Aging and Hormone Balance…It’s All in Your Head
If you’re in your forties or older, you’re probably familiar with the physical effects of aging. Low energy, weight gain, reduced muscle mass, lost sex drive.
But the mental changes can be just as significant.
As the production of key hormones declines, your brain can show the effects in several ways.
In our parent’s day, this was just part of getting older.
Today, we understand the importance of hormones as they relate to brain health. And we know that bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) can help you keep a healthy brain as you get older.
How do hormone levels affect proper brain function? Here are a few ways:
Mental Sharpness and Memory
Some people call it “brain fog”…and every middle-aged woman or man has experienced it to some degree.
You don’t feel mentally “sharp”. Maybe you have trouble remembering names…or where you left your car keys. At its worst, you feel like each thought requires physical effort.
What causes it? Hormone imbalance.
Your brain is at its best when your hormones…primarily estrogen and progesterone for women, testosterone for men…are in proper balance.
These hormones act as important neurotransmitters for the parts of your brain responsible for mental clarity and memory. They also support proper blood flow in the brain.
When the levels of these hormones decline as you get older, your mental performance suffers. Excess cortisol (due to stress) and decreased thyroid levels also degrade your brain’s ability to function efficiently.
Fortunately, when you restore proper hormone levels (through bioidentical hormone replacement) you can regain your lost mental quickness and memory.
The grumpy middle-aged man and the moody middle-aged woman are almost stereotypes. Because they’re real.
Mood swings and increased irritability are common as men and women move through middle age. You may have noticed them in yourself…or the people around you may have noticed.
The physical cause for these “emotional” issues is reduced production of key hormones. Primarily estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
The key is serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone which controls your moods.
Low levels of testosterone in men and estrogen in women cause decreased serotonin production. When your brain is low on serotonin, you are susceptible to mood swings and irritability.
Left uncorrected, the emotional issues associated with hormone imbalance can lead to full-blown depression. This is a real problem; the National Association on Mental Illness estimates that more than 6.5 million Americans over the age of 65 are affected by depression.
Restoring proper balance (with bioidentical hormones) can restore your good mood and reduce your risk of depression.
Sleep issues aren’t always a brain problem, per se; but poor sleep quality definitely affects mental acuity and emotional well-being.
Hormone imbalances can affect sleep in a number of ways:
- Low levels of testosterone and estrogen can contribute to sleep apnea.
- Hormone-related anxiety and depression may make it difficult to fall asleep easily.
- Low serotonin (due to reduced estrogen or testosterone) can disrupt your sleep cycle.
- Reduced progesterone levels in women can make proper sleep difficult.
- Both women and men can suffer from night sweats when hormones are out of balance.
A good night’s sleep can be critical to proper mental function. Restoring hormone balance through BHRT can lead you back to restful nights and productive days.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Medical studies have clearly linked an increased incidence of dementia with low levels of testosterone in men and estrogen in women.
This shouldn’t be shocking, since estrogen and testosterone both support proper brain function.
In addition, several studies show a reduced risk of dementia as an additional benefit from hormone replacement therapy in both men and women.
This is Your Brain…With Balanced Hormones
Clearly, proper hormone levels are critical to proper brain function in several ways. As your body naturally produces less of these hormones over time, BHRT can help to restore balance.
Want to see if hormone replacement therapy would benefit you? Call (800) 859-7511 or click here to schedule your free consultation.