It’s well known that one of the many symptoms of Menopause (Peri, Menopause or Post Menopause) is having memory issues. In my case it was one of the big side effects of my ordeal with Menopause since Peri Menopause started in my late 30s. Again, not so sure if it was Menopause to blame or my B12 deficiency or the mix of both, in any case my memory was hit badly. I couldn’t access memories from my childhood or teenage years, I couldn’t even remember what I had eaten for dinner… it was this empty void for basically any little thing… Sometimes it was really hard to find the right words to say simple, everyday things in my own language because words would vanish from my vocabulary. Retain information was another major problem for me. And of course, writing was one of my most difficult task. Actually up to this date still is. Getting better, but still not ideal. But comparing myself now from a few years ago I can say that I have a quite normal memory. Not a brilliant one but a normal one. And I am very grateful for it. And I do, because I refused to accept it as something that comes with aging. It is not. In my opinion, it comes from some sort of deficiency in our bodies. And we can turn its table. How? Well, I only can tell you what I did that had some great impact in improving my memory issues. Here I go:
I made sure I had all the nutrients I needed. Especially those to put my Methylation back o track. It is really important that you find a doctor that can evaluate whether or not you need extra nutrients and work with him/her to keep yourself functioning well. In my personal opinion and experience, as we get older we need way more nutrients to keep up and if we don’t get them that is when things get weird, off.
I also believe that Meditation can help to ease our minds and nurture it. Meditation and other Zen practices that work for you to release some stress and improve your quality of life. Even Breathing Exercises can do this trick.
Other thing that I did and recommend is to keep your brain busy and constantly working, being stimulated. And with that in mind I decided to learn languages, play some silly games that exercised my brain like Stop, Color Code and so many others. Everyday I played (and still do) a little bit (or a lot!). I also decided to start this blog, in another language, to do that as well. Everyone of those things have been very helpful. And over the years it has become much easier. At the beginning any of those tasks was extremely hard. But I kept up. And it paid off.
So, if you have memory issues as a Menopause symptom, give those things a try. But don’t expect that it get fixed overnight. It won’t be. It can take a little while till you see some improvement. But until then, don’t give up, just keep up.
Up to a few years ago, I had no idea there was such a thing as PeriMenopause or PostMenopause. For me there was just Menopause. Full stop. And when the Menopause I knew would come, my period would stop so I no longer would be able to conceive, hot flashes/flushes would be an unpleasant side effect as much as some sleeping problems and low estrogen issues like aging and bone loss.
That was pretty much it my knowledge of Menopause.
So, when I started experiencing some Menopause symptoms (my period became irregular and suddenly I started having some sleeping issues) around my mid 30s I went to my gynaecologist and asked him whether or not those symptoms were related to the fact that Menopause was coming. Back then I have read that when Menopause was approaching our period would become “funny”. He assured me that was not the case, that periods were not a perfectly timed thing (except that mine used to be) and Menopause was far far away from my reality. No mentions to PeriMenopause whatsoever.
And that is how I went through my whole PeriMenopause phase (from my mid 30s through my early 40s): totally unaware I was on it. I just heard of it when I was entering Menopause and had almost everything undercontrol (or on my way to it).
Anyways, since PeriMenopause is a reality and can present a lot of symptoms that can make your life a little hell-ish and you were only expecting them when Menopause arrives, I believe every women should know about it even before going through it. Otherwise you get lost and people (aka doctors) who are supposed to put you back on the right track, for some reason just don’t help you at all. So, at least being aware of it can help you to get help from a doctor who actually knows about it and can help you through it. So here it is an introduction of what PeriMenopause, Menopause and PostMenopause are, because all of them matters:
PeriMenopause is the transitional phase through Menopause. It’s when you can present lots of symptoms related to Menopause like hot flashes/flushes, sleeping disorders, mood swings, low energy, brain fog, memory loss and others, even not being at Menopause officially. You still menstruate but your period can get funny, irregular, heavy, moody, insane in many other ways. It can last up to 8 to 10 years, more or less. PeriMenopause can hit you (pretty bad) around your 30s or 40s. Yep, that early. Here your estrogen levels start to fluctuate insanely and begin to drop.
Menopause officially happens when your menstruation stops and that lasts for a year for those who are over 50 and two years for those who are under 50 years old. Your estrogen levels drop significantly.
Having said that: because in PeriMenopause your period gets funny (meaning it can be late or early and you can menstruate for weeks or skip your period for months), you can go without your period for as long as almost a year and then, boom, it could come back. So, although you were a few months menstruation free, if it comes back before a year if you are over 50 and before two years if you are under 50 it means that you were not at Menopause but in PeriMenopause, still.
PostMenopause is the after Menopause phase when you have no more periods for more than one year or two, depending whether or not you are over or under 50. Your estrogen levels are pretty low. And this phase will last till you die.
If you take Maca powder you probably felt its, let’s call it, peculiar taste. It is not something yummy to say the least. Au contraire. I hear you. But worry no more cause I have the perfect trick so you can have your Maca powder without ewing it.
How? Try mixing your Maca powder with cinnamon powder over a mashed banana. Yes, first pealed the banana and with a fork mash it all. Then add plenty of cinnamon powder, enough to cover the whole mashed banana. Then add the Maca powder and mash it all together till Maca and cinnamon blend completely.
This would be enough to enjoy your Maca powder without tasting it. But you can also add some Chia seeds, Flax flour and Oat Bran to it. That is what I do. I like it and I do believe my body needs the nutrients and fibers from them. You can skip the Chia seeds and the Flax flour and just add the Oat Bran though. Or just eat the banana with Maca and cinnamon. It will do the trick.
