This short post is mainly directed at my menopausal patients. It came to me last night about 3 am. As it happened that was the second time I’d awakened for no obvious reason until a few moments later it seemed the room temperature had risen 10 degrees. No wait, MY temperature had done that. Having nothing better to do until my temperature normalized (besides kicking off all my covers much to my husband’s dismay) it occurred to me, “this’ll make a great blog post!”
For those women struggling through the peri-menopausal period, better known as the meno-fuzzies, I have good news and bad news. Your cognition issues are real. That’s the bad news. The good news is that this too shall pass and most of your brain function will return. You will also have fewer hot flashes and there will come a time when you will once again sleep through the night. Now that I’ve made it to the other side I can state with assurance that walking into rooms in my house only to discover that I have NO idea why I’m there are fewer now. No longer do I fear bursting into flame in the middle of my office. The bad news? Even though I’m in my late 50’s I still awaken in a sweat two or three times a week. And I have 80 year-old patients that assure me that they too still occasionally flash.
Are your fears about your memory well-grounded? Yes, but it will come back.
Is your insomnia as bad as you think it is? Yes, but you will sleep again.
Are you as irritable as your family says you are? Maybe, but exercise helps.
Are you gaining weight because of the menopause? No, that’s more of the aging process.
Should you take hormones? That’s a very individual question and best discussed with your doctor in the office. Every woman needs to make that choice with her own needs and risk factors in mind.
1. Cognition and mood in perimenopause: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Weber MT, Maki PM, McDermott MP. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2013 Jun 14. pii: S0960-0760(13)00111-8. http://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.nihpublic-proxy.stanford.edu/pubmed/23770320
2. Physical Activity, Menopause, and Quality of Life: The Role of Affect and Self-Worth across Time. Steriani Elavsky, Ph.D. Menopause. 2009; 16(2): 265–271. http://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.nihpublic-proxy.stanford.edu/pmc/articles/PMC2728615/?report=classicby