This Is Your Brain on Menopause
Menopause causes significant changes in a woman’s body, with some of the biggest changes occurring within the brain.
This is particularly the case where estrogen is concerned. Women’s bodies work best in an estrogen-rich environment. The brain is no exception.
In fact, many of the physical issues associated with menopause have their root cause in how the brain is affected by hormone decline.
Following are some hormonal changes happening during menopause that affect women’s brains, and as a result, their overall health.
Many women will suffer cognitive issues as a result of menopause. These issues can include short-term memory loss, reduced attention span, and reduced mental acuity.
Current research has connected a lower supply of estrogen with a corresponding reduction in the amount of glucose within the brain. What this means is that the brain is using less energy.
In addition, studies have shown a reduction in the volume of grey matter within women’s brains once estrogen is in short supply.
Fortunately, these symptoms respond well to estrogen replacement therapy.
Hormones can have a powerful effect on a woman’s mood.
Consequently, changes in estrogen and progesterone levels can result in irritability, depression, anxiety, and mood swings.
Most women will experience sudden increases in body temperature during menopause, otherwise known as hot flashes. But what causes this phenomenon?
Studies indicate that a reduction in estrogen and progesterone levels affects the hypothalamus. This gland, located deep within the brain, acts as your body’s thermostat, working to keep body temperature within a fairly limited range.
But insufficient estrogen and progesterone negatively affects the hypothalamus’ ability to regulate body temperature. Effectively, it moves the “cold point” up and the “warm point” down.
This results in a narrowing of the temperature range your hypothalamus tries to keep your body within. As a result, the body tends to overreact to temperature changes. The result can be flushing, sudden increases in body temperature, and sweating (especially at night).
A deficiency in progesterone is the biggest culprit when it comes to women being sleep-challenged during perimenopause and menopause.
Setting that aside, the other various symptoms associated with menopause can make matters worse. Hot flashes and night sweats…anxiety…depression. All of these can make it hard to get the sleep you need.
The reverse is also true. A lack of sleep can exacerbate other menopause-related symptoms like fatigue, mood swings, and cognitive issues. It becomes a vicious circle.
What Can You Do?
Restoring hormones to healthy levels can help to relieve most of the effects that menopause can have on proper brain function. But the earlier hormone replacement therapy is started, the better.
At Renew Youth, we can help to keep your brain healthy through properly administered bioidentical hormone therapy.
Ready to take the next step?
Just schedule a free consultation with Renew Youth by calling 800-859-7511 or use our contact form.