As if hot flashes and night sweats aren't enough, menopause may also mean you have to deal with menopausal memory loss. While many women worry they may have early signs of Alzheimer's, it's more likely you're experiencing memory issues due to sudden hormonal changes. You can manage and even prevent menopausal memory loss by being proactive. Luckily, once you're done with the change of life, your memory should go back to normal.
1. Learn Something New
It may sound like the worst time to learn something new, but it's actually a great time. By focusing your mind on learning a new hobby, language or skill, you're keeping your mind active. You may notice symptoms of menopausal memory loss, such as taking longer to fully grasp new concepts, but trust me, it will get better. The entire point of this exercise is to keep the brain active and challenged. Plus, it may help prevent other menopausal issues such as depression.
2. Interact with Others
Go out and have fun! The more you interact with friends, family and co-workers, the less likely you are to experience memory issues. Your brain is constantly working to process conversations and different situations. It's much healthier than sitting at home alone watching TV. Some women join volunteer or community groups for regular interactions. For best results, try socializing at 2-3 times a week.
Exercise has always been a good way to prevent memory loss issues, including those related to menopause. You don't have to work out for hours every day. Instead, do something fun to get the blood pumping. Exercise improves the flow of oxygen to the brain, keeping it healthier. Plus, regular exercise even helps fight hot flashes and weight gain associated with menopause.
4. Let Your Mind Rest
A good night's sleep is essential to preventing menopausal memory problems. Your brain needs time to rest, just like the rest of your body. Even before menopause, a lack of proper sleep can cause your mind to feel foggy. Imagine trying to deal with daily stress and menopause without sleep. I definitely wouldn't want to try it. Instead, try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
5. Play Brain Games
Many apps and websites now offer brain building games designed to fight memory loss. These are perfect for menopause as well. Search for “brain games” or “memory games” in your favorite app store. Sites like Lumosity.com have numerous games designed specifically to keep your brain sharp. Search for “brain games” for numerous sites offering free online games. AARP even has a section of games to keep the brain fog at bay. For offline fun, try crossword puzzles, word search or Sudoku puzzles.
6. Eat Healthy
A healthy diet filled with fruits and veggies is good for you no matter what. It also helps you fight memory loss. It's also important to eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like you'd find in fish and nuts. Your brain needs certain nutrients to function correctly. A healthy diet ensures it gets everything it needs. You should also talk to your doctor for tips on exactly what foods to eat if you have any existing medical conditions.
Laughter stimulates your brain and body, making you feel good. Believe it or not, it also helps aid in your fight against memory problems. Hang out with people who make you laugh, watch funny shows or movies, play games with your family or just do something fun. It may sound cliché, but laughter is really one of the best medicines. After all, anything that helps relieve stress and makes your brain sharper can't be all the bad.
While you may still have the occasional memory problems during menopause, you might be able to prevent some or even all memory loss issues by trying some of these prevention methods. We can't stop menopause, but we can take charge and not let it take us over. Simply by taking better care of yourself, menopause won't be nearly as bad. What other advice do you have for controlling memory issues due to menopause?