Remember When? Memory Issues During Menopause by Dr. Pamela Dee^

Dr. Pamela Dee, OB/GYN, is a paid spokesperson for Estroven®. The information provided herein is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as medical advice or to replace professional medical care. You should always seek the advice of a medical professional before starting any new medication or dietary supplement. The opinions stated herein are those solely of the writer and do not portray the opinions of the Estroven®brand, i- Health, Inc., or DSM.

Dr. Pamela Dee^ (Dr. Pam) is America’s leading menopause expert & OB/GYN, and she is on a mission to encourage honest dialogue about the physical and emotional symptoms that accompany menopause. Her goal is to de-stigmatize menopause and start the “Menopause Romance Revolution.” Her film, LOVE, SWEAT & TEARS, shares an empowering message of hope and action. Dr. Pam^ won’t rest until every woman knows the truth about menopause, that there is hope and that the third part of a woman’s life can be the best and most romantic.

Menopausal women routinely come into my office, lean forward and whisper, “I think I have Alzheimer’s disease.” I fully understand where they’re coming from. My children might text me five times that we need milk and bread; they may even text me so much that I get aggravated with them. Still, I somehow forget the milk, even though I pass a grocery store on the way home. Does that mean my patients—or I—have dementia? No! But I understand the concern. We all can relate to a lapse in social memory. Maybe you can’t remember the name of someone that you have known for years. Or maybe you decided to not write down something because you were sure that you would never forget it…and then you forget it.

It’s not uncommon to worry about dementia, but there’s a difference between dementia and occasional memory issues during menopause. Dementia is a decrease in mental function that involves learning, memory, language, function, attention, motor skills and social memory.1 Patients that have dementia have trouble retaining new information. They also struggle to handle complex tasks like balancing a checkbook and may find themselves getting lost in familiar places. For a diagnosis of dementia, the memory loss has to be severe enough to interfere with daily function and independence. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia in the elderly and accounts for up to 80 percent of cases.1

For most of my patients, they’re more likely to be experiencing occasional memory issues, which are normal and not necessarily indicative of dementia. For example—you may not remember why you walked into a room several times today, but you remember where your hair salon is located. Self-reported memory issues do not appear to correlate with the development of dementia; informant-reported memory loss (in which a family member reports the memory loss to the healthcare provider) is a better predictor of the presence and future development of dementia.1 I make a point to tell my patients that if they had the type of memory issues that they should be worried about, they probably wouldn’t know they had it.

What can you do to help maintain good brain function? Keep the blood flowing to your brain. Give your brain a workout by watching a quiz show, working on crossword puzzles, playing sudoku or doing puzzles. Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Socialize with other adults—do not isolate yourself. Good conversation and active debate keep your brain working!

I also recommend Estroven® Menopause Relief + Mood to my patients, which can be purchased over-the-counter in most pharmacies. It’s formulated with naturally sourced ginkgo biloba to support healthy brain function, including mental sharpness and memory support.*

^Dr. Pamela Dee is a paid spokeswoman for Estroven®.

1Menopause Guidebook: A Clinicians Guide. 5th Edition. North American Menopause Society 2014. p. 85