Red Hot Mamas Informative Seminar: Memory Meltdown at Menopause

On Thursday, March 17th, we welcomed Dr. Ilham Barone from Access Medical Group to lead our latest Red Hot Mamas discussion about Memory and Menopause. This was the 6th Red Hot Mamas event sponsored by Marina Del Rey Hospital.

On Thursday, March 17th, we welcomed Dr. Ilham Barone from Access Medical Group to lead our latest Red Hot Mamas discussion about Memory and Menopause. This was the 6th Red Hot Mamas event sponsored by Marina Del Rey Hospital.

We proudly sponsor these monthly events for the community, providing dinner, refreshments and complimentary parking. This event attracted a large audience who engaged in a very lively discussion for two hours. About five minutes into our program, the hospital’s fire alarm testing was activated, which received a lot of laughs as the irony was not lost on this crowd!

Dr. Barone eased everybody's mind by confirming that "memory brain fog" does indeed exist, citing that ⅔ of women complain of forgetfulness during menopause. Dr. Barone led us through a detailed presentation that included medical findings about memory loss during menopause, as well as ways to minimize memory loss. Below, are many of the great takeaways from Dr. Barone's presentation.

Behaviors that can cause memory loss:

  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking

Behaviors that can boost mind and brain power:

  • Challenge your mind - learn a new dance, language, or instrument - basically get out of your comfort zone
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get enough sleep
  • Learn stress management techniques
  • Get organized

Eat more veggies

Dr. Barone provided some valuable tips for eating healthy. She suggests choosing whole grains instead of processed grains, but lowering your intake of grains altogether. Cutting back on unhealthy trans fats and saturated fats, opting for healthy fats, which are essential for post-menopausal women. Healthy fat foods include avocado, salmon, and nuts. If you are a vegan, she recommends a variety of nuts (which have zero cholesterol), beans, olive oil, avocado, quinoa and olives. And the biggest surprise was eggs. Dr. Barone advised that eggs are good fat and do not in fact increase cholesterol.

Be more social

Dr. Barone says that being social improves memory. Volunteering is a great option, as it creates new bonds and increases dopamine. The more active you are, the more your brain is working.

Get proper sleep

When you don't sleep, the memories of the day are not stored. Try having a bedtime routine that begins 30 minutes before bed. Do the same thing over and over again - brush teeth, read, etc. You room should be cold, noiseless and dark.

Stress management

Dr. Barone suggests adopting one or all of the following to reduce stress - meditation, visualization, hypnosis, deep breathing, massage, and journaling. A simple search on YouTube will yield great resources for many of these tools.

Although hormones are not currently used in the treatment of memory loss, Dr. Barone recommends speaking with your doctor about which therapy is best for you. It's up to you to decide what pros, cons and risks you are willing to accept.

The good news is that most women's memory fog will ease as they become post-menopausal. It's the transition that is the most problematic.

We want to thank Dr. Barone for leading this informative seminar and all the women who attended. We are thrilled to provide the community with these and other valuable events throughout the year.

Our next Red Hot Mamas event will be held in May 2016. Please sign up here to receive an email update when it is announced.