29 August 2013
Remember the first time you got your kids’ names mixed up? Oh no!! It’s finally happening to me, just like it happened to my Mother! It seems to be a small thing and we tend to laugh about it when it happens, the first few times, but what about all the other signs that we’re losing our memory as we start through the menopausal journey? Is there anything we can do to improve this frustrating symptom?
First of all, just knowing that it’s very, very common is somewhat of a relief! Out of the thousands of women discussing their experiences, forgetting things is right up there with hot flashes. Some call it the “menopause fog” or a “mini-vacation”. Depending on your age, it might become a “senior moment”, but it’s all basically the same, a minor lapse in concentration that can be very frustrating and disorienting. For some women it happens so often that they start wondering if it’s the first sign of something much more serious, such as Alzheimer’s.
Personally, I’ve had a problem with remembering things all my life! If you think back, you may realize you have too! As a young mother I had to make lists for everything, especially groceries, and I consistently FORGOT to take the list! If I DID remember to take the list, I would forget to look at it while I was in the store. I would write important dates on the calendar and then FORGET to look at the calendar! Sound familiar? We tend to blame lifelong habits on menopause when it may be something we’ve struggled with long before the onset of menopause.
There are many tried and true techniques for improving your memory in general. I did a search on the internet (using the phrase: improve memory) and found books, articles and advice that is very comprehensive. One site I found to be very interesting was Mind Tools ( http://www.mindtools.com/ ). They offer help with not only improving your memory, but with problem solving and improving your creativity as well.
There is also a lot of information about certain herbs that help improve memory. One of the most well-known and most studied is “Ginkgo biloba”. In addition to many other benefits, one of the most popular usages of Ginkgo is for increasing the circulation and oxygen to the brain, which can help improve mental clarity and short-term memory loss. You can find as much supporting information as you need by doing a search for “Ginkgo biloba”. You might also do a search for “herbs and memory”.
As with all the symptoms of menopause, it will take some research and experimenting to find what works best for you, but hopefully, realizing that you’re not the only one going through these memory problems will help you feel a little more “normal”. Heck, I look at it as the best excuse I’ve ever had!! “Oh, I’m sorry I forgot to pick you up at the airport Honey, but afterall, I AM menopausal!”
This column is not intended as medical advice. Its intent is solely informational and educational. The information is not a substitute for talking with your health professional.