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Hello Menopause, Good-bye Memory

From the Menopause and Hormones Articles List

Woman being forgetfulAre my memory problems connected to menopause?

Were you coming in or going out? Where did you leave your car keys? Is your dentist appointment today or tomorrow?

The bad news is that you keep tripping over little memory losses. The good news is that you are getting extra exercise as you retrace your steps.

Instead of simply bringing an end to monthly bleeding, the world of menopause has brought with it new challenges. Hot flashes. Insomnia. Night sweats. Don't forget to include brain fog, memory loss, and trouble concentrating.

So how is menopause connected to your brain? It’s all about estrogen.

Declining Brain Function and Periomenopause

Beginning in perimenopause, your hormone levels start changing. Estrogen levels drop and all of your hormones may get out of sync. Besides the inevitable hot flashes, there’s mood swings, insomnia, stress, and depression. Individually, those symptoms can affect your cognitive abilities, and combined they can really nail you.

But that’s not all. There are estrogen receptors in the areas of your brain that process learning and memory. Estrogen also helps your brain cells communicate and influences short-term verbal memory. In addition, it also plays a role in the health of the brain because of its affects on the vascular and immune systems. So when your estrogen levels drop, all those brain functions are impaired so you’re left with brain frog, memory loss, and risks for dementia and Alzheimer’s.

What to Do?

1. Talk to your doctor to determine if hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is right for you. The younger you are when you enter menopause, the more effective and important it can be for cognitive issues. A low dosage of estrogen can go a long way toward adding positive cognitive benefits.

2. Learn to manage the various other menopause symptoms that contribute to brain fog, like stress and insomnia. This may mean using HRT, alternative therapies, or making some lifestyle changes.

3. Make lifestyle changes: eat well, exercise regularly, and stop smoking.

4. Practice brain stimulation exercises. Consider crossword puzzles, strategy games, brain teasers, and reading novels. Enroll in a class, turn off the computer, and think!

5. Finally, have fun. Going out, being involved, taking part in conversation, laughing, and being a social butterfly are all good for your brain–and your soul!

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

07-13-2016 - 12:11 PM


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