All women experience menopause differently – some feel no changes at all, while others experience mood swings, weight fluctuations, or sleeping problems. Some women have even reported slight memory problems during menopause. Is the concern real? If so, can you do something to prevent this from happening?
The Science behind It
The most likely culprit for memory problems during menopause (especially perimenopause) seems to be estrogen. Although primarily a sex hormone, more and more researchers have started studying other important roles estrogen has in the female body. As it turns out, changes in your estrogen levels can also influence your bladder, skin, blood circulation, and, yes, even memory.
As you enter menopause and your ovaries age, estrogen and progesterone (both of which may be responsible for neurotransmitters that affect our memory) start to drop. As a result, some women may experience memory loss.
What Can You Do?
If you experience memory problems during menopause, don’t worry. Here are some things you can do to prevent, or control them:
- Start working out – even light exercise like walking or biking can benefit your brain.
- Watch your diet – a balanced diet goes a long way. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and introduce nutrients like vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids, which are proven brain foods.
- Rest – an unhealthy sleep cycle can damage your concentration and cognitive function. Keep a regular sleep schedule and try some relaxation methods, like meditation or yoga.
- Keep your brain active – Studies prove that even light brain activity, like puzzle-solving, can benefit your brain in the long run. So, learn a new skill or language, and read a lot.
Memory problems during menopause are a common occurrence, but they disappear after menopause. However, if you feel your memory loss is severe, or increasingly debilitating, you should visit your doctor. He or she can assess your case and create the best treatment plan.