I heard Oprah Winfrey did a program about menopause and she only talked about HRT (hormone replacement therapy) and she didn’t touch on bio-identical therapy or lifestyle.
Did you hear about that program, too?
Did you think “All I have to do is go to my doctor and get HRT and my weight gain, hot flashes, foggy brain, risk of osteoporosis and heart disease will all go away!” ?
Well, not so fast…..
The top, or first way, to handle menopause and peri-menopause symptoms, and almost any condition, is to address your lifestyle habits. These are powerful! We cannot abuse our bodies for decades and expect it to run optimally.
Don’t shoot the messenger. I realize it’s an unpopular statement, but it’s also the truth.
By the way, there is no judgement! I’ve done my fair of disservice to my body over the years and have things that I have to work on, too. I think we all have things we can work on to be better versions of ourselves.
So…here we go!
According to Dr. Annette Bosworth, physician and author of Any Way You Can and Keto Continuum, In order to “Heal your menopausal brain” and improve the negative symptoms of menopause, you must first address your life style factors …before jumping down the pharmacological path.
1. Get deep sleep. Delta wave sleep. It’s earlier in the sleep cycle and takes about 90-120 minutes before you get into this level. If you are a teenager, your hippocampus is growing. If you are an adult, this is a time when your BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor) is being produced. Decreased levels of BDNF are associated with neurodegenerative diseases with neuronal loss, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and Huntington’s disease.
2. Don’t drink alcohol. Alcohol is water soluble and pulls water into your brain cells and swells your brain cells (like a concussion). The depth of sleep you may feel due to a glass of wine is not the deep delta sleep you need and you will not be able to get into the deep, delta sleep. (by the way, same with benzodiazepines -Valium®, Xanax®, Halcion®, Ativan®, and Klonopin®.)
3. Getting into a ketogenic energy state. After years of eating a high carbohydrate diet, snacking and grazing, your body and brain uses glucose for energy and never gets a chance to tap into ketones for energy. If you can become fat-adapted or metabolically flexible, and get into ketosis, it will help reduce brain inflammation and repair the brain.
Dr. Bosworth talks about more lifestyle topics and brain health related to menopause in this podcast with Dr. Mindy Pelz if you want to check it out here: Podcast