Memory loss refers to the deterioration of your mental capacity and failure to retain and recall facts, events, impressions or previous experiences. Symptoms of memory loss include an inability to recall information, trouble concentrating, forgetfulness and foggy thinking.
Memory loss affects most people in one way or another. A momentary lapse in memory is usually nothing to worry about as it happens to the best of us. However, when memory lapses become a frequent occurrence, it is time to see your physician to determine the underlying cause.
Forgetfulness is often assumed to be a “part of getting older.” As with other conditions, however, there is frequently an underlying cause to age-related memory loss and cognitive decline. The most important one is hormone imbalances. Women who are experiencing menopause may complain of memory loss and an inability to concentrate. Misplaced car keys, skipped appointments, missing medications and forgotten birthdays may be related to menopause. Memory loss occurs when levels of progesterone and estrogen plunge during menopause. Besides menopause, other hormone imbalances such as adrenal fatigue (due to high-stress levels) and low thyroid (hypothyroidism) can also lead to difficulty with memory.
Although many factors contribute to memory loss in women, hormonal imbalance during menopause is a primary cause. During menopause, estrogen and progesterone levels decline quickly. Estrogen has many important neurological effects and directly influences memory and concentration. Estrogen activates various regions of the brain, including the hippocampus (an area responsible for memory). In the hippocampus, estrogen increases levels of a neurotransmitter that directly influences memory. Estrogen also promotes increased blood flow to the brain, thus influencing memory and other important brain functions.
A woman’s memory and ability to concentrate may also be negatively affected by other menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats, depression, mood swings, anxiety, stress and sleep disorders such as insomnia.
Foggy thinking and memory lapses are common symptoms of hormone imbalance. Although these symptoms can be debilitating and highly frustrating, treatment is available. A customized nutrition plan, fitness program and supplement regimen in combination with natural bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for women can drastically improve and maintain memory function.
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