Short-term Memory Loss and Brain Fog in Perimenopause
If you take a little trip around the Internet, you might find that I’m one of the few people who actually talk about the short-term memory loss and brain fog in perimenopause. Shocking isn’t it?
With literally millions upon millions of women entering perimenopause every year, who also experience brain fog and short-term memory issues, one would think that healthcare professionals would be all over it. But, alas, they do not seem to be.
But then, that’s why you have me.
I thought I might chat a bit about these two symptoms, since I’ve shared with you my positive experience with the Vivelle Dot, which I specifically sought to help me with my personal challenges with brain fog and short-term memory loss.
For me, as a writer and student, and one who also plans to teach on a college level in the very near future, my livelihood literally depends on my ability to think clearly, and formulate a complete thought. Maybe yours doesn’t. But that doesn’t make it any less frustrating or stressful, I’m sure.
Constantly losing your train of thought in mid-sentence, not being able to recall even the simplest words which have been a part of your vocabulary your entire life, and feeling as if you’re stumbling through a thick, heavy, mental haze through-out your day might provide fodder for early Alzheimer’s jokes. But in reality, it’s not very funny.
What Causes Brain Fog & Short-term Memory Loss in Perimenopause?
There are several causes of brain fog and short-term memory loss in perimenopause. Thyroid dysfunction, particularly low functioning thyroid, or hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, unbalanced hormones (primarily low estrogen levels), stress, insomnia, and a combination of all of the above can contribute to brain fog and short-term memory loss.
The challenge then becomes figuring out where to start to address the issues. For me, it was addressing my low estrogen levels. In menopause, low estrogen levels have a direct impact on (among many other things) our brain neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, and GABA. These neurotransmitters help modulate mood, cognitive function (thinking and memory), and enable us to manage stress.
When estrogen levels are low, these neurotransmitters become out of balance, which can result in mood disorders (depression and mood swings), an inability to think clearly (brain fog), and short-term memory issues as well.
Insomnia and stress, two very common symptom of perimenopause can both complicate the issues even further. Adrenal fatigue and thyroid dysfunction, two very common secondary issues for women during perimenopause, are also known to contribute to brain fog and short-term memory issues.
It seems overwhelming doesn’t it? It certainly was for me, and likely the very reason it took so long for me to finally decide to do something about it in my own life. But, you don’t have to wait as long as I did. Short-term memory issues and brain fog is not something you have to accept as part of aging or growing older.
For me, it began with estrogen. For you, it might be addressing stress or the lack of the sleep in your life. But, whatever it is, it’s important that you do something about it. Your quality of life depends on it.
Magnolia Miller is a certified healthcare consumer advocate in women's health and a women's freelance health writer and blogger at The Perimenopause Blog.