Have you ever misplaced your keys or forgotten the name of someone you know well? If so, these momentary brain fogs are no cause for alarm and are common during menopause.
Having a little “brain freeze” during menopause is most likely caused by an imbalance of estrogen, and is not necessarily a sign of a more serious condition. In fact, memory lapses during menopause are generally temporary and often go away after hormones become more balanced. However, if your long-term memory is affected, causing you to forget commonplace information you have known for years, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor about your symptoms.
After you have determined that your memory loss is indeed a byproduct of your menopausal hormonal fluctuations, you can begin to address and manage the problem. Below are five tips to help keep your mind sharp, your thoughts clear and your memory strong.
Do Try This at Home
When you sleep, your brain gets a chance to rest. If you deprive your brain and body of the rest they need, neither will function as it should. Many women do not get the recommended 8 hours of sleep per night, and they often find that simply increasing sleep can improve brain function.
Keep a Date Book
This could be keeping notes with pen and paper the traditional way, or scheduling your time using a smart phone or computer software: whatever works best for you. Use your planner and write down important things to remember. Then all you have to do is remember to check your date book.
This is possibly the most important step in combating memory lapses. Playing games like Sudoku, or doing crossword puzzles, word searches, or other brain training activities can help improve memory and cognition. You could also make this into a social event by organizing a night of games with some friends.
Learning a new activity, like yoga or tai chi, can help stimulate your thought processes and keep your brain active. Exercise is also essential in fighting all menopausal symptoms, as it helps balance hormones and improves overall health.
Not exactly something you can do from home, but travel can help diversify your mind, keep you fit, and keep you open to receiving and retaining new information.
A healthy mind is best accompanied by a healthy body. If you are approaching menopause but have yet to start it, you should take preventative measures to minimize your symptoms. If your memory lapses become severe and frequent, talk with your doctor about which treatments are best for you.
- Dr. Devi, Gayatri. "Memory Loss, Estrogen, Menopause & Alzheimer's Disease". The New York Memory Services. www.nymemory.org.
- Dr. Devi, Gayatri; Hahn, Katherine; Massimi Stephen; Zhivotovskaya, Emiliya. Prevalence of memory loss complaints and other symptoms associated with the menopause transition. Gender Medicine, 2005, vol. 2.
- News-Medical.Net.(n.d)."Memory loss and menopause". Retrieved from www.news-medical.net.
- Memory Loss & the Brain. (n.d).Myers, Catherine E. "Categories of Memory Systems". Memory Loss & the Brain.Retrieved from www.memorylossonline.com.