Health Tips Blog
Brain Fog During Menopause: How Hormone Optimization Can Help
By: California Center of Longevity & Functional Medicine on November 7, 2019
Women in perimenopause, and menopause can attest that the decline of hormones can affect seemingly everything. However, the most troubling disruption to life as estrogen and progesterone production declines, can be the changes in brain function. In slang, it might be referred to as “brain fog,” but for countless women, this sometimes-severe loss of mental clarity can be alarming, and make it very difficult to function at home, work, and in day-to-day life.
Symptoms of decline in mental clarity often present as difficulty in concentration, memory, and word recall.
The Role of Estrogen in Mental Acuity
Estrogen is vital to healthy cognitive function, chiefly because it promotes neuroplasticity. Through promoting neurotrophins, including nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), estrogen helps maintain neuroplasticity which is necessary for mental clarity. As estrogen levels drop in women in perimenopause, NGF and BDNF decline, thereby decreasing the neuroplasticity required for mental clarity.
In addition, estrogen also plays a significant role in the health of neurotransmitter systems including serotonin, glutamate and acetylcholine. The proper functioning of these systems is equally as crucial, as they affect learning, memory, and communication between nerves and neurons.
Bio-Identical Estrogen Replacement Therapy
Studies have shown repeatedly that in perimenopausal, and menopausal women, estrogen receptors throughout the brain respond well to bio-identical hormone replacements. In fact, the improved mental clarity has been so promising that researchers continue to study estrogen replacement as potentially promising treatment for improving cognition in those with Alzheimer's.
It's worth noting that although brain fog is often the most disruptive symptom of declining levels of estrogen, other “invisible” symptoms of perimenopause may be successfully regulated via bio-identical hormone therapy as well. For example, in addition to improving mental acuity, estrogen can help to improve mitochondrial function, and regulate glucose metabolism. Bio-identical estrogen replacement therapy also offers beneficial antioxidant effects, thus protecting against DNA damage and cell death.
Hormone Optimization Therapy in Los Angeles/Ventura County & the San Fernando Valley
Dr. Allan Kurtz, Founder of the California Center of Longevity and Wellness offers Hormone Optimization testing in Woodland Hills. This painless test will illuminate any hormonal balances you're experiencing, which can then be addressed with Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy. Incidentally, other symptoms of menopause that respond well to Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy include fatigue, hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, inability to lose weight, panic/anxiety, night sweats, and more.
If you are perimenopausal, menopausal, or struggling with brain fog, it's smart to have a Hormone Optimization Test performed, in effort to determine how to balance your hormones, while protecting your health, and preventing problems with mental clarity.
Dr. Allan Kurtz specializes in creating ideal health and longevity plans for patients of all ages. Fellowship trained in Integrative and Functional Medicine, Dr. Kurtz is also a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and The Institute for Functional Medicine.
The California Center of Longevity & Functional Medicine and the Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center of Southern California was founded in Woodland Hills, CA to aid patients throughout the greater Los Angeles area in restoring and maintaining optimal health for the long term.
Call today for an appointment: 818.346.1440