Meno Health. Clinical Evidence.

Concentration disorder: symptoms & solutions

What is the problem? 

Difficulty concentrating and memory problems are common symptoms of the menopause, but many women do not associate them with it. Some women are unable to concentrate on everyday, unfamiliar or complex tasks. Sometimes they are disoriented, forgetful and lose their train of thought. This can be confusing and cause stress and anxiety. In addition, lack of sleep and hot flushes can cause restlessness, which in turn can lead to concentration problems. Like most menopause symptoms, concentration problems should pass. Until then, however, your life can be greatly affected.

What are the reasons for this?

Estrogen receptors are present in many areas of the brain, and these hormones help the different areas of the brain to communicate with each other.

If oestrogen levels fluctuate or are too low, memory and brain function can be impaired. Oestrogen also promotes blood flow to the brain. If there is too little of it, this can affect your ability to concentrate.

But it's not just hormones that play a role, external life influences can also affect your concentration. Excessive demands, whether due to problems in the family (teenagers to deal with, your parents' ageing, romantic relationships) or at work, can overwhelm you with organizational difficulties and frequent memory lapses.

Fortunately, these concentration problems do not last forever and it is neither dementia nor Alzheimer's disease.

What solutions are there?

Try to get enough and good quality sleep. Difficulty concentrating can be linked to a lack of sleep.

Train your memory: Doing small exercises every now and then, such as memorizing a phone number or working on a Sudoku puzzle, is very beneficial. Perhaps you could also consider learning a new hobby or skill?

As far as diet or supplements are concerned, remember to ensure your B vitamin requirements, especially vitamins B6 and B9, which play an important role in brain function and cognitive performance, including attention and concentration. They can be found in legumes, nuts, bananas and fish.

Vitamin D is needed for the functioning of the nervous system. Some studies have suggested that a lack of vitamin D can lead to concentration problems. It is found in salmon, eggs and cheese.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to have a positive effect on memory, thinking and concentration. You can find these in nuts, oily fish (sardines, tuna) and linseed.

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