Fluctuating hormones really can mess with your mind! You’ve probably heard of having 'baby brain' in pregnancy, but the changing hormone levels you experience going through the menopause can also affect memory and concentration, causing ‘foggy brain’. Maybe you’ve mislaid your car keys a few times, or popped upstairs to get something only to forget what it was… but don’t worry, it’s a common symptom and help is at hand to keep you from losing the plot!
But why does the menopause cause memory loss?
When the ovaries begin to stop working, this in turn has an impact on the brain. Oestrogen plays an important part in helping it to function properly, aiding with both memory and information processing. As your body produces less oestrogen, the brain must learn how to function without it and it takes some time for it to adapt.
Is it short-term memory loss and not something more serious?
Memory loss in the menopause is often combined with other symptoms such as mood swings, trouble concentrating and a lack of sleep. You may be wondering what exactly is wrong with you and why your body suddenly feels so different to normal. Some women are convinced they must be seriously ill, as the memory loss may be coupled with joint pain and headaches.
However, research has shown that it is a short-lived symptom of the menopause and that many women return to the learning levels they were at before menopause, with some finding that their memory even improves after they have been through it!
What can help with memory loss in the menopause?
The good news is that there are lots of things to try that can help you to see through the fog and think clearly again. From adopting a calming routine, or taking some exercise, to taking vitamin supplements, it’s just a case of finding what works best for you. Here are some popular remedies:
- Have a nap: Sleep may not come easily during the menopause but if you do feel tired, a quick nap in the day might help.
- Reduce alcohol intake: Alcohol causes the body to become dehydrated as well as making it more difficult to concentrate and remember things
- Try a stress-busting activity: Too much stress is bad for your brain, but activities such as meditation and yoga can really help you to unwind.
- Stay active: exercise is proven to help to improve mental performance as it releases feel-good hormones and improves circulation
- Exercise your mind: Crossword puzzles and games like Sudoku are great, or if you’re up for an extra challenge, why not take up a new skill or language
- Try a herbal supplement: Gingko and guarana have been proven to help aid concentration and brain function. Make sure to be tested for any nutritional deficiencies before deciding on supplements.
If you find yourself panicking about your memory lapses, or they are really starting to make you miserable, the best thing to do is book an appointment with your GP who can put your mind at rest as well as recommend other therapies and medications.
Become™️ has a wonderful team of experts who all helped in the writing of this content. The opinions expressed within this page are the opinions of many people we asked, and from information we researched online. Become™️ is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this page. All information is provided on an as-is basis.