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Clearing the fog surrounding menopausal forgetfulness

fogContributed by Anna Fox, CNP, NCMP

Physical challenges are obvious and expected when we talk about our aging bodies, but the subtle changes in our memory, mental stamina and clarity are harder to measure. Maybe you just don’t seem to think as clearly, or you seem to be more forgetful. Turns out, you may be experiencing “brain fog,” a condition researchers believe is linked to fluctuating hormone levels women experience as they approach and go through menopause.

Brain fog seems to peak early in menopause

The good news is brain fog is temporary and not linked to progressive diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. So while it’s frustrating everyday tasks seem more complicated, research shows it will likely get better.

What you can do to clear the fog

You are not powerless to fluctuating hormones. There are things you can do to fight back. Mind—stimulating activities like reading, writing, doing word puzzles and engaging in new activities for pleasure help contribute to mental fitness. Staying physically active can improve mental ability and memory, as well as alleviate depression and frustration, and improve mobility. Walking, dancing and swimming are just some of the activities that can enrich your quality of life while also circulating oxygen-rich blood through your brain. Maintaining a healthy diet is also important in this process.

Hormone replacement therapy not linked to later cognitive decline

Since we’re on the topic of cognitive issues, I also wanted to share a new study that reports hormone replacement therapy does not increase your risk of experiencing cognitive decline later in life. So, if you’re considering hormone replacement therapy to help ease the symptoms of menopause, you can take it out of your risk-benefit equation.

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