“At 95, your brain should be just as sharp as at 24!”
Wow, that is a bold statement.
Dr. Pam Smith, an anti-aging functional medicine specialist and author, explains that memory loss Is not part of normal aging.
I could not believe the story that she told about her patient, Sally.
Sally was 67 and came four hours late to her appointment because she couldn’t find the doctor’s office. Sally lived a few blocks away and spent four hours driving around trying to find the office.
Because Dr. Smith is a functional medicine doctor, she did not just diagnose Sally with dementia and send her home. Instead, she did a comprehensive workup and explained that memory loss is multi-factorial.
She looked at many factors including stress, grief, nutrition, exercise, hormones, blood sugar, thyroid, and sleep. All of these factors were problematic for Sally. After putting her on a program to optimize these issues, one at a time, Sally improved greatly.
Less than a year later, Sally opened a five-star restaurant with her son, and at age 80, is still working there!
This story is incredible for many reasons, but mainly, because it gives us HOPE!
Many hormones play an integral role in brain health. Let’s just mention one: Estrogen.
Did you know that Estrogen has 400 functions in a woman’s body?
Here are a few of them:
- Stimulates the production of choline acetyltransferase, an enzyme that prevents Alzheimer’s disease
- Increases metabolic rate
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Regulates of body temperature
- Helps to maintain muscle
- Improves sleep
- Improves blood flow
- Decreases accumulation of plaque on the arteries
- Decreases LDL cholesterol and prevents its oxidation.
- Helps maintain memory
- Increases reasoning and new ideas
Hormones are a very complicated topic but what is important to understand is that there is a very delicate balance between many hormones that affect our brain health. For example, a high ratio of estradiol to progesterone is associated with brain fog and poor memory.
Have you heard of the memory hormone, pregnenolone?
It produces stress hormones, to help us fight stress, and is a master steroid hormone from which other hormones are derived.
It supports memory and is neuroprotective, so if your levels are low, you are at greater risk for cognitive decline. It is very easy to supplement if you need to.
One more point: It is crucial to find a doctor that supports your journey towards health and balance as you age. Functional medicine takes a deeper look at many bodily functions and focuses on optimizing those functions so we age more healthily.
If you want to hear more about this topic, join me for a free webinar on Monday, July 20 as I team up with Jacqueline Rose, a menopause coach and yoga teacher, as we explore Menopause and Memory, 11 am Israel time.
Can’t make it?