Sitting at your nine to five desk job, you’re not sure if it’s from staring at your computer screen or something else, but you’ve been feeling spaced out and had a migraine all day. You down the last of your coffee in hopes your mental fog will clear so you can actually get some work done, but it doesn’t seem to help. Just to top off the weird work day, you know your period is about to commence because you feel those gut-wrenching cramps starting to roll in. Did you know that period and brain fog as well as migraines can actually be all connected?
What Causes “PMS Brain Fog”?
If you ever have difficulty concentrating, experience forgetfulness, feel foggy or notice light dizziness, you’re not alone. Many women report experiencing “PMS Brain Fog” either right before or after their period. There are a few reasons why one might experience this, such as:
- Hormones: an influx of oestrogen and progesterone during your cycle could be the reason behind your period brain fog.
- Lack of Quality Sleep: if you have difficulty sleeping while on your period because of heavy flow or pelvic pain, you may be more likely to wake up foggy due to lack of REM sleep.
- Iron Deficiency Anemia: occurs when the blood has too few red blood cells. Anemia is often caused by chronic heavy bleeding during menstruation.
- Perimenopause or Pregnancy: if you’re pregnant an influx of hormones might cloud your brain from time to time. Reversely, a significant drop in hormones during menopause can induce a foggy mental state.
It’s important to track how severe your symptoms are and how often you’re experiencing them. This can help your doctor understand what tests may be needed for diagnosis. Period brain fog should not be interrupting your daily life and routine. If you’re worried that your heavy or prolonged period is causing your cloudiness, you should consult your doctor immediately. Iron deficiency brain fog can be extremely difficult to live with and can be dangerous to your health. Anemia and brain fog symptoms should never be ignored. Symptoms are your body’s way of telling you something is seriously wrong.
Why Does Anemia Make You Forgetful?
According to a study in 2004, approximately 20% of women living in the U.S. are thought to have chronic iron deficiency. This means that ⅕ of women are at risk of mild to moderate anemia. Anemia can have lasting effects on your mental and physical health.
The simple answer as to why anemia and brain fog may go hand-in-hand is that your blood needs iron to transport oxygen to the brain. Close to 70% of your body’s total iron supply is found in the red blood cells. This iron supply is referred to as hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is essential for transferring oxygen in your blood from the lungs, to tissues and organs, such as your brain. So, when your brain isn’t getting the oxygen it needs to function, you may experience a lack of mental clarity, aka anemia brain fog.
Other Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia
You should be aware of other symptoms if you’ve been getting brain fog during period cycles and think it could be caused by iron deficiency anemia, such as:
- Extreme fatigue, especially during the day or after quality sleep
- Weakness felt throughout your body
- Pale or grey skin
- Shortness of breath when doing mild activities or sitting down
- Persistent headaches
- Dizziness or feeling lightheaded
- Chronic cold hands or feet in typically warm settings
Iron deficiency brain fog is just one of the many symptoms of anemia. Lack of mental clarity due to an iron deficiency typically means you have moderate to severe anemia. Heavy menstrual period brain fog leading to anemia can be caused by a variety of conditions, one being uterine fibroids, benign tumors that develop within the uterus causing painful periods.
Can Uterine Fibroids Cause Anemia and Brain Fog?
Yes, uterine fibroids often cause anemia and brain fog. One of the most common symptoms of fibroids is heavy menstrual bleeding and prolonged periods lasting more than 10 days at a time. Because of how much blood women with fibroids lose, they often develop moderate to severe anemia due to the lack of iron in their body. Thankfully, women can ask their doctor about supplements and treatment options for fibroids.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 5,000 people die from iron deficiency anemia every year. Additionally, they shared that visits to a primary physician for iron deficiency anemia topped over 2.8 million just last year. Therefore, if you think your period brain fog is related to an iron deficiency caused by your period, you should seek out a fibroid specialist immediately before your condition worsens.
Ambassador Kym Lee-King’s Experience with Iron Deficiency Brain Fog
We recently were able to sit down with one of our newest ambassadors, Kym Lee-King, who is an acclaimed author, makeup artist and CEO. She shared how her battle with uterine fibroids led her to get a hysterectomy surgery because the pain and bleeding was controlling her life.
