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Understanding The Good, Bad, and Hot Flashes of Menopause

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Every woman goes through menopause, but each has different experiences during this often difficult transitional time. Some breeze right through it, while others suffer terribly from mood swings, hot flashes, memory loss, and even dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Fortunately, there are ways of dealing with these menopausal symptoms. From senior care to proper sleep and an improved diet, keep reading to learn more about these symptoms and what you can do to minimize their effect on your life.

What is Menopause?

Menopause is a term related to the many changes a woman’s body goes through when menstruation ends and reproduction is no longer possible. This usually occurs in women between the ages of 40 and 50, when the ovaries slowly stop releasing eggs each month. During this time, less estrogen is produced. As you’re about to discover, this can have a serious impact on the heart, urinary system, reproductive organs, and especially the brain.

Estrogen is a key hormone that can affect memory. It also regulates the production of cortisol, which is another hormone impacting the chemicals in your brain and how they work. As your estrogen levels decrease, its ability to control cortisol is greatly diminished, resulting in short-term memory lapses and occasional brain malfunctions. In more serious cases, it can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, in which case senior healthcare may be needed for proper rehabilitation and care.

Improving Memory with Hormone Replacement Therapy

It’s perfectly normal to suffer from occasional bouts of forgetfulness as you age. However, according to clinical studies, estrogen replacement via hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, can help reverse memory loss in women as they age. If you’re suffering from memory problems, this may be a viable solution worth discussing with your doctor.

Helping Cargivers

That being said, HRT is only designed to slow down menopausal changes and provide a short-term solution for memory loss. However, when taken in low doses, estrogen and progesterone can reduce the intensity of memory loss, mood swings, night sweats, hot flashes, and other typical menopausal symptoms.

Unfortunately, if you’re suffering from severe memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease, HRT may not help. In such cases, senior healthcare may be needed to further cope and combat these potentially deadly brain-related illnesses.

The At-Home Approach

Whether or not HRT is right for you, there are several other easy ways to help improve your memory from the comfort of your home. Experts agree that women can help improve brain function simply by regularly exercising their minds. Some activities that have been proven to help exercise the brain and improve menopausal memory loss include:

  • Playing cards and other games of skill
  • Performing crossword puzzles
  • Reading and writing
  • Participating in team sports
  • Learning new languages, and so on

The key is to challenge your brain. The more you challenge your brain and keep learning, the more successful you will be in staving off memory loss.

When Help May Be NeededDiscussing menopause with parents

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms more serious memory loss often appear slowly over time. This makes it difficult to differentiate between normal menopausal memory loss and more serious forms. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, symptoms of dementia include:

  • Regular lapses in judgement and decision-making
  • Forgetting the year, month, season, or date
  • Inability to make a budget, handle money, and pay bills
  • Difficulty conversing normally with others
  • Regularly losing items

In contrast, normal menopausal and age-related memory problems include:

  • Occasionally making poor decisions
  • Occasionally forgetting the date
  • Occasionally missing a credit card payment
  • Occasional difficulty remembering certain aspects of a conversation
  • Occasionally misplacing items, only to find them later

Notice the use of the word “occasionally.” The primary difference between memory loss and dementia is the frequency or regularity in which memory loss occurs. It’s perfectly normal to forget things from time to time as you age, but habitual memory issues are a clear sign of a more serious problem.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of Alzheimer’s are much more severe. From difficulty speaking and prolonged mood changes to problems with spatial relationships and carrying out normal everyday tasks, Alzheimer’s disease can impact every facet of your life.

If you notice any signs of Alzheimer’s in yourself or a loved one, see your doctor right away. Although senior care may be needed in some cases, with early detection, these symptoms may be minimized to allow you to live a full and happy life.

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