There are a lot of unpleasant side effects associated with the menopause, and anxiety and forgetfulness are just two of them. These menopause symptoms have long been affecting menopausal women and they can be really difficult to deal with.
Now, a new study carried out on rats has revealed that these nasty side effects could be caused by low oestrogen levels. So, could this aid in the development of new menopausal treatments? Here, you’ll discover more about the study and how these symptoms can be treated if you are menopausal.
What did the menopause study reveal?
Researchers from a Brazilian university and Georgetown University in the US discovered the link between low oestrogen and menopausal anxiety and forgetfulness. The study involved female rats which didn’t have ovaries, and it assessed anxiety and short-term recognition through standardised testing.
It showed that the menopausal rats had a higher level of anxiety and reduced recognition compared to non-menopausal rats of the same age. This suggests that hormonal imbalances do contribute to the anxiety and forgetfulness menopausal women experience.
Memory problems worse during the lead up to the menopause
Other studies carried out over the years have also revealed a link between memory loss and the menopause. One study revealed that those who were in the early perimenopausal stage, specifically within the year leading up to the menopause, had more issues with memory and forgetfulness than at any other time.
Interestingly, studies have also shown that these memory problems do tend to improve over time. It was long believed hormones were the culprit, but until this recent study, there was no real confirmation that the drop in oestrogen was linked to the memory loss experienced.
Can these menopause symptoms be prevented?
It may not be possible to fully prevent symptoms such as anxiety and forgetfulness, but there are some things you can do to reduce the risk. Ensuring you eat a balanced diet, for example, can help to boost brain function and regulate the mood.
Ensuring you’re getting plenty of rest is also key. As you enter towards the menopause, you may find you have extra difficulty sleeping. So, it’s a good idea to ramp up your exercise and focus more on lowering your stress levels.
How to treat menopausal anxiety and forgetfulness
For many women, the memory loss and anxiety they experience due to the menopause is very mild. However, if it does start to affect your everyday life, there are things you can do. Pay a visit to your doctor and they may suggest starting menopausal hormone therapy. This will help to replace the oestrogen lost, which should naturally improve the symptoms.
However, it’s important to remember that long-term use of oestrogen treatments can increase your risk of other illnesses including cardiovascular disease and breast cancer. The risk is small, but it’s still worth being aware of the potential risks involved.
Overall, this recent study does confirm the anxiety and forgetfulness experienced during the menopause, is down to low oestrogen levels. While you may not be able to prevent these menopause symptoms, there are ways to treat it and the majority of women do see improvements over time.