For those women who are experiencing difficulty concentrating as a result of menopause, this symptom can often be confusing, even unsettling. There is a variety of reasons why a woman may experience difficulty concentrating. For most women, however, it is typically due to hormone fluctuations that occur during menopause.
Learn more about difficulty concentrating, its causes, and the treatment options in order to gain back control of one's own sense of focus.
While difficulty concentrating is an incredibly common symptom, it can be subtle at times. For this reason, it is important to know the common characteristics of difficulty concentrating.
Difficulty concentrating is defined as the inability to concentrate on everyday tasks or unusual or complex tasks. Along with this, women may experience disorientation, general forgetfulness, and lost trains of thought.
This can be a cause for concern for many women who typically possess the ability to concentrate, and it may lead to problems in the workplace or in a woman's personal life. In addition, women may feel some concern that this is an early sign of more serious conditions such as Alzheimer's.
To ease concerns about difficulty concentrating, it is beneficial to know what the exact characteristics are.
Characteristics of difficulty concentrating
Common Characteristics of Difficulty Concentrating
Lost train of thought
Inability to concentrate for long periods of time
Inability to focus on complex tasks
The box on the right shows the most commonly experienced characteristics of difficulty concentrating. A menopausal woman may notice one or several of these signs to varying degrees of intensity.
If a woman is experiencing these characteristics of difficulty concentrating, it is helpful to understand why they are occurring. Click on the following link for more information about difficulty concentrating, or continue reading to learn more about its specific causes.
Struggling to concentrate is one of the lesser known symptoms of menopause, even though it's one that impacts a woman's life on a day-to-day basis. Read on to understand why many women experience difficulty concentrating during perimenopause, and discover what can be done to maximize concentration.
Difficulty concentrating, though a common occurrence during menopause, can be irritating at the best of times. But when it progresses into anxiety episodes, it can have a negative impact on your daily life. Find out more about how to manage these symptoms through simple, subtle lifestyle changes.
Causes of Difficulty Concentrating
While a number of factors can trigger difficulty concentrating, hormone fluctuations are typically why this occurs during menopause. Estrogen in particular plays a key role in the numerous brain functions.
There are several neurotransmitters in the brain that regulate cognitive function, including normal memory and the ability to concentrate. Acetylcholine, serotonin, and norepinephrine have all been shown to influence cognitive abilities. If there is a shortage in these neurotransmitters, there may be a decrease in cognitive function, leading to difficulty concentrating
Estrogen has an effect on the production of all three of these neurotransmitters. When estrogen levels are adequate, production is more stable.
Related Menopause Symptoms
In addition to the primary hormonal causes behind difficulty concentrating, many women may have concentration issues that stem from other menopause symptoms. Sleep disorders and fatigue can render a woman too exhausted to concentrate properly on daily tasks at hand. Psychological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, or panic disorders can also have a hand in difficulty concentrating. When a woman is under stress, she may not be able to focus to the best of her ability.
Other Causes of Difficulty Concentrating
Difficulty concentrating is mainly attributed to the fluctuations in estrogen that influence neurotransmitter levels in the brain. However, there are many contributing factors that can influence a woman's level of concentration. Fortunately, there are many different treatment options available for managing this symptom.
Click on the following link to find more information about the causes of difficulty concentrating, or read on to learn more about ways to overcome difficulty concentrating to regain control.
Anxiety episodes that occur frequently, consistently, and on a long-term basis could all be symptomatic of an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders affect around 18% of American adults. The illness comes with a number of inhibiting symptoms, including difficulty concentrating; this, needless to say, can affect the sufferer's personal and professional
Difficulty concentrating is one if the lesser-known woes of menopause, characterized by short attention span and short-term memory issues. The symptom can have a number of effects, especially upon mood. Abrupt and extreme changes in mood, known as mood swings, are a likely side effect, and these can make concentration issues worse.
Difficulty Concentrating Treatments
To treat this problematic symptom, a three-tiered approach can be utilized. It is recommended to start with the least invasive option, and then move towards more drastic measures if necessary.
