The condition called “fuzzy thinking” is probably the most disturbing symptom of perimenopause.
Fuzzy thinking has elements of memory lapse and attention deficit disorder. You may run into a longtime acquaintance and realize that you can’t remember her name. You may go upstairs to get something and, by the time you get there, forget what it is. It may be difficult to concentrate, and you may get easily distracted. It’s known to be transient, but it can be a real impediment to our efficiency.
An inability to concentrate or remember things has been attributed to lack of estrogen
Fuzzy thinking is not uncommon in times of hormonal flux, like pregnancy and the postpartum period. There’s no easy way to make your fuzzy thinking go away. Some things that may help include:
- Decreasing your alcohol and caffeine intake.
- Getting regular exercise.
- Eating a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
- So can taking on new mental challenges, such as:
- Studying a new language.
- Learning to play a musical instrument.
- Attending lectures and discussion groups.
- Solving crossword puzzles.
- Trying to recall all the stories you heard on the evening news.
- You may want to compensate by getting a notepad and keeping a “to do” list of your errands and appointments, people you meet, and random thoughts you have.
Herbalists recommend sage, ginseng, and ginkgo biloba. Estrogen probably does not sharpen your thinking permanently, but it may help in times of hormonal fluctuation. If you are severely incapacitated by fuzzy thinking, three to five years of hormone therapy can be very beneficial.