Menopause is playing tricks on your memory?

You can’t find your car keys, you forget your neighbour’s name, and by the time you open your mouth to speak, you’ve forgotten what you were going to say…

Menopause | Memory and concentration

Sonia Chartier

15 August 2016

The blanks you’re drawing increasingly in your day-to-day life, which are accompanied by other premenopausal symptoms, may be irritating and embarrassing, but they’re completely normal.

Don’t let these memory lapses bring you down!

You have no trouble remembering important life events, but can’t recall what you had for dinner last night or what time you have to pick up your kid? Short-term memory loss can be caused by the ups and downs of menopause, but it won’t last forever. Once “the transition” is over, this particular symptom will go away with the others.

But what’s the relationship between menopause and memory?

There are in fact a number of possible causes for these inconvenient memory lapses. First off, our brain contains estrogen receptors and reacts each time levels of the hormone fluctuate. It also appears that frequent or intense hot flashes can affect memory. And if on top of that you don’t sleep well, whether because of night sweats or any other reason, the resulting fatigue can affect your memory too. But we’re only talking about mild memory problems here. If the situation persists or worsens, it’s time to consult your doctor to get to the root of the problem.

Here are a few tips for keeping your memory sharp. (Maybe you should write this down!)

  • A healthy, well-balanced diet is the easiest way to keep your body healthy. Our brain functions benefit from a diet rich in fish, soy and fruits and vegetables.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are excellent for promoting cognitive health.
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water a day! Your body and brain need to keep hydrated.
  • Take a B-complex vitamin supplement to improve brain function and say good-bye to your forgetfulness! Bio-Strath is an good source of these essential vitamins.
  • Exercise regularly to improve the quality of the blood flowing to your brain.
  • Play or take up a game of logic like sudoku, crossword puzzles or chess to stimulate your brain and force it to create new connections.
  • Get enough sleep! A lack of sleep will invariably affect your faculties. Studies have shown that getting enough sleep improves brain function and memory during the day. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep all night, refer to our articles on sleep for some tips and advice.
  • Whatever you do, don’t panic when you suddenly draw a blank: anxiety will only make matters worse!

Some plants are particularly good for memory. If you think your memory lapses might be caused by hot flashes, start by relieving them with sage. Sage is the go-to plant for reducing the frequency and intensity of hot flashes. Then see if your memory returns to normal.

If hot flashes aren’t bothering you all that much, your best option is to target memory loss directly with ginkgo. This particular plant improves microcirculation, which in turn allows oxygen to flow more freely to the brain, improving memory and other mental faculties in one go.

You can also stimulate your memory by diffusing rosemary essential oil in your house or office for 15 minutes every hour.

Luckily, this kind of memory loss is temporary and disappears once hormone levels have stabilized. After that, the only memory lapses you’ll have will be of the selective variety…

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