With the estrogen loss comes a decrease in serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain. With the loss also comes come "fuzzy thinking", irritability, fatigue, memory lapses, moodiness and sadness. (Are we having fun yet?)
I talked about the role of estrogen and progesterone on serotonin and dopamine in this article.
Now, considering that for menopausal women without ADHD, their brains have less cognitive energy, those with ADHD find it especially challenging to concentrate, make sound decisions and use consistently effective executive functioning skills.
Oral contraceptives taken during the peri-menopausal period (before the "hard onset" of menopause) can regulate hormone levels which can improve brain functioning.
After periods have stopped, hormone-replacement therapy may be helpful for the first few years after menopause. Research has shown that women on hormone-replacement therapy score higher on tests of cognitive, reasoning and memory skills.
It may be the case, for you, that hormone-replacement therapy and ADHD medication may be the most effective combination.
Keep a journal of your observations so that your treatment team can have all of the information necessary to help you.
In case anyone uses the term "post-menopause" with you, understand that menopause is never over. Ugh. Oh, the joys of being a girl.
Join me on Facebook at Dr. Claudia McCulloch
At drclaudia.net, click on the "Ask Me" button and send me a question.