Hot flushes and memory

Menopause Advisor
Ask Eileen

25 June 2013

The mystery behind menopause symptoms

I know that for many women going through the menopause their symptoms are having a huge impact on their daily life, and what is frustrating is that many of the symptoms are inexplicable. But what excites me today is the level of research going on around the world into menopause symptoms: it is very heartening. Even a few years ago the reasons behind the commonest problems were largely unknown but now, on a regular basis, researchers are beginning to unravel the mysteries.

Research into hot flushes and memory

Latest research from the University of Illinois-Chicago and Northwestern University has found out why memory loss can be associated with hot flushes. They have discovered that frequent bouts of hot flushes appear to hinder your ability to recall certain types of information. What they found was that whilst testing a group of women having multiple daily hot flushes they were less able to recall words, abstract ideas and visual memory.

What they also discovered was that night time flushes were more likely to induce this and they now believe that disruption or lack of sleep due to the flushes is the actual trigger (the ties between sleep and memory are well documented). The good news is that this memory loss does seem to be temporary and full function returns once through the menopause.

So what can you do to help yourself?

It seems that upping physical activity, eating a fibre-rich diet, dealing with stress (which can also cause sleeplessness), and taking gentle sleep-inducing herbs such as Valerian and Hops can all improve your sleep, which in turn should have a positive effect on memory.

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However, the memory symptoms noted in this study were all relatively minor. If you find your memory loss is beginning to severely affect your daily life then it is important to see your doctor.

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Did you know?

You won’t get the menopause the minute you turn 50! The average starting age is actually between 45 and 55 and it can often depend on a number of factors including hereditary, weight and health, however every single woman will have an individual menopause.

Learn the truth behind other menopause myths

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