We are continuously reading and made aware about too much oestrogen and how bad it can be for us, it can increase our risk for cancer and autoimmune disease, then menopause arrives and we see ladies in line to take oestrogen. How do we make sense of this?
Balance – as you get to know us better you will learn it is all about balance. As they say “too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing” we have all heard this.
Most times in a young lady’s life when she has normal functioning ovaries she will produce increased oestrogen levels, the oestrogen levels are balanced out with the progesterone levels (this is an over simplification to assist with explanation – always remember that all the hormones in our body play together as a symphony, we need tiny amounts in correct balance and only then we can create beautiful music, in other words, we feel great).
So often it happens that if we do not eat healthy, we allow ourselves to become overweight or constipated and can face a situation where we have too much oestrogen which is not healthy for us. BUT when we approach the perimenopausal and menopausal years our natural levels of certain hormones start to decline as the ovaries are decreasing in size due to the natural aging process and the oestrogen and progesterone levels are starting to decline naturally.
With lowered levels of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone patients come in complaining of symptoms, poor memory, depression, anxiety, not being able to complete sentences, to name a few.
Here are some of the key benefits you’ll enjoy when certain hormone levels are balanced…
Oestrogen in terms of your brain, and yes men need a little oestrogen too for healthy memory:
- It acts as a natural antioxidant
- Decreases distractibility
- Decreases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease
- Improves the function of you neurons
- Improves your memory by increasing the availability of acetylcholine by enhancing an enzyme called choline acetyltransferase
- Increases the availability of serotonin
- Increases blood flow to the brain
- Increases the general sense of well-being
- Increases excitability
- Increases our calming neurotransmitter GABA
- Increases glucose and oxygen supply to our neurons
- Stimulates growth of dendrites and axons in the brain
- Increases verbal communication and articulation
And Progesterone in the body:
- Balances oestrogen out
- Improves the quality of sleep
- Assists with healthy bone building
- Improves mood and relaxation
- Improves bladder function
- Relaxes smooth muscle function in the body
And Testosterone in the body:
- Supports bone health
- Decreases excess body fat
- Elevates mood
- Memory maintenance
- Improves muscle mass and strength
- Improves self-confidence and motivation
- Improves libido
6 Considerations to improve brain function and impact our natural hormone balance:
- TOXINS need to be removed: There are external toxins to consider such as lead, BPA, mould, diesel fumes; there are internal toxins from a leaky gut or inflammatory chemicals that the body will produce when out of balance.
- Blood-brain barrier integrity: Things that can harm this barrier: toxins from a leaky gut, alcohol, poor sleep hygiene.
- Blood flow to the brain: Cardiovascular risk factors need assessment and improvement.
- Nutritional status: Incorrect eating patterns can result in nutritional depletions which will impact hormonal and brain health.
- Neuroinflammation: Foods such as wheat, dairy and sugar can cause inflammation in the brain
- Exercise and Hydration: After years of practice we can confidently say that HUMANS NEED MOVEMENT and don’t forget the intake of fluids in the form of clean water and herbal teas.
We want to encourage our patients to age well through improved lifestyle choices, there will be many patients assisted but there will also be patients that will need more intensive treatments to assist them with regards to this topic, after all if you struggle with your mind and brain health your quality of life is certainly impacted. Let us work on it before there is something noticeable.
Yours in health
Drs Dos Ramos