Dude, Where's My Car? Menopause and Memory

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: January 15, 2013

memory and menopause

There are three signs of middle age. The first is your loss of memory. I forget the other two. Over the holidays, I lost my car for over an hour in a parking lot at the mall. Row after row of walking, I became more and more frustrated that I didn’t make a mental note of its location. I did eventually end up finding my car, but my memory still seems to be parked somewhere in that seemingly endless lot of vehicles.

If I recall, my memory lapses and fuzzy thinking began around the same time I think I started menopause. Estrogen levels took a nose-dive along with my ability to remember things that used to be so obvious and easy for me. I’ve nicknamed this affliction Can’t Remember Crap (CRC).

Now, a new study that has been published in the current issue of the journal of Menopause, shows that CRC is real! Cognitive declines are clinically and statistically significant for women in menopause. These changes are very real and the impacts can be really frustrating. Before CRC lets up, we can boost our memory and improve overall health. Here are some tips for improving memory at menopause:

  • Don’t smoke: smoking restricts the amount of oxygen you get to your brain.
  • Get enough sleep: Stress, menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes/night sweats and urinary changes may all call sleep disruptions and they can do a number on your memory. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, discuss them with your health care provider.
  • Exercise your body: Take a walk, do yoga or take an aerobic exercise class, just keep moving. It will help to keep the oxygen flowing in your brain thereby improving memory.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption: Alcohol may deplete your body of the necessary vitamins that build neural connections in the brain.

The good news is that CRC and memory issues may be a temporary affliction. As the body adjusts to the changes in hormone levels, mental miscues diminish and our memory comes back. In the meantime, have patience with your mind and memory. Don’t let the memory drain drag you down. And… Dang! There was something else I wanted to add… Personally, I can’t wait to put CRC in the parking lot.

Menopause: July/August 2009 – Volume 16 – Issue 4 – pp 694-700

More information
Memory and Focus Games