Dazed and confused? Is it perimenopause, or ADHD, or both?

Aleta stand in a field of dry grass wearing a tan sweater and black jeans
There can be overlap between perimenopause and ADHD

Episode 35: Forgetfulness, lack of motivation, easily distracted...if you're feeling any of these things, it could be because we're closing out 2 years of a global pandemic, or because you're a woman in your 40s and your hormones are on some crazy journey and didn't leave you with the itinerary. Or maybe it's ADHD?

A diagnosis of ADHD is becoming increasingly common for adult women and unfortunately, there isn't a lot of research on how ADHD shows up in adults, especially women in midlife.

Additionally, many symptoms of perimenopause are similar to those experienced in ADHD.

For example, estrogen is responsible for supporting the function of many neurotransmitters that support mental health including dopamine, which is important for executive functioning (i.e. staying organized), acetylcholine, which supports memory function, and serotonin, which regulates mood.

As estrogen and other hormones fluctuate during perimenopause, women who have already been diagnosed with ADHD may experience an increase in neurological symptoms while women who haven't been diagnosed with ADHD may start experiencing these symptoms for the first time, leading them and their providers to consider the possibility of an ADHD diagnosis and even using ADHD-approved medication to treat these cognitive symptoms.

Unfortunately, to date, there hasn't been much more than anecdotal evidence on how women with ADHD experience perimenopause and menopause. Nor has there been sufficient research on how women between 45-55 can feel like all of a sudden they have ADHD.

Regardless of whether or not you've been diagnosed with ADHD or are experiencing the neurodivergent symptoms as a result of fluctuating hormones, this Savor Food and Body Podcast episode will help you feel more validated in your experience and give you some guidance on how to at least nourish yourself consistently when your brain feels like Swiss cheese.

Join Aleta Stroch, anti-diet dietitian, mental health counselor, and ADHDer as she describes how gentle nutrition can help you regain clarity, motivation, and focus.

Listen to this Savor Food and Body Podcast episode to learn:

  • How Aleta defines gentle nutrition for ADHD and women in general.

  • The common characteristics of ADHD and how they impact someone's ability to nourish themselves regularly.

  • Plus Aleta's top 3 strategies an ADHDer can use to support their nutrition needs without following diet culture's food rules or falling into patterns of disordered eating.

Whether you have an ADHD diagnosis or not, these tips can help you feel more grounded in your body and validated for feeling "a little off."

Aleta is an anti-diet Dietitian, Therapist, and Certified Body Trust Provider, living in the Pacific Northwest. She has experience working with eating disorders in both outpatient and higher-level-of-care settings and specializes in providing anti-diet, values-centered, body liberation work with folks that have disordered eating / a history of dieting, autoimmune conditions, and/or ADHD.

Aleta currently works with individual clients in her virtual private practice (Wise Heart Nutrition), and also runs a unique and groundbreaking online group program, An Anti-Diet Approach to Eating with ADHD, which she developed as a resource for supporting ADHDers in navigating food and eating difficulties, and in developing intuitive eating skills in order to nourish both the body and the brain. She offers supervision and consultation for other dietitians, nutritionists, and therapists, around best practices for providing neurodivergent affirming care.

Learn more about Aleta's work via the links below:

Instagram: @the_adhd_rd

TikTok: @eating_with_adhd


Motivation workshop

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Menopause, Hormones & ADHD: What We Know, What Research is Needed

ADHD in Women