1. Lifestyle changes. Some easy lifestyle tips can help sufferers cope with difficulty concentrating. A healthy diet rich in brain-friendly nutrients like omega-3 and omega-6 - found in fish and walnuts, for example - can help. Cutting back on caffeine, alcohol, and sugar can also help improve concentration.
Getting better quality of sleep goes a long way as well. Stress-relieving techniques like meditation or yoga are also helpful in aiding a woman's ability to concentrate, and brain exercises such as crossword puzzles can improve overall focus.
Did You Know?
Intense aerobic exercise can increase brain volume in older adults.
2. Alternative medicine. If coping methods and simple lifestyle changes are not working and a woman is still experiencing difficulty concentrating, there are further treatment options available. Alternative medicines that address the hormonal imbalance at the source are the most effective treatment method, particularly in conjunction with lifestyle changes.
3. Medications. For more serious incidences of difficulty concentrating, increasingly drastic measures can be taken, but they should always be undertaken with the help of a medical professional.
Women who wish to improve their concentration should begin with lifestyle changes, then move onto alternative medicines, and finally, consider medications if nothing else seems to work. Click on the following link to learn about specific treatments for difficulty concentrating in these three categories.
Whether it's being more active, taking a break, or incorporating more meditation into your life, there is always a way to develop better concentration skills. Fatigue, stress, and boredom can all be contributing factors to disrupted focus, which can interfere with your ability to be productive and enjoy your day.
Difficulty concentrating is an issue that often plagues women approaching menopause. Hormonal changes can affect attention span and short-term memory, creating concentration difficulties that are characterized by mental fogginess and distraction. Though the symptom is primarily internal, there is help available to deal with it.
Colcombe, S.J. et al. (2006). Aerobic exercise training increases brain volume in aging humans. The journals of gerontology, 61(11), 1166-1170. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17167157
Food and Drug Administration. (2010). Coping with Memory loss. Retrieved May 5, 2016, from http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm107783.htm
Henderson, V.W. (2008). Cognitive Changes after Menopause: Influence of Estrogen. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, 51(3), 614-626. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e318180ba10
Greendale, G.A. , Derby, C.A. & Maki, P.M. (2012). Perimenopause and Cognition. Obstetrics and gynecology clinics of North America, 38(3), 519-535. doi: 10.1016/j.ogc.2011.05.007
Kulzow, N. et al. (2016). Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Memory Functions in Healthy Older Adults. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 51(3), 713-725. doi: 10.3233/JAD-150886
Matsuda, Y. , Hirano, H. & Watanabe, Y. (2002). Effects of estrogen on acetylcholine release in frontal cortex of female rats: involvement of serotonergic neuronal systems. Brain Research, 937(1-2), 58-65. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12020863
Uchida, S. & Kawashima, R. (2008). Reading and solving mental arithmetic problems improves cognitive functions of normal aged people: a randomized controlled study. Age, 30(1), 21-29. doi: 10.1007/s11357-007-9044-x
Updated on Apr 15, 2016 How to Combat Difficulty Concentrating in Menopausal Women Concentration is a vital function that's needed in many aspects of daily life, from the workplace to other activities, like driving or reading the newspaper. During menopause, hormonal imbalances affect the cognitive functions, which may result in difficulty concentrating. Keeping the brain stimulated, plus other simple lifestyle changes, could help combat concentration issues.
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Updated on Oct 11, 2011 Can Physical Activity Improve my Concentration? Research has shown that regular exercise improves concentration and memory in women. Exercise helps improve memory by increasing the amount of compounds in the body that protect and increase the growth of neurons. Click here to learn more about the relationship between exercise and memory.
Updated on Jul 01, 2011 7 Lifestyle Changes to Improve Concentration Skills during Menopause The menopause comes with a collection of symptoms that many women find intensely uncomfortable and disruptive. One symptom that can have a significantly negative impact on daily life is memory loss. For information on how to counter this troubling condition read on.