Memory loss

Memory loss is one of the most common symptoms of menopause referred to as brain fog, is a normal sign of menopause.

Symptoms in Detail

Memory loss in menopause

Short term memory issues during menopause, commonly referred to as brain fog, can have an impact on all aspects of a woman’s life.

Misplaced car keys, forgotten appointments and lost trains of thought may seem trivial but can be frustrating especially for those who have never missed a beat before.

While a certain amount of memory loss is inevitable with aging, and the odd moment of forgetfulness is nothing to worry about, brain fogs during menopause are difficult to deal with as they are more intense than simple absent-mindedness. They can impair concentration levels and make it difficult to process, store and retrieve information.

Usually memory loss in menopause presents itself as momentary memory lapses. If however the occurrences become regular it is wise to seek medical advice to treat the causes.

The causes of short term memory loss in menopause

Hormonal imbalance due to declining estrogen production has an impairing effect on short term memory, making concentration difficult. This is because estrogen affects the cognitive functions through its influence on the vascular and immune systems.

Fatigue lowers energy and concentration levels, which can cause problems with processing, absorbing and recalling information. Fatigue is a common symptom of menopause resulting from hormonal changes, night sweats, sleeplessness, anxiety and stress.

Depression can cause distraction, lack of interest, and difficulty concentrating which are likely to hinder memory. While depression can be experienced by men and women at any age, women are especially prone to it during menopause.

Hypothyroidism is a common side-effect of menopausal hormonal changes where the body does not produce enough thyroid hormones. As a result, the thyroid is unable to regulate metabolism. When the metabolism does not function correctly the entire body, including the cognitive functions, are affected.

Stress is another common symptom of menopause. When under stress, the brain produces cortisol to increase energy and alertness. When stress is chronic or ongoing, the brain is filled with cortisol for emergency use which these can obstruct some cognitive processes, leading to short term memory issues.