LM: 59 years old, post-menopausal and suffering with severe brain fog

 
 

INTRODUCTION

LM was 59 years old when she came to see me asking help with menopausal symptoms. Her most significant concerns were severe brain fog, low energy and wanting to get fit to do a trek. She said:

“I have always had a busy, active life and enjoyed walking and cycling holidays. Now when I have an active day at work I get home exhausted and sleep most of the evening. I find I have a ‘fog’ in my brain which makes it difficult to work especially as I have several ongoing responsibilities at any one time. This year I am transitioning to retirement and I want my energy back in order to enjoy it.”

LM had gone up a dress size in the last year and although she had cut down on eating biscuits and cakes, this didn’t make any difference to her weight. She was still having some hot flushes and night sweats. She regularly fell asleep straight after dinner and was tired in the daytime. She wanted to do regular exercise to prepare for the trek that she planning, but she just didn’t have the energy to do it.

I was confident that could help LM achieve her health goals and she decided to sign up for the Menopause Mastery program.


HEALTH HISTORY

  • LM had been on the pill for 20 years

  • Peri-menopause started when she was about 50 and she had her last period at 53

  • She started noticing menopausal symptoms around 4 years ago


NUTRITION HISTORY

  • LM’s diet was high in sugar and carbohydrates: typically cereal with fruit or porridge with sugar for breakfast, bread and soup for lunch, and frequently rice or pasta dishes for dinner. She always had a desert such as cake or ice cream or biscuits after lunch and dinner.

  • She frequently snacked on fruit, dried fruit or biscuits.

  • She drank little water and 5-7 cups of tea with milk every day


TESTS:

  • Very low vitamin D

  • High cholesterol

  • High liver enzymes


MENOPAUSE TYPE QUESTIONNAIRE ANALYSIS

  • 64% of symptoms were associated with oestrogen metabolism

  • Progesterone was fine

  • Testosterone was possibly low


ANALYSIS

During the menopausal transition and post-menopause, a woman’s body is switching from using sugar as an energy source, to using fat. Hence menopausal symptoms are not really an oestrogen problem, they are an energy problem. LM’s diet was too high in sugar for this phase in her life. Her body was converting her dietary carbohydrates to fat, and at the same time it was not able to access her fat for energy. This meant that her brain and body were starving, at the same time that she was having severe brain fog, was putting on weight, having hot flushes, night sweats and feeling so exhausted. 

Her high sugar intake was affecting her liver, possibly leading to a fatty liver, and at the same time her vitamin D deficiency was impacting her brain function and sleep.

 

PROTOCOL


FIRST CONSULTATION

Nutrition:

  • I recommended a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, high fat nutrition plan which was rich in seafood and eggs, with a high level of alkalising vegetables and beneficial fats, and personalised to LMs requirements. 

  • I also recommended several substitutions for sweet treats, pasta, rice, and crackers

  • LM was proved with suitable recipes and meal plan suggestions

  • I asked LM to stick to my 7 food rules as closely as possible 


Supplements

  • Emulsified vitamin D drops, calibrated to her blood test result.



THIRD CONSULTATION - 8 WEEKS LATER

LM reported that she was feeling much better and the brain fog had completely lifted. She was able to multi-task with ease, and she happily started and finished writing proposals on time and with pleasure. Her energy was back and she had started going to pilates classes, as well aiming to go swimming 2-3 times a week, and start Tai Chi. She found the nutrition recommendations easy to follow and had upgraded her meals, although she was now only eating 2-3 meals a day without any cravings or energy dips in the daytime.

SYMPTOM TRACKING

Scale: 0 - none, 1 - mild, 2 - moderate, 3 - severe

Symptom Inital 8 weeks later
Hot flushes 2 NONE
Night sweats 2 1
Vaginal dryness 2 1
Pain with intercourse 2 NONE
Bloating 2 NONE
Difficulty with memory 2 1
Brain fog 3 NONE
Mood swings 1 NONE
Fatigue 3 NONE
Sleep disturbance 2 NONE
Anxiety 1 1
Irritability 2 1
Headaches 1 NONE
Hair loss 1 NONE
Weight gain 2 NONE
Decreased sexual desire 2 1
Decreased sexual arousal 2 1
Decreased sexual response 2 1
TOTAL SCORE 34 8
  • Menopausal symptoms reduced by 76% in 8 weeks.

  • LM’s nutrition and supplements were further tweaked to ensure complete remission of symptoms.