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Menopause or Alzheimers?
An_250065 posted:
Im concerned about my mother - she is 54 and still gets a regular period so im not sure she has started menopause. I have heard that forgetfullness happens in perimenopause/menopause but im not sure if these are normal things to forget. She is VERY stressed about finances and i sat down and organized her bills and created a budget for her (with money leftover) - i had her doing simple functions on the calculator but she would stare at it and couldnt figure it out. she has left her keys in her car with the car on and just got out. shes left the burner on the gas stove multiple times and has asked who was irresponsible enough not to turn it off (it was her every time!). this morning she was watching my 3 month old daughter and didnt finish dressing her cause she couldnt figure out how to snap her sleeper (nothing fancy-normal stuff). communication never happens - she misplaces things which i know is normal, but the other things? im concerned that due to the stress she is under and the emotional problems she holds on to that she is at risk for more than just menopause forgetfullness if thats all this is. she doesnt have insurance or i would tell her to go to the doctor - i just dont know what to advise her to do anymore...
Anon_6061 responded:
In my opinion, this sounds like more than the typical perimenopausal / menopausal forgetfulness. I know from experience (after my hysterectomy with ovary removal which is usually much more severe than natural menopause) that there can be memory loss, ADD type symptoms, as well as some periods of confusion. The changes in my brain function were actually quite scary for a period of time. I also became severely depressed and anxious. I knew mine was from hormone deficiency since my ovaries were removed. It was especially scary since I was taking estrogen and still had these symptoms (it wasn't enough estrogen for me).

You mentioned that she's under a lot of stress. That too can cause lack of concentration and forgetfulness. And it's a catch-22 because the inability to concentrate leads to more forgetfulness. Hers is particularly concerning since some of these behaviors are dangerous - leaving burners on, cars running. I don't think these would be considered Alzheimers but you may want to read up on it. Here are a couple of links:

If she can reduce her stress and work on concentrating on one thing at a time (multitasking can make things worse), that may make a big difference.

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For more information, visit the North American Menopause Society website