. When a woman loses too much weight, her periods stop - that's very common. So what was the primary reason for your weight loss? What triggered it?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on October 18, 2012
at 05:36 AM

Thanks for clarification, I did not know that. Maybe your body has become malnourished and need extra nutrition. I would continue eating your diet high in nutrients (liver and bone broth are a must), but I would add sauerkraut and therapeutic strength probiotics. I do not know if it is going to reduce your brain fog, but it cannot hurt.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on October 17, 2012
at 10:32 PM

I have done GAPS and it didn't make a difference. I didn't have brain fog before I lost weight/my period. It seems very Occam's Razor to me that this is tied to my period.

A3c56c85290f748410a6f340ddd552b3

(321)

on January 02, 2013
at 11:10 PM

Thank you for the honesty on why you lost weight. Often it is really that simple when it all starts...

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