Facts About Cognitive Function & Hormone Balance
As patients get older, both men and women can experience a drop in cognitive function. Difficulty thinking quickly, memory loss, and “brain fog” can be frustrating and disorienting—and can even have a negative impact on a patient’s professional life and put stress on their close relationships. This decrease in mental capacity leads many patients to fear that they’ll never recover mental clarity.
However, rather than an inevitable fact of life associated with aging, these symptoms may be caused by hormone imbalance that disrupts the chemical messengers in the brain. Low levels of testosterone in men and low levels of testosterone and estrogen in women may contribute to decreased levels of cognitive function, low mood, and anxiousness. Balancing these hormones may help to alleviate the symptoms.
A Clear Correlation
In women, hormonal imbalance related to “brain fog” and memory loss is commonly associated with the life cycle of menopause. In fact, roughly half of women complain of forgetfulness or “brain fog” during menopause. In women, estrogen regulates cortisol which helps with memory formulation. For men suffering from Andropause, which can begin as early as age 40, a reduction of normal levels of endogenous testosterone can lead to similar symptoms.
Don’t Forget the Thyroid!
Often, we don’t think about the function of thyroid hormones throughout the body; however, the brain is one of the major target organs for thyroid hormones. Insufficient thyroid hormones or decreased conversion to the active form of the hormones may cause hypothyroidism which can lead to trouble thinking clearly and problems with memory, as well as mood swings, low mood, and decreased memory and concentration. Restoring the balance of these hormones by addressing iodine deficiency may help lessen these symptoms.
BHRT & Brain Health!
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) may help reduce the effects of hormone imbalance on cognitive impairment and memory loss commonly associated with aging. Restoring levels of testosterone and estrogen to optimal levels may help improve mental clarity and cognitive function. Specifically, replacing estrogen in women with low levels may help protect the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain linked to thinking and memory. Also, it may help reduce the development of amyloid plaques (one of the culprits in Alzheimer’s Disease) which may lead to memory loss.
The BioTE® Difference
As a BioTE provider, we improve the lives of patients by focusing on the body as a whole, including the impact hormones have on all of its systems. Advocating for hormone health is essential to our practice and patient outcomes. Addressing concerns that patients may have about cognitive performance is just one way BioTE providers help treat the root cause of symptoms that are associated with aging and hormone imbalance.