One major change to the body that may cause normal forgetfulness during menopause is a reduction in the body's hormone levels.
Estrogen is one major hormone that can impact memory before or during menopause.
This can cause occasional lapses in brain function, resulting in short-term memory issues.
Estrogen helps the neurotransmitter systems that send signals in brain areas involved in memory and information processing. Many researchers also think that estrogen promotes the growth and survival of neurons, the cells that send electrical impulses. These impulses serve as messages that are crucial for making your brain and nervous system work properly.
If you are beginning to experience menopause symptoms, you may find that you suddenly have trouble sleeping. The lack of sleep can cause you to feel tired and overwhelmed which can lead to cognitive issues like "brain fog".
Here are 3 things you can starting doing today to improve memory and avoid "brain fog" and forgetfulness ....
1. Get Your Sleep
Sleep loss contributes to mood disturbances and depression. Try these tips to maintain a healthy sleep cycle:
- Maintain a regular sleep schedule, including on the weekends.
- Reduce your caffeine intake.
- Keep your bedroom cool, and consider placing a fan nearby.
- Purchase a cooling pad or pillows with cooling elements.
- Make sure your room is as dark as possible.
- Learn relaxation techniques, such as mindful meditation or yoga.
- Exercise, but not right before bedtime.
- Wear bedclothes made of natural fibers, such as cotton, hemp, linen, or silk.
- Avoid alcohol, smoking, and spicy foods.
2. Eat Right
Food that’s bad for your heart may also be bad for your brain. This means that you should limit saturated fats and trans fats found in foods such as fried foods, battered foods, and baked goods.
Try these other tips for eating a healthful diet, as well:
- Eat a diet that’s rich in fruit and vegetables, particularly leafy green vegetables.
- Look for whole-grain products in breads and side dishes.
- Choose low-fat dairy options.
- Eat eggs to get the protein and vitamin D you need for bone health.
- Use unhydrogenated oils, such as olive oil, safflower oil, or canola oil.
- Choose products made with unhydrogenated oil if you’re purchasing processed food.
- Limit sweets, especially baked goods and carbonated beverages.
- Limit red meat.
3. Exercise your Brain
Keeping your brain active helps stave off the effects of aging. Try these tips to give your brain a workout.
- Do crossword puzzles and Sudoku.
- Play word games.
- Play online brain games and quizzes.
- Read books, newspapers, and magazines.
- Learn something new, like a musical instrument or a new language.
- Spend time talking and socializing with family or friends.
While fatigue, brain fog, and other menopause symptoms are troublesome, the good news is that they will usually improve over time. Research shows that the intellectual edge lost during the period leading up to a woman's last menstrual cycle does rebound in the later phases of menopause. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), or estrogen and progesterone can also help women better manage brain fog and fatigue.
Estrogen has been 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?
Yes, Our sex hormones are vital to our brain function!
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