Women who don't receive hormone replacement therapy may have increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease
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Symptoms of Low Estrogen After Hysterectomy
Have you had a hysterectomy and realized months later that you were depressed, overwhelmed with anxiety, or filled with panic? If not, it’s likely you know someone who has had that experience. This is not an uncommon scenario and points to what research has long shown: hormones, including sex hormones, are essential for optimal brain functioning, and changes in hormones can have significant effects on how a person feels and functions. Women who have had hysterectomies are not alone, either. Women in menopause often experience unsettling shifts in mood, energy, and mental crispness related to the loss of the brain-nourishing support of hormones.
For women who have had hysterectomies or who are menopausal, an opportunity exists to consider bioidentical hormone replacement as an intervention to improve mood and mental acuity. Doing so may also reduce Alzheimer’s risk- an important factor since two out of every three Alzheimer’s patients are women.
A 2012 Study by Rocca, Grossardt, Shuser and Stewart at the Mayo Clinic showed that women who have their ovaries removed by age 40 and who did not receive hormone replacement therapy have double the risk of Alzheimer’s disease when compared to the average female risk. Though the role of sex hormones (estradiol, estriol, estrone, and progesterone) in preserving cognitive function remains controversial, there is strong evidence for their replacement, especially in Alzheimer’s disease. According to UCLA neurologist Dr. Dale Bredesen, estrogen binds to a receptor in the brain and triggers the release of an enzyme that reduces the production of amyloid beta- the protein that causes sticky plaques in the brains of people living with Alzheimer’s.
Notwithstanding the potential benefits of hormone replacement, it is not without controversy or risk and is not for everyone. Hormones play a role in some cancers, so decisions should be made after careful consideration of risks versus benefits with appropriate medical professionals. With A Mind For All Seasons encourage people to learn as much as possible about the important role hormones play in our quality of life and have thoughtful conversations with their medical providers.