Women are constantly told to take care of their hearts. We are advised to eat healthy, exercise, and avoid stress in order to stay in tip-top shape. But what about our brains?
Just like our heart health, our brain health is crucial — especially as we age.
Did you know that every 65 seconds, a new brain develops Alzheimer’s disease (AD)? That’s right — over five million Americans live with this disease, and women account for nearly two-thirds of all cases. So why aren’t we talking about this more?
One reason may be because the symptoms of AD can often mimic those of perimenopause and menopause — a time when our hormones are in flux, and we may experience:
But the two conditions are not the same. AD is a degenerative disease that leads to cognitive decline, while perimenopause and menopause are natural transitions all women go through as they age.
What Role Do Hormones Play in Brain Health?
During perimenopause and menopause, our bodies go through a lot of changes. Hormones fluctuate, impacting our mood, energy levels, and overall health. This includes our brain health.
What happens to the brain during this stage? Estrogen levels start to decline, leading to memory and cognition problems. This can be frustrating, as you may feel like you are “losing your mind.”
Declining levels of estrogen have been linked to an increased risk of AD. But researchers found exposure to more estrogen may counter the “brain-weakening effect of menopause.”
How Low-dose naltrexone (LDN) and Biodentical Hormone Replcament Therapy (BHRT) Can Help
Low-dose naltrexone (LDN) can benefit Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline. LDN works by boosting your natural endorphins, which the body produces to relieve pain and stress. Benefits of LDN include:
- Better sleep
- Less brain fog
- Reduced anxiety
BHRT can also help support proper brain functioning. A 2021 study confirmed an earlier finding that linked menopause and declining levels of estrogen to lower gray matter volume (GMV) in areas of the brain also vulnerable to Alzheimer’s. The study also linked high exposure to estrogen found in hormone replacement therapies HRT and BHRT to higher GMV in some of these areas of the brain.
BHRT uses “bioidentical hormones” to supplement your body’s natural supply when you’re not producing enough. Compounding pharmacies like Belmar Pharmacy are here to help you through perimenopause and menopause by offering customized BHRT solutions tailored to your unique needs. Talk to your doctor to determine if hormone replacement therapy is right for you.
What Else Can You Do To Protect Your Brain?
There are more are steps you can take to protect your brain during perimenopause and menopause:
- Get moving. Aerobic exercise may improve cognition.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking is linked to an increased risk of AD.
- Eat a healthy diet. The Mediterranean diet is recommended for brain health as we age.
- Get enough sleep. Studies show sleep deprivation can increase the likelihood of developing AD.
- Reduce stress. Stress is a known risk factor.
Follow these tips, and you will be ahead of the game in keeping your brain healthy during all stages of menopause! Remember, your brain is worth taking care of. After all, it’s the most important organ in your body[RN9] !
If you liked this post, check out our other blog articles on hormonal health.