Why do ADHD symptoms appear to increase during or after perimenopause?

There are several potential reasons why symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may appear to increase or become more pronounced during or after perimenopause in some women:

  1. Hormonal changes: Perimenopause and menopause are associated with a significant decline in estrogen levels. Estrogen is thought to regulate dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in attention, motivation, and cognitive function. Lower estrogen levels may disrupt dopamine signaling, which could exacerbate ADHD symptoms.
  2. Cognitive changes: During perimenopause and menopause, some women may experience cognitive changes, such as difficulty with memory, concentration, and executive function. These changes can overlap with or exacerbate existing ADHD symptoms, making them more noticeable.
  3. Stress and life transitions: Perimenopause and menopause can be stressful life transitions, often accompanied by additional life changes, such as children leaving home, caring for aging parents, or changes in work or relationships. Increased stress and life transitions can amplify ADHD symptoms, particularly in women who may have been managing their symptoms well previously.
  4. Sleep disturbances: Many women experience sleep disturbances during perimenopause and menopause due to hot flashes, night sweats, and hormonal changes. Poor sleep can negatively impact attention, focus, and executive function, making ADHD symptoms more apparent.
  5. Pre-existing ADHD: For women who have had ADHD since childhood or earlier in life, the symptoms may become more pronounced during perimenopause and menopause due to the hormonal and cognitive changes associated with this life stage.

It’s important to note that not all women with ADHD experience an increase in symptoms during perimenopause or menopause. Additionally, some women may be diagnosed with ADHD for the first time during this life stage as the symptoms become more noticeable. If you are experiencing an increase in ADHD symptoms, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and management.

Hal Meyer and the ADD Resource Center have been providing ADHD Coaching services specially designed to empower adolescents, adults, couples, and their loved ones in managing ADHD symptoms and reaching their full potential. They have the expertise to provide personalized guidance and unwavering support on your journey to success. Take charge of your life and unlock your true capabilities with our specialized coaching services tailored to address your unique needs.

Harold Robert Meyer /The ADD Resource Center http://www.addrc.org/ 646/205.8080 03/14/2024

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