Have you been forgetting names or where you left your keys?
If so, you’re not alone. Most middle-aged women experience memory lapses from time to time, especially during menopause.
This may be due to the fact that, during menopause there is a dramatic drop in ovarian production of hormones, especially estrogen. Estrogen not only has an effect on reproductive function but also plays an important role in the brain, contributing to learning, memory and mood.
What does the research say?
Research has shown that low levels of estrogen have been associated with temporary memory loss, or forgetfulness during menopause. But an earlier age at menopause, especially if surgically induced (ie – hysterectomy), has been associated with increase risk of dementia and memory decline.
When hormone replacement was initiated within a 5-year window of the onset of menopause there was a decrease in memory decline. The benefit of estrogen replacement was more pronounced when estrogen was replaced for 10 years or more. This connection was more significant for women who had had a full hysterectomy than those who underwent natural menopause.
What can you do?
Many things contribute to memory decline with age. It is important to improve many aspects of your health if you would like to preserve your memory. This includes:
- maintaining a regular sleep schedule
- avoiding alcohol
- eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- consuming lots of good fats
- 30 mins of moderate exercise daily
However, if you are noticing that you are experiencing changes in your menstrual cycle, along with symptoms such as memory loss and mood changes or fluctuations; or if you have recently had a full hysterectomy, you may want to consider Bio-Identical Hormone replacement.
In most women, memory loss that occurs from estrogen decline often improves after menopause but we can help you get through this often challenging period in your life.
If you would like to discuss your options for preventing, or dealing with your memory and/or your current menopausal symptoms then click HERE to book a consultation with Dr. Maddalena.
Dr. Lisa Maddalena, ND