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Menopause Memory: Is It Estrogen Related?

Some studies say menopause memory loss is due to declining estrogen.  But other studies show a different picture.

The two conditions certainly seem to go together for many women.  I certainly experienced memory issues, such as not being able to remember a word in the middle of a sentence.  Or forgetting a co-workers name after I hadn't seen him or her for a week.  It was disturbing to say the least.

Many people will tell you that memory issues are due to declining estrogen or hormone imbalance (don't you get tired of hearing about everything you lose when your estrogen declines?)  I read one article about menopause memory that said estrogen helps with remembering words.  My immediate question was, what about men?  They remember words without estrogen, don't they?

It's always good to question what you read.  That alone will keep your thinking sharp!  The good news is, there is one study that does not show declining memory at menopause.  This study determined that due to large amounts of stress, many middle-aged women appeared to have memory loss, but in fact, the issue was related to the ability to learn new information.  

If you never learned it, then you won't be able to remember it.  Just think about a time when you were overloaded with emotion, or otherwise felt overwhelmed.  Would you have been able to learn 30 new vocabulary words during that time?  I wouldn't even try.  And I know I have had more stress during my menopausal years than during any other time of my life.

Natural Remedies for Menopause Memory

Of course, anything that reduces stress will help you, including meditation, yoga, a long walk in the woods, anything that takes you away from your daily responsibilities for awhile.

Use your brain.  Take a class in something that excites you, work a brain puzzle, write something (along with stress reduction).

Eat well.  Certain nutrients are important to brain function, especially the B vitamins.  Exercise also helps reduce stress and support your brain.

Gingko biloba is a popular herb for increasing memory function.  Take as a tincture (I would use a high quality brand such as Herb Pharm).

Make sure you get enough rest.  A lack of high quality sleep will definitely affect your memory.  If you are having trouble sleeping, there are many natural remedies that can help.  See menopause insomnia.

Low (or high) thyroid can affect memory, and women going through menopause often have low thyroid issues.  For more about this, see thyroid and menopause.

Some studies say that menopause memory issues are temporary and go away after menopause.  Another piece of good news is that new cells grow in your hippocampus, a part of your brain that is associated with memory, throughout your life.

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