The brain during menopause can undergo a series of variations due to the changes that are taking place in our body but, over time, it will end up stabilizing.
For many years, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and weight changes have been talked about as changes that occur during menopause. However, these are not the only symptoms, as you may also notice how your brain changes during menopause.
This happens because there are estrogen receptors scattered throughout your body and brain. This causes changes in estrogen levels to affect most of your body.
This time we want to talk to you about the direct effects on the brain. In this way you will be able to prepare for this stage and avoid the resulting setbacks.
Effects on the brain during menopause
During menopause, it seems clear that our body undergoes some changes. However, these changes can also be seen in the brain.
1. The brain during menopause: memory can fail
The first of the ways your brain changes during menopause has to do with the ability to remember little things.
You may find yourself with very specific forgetfulness, such as certain words or phrases. Like trying to remember the shopping list, or also trying to remember the name of the main character in a movie you saw.
A study carried out by a team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, found that those who were in full menopause had problems learning certain things, in their verbal memory and in which it affected their work.
The good news is that estrogen levels stabilize over time and so does memory. What you can do is increase the activities that require mental effort:
- Play mathematical games.
- Practice languages.
- Get home or anywhere by a different path each time.
- Learn to play a musical instrument.
2. Hot flashes could actually cause memory disturbances
In another study published in the journal Menopause, another group of women was analyzed with a monitor that identified the times when they had hot flashes. Later an evaluation was made to determine how these affected memories.
The conclusion was that the physiological factors derived from hot flashes predict poorer verbal memory function. The researchers also noted that hot flashes subsided over time for no apparent reason, so they believe the brain begins to produce a small amount of estrogen that regulates problems.
Since it has the ability to adapt to the conditions that arise, it is not difficult to understand that the brain during menopause undergoes some variations.
3. The brain during menopause: your brain structure also changes
The brain during menopause is transformed not only in its ability to learn or remember, but also in its structure.
It is not that suddenly it will have another form or that you will be someone else, but the neural junctions are slightly modified.
The only way to evaluate if you have had a change of this type is through specialized clinical studies. Although it is not something that is going to alter your life significantly, you can reduce or minimize the changes by treating hot flashes directly.
4. Hormone therapy may be an option for symptoms, but it is not for all women.
Hormone therapy for menopause is normally used to relieve symptoms of menopause. However, it seems that it is not for all women.
This is warned by research such as the one published in 2014 in the journal Integrative Medicine Insights. In it, the authors warn that, for some women, hormone therapy can have negative consequences.
Specifically, in a sinapsis of the results of the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study, it was reported that women who received HT were actually 1.6 times more likely than participants in the control group to be at risk for dementia.
5. You will have an unstable mood
Perhaps one of the best known symptoms of menopause is mood swings. In fact, it is not uncommon for family and friends to prepare for them as you approach this stage of life.
You may feel that you are losing your mind because of the great changes that small things generate in you. Among the transformations that occur in your brain during menopause are constant mood swings.
The reason is that, on the one hand, you have a drop in your estrogen levels, which act directly with serotonin. On the other hand, your blood cholesterol and insulin levels are also constantly changing.
When you put these two factors together, night sweats, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and sleep problems occur. As the day goes by you will feel worse and your mood will last very little. In these cases, a good option may be physical activity.
When you feel overwhelmed by a situation, give yourself some free time. Breathe and change the environment or activity and then, when you are calmer, you continue with what you were. In case you feel physically ill, try to check your cholesterol and blood glucose levels to rule out any extra problems.
Don’t fear menopause
Although this stage has several associated problems, in the end it is a temporary state. If you feel that your memory and brain functions are having problems, consult your doctor. Most of the time, it is enough to eat a healthy diet, exercise and relax a little.