For More Information, Please Call Us At call 603.524.3211

Health Information Library

Categories > Menopause > Understanding menopause

Mayo Content Display

Overcoming brain fog

More causes of brain fog

Menopause isn’t the only condition associated with memory problems:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Many people with CFS have trouble concentrating and retaining short-term memory.
  • Fibromyalgia. About 70 percent of people who suffer from this condition experience memory problems and trouble concentrating. Sleep deprivation may be partly responsible.
  • Lupus. Many patients develop memory loss. Scientists believe that an antibody that kills brain cells may be responsible.
  • Cancer. Cancer patients who develop memory problems sometimes call their condition “chemo brain.” Experts say memory problems are a possible side effect of treatment.

“When is her birthday?” “Where did I put the keys?” Memory problems strike many menopausal women, but whether the forgetfulness is caused by menopause, aging or something else isn’t always clear.

Studies show that estrogen can have a positive effect on memory, and estrogen levels drop during menopause. Some research has shown that estrogen therapy can boost short-term memory, even in Alzheimer’s disease.

No matter the reason for your fog, try these techniques to combat it:

  • Focus on details. It may be easier to remember things, like whether you turned off the stove, if you slow down and concentrate on what you’re doing.
  • Exercise your brain. Stay sharp by learning new things (current events, foreign languages). Test your recall of friends’ birthdays or phone numbers.
  • De-stress. Menopausal memory problems may be linked to stress, as women often care for children and elderly parents. Ease up your schedule, take time to relax and see a sleep specialist if you’re still not sleeping.

© 2014 Dowden Health Media