Managing Memory During Menopause
Menopause isn’t just a thing that happens to your reproductive system. It brings on changes in your entire body – including your brain.
Brain fog is a very real symptom. A 2013 study found that around 60% of middle-aged women experienced concentration and cognitive difficulties.
Different factors can affect brain fog. Researchers identified connections between vascular symptoms and insomnia and a change in cognitive ability. Women going through their first year of menopause seemed to have the most noticeable changes concerning attention, memory, motor function, and verbal learning.
There’s no reason to worry too much, though. The data also shows that the problem is usually temporary. Women in one study found that their memory improved over time.
Forgetting basic things can be frustrating. There are techniques you can use to overcome brain fog (or at least lessen its effects). Start by living a healthy lifestyle with a nutritious diet, enough rest, and exercise.
Engage in brain exercises. These can be fun activities, like crossword puzzles or Sudoku. You can even enroll in a class or learn a new language or instrument. Treat your brain like a muscle and keep it toned!
Try to account for memory hiccups by keeping a pen and paper nearby. You can jot down notes, like what you needed to buy at the store, so you don’t come home without it. There are even smartphone notetaking apps that can help (and who leaves the house without their phone these days?).
When Is Brain Fog Something to Worry About?
Brain fog is normal. However, you should be aware of the symptoms of dementia. There can be some overlap, so it’s important to not dismiss changes without consulting a doctor. Contact Women’s Health to schedule an appointment.