Life is all about balance, especially when it comes to your hormones. Every person on this planet can testify to the fact that when your hormones are out of balance, you will feel out of balance. Jokes about PMS (Punish Men Severely) and Menopause (putting Men on Pause) are abundant, but the sad truth is that so many women are suffering needlessly.
The physical symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats, are well known. But how do your hormones affect your brain and your thinking ability?
There is more and more scientific evidence that documents the relationship between your hormones and cognitive functions of the brain. Here are a few symptoms that you might relate to:
- Brain fog
- Memory problems
- Difficulty in retaining new processes
- Difficulty in learning a new skill
- Feelings of depression
- NO energy
- Disrupted sleep patterns
If you are premenopausal or have gone through menopause, this information can make a huge difference in how you cope with the changes in your body.
According to the Journal of Applied Physiology, estrogens exert many actions on the nerve system that include cognitive function, pain mechanisms, fine motor skills, and moods. Estrogen also appears to have protective effects in prevention of strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists have discovered estrogen receptors inside nerve cells and have found that the aging brain responds well to the action of estrogens. They have also found estrogen and testosterone in parts of the brain that are responsible for emotions, memory and sexuality. Progesterone also plays an essential role in the fine balance of hormones and neurotransmitters.
Studies have shown that the influence of estrogen actually causes new nerve cells and brain cells to form. Research conducted by Dr. Sherwin, a psychoneuroendocrinologist at McGill University, concluded that estrogen has a direct effect on memory functioning, specifically short-term verbal memory.
According to Dr. Jay Mead, MD, estrogen up-regulates and stimulates serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a hormone that is important for restful sleep and feelings of well-being and happiness.
Now I am sure many women reading this are fearful of the word estrogen because of the association of estrogen with Breast Cancer. One thing you have to get clear about is that YOUR hormones do not cause cancer. If our hormones caused cancer then every 20 year old on the planet would be ravaged with cancer.
The problem with estrogen driven cancers begin when women are exposed to too many Xeno-estrogens or false estrogens from chemicals in the environment. Anti-perspirants, for example, have metals in them that act as metallo-estrogens and stimulate estrogen receptor sites in the breast.
Another issue with estrogen is poor metabolism and break down of estrogen because of a congested and toxic liver. If the proper metabolism and break down does not occur, the unhealthy, more aggressive estrogen accumulates in the body.
So how does one increase or maintain a health mount of estrogen in the body in order to keep a healthy brain?
First you must have an accurate understating of what exactly your hormone levels are. This is accomplished with a simple home testing saliva kit. Once you have an accurate understanding of your hormone levels, then you can decide how to bring the levels to balance.
This can be accomplished with plant based bio-identical topical creams or with homeopathic remedies that stimulate your body to produce what it needs. A diet that is high in lignans from flax seeds, for example, may also have a protective effect on your hormones.
Be very wary of pharmaceutical, chemically produced hormones as these have been associated with increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Essential # 3 is to Balance your Energy. Keeping your hormones in balances insures not only a healthy body but also a healthy mind.