Written by Kendal Choe / Published June 12, 2023
Forgetfulness and Memory Impairment in Your 40s?
As women reach their 40s, they experience reproductive aging and go through perimenopause. Perimenopause can cause a decline in memory and cognitive function. Many women report that they are more forgetful and experience memory lapses (e.g. losing keys, misplacing items, forgetting names, etc.). During perimenopause, women may become increasingly forgetful and struggle to retain information.
Why Does Perimenopause Cause Forgetfulness?
When women go through perimenopause in their early midlife, their estrogen levels begin to decline. Estrogen is a hormone that affects memory and cognitive function by stimulating the brain, supporting the growth of new cells, and helping form new connections. These processes impact brain regions that are crucial for memory and cognitive function. As estrogen levels decline, women may experience cognitive symptoms such as forgetfulness and memory lapses.
Estrogen is responsible for brain cells ability to burn glucose which is the primary fuel needed for proper memory function. When estrogen levels fall during perimenopause, glucose levels in the brain drop as well. Lower levels of glucose lead to an overall reduction in brain energy, resulting in difficulty concentrating, losing your train of thought, and brain fog.
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How to Maintain Memory Function During Perimenopause
A Healthy Diet:
A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids provides healthy nutrients for your brain and has beneficial effects on memory. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish oils, nuts, and seeds. In addition, antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E help brain cells work efficiently and maintain memory function.
Studies show that sleeping at least 7 hours a night is crucial to keep the brain healthy. Deep sleep plays a key role in memory function because it allows our brains to store and maintain what we learned during the day.
Regular physical activity directly promotes brain health and cognitive function. Working out at the gym, playing sports, or going on a daily walk can all have beneficial effects on the brain and improve well-being.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT):
HRT can help protect against the cognitive symptoms caused by estrogen levels declining perimenopause. Research shows that HRT can improve memory function and brain activity for women experiencing perimenopause.
Forgetfulness and other cognitive symptoms of perimenopause can be alarming and make it difficult to function during your midlife. The good news is that simple lifestyle modifications and HRT can support brain health and memory function as you enter this new stage in your life. If you’re concerned about your forgetfulness or other cognitive symptoms of perimenopause, it can be a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional for guidance.
Disclaimer: At It’sFetch.co we strive to provide valuable and reliable health information through our blog. We believe in empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. However, it is important to understand that the content on our blog is not intended to replace the advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified medical professional.