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Difficulty Focusing and Concentrating Midlife: Causes and Solutions

Having Difficulty Focusing?

Do you Feel Your Memory is Fading? Maybe feeling a bit foggy and forgetful?

This is a very common complaint as we enter our Midlife years because our hormones play a big role in brain function.

This is frustrating for many women, and for those around them, particularly when concentration has never been a problem before. Many women also worry that it is the first indication of a long-term memory condition such as Alzheimer’s Disease. In the majority of cases this is not so, and the symptom resolves once they’re through the menopause.

In just the same ways that Estrogen helps prevent heart disease, Estrogen also supports our brain function.

By improving the stretchiness of our arteries, and decreasing the stickiness of our platelets, Estrogen helps keep our blood pressure controlled and prevent plaque and cholesterol from clogging up our arteries. Remember our artieries go everywhere. So plaque doesn't just form in our arteries around our heart, it forms everywhere - including the vessels in our brain. 

Estrogen has also shown to improve mood, increase concentration, reasoning and memory. And estrogen also helps us be more creative. I mean really, is that any secret to you? Not to me. How else do you think we can wear so many hats and take care of so many things at the same time?

Estrogen also helps increase acetylcholine in the brain - which is the brain neurotransmitter that helps us focus and think more quickly. And did you know that the main prescription medication we use to help slow down the progression of Alzheimer's Disease, called Aricept, simply works by increasing this same neurotransmitter - acetylcholine? 

Estrogen also helps make another neurotransmitter, serotonin. You may be familiar with this neurotransmitter because it is the main brain chemical that is increased with prescrption antidepressant medications. So now you can understand why Estrogen helps with our moods, decreasing depression, irritability, anxiety, and even helps reduce the sensation of pain.

Progesterone is Estrogen's counter sex-hormone and also has many functions in the brain. It has an amazing calming effect in our body. Progesterone stimulates the brain neurotransmitter GABA, which is our calming effect in our body. Progesterone also keeps our nerve cells healthy by supporting myelin, the protective coating that surrounds our nerve cells and is critical to nerve cell function. 

Yes, Our sex hormones are vital to our brain function! Keep your brain and nervous system as healthy as you can!

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