Mood & Memory Problems

Brain fog. Irritability. Depression. Age-related mood and memory issues can be troubling, and they affect both women and men. Even though it’s important to discuss these issues with your primary care physician, in many cases, hormonal imbalances are the reason for cognitive and mood concerns and can be treated with hormone replacement therapy at Rejuvime Medical in Baton Rouge or Metairie. Our patients come to us from throughout Louisiana and Mississippi, including New Orleans and Shreveport, as well as Jackson and Hattiesburg, MS.

What Causes Mood Issues?

Increased moodiness as we get older is typically associated with the onset of menopause for women. But men, too, can experience hormone-related mood changes as they get older and can also benefit from hormone replacement therapy to balance hormone levels.

Hormonal imbalances are often the reason for changes in a person’s mood, which can vary widely and may include becoming depressed. Even though both men and women may suffer from depression, the risk is two times greater for women. All women don’t experience mood changes, but for some women, substantial changes in estrogen during physiological transitions such as pregnancy and menopause are associated with the worsening of depressive symptoms.

Testosterone helps protect the nervous system for both men and women, warding off depression and cognitive impairment. As men age, however, some see their testosterone levels significantly drop. That drop in testosterone is linked to an increase in symptoms of anxiety and depression, in addition to other issues.

Some specific reasons for mood changes include:

  • Stress—Your response to stressful situations involves both physical and psychological effects. Excessive stress causes changes to hormones, sleep patterns, and eating habits, leading to changes in mood and behavior.
  • Thyroid condition—The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in your lower neck that plays a powerful role in keeping your brain and body healthy. Thyroid dysfunction can influence your mood and cause mood swings.
  • Mental health condition—Psychological disorders or mental health conditions, rather than hormonal imbalance, may be to blame for mood changes. Discuss these issues with your physician, who can refer you to a mental health professional.

Whatever the cause of mood changes, treatment and lifestyle changes can often reduce their impact on your life.

What Causes Memory Loss?

Beginning around age 50, most men and women experience a gradual decline in some cognitive functions. For many people, that may just mean forgetting to pick up something at the store or trying to remember a specific word. Others, however, may have difficulty organizing tasks, keeping track of belongings, setting goals, and making plans and seeing them through.

These kinds of issues may be misdiagnosed as “mild cognitive impairment,” a precursor to dementia, when they’re actually caused by hormonal changes. This is true for both men and women. Foggy thinking and memory lapses for women are often caused by estrogen levels being out of balance. Estrogen in women regulates cortisol, a neurotransmitter responsible for chemical communications in the brain. During perimenopause, cortisol levels in the brain are not well regulated, which can lead to memory loss, mood swings, and depression.

Besides perimenopause and menopause, other reasons for memory loss in women include:

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency—Confusion, poor memory, and depression have all been linked to low levels of vitamin B12. Supplements and eating certain foods can help increase these levels.
  • Stress—Short-term stress typically doesn’t influence memory, but ongoing stress can produce structural changes in the brain that might lead to memory loss. Minimizing stress-inducing conditions is the best treatment.
  • Low Levels of Vitamin D—Neurotransmission, which is important for memory, is enhanced by vitamin D. As we age, our bodies produce less vitamin D, and people tend to spend less time outside than they do when they’re younger. Sun is a good source of vitamin D, or you can take supplements.

There is good news for women experiencing memory loss caused by perimenopause or menopause: the condition typically gets much better for post-menopausal women.

Men and women looking for a hormone specialist to customize bioidentical hormone replacement therapy travel from Lafayette, LA, and throughout the state to our clinics in the Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas. If you’re experiencing mood changes or memory loss and believe the issues are related to hormonal imbalance, you can request a consultation at Rejuvime Medical using the online form. Or give our clinic a call at (225) 960-1580.

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