“Meditation and Concentration are the way to a Life of Serenity” ~ (Baba Ram Dass). But many a menopausal woman feels far from serene as she battles with the problem of trying to concentrate which frequently occurs during the perimenopause, the transitional period before menopause. Some women worry in case this lack of concentration is an early sign of a memory loss or feel frightened it may be the first indication of a long-term memory condition such as Alzheimer’s disease. In the majority of cases this is not so, and the symptoms resolve once through the menopause.
However, if these lacks of concentration sounds like you don’t get too anxious because it could simply be due to hormonal fluctuations. During the perimenopause fluctuations of the hormone oestrogen, which stimulates blood flow to the brain and aids learning and memory by helping nerve cells form new connections, can fluctuate. Consequently, when hormonal levels are low, brain function can be affected, particularly the low levels of the hormone oestrogen, which helps keep the brain functioning at its optimum.
Finding you forget things and are unable to focus on the job in hand can be hard and many women find this results in problems both in the workplace and personal relationships. It can make for feelings of low self-esteem and disorientation and is particularly frustrating when women have prided themselves in having sharp minds and good powers of concentration.
So how to boost concentration? Home remedies include watching what you eat and drink. Drinking plenty of water is vital for hydrating the brain, and reducing alcohol intake goes a long way towards improving mental function. Eating certain foods such as fish, soy and fruit and vegetables has been shown to improve mental function, but foods containing refined sugar or caffeine can have the opposite effect. Maybe it’s time to play mind games, such as Sudoku and crosswords to stimulate the brain and improve concentration. Vitamin B or soya isoflavones are supplements thought to improve mental function, and herbal remedies may be a natural way of treating symptoms. Ginkgo biloba probably our oldest medicinal herb, dates back to 3000 BC, and is said to improve blood circulation and mental function. Your doctor may ask you to consider treatment using HRT if hormonal changes are the root of your problem, but it’s important to understand the benefits and side-effects of HRT. Concentration should improve after the menopause, and life can become serene again!