A recent online blog lamented the fact that there are not enough drugs to treat women in menopause. While pharmaceutical companies are scrambling to get synthetic medications to help women in menopause, the real, important issues are being forgotten. Hormones are good for the body and the brain.
Recent studies have shown that women are 40% more likely to be more forgetful after menopause. We know that estrogen has strong protective effects on the brain. Loss of estrogen with menopause or ovarian removal causes significant slowing of brain activity and thinking processes. Younger women have been shown to perform mental tasks better during the time of their menstrual cycles when estrogen is the highest.
Women have been made to fear hormones due to breast-cancer concerns. The use of synthetic hormones has proven to be dangerous with a definite increased risk of breast cancer. This has nothing to do with the use of bio identical hormones which have many protective effects in the body and do not increase risk of breast cancer.
Some of the most important protective effects of hormones come in the area of brain and nerve cell protection. The fledgling field of neuroendocrinology has tremendous scientific evidence showing that many hormones are protective for the brain . Hormones are like fertilizer for new sprouting brain cells. They encourage the growth of new brain cells and protect the ones that are there.
Use of synthetic medications only serves one purpose and that is to relieve symptoms such as hot flashes. While hot flashes can be annoying and disruptive, the more important issue is preservation of healthy brain function as well as other important functions such as cardiovascular support and maintenance of healthy bones . These are the issues that are critical for women to age successfully.