Alzheimer’s and Hormone Replacement Therapy: What You Need to Know

Smiling woman to illustrate Alzheimer's and hormone replacement therapy
Medically Reviewed
January 18, 2024

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and irreversible brain disorder that affects millions worldwide and presents significant challenges in both understanding and management. In this article, we’ll look at Alzheimer’s and hormone replacement therapy – and in particular:

  • understanding Alzheimer’s and dementia
  • how hormones influence brain health
  • the link between Alzheimer’s and hormone replacement therapy
  • the benefits of personalized and physician-monitored BHRT for brain health
  • an integrative care approach to enhance brain health

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that affects brain cells and their connections. It causes gradual and irreversible damage to your brain, leading to memory loss, confusion, behavioral changes, and impaired thinking and reasoning skills. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, accounting for 60-80% of all cases.

Dementia is not a normal part of aging, but it becomes more common as people get older. According to the 2018 World Alzheimer Report, there were more than 55 million people living with dementia at that time, and this number is expected to increase threefold by 2050.

The exact causes of Alzheimer’s and dementia are not fully understood, but some of the risk factors include:

  • Cognitive inactivity
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol abuse
  • High cholesterol
  • Depression
  • Social isolation
  • Physical inactivity
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Age
  • Genetics/family history

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s or dementia, and the current treatments can only help manage the symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease. It’s therefore important to keep your brain in as good health as possible – which is where bioidentical hormone replacement therapy can play a key role.

The Role of Hormones in Brain Health

Hormones are powerful and play a significant role in your brain’s development, structure, function, and protection.

Estrogen has neuroprotective effects, such as enhancing the growth and survival of your brain cells. It does this by increasing blood flow and oxygen to your brain, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, and modulating the production and clearance of amyloid-beta. This is a protein that forms plaques in the brain of people with Alzheimer’s disease. So, keeping it cleared is important.

Estrogen also has neurotrophic properties, such as stimulating both the formation and strengthening of synapses and connections between your brain cells – as well as enhancing the plasticity and adaptability of your brain.

Progesterone has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It regulates Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) which plays a critical role in protecting the brain.

Testosterone has anabolic and androgenic effects. For example, increasing the energy and metabolism of your brain, promoting the growth and differentiation of brain cells, and influencing your mood, motivation, and behavior.

Alzheimer’s and Hormone Replacement Therapy: Exploring the Connection

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is used primarily to alleviate menopausal symptoms, with additional benefits for bone, heart health, and sexual function. But is there a link between Alzheimer’s and hormone replacement therapy?

The answer is “it depends.” Most of the concerns about the risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s in relation to HRT are based on studies where the participants used synthetic hormones.

This is an important distinction from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT). There’s no concrete evidence suggesting that BHRT increases the risk of Alzheimer’s; in fact, research indicates exactly the opposite.

So let’s look at the BHRT version of hormone replacement therapy.

At Nava Health, we’ve used BHRT for many years on hundreds of patients, and the benefits are evident – because we offer personalized and physician-monitored treatment to ensure the best outcomes for you.

Personalized and Physician-Monitored BHRT to Promote Brain Health

BHRT uses hormones identical to those naturally produced in your body, sourced from plants or animals.

But how does hormone therapy work on Alzheimer’s? Well, in the context of brain health, BHRT restores estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels. It therefore helps:

  • Prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Improve or preserve your cognitive functions and memory
  • Protect your brain from damage and dysfunction by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress and balancing your brain’s chemistry
  • Enhance your brain’s vitality and performance by providing more fuel and stimulation

So – BHRT is safer and more effective than synthetic HRT, because it mimics the natural hormones of your body, and your body therefore accesses them more easily and exactly when it needs them.

In addition, your BHRT healthcare provider customizes and personalizes hormone treatment to your individual needs and preferences, using different combinations of hormones, doses, and modes and frequencies of administration.

At Nava Health we specialize in an integrative and functional approach to health. This means we’ll assess the state of your hormones and any other related issues before treatment, so we can target the root cause of any hormonal decline or deficiency.

Your Brain Health: An Integrative Approach to Alzheimer’s and Hormone Replacement Therapy

However, promoting brain health and preventing or delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease involves more than just BHRT. As indicated above, it requires a holistic and integrative approach, incorporating various aspects of health and wellness. For example, we use cutting-edge tools to offer you regular brain scans and gut/stool testing to assist in monitoring and diagnosing.

Let’s look at the role these tests play in maintaining your brain health and helping you lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

WAVi Brain Scans for Comprehensive Brain Health Assessment

WAVi scans offer a non-invasive method to measure your brain’s electrical activity, blood flow, and cognitive performance. By evaluating performance and changes in your brain activity during regular scanning, we can

  • understand conditions like Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression, anxiety and ADHD, and
  • track the effectiveness of your personalized interventions, including nutrition, supplements, and lifestyle changes.

Nutrition and Gut Health: Stool Testing

Nutrition and your overall gut health significantly impact your brain’s health by influencing its structure, function, and the balance of hormones and neurotransmitters. The stool test can

  • provide comprehensive insight into your gut microbiome’s health,
  • help in identifying gut dysbiosis, and
  • assist in creating personalized treatment plans to address imbalances and therefore improve your brain health.

So – tackling your risk of Alzheimer’s disease requires a comprehensive approach.

Navigating Hormone Replacement Therapy and Alzheimer’s Prevention at Nava Health

By integrating our knowledge of Alzheimer’s and hormone replacement therapy – especially BHRT – we help you manage your brain health.

As we’ve explored the connections between hormone therapy and Alzheimer’s over the years, it’s become ever more clear that keeping your hormones balanced throughout your life will play a crucial role in your cognitive well-being.

Ready to lower your risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia? At Nava Health, we’re committed to guiding you through your brain health options. Our dedicated team provides integrated and personalized care using the latest diagnostic tools to help you navigate this journey. Schedule an appointment today and let’s talk!

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A Medical Director, and one of the first physicians to join the Nava Health & Vitality Center, Dr. Douglas Lord has made significant contributions to our Center and its founding principles. Dr. Lord has helped develop and implement the Nava Method™—Nava’s proprietary approach to total body wellness. He has also been instrumental in liaising with other expert practitioners to successfully implement Nava’s range of therapies, treatments, and products.

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Alzheimer’s and Hormone Replacement Therapy: What You Need to Know
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