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ADHD and Menopause – a GP’s guide on how to better cope with symptoms

ADHD and Menopause - a GP guide on how to better cope with symptoms

ADHD and Menopause, are symptoms more intense? GP and menopause expert, Dr Aarthi Sinha from Church Crescent Medical explains why this could be the case, plus what can help 

Every week, I speak with numerous women grappling with the complexities of menopause. This week alone, three women have shared their struggles with me, highlighting a widespread challenge faced by many.

As both an NHS and private practitioner, I see firsthand the impact menopausal symptoms can have on women’s lives. 

Understanding Menopausal Symptoms 

One of the most common misconceptions about menopause is that it always involves hot flashes (also known as hot flushes). While hot flashes are a well-known symptom, not all women experience them.

Instead, menopause encompasses a wide range of symptoms, including mood changes, sleep disturbances, and emotional challenges. Recognizing the full spectrum of menopausal symptoms is crucial for effective management and support. 

menopause encompasses a wide range of symptoms, including mood changes, sleep disturbances, and emotional challenges

For instance, a woman I saw in my NHS clinic this morning assumed she wasn’t experiencing menopausal symptoms because she lacked hot flashes, despite suffering from mood swings and insomnia.

This example underscores the need for a broader understanding of menopause. It’s not just about hot flashes; it’s about the myriad ways it can affect a woman’s physical and emotional well-being. 

READ MORE: 10 menopause symptoms myths debunked


ADHD and Menopause 

From my experience, menopausal symptoms tend to be more intense for women with ADHD. The hormonal changes during menopause can exacerbate the challenges already present with ADHD, such as brain fog and mood swings.

Some women even receive their first diagnosis of ADHD or autism during this period, as the additional stresses of menopause reveal previously masked symptoms. 

menopausal symptoms tend to be more intense for women with ADHD

ADHD women often face unique struggles during menopause. Declining estrogen levels can affect other hormones like dopamine, which plays a critical role in ADHD. This interplay often leads to heightened difficulties in executive function and organization, making the menopausal transition particularly challenging for these women. 

Support and Management Strategies 

For women with ADHD navigating menopause, a tailored approach is essential. Here are some strategies to consider: 

Consult Your GP

Whether you have an existing ADHD diagnosis or suspect you might, it’s important to discuss your symptoms with your doctor. They can provide referrals for assessments and help develop a management plan. Your GP can be an invaluable resource in navigating both ADHD and menopause. 

Consider Medication

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and ADHD medications can be beneficial. However, these should be part of a broader strategy that includes lifestyle changes.

HRT can help alleviate menopausal symptoms, while ADHD medications can support cognitive function. Together, they can provide a balanced approach to managing the dual challenges of menopause and ADHD. 

Lifestyle Adjustments

Regular exercise, a healthy diet, good sleep hygiene, and mindfulness practices are crucial when it comes to mitigating menopausal symptoms. Exercise, in particular, boosts dopamine levels, aiding both ADHD and overall brain function.

Physical activity can also help manage weight, improve mood, and reduce anxiety, all of which are beneficial during menopause. 


Certain supplements, like magnesium for sleep, and natural oestrogens found in soy, legumes, red clover, and black cohosh, may help alleviate some menopausal symptoms. 

These natural remedies can offer additional support, but it’s important to ensure they’re safe and effective for your specific needs. Always consult with your doctor before starting any new supplement.

READ MORE: HRT Myth Busting with Dr Louise Newson


Daily Life and Long-Term Management 

ADHD women often face more pronounced challenges during menopause, particularly with organizational tasks and brain fog, which can disrupt both work and personal life. However, with early support and intervention, these challenges can be managed effectively. 

Short-Term Advice

Seek immediate support from your doctor to explore treatment options and get relevant tests done. Early intervention can significantly improve your quality of life. Your doctor can also provide guidance on coping strategies and connect you with support groups or resources. 

Long-Term Advice

Embrace practical, realistic lifestyle changes. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and a good sleep routine are fundamental to managing symptoms over the years. Building a strong foundation of healthy habits can help mitigate the impact of menopausal symptoms and improve overall well-being. 

Integrating Lifestyle Factors 

Lifestyle choices are the foundation of well-being, especially during menopause. Exploring new activities like yoga, resistance training, or even sensory tanks can complement traditional medical advice, creating a holistic approach to health.

Yoga and mindfulness practices can help reduce stress and improve mental clarity, while resistance training can build muscle strength and enhance physical resilience.

READ MORE: 7 natural energy boost tips to try this summer 


The Role of Social Support 

Women often turn to their peers for information and support during menopause. Sharing experiences with friends or joining support groups can provide valuable insights and emotional comfort. Encouraging open discussions about menopause can help break down stigmas and empower women to seek the help they need. 

Holistic Health Care Approach 

My approach to treating menopausal women with ADHD involves a balanced healthcare plan that includes both medical treatments and lifestyle modifications. This blended approach recognizes the importance of addressing both physical and mental health. It’s not just about managing symptoms; it’s about enhancing overall quality of life. 

Navigating menopause requires a nuanced understanding of its diverse symptoms and the additional complexities brought on by conditions like ADHD. With the right support and a balanced approach, women can manage their symptoms effectively and maintain a high quality of life.

By seeking early intervention, embracing lifestyle changes, and fostering a supportive community, women can navigate this transitional period with confidence and resilience. 

thumbnail_image005‘I am incredibly passionate about providing medical care that treats people precisely when and where they need it, and care that takes into account a person’s whole health and lifestyle, not just the specific issue they come to me with. I want to run a practice that returns to the days of having a family doctor that knows you and your family extremely well, and with that, being able to treat you better because of it.’

Dr Aarthi Sinha, MBBS BSc MRCGP DFSRH DRCOG DoccMed, Founder of Church Crescent Medical Practice

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