In any case, you will not feel the Maca taste at all.🙏
And yes, if you don’t know yet… Maca is a good option for all of us who are going through peri-menopause, menopause or post-menopause. It can alleviate the symptoms related to it like hot flashes, low libido, vaginal dryness, interrupted sleep, poor memory, anxiety, stress issues and it can help with our bone health as well. It is also a good source of Copper, Vitamin C and Iron.
But when taking Maca be aware of this: If you have a low thyroid condition or it is heading towards it, bare in mind that Maca powder may interfere with the normal function of the thyroid gland because it contains goitrogens. Having said that, there is a gelatinized kind of Maca which is boiled and pressurized in order to remove all the starch from it. Nothing else is added. Because of it, this kind of Maca is much easier to digest and because it is boiled, it can diminish the impact of the goitrogens in your thyroid.
Still, be careful and ask for your doctor’s help on this.
For a very long time, I considered that any type of yoga was not for me. I tried a few times a class here and there but none spoke to me. None. So I gave up trying and I ended up falling in love with Qi-Gong, instead, something more aligned with me. And for years I forgot about yoga.
A few years ago, maybe 3 or 4, I decided to give yoga another try to see if there was any change on that. I don’t remember exactly why, though. Maybe a need to add extra exercise to my life? Anyways, I went for a Restorative Yoga with Reiki class because Reiki was something I have tried before and loved and guess what? I loved it. So much that I kept on practicing every week and even decided to try other types of Yoga to see if I like them as much as well. Yoga was for me, after all. And Kundalini was one of the types of yoga I decided to try.
However, the first class I attended I did not like it at all. And for 1 year I forgot about Kundalini. Until one day, when I was back to New York City I decided to try it again. And boom! I totally feel in love with. My instructor at Awakening in Greenpoint, Zita Harkaran had such an enthusiasm and a glow that I wanted to have that too. Plus, I felt so good… It was like something had lighted me up inside. So, I attended her class every week for the whole time I stayed in New York. When I returned to Rio de Janeiro, unfortunately I could not find any Kundalini classes and lost a bit the motivation to continue. But started reading about it.
At least that.
Because of my estrogen shortage and its side effects (vaginal dryness, low libido, underwhelming orgasms in particular) due to my menopausal state, in the back of my head, there was this voice whispering to me to pursue Kundalini because it could be a good addition to my recovery routine since Kundalini works with the Kundalini energy which is our holy sexual energy. A precious extra help to solve one of the remained things not yet solved, so I thought. And for that I should embrace it and practice more often to get the benefits.
Then last year, when I returned for my 3 months in New York City I decided to look for a place where I could practice more often. I would obviously keep attending Zita’s class cause she is such an inspiring teacher and I love her classes. And googling Kundalini near me I found a studio: Kundalini Yoga East. There they have this promo: you pay $39 and attend as many classes as you like for 30 days. Irresistible, right?
Then I started my 30 Kundalini days. Okay, I did not attend a class every single day but at least 5 or 6 days a week, I did. And from the very first class I was in love. Although it was really hard. The postures, the practice and the fact that back then I was completely out of shape due to my knee injury… It was hard. And my body got all sore for maybe two weeks til I got used to exercising again. But it was a good pain.
Anyways, the experience was so powerful and insightful that I got hooked. In the best way. I don’t know if my experience was that strong due Kundalini itself or a combination of Kundalini and my level 2 Reiki (that I had completed the day before my first Kundalini day). In any case, it was amazing. I am so grateful for it…
So many good things happened to me after I started practicing it. To begin with, I got my very own Kundalini glow. During my first week, I felt as if my Crown Chakra had became wider with a brighter light. (I also got a headache that went away pretty soon, so it was not all good). At the end of the first week on a Friday class some of my estrogen shortage side effects went away. I am not overstating. It did. Just like that.
Okay, for years I have been working with my sexual energy or Kundalini energy as you rather call it due to my Qi-Gong practice since it is the same energy used. Maybe that is why was that fast for me. But my Kundalini practice also helped with other issues that I was trying to deal with, with no luck, such as: going back to the dating game (after a long time not being able to actually make it happen, I did and for my surprise all went pretty smooth), thawing my heart ( I even ended up falling in love after a long time), becoming more vocal after being way too monosyllabic… And the icing on the cake: for the first time I felt I belonged to and that I was a spiritual person. My whole life I practice spiritual things like Qi-Gong, Meditation, Tai Chi and even Yoga but had never felt myself as a spiritual being. With Kundalini, I did. I guess that is what it is called Kundalini Awakening.
After my 30 Kundalini days, I kept up attending classes as usual. I loved so much to just give up. I even went to a White Tantric Yoga event in NY where we have to hold a posture for 30 or 60 minutes throughout a whole day. And it was an amazing experience. And not as hard as I taught it would be. Right after it I felt lighter. They say you would feel the difference some days later, but for me, that was it. I will definitely attend another one when I have the chance.
Since then I have been practicing Kundalini in regular basis. Even now that I am back to Rio. I practice on my own (everyday, by the way) and when I can, I attend a local studio that I love very much, Medicina da Consciência. Yep, I finally found a place here. I still have a lot more to accomplish and overcome as a B12 deficient, poor Methylator, Menopausal and Messed Up Woman, but I am so grateful to have found a practice that I can feel it is helping me to go through all of those things…