Sandra Ishkanes is a Functional Medicine specialist. She takes a whole-body approach to healthcare, combining nutrition, lifestyle and cutting-edge medical testing.
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Your brain is changing, and it's not an oestrogen deficiency problem
Pop quiz: what do all these symptoms have in common: sexual dysfunction, insomnia, hot flushes, night sweats, anxiety and depression? The answer is that they are neurological in origin - i.e. they all originate in the brain - and the key to overcoming menopausal symptoms is understanding what oestrogen does in the brain.
The brain has been completely overlooked when it comes to understanding the menopause, which not surprising really. Women’s health in general takes a back seat when it comes to medical research, let alone our brain health. In recent years however, there has been a flurry of scientific research into women's brains, mainly because dementia has taken centre stage in the race between pharmaceutical companies to find effective drugs for Alzheimers disease. Women are 3 times more susceptible to dementia than men and so women’s brain health has become a subject worth investigating.
What’s been found is that menopausal symptoms and declining brain health are linked. Yes, as if all those symptoms weren't enough, the occurrence of hot flushes is thought to create multiple lesions on the brain that can eventually lead to dementia and Alzheimers.
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