Imagine if the news headline read, “Dozens Die on Flight Because of Hot Flash.” That’s what I thought of recently when I was trapped in an airplane because the door was jammed. The flight attendant admitted to her coworker that she had a hot flash when she went to open the exit. Menopause strikes again!
Us passengers were also having a hot flash because there was no circulating air in the cabin. A maintenance man entered from the service entrance and came to our rescue. He was able to jolt the door open with the help of someone on the other side.
Menopause and its related symptoms can be life altering for some women. A friend used to joke that you lose a brain cell with every hot flash. Unlike previously thought, brain cells can regenerate, which is called neuroplasticity. Hormones (like estrogen), good fats, low sugar intake, no processed foods, and exercise all play a role in keeping the brain functioning healthfully for a long time.
Neuropsychologist Dr. Pauline Maki said to the American Psychological Association, “Hormone replacement therapy may protect against age-related cognitive decline and against Alzheimer’s disease, but it doesn’t look particularly hopeful as a treatment for Alzheimer’s.”
Dr. Maki and fellow researcher Dr. Susan Resnick recently published results in the journal Neurobiology of Aging that estrogen users, compared to non-estrogen users, showed increased blood flow over two years in the hippocampus (important for verbal memory) and other brain regions known to be part of a memory circuit that are impaired early in Alzheimer’s disease.
The use of estrogen therapy in the perimenopausal and postmenopausal periods has been shown in several clinical trials to help women maintain a premenopausal level of cognitive function and help brain fog that women commonly complain of during the transition time.
Despite some beliefs, studies suggest that estrogen treatment, a form of hormone therapy, can have a positive effect on memory and the risk for Alzheimer’s disease when initiated early during a “window of opportunity.”
Bioidentical hormones (estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) that are identical to what your body currently makes (or made), can have benefits such as improved quality of life and relationships, while possibly helping with cognitive function. Speak with your doctor to see if bioidentical hormone replacement is right for you.
The McDonald Murrmann Center for Wellness and Health and Center for Laser and Aesthetics practice have specialized in bioidentical hormone therapy for over 20 years and continue to stay on the cutting edge of the field. May your plane or your life never be grounded due to the mayhem of menopause!
Dr. Susan G Murrmann is a board-certified gynecologist and is concluding her fellowship in the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. She is an international speaker on women’s sexual and hormonal health. She co-founded the original McDonald Murrmann Women’s Center along with Drs. Mary McDonald and Heather Donato. She is now the Chief Medical Officer of the new McDonald Murrmann Center for Wellness and Health 360º and Medical Director of McDonald Murrmann Center for Laser and Aesthetics 360º. For more information visit Mmcwh360.com.