I’m sure we have all walked into a room and forgotten what we went in there for. We have also all probably totally forgotten what we were saying half way through a conversation. Maybe we’ve put car keys in the fridge or popped the TV remote in your coat pocket. Does this sound familiar? If your going through the menopause we’re pretty sure you will totally understand these situations, but why do they seem to happen more?
Well its not just what some people might just call ‘menopause brain’ it is actually physical changes occurring to your brains functionality. These physical and emotional symptoms related to the changes in your hormone levels are very real, and can be quite debilitating to some women.
Going through the menopause can have a huge impact on some women’s cognitive function and can lead to changes in memory retention, your ability to maintain attention to tasks and processing speeds. Hormonal fluctuations, mainly the decline in estrogen, are thought to be a huge contributing factor to these changes.
As the estrogen significantly declines the receptors that are present in our brains cannot detect the amount of hormones needed to maintain a high level of cognitive functionality. This can then lead to changes in memory, concentration, fine motor speed and mood.
You have to consider some of the many other symptoms related to menopause that could help contribute to brain fog. Women going through the changes around menopause experience disturbed sleep, hot flushes and night sweats, and a depressed mood, all of which can contribute to difficulties with thinking and memory.
The severity of some of these issues can vary from woman to woman but there are many other factors that could also contribute to these changes. Factors such as genetics and overall general health can play a role in how the menopause affects cognitive function.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle could help to mitigate some of these effects. Taking part in some regular exercise, a balanced diet and enjoying some mental stimulation through reading or puzzles may all help to support cognitive functionality.
Understanding that these cognitive changes can be part of the menopausal transition can help some women to embrace the menopause. Some ladies may find it quite empowering as they try to take some pro active steps to support their overall well-being by making the time to devote to themselves and enjoy taking control of their journey.
If these cognitive symptoms do become an ongoing concern we would always suggest going to seek medical advice from your GP.