During the interview, she pointed out that she couldn’t recall conversations she had had because of the severity of her period brain fog. She mentioned that she had other symptoms of iron deficiency anemia. Lee-King shared that she felt weak and fatigued during the day. She also said that she was drawn to the smell of alcohol in cleaning products, which are all signs of moderate to severe anemia. This iron deficiency brain fog caused Lee-King to feel spaced out during the day which was impeding her busy work schedule.
After living with anemia and brain fog for several years, she experienced severe dizziness which caused her to collapse. This is when Lee-King decided she needed to find a solution for her fibroids, anemia, and brain fog. What to learn more about Kym Lee-King’s brave battle with uterine fibroids? You can read her full story here.
Are Headaches a Symptom of Periods?
Hormones play a key role in our mental and as well as physical well-being. When hormones suddenly spike or decrease, they can have major impacts on our overall health. If you regularly get headaches or migraines around your period cycle, you may have wondered why this happens in the first place.
The amount of progesterone and estrogen in your body can cause hormonal headaches that occur before, during, or right after your period. Hormonal changes during menstruation can have an impact on serotonin and other neurotransmitters in your brain, which can then lead to mild to moderate migraines. However, if your migraines are moderate to severe, it’s important to consult a physician as soon as possible.
As we mentioned above, iron deficiency brain fog is quite common in women with moderate to severe anemia; the same goes for chronic migraines. Because your brain and body are lacking oxygen transported by the iron in your blood, you may experience severe migraines. Therefore, if you typically have a heavy period and headache during your monthly cycle, you may experience migraines that are more painful and last longer than others.
Are Migraine Headaches and Fibroids Connected?
Even though migraine headaches and fibroids aren’t directly connected, they are often related. If fibroids are causing your heavy bleeding or prolonged periods, you may be at an increased risk of iron deficiency anemia.
Low iron levels can cause you to get a headache when your period starts or ends. Changing hormones, especially an increase, can lead to severe migraine headaches and fibroids. Therefore, if you’re experiencing heavy periods and headaches, uterine fibroids could potentially be the underlying cause for both conditions.
Natural Remedies for Migraines Before Period
It may be tempting to just pop a few Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen after an especially painful heavy period and headache, but you shouldn’t rely on them to get you through. A few natural remedies for migraines before period include:
- Getting enough quality sleep
- Taking a magnesium supplement
- Exercising on a regular basis – especially stretching and yoga
- Learning breathing exercises to calm your mind and body
- Drinking at least seven to eight 8oz glasses per day
- Limiting alcohol intake, which can dehydrate your body
- Avoiding foods that have histamine and are considered to be inflammatory
However, it’s important to understand that these natural remedies for migraines before period cycles are all temporary fixes. You need to get an accurate diagnosis to understand the underlying issue causing your chronic migraines and anemia brain fog.
Treatment for Migraines and Anemia Brain Fog Caused by Fibroids
Many women think they have to live with excruciating migraines or disorienting anemia brain fog caused by fibroids, but that’s just not the case. We understand that living with a heavy period and headaches can be frustrating and getting answers is not always easy.
At the Fibroid Fighters Foundation, we are passionate about helping women find effective treatment solutions that fit their individual needs. We want women to know that period brain fog, migraine headaches, and fibroids are often interconnected. Don’t wait for your symptoms to worsen, further impeding your work and social life.
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a non-surgical, outpatient treatment option. UFE allows women to retain their fertility and preserve their uterus. Unlike surgical procedures, UFE offers women a lower procedural risk, quicker and less painful recovery, and ability to avoid an expensive hospital stay. In the following months after UFE treatment, women can expect lighter, shorter periods which will inherently increase their iron levels. This means you can say goodbye to iron deficiency brain fog, migraine headaches, and fibroids.
If you’re ready to learn more about fibroid treatment, call us at 855-455-5262 or contact us conveniently online. We’re happy to help answer any questions. Whether it be finding a location near you, understanding the treatment process, or recognizing abnormal period symptoms like migraines, anemia, and brain fog.