Memory Loss Caused by Menopause

Memory Loss

If you are having a hard time remembering where you left your keys or whether or not you turned off the stove, instead of blaming it on early senility, you might point the finger at your lack of hormones. That’s right. In case the hot flashes, insomnia and migraines weren’t enough, many women undergoing the change complain of fuzzy thinking and forgetfulness. And no, it’s not the early onset of Alzheimer’s. It’s simply a temporary disturbance in the short-term memory centers of the brain and the good news is, there are things you can do to fight it.

First thing’s first. It’s important to understand what’s going on in that brain of yours. Think of your brain like a computer. There are two types of memory at work up there: short-term and long-term. These can be related to the RAM memory and ROM memory of a computer, respectively. The ROM memory, or long-term memory of the brain is responsible for storing learned information and experiences from the past. For example, long-term memory is where all that information went during your educational career. It’s also the place where memories of your last beach vacation are stored as well as information about how to conduct yourself in public. Short-term memory, on the other hand, is a lot like RAM memory. It allows you to remember something just long enough to use it. For example, the ability to look up and remember a telephone number just long enough to dial it.

Estrogen plays a big role in how our bodies function, especially in memory. Scientists believe that the fluctuation in estrogen during menopause plays a significant role in the development of short-term memory problems, however they don’t believe that this is the only mechanism at play. Stress seems to be a contributing factor as well. Stress over weight gain, menopause symptoms (especially depression or anxiety), in combination with other symptoms such as insomnia makes it extremely difficult for the brain to keep up.

Combining techniques to help you alleviate menopause symptoms, relieve stress and re-engage your brain will help you overcome short-term memory loss. Eat a well balanced diet, exercise moderately, meditate, and start engaging in brainteasers such as crossword puzzles, or take a trip. Take some adult courses at your local community college. All of these things will help you get your brain back into fighting shape.

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