Decreased memory, forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating and other signs of decreased neuro-cognitive function in menopause is most significantly affected by declining function of estrogens as well as declining function of androgens such as testosterone and DHEA. This decreased function of estrogens and androgens precipitate forgetfulness, memory loss and inability to concentrate due to a decreased of excitatory and decreased “nootropic” (memory enhancing) influences that are a result of lower estrogens and androgens.
While decreased estrogen and androgen function are a common cause of impaired memory in perimenopause, menopause & postmenopause, other hormonal causes should also be considered. Decreased progesterone function may precipitate anxiety due to a lack of “neuro-sedative” inhibitory actions, resulted in poor consolidation and recall of information. Proper function of the nervous system (including memory) requires both excitatory and inhibitory actions. Thyroid function plays a generalized role in memory function. Mental processes, including memory, are significantly decreased with hypothyroid conditions, such as subclinical hypothyroidism. Insulin resistance and blood sugar imbalances should also be addressed because the nervous system is very sensitive to unstable blood sugar levels.
Extra attention should be given to nutritional support whenever there are problems with memory. Essential fatty acids with a high DHA:EPA ratio are important for neurological function, including memory. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) also modifies all cell membranes and improves the cells ability to accept hormone signals, including androgens, estrogens and thyroid hormones. Consider Opti-DHA, which has a high DHA:EPA ratio of essential fatty acids to improve memory. Since essential fatty acids with a high DHA:EPA ratio are important for neurological function (as well as hormone signaling), Opti DHA should be used in any program to improve memory. Inadequate amounts of certain B vitamins, such as B6, B12 and folic acid can also cause memory problems. This should be covered by good nutritional support as discussed in Hormone Health Guidelines. Memory problems associated with menopause may be due to various hormone problems, a blood sugar problem, inadequate essential fatty acids or nutrient deficiencies, any of which could affect the nervous system. Preserving optimal function of the nervous system also requires healthy lifestyle and dietary habits, as discussed in Hormone Health Guidelines, giving full attention to the need for essential fatty acids and B vitamins. In most cases, women who experience memory problems associated with menopause also experience other symptoms. You can use the Menopause Type® Questionnaire to help you analyze which hormone problems may be involved.
Treat the Hormonal Cause
This protocol is designed to be personalized based on specific needs of each person. The hormone imbalances that may be associated with memory problems in menopause include decreased testosterone function, decreased estrogen function, and/or decreased thyroid function. Blood sugar imbalances could also be a cause. By supporting the normal function of hormone producing tissues, and of tissues that respond to these hormones, including the brain, significant restoration of memory and concentration ability can be achieved.
Addressing the specific underlying cause will relieve the additional stress on the nervous system, and allow a smoother menopause transition. Choosing the right formulation(s) can be determined by paying attention to other symptoms you have. Other symptoms can reveal which hormone is not working properly, and which formulation(s) can be used for memory problems, as discussed below, and indicated in the following table:
Memory Problems as Main Symptom in Menopause
Decreased Estrogen Function
Proper estrogen function supports associative memory, such as associating a name with a face. In addition, it supports the ability to recall information. When there is decreased associative memory, difficulty of information recall, choose EstroMend™. Ingredients with nootropic properties such as Bacopa, Salvia and Schisandra support cognition, memory and the facilitation of learning. Bacopa also specifically supports associative memory. Other herbs such as black cohosh, Dong quai and hops can also decrease the negative effects of stress in addition to the other benefits they provide for menopause. See more information, including references, on Estro-Mend™. Use customized dosage guidelines to personalize this protocol for your specific needs.
Decreased Testosterone Function:
Proper testosterone function supports the ability to perform logic and problem solving and maintain attention and focus. It is this dramatic loss of ability to focus due to decreased testosterone function that is sometimes mislabeled as “Adult Attention Deficit Disorder”. When there is decreased ability to perform logic tasks, or ability to maintain attention, choose TestoGain™. This formulation supports the normal response of the nervous system to androgens. The enhanced motivation, drive, confidence, and feelings of self-worth that this formulation provides can also decrease the incidence and severity of anxiety, and decrease the memory problems caused by anxiety. See more Information, including references, on TestoGain™. Use customized dosage guidelines to personalize this protocol for your specific needs.
Decreased Thyroid Function:
Proper thyroid function supports all neurocognitive functions including memory, mood and motivation. Generalized complaints of decreased cognitive function such as “brain fog”, difficulty thinking, and unable to concentrate, may be associated with decreased thyroid function. When there is generalized complaints of decreased cognitive function, choose ThyroMend™. Especially consider ThyroMend™ when there are other symptoms associated with sub optimal thyroid function such as generalized fatigue, weight gain and cold extremities. See more information, including references, on ThyroMend™. Use customized dosage guidelines to personalize this protocol for your specific needs.
Blood Sugar Disorders:
Feelings of confusion, disorientation, inability to concentrate as well as fatigue, anxiety, or any other symptoms that worsen after a meal – or if a meal is skipped - suggest that there is an unhealthy shift of blood sugar levels. Though blood sugar disorders (dysglycemias) can range from low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) to high blood sugar (hyperglycemia & diabetes), all forms of blood sugar disorder should be treated seriously. The drop in blood sugar after eating is often a predecessor to insulin resistance, which eventually results to diabetes. Glucobrium™ should be used if memory problems or diminished concentration skills occur after eating, especially if there are blood sugar disorders in family. Use customized dosage guidelines to personalize this protocol for your specific needs.