Optimizing Hormones for Healthy Brain Aging

older woman being shown a scan result to illustrate healthy brain aging
Medically Reviewed
September 11, 2023

So – you forgot to buy that particular ingredient you needed? Or maybe lost track of when your appointment was? Some cognitive decline is a natural part of getting old, but how do you know if little things like these are normal or a red flag for healthy brain aging?

It’s no news that aging can take a toll on your brain health – but only to a certain point. There are some things you can do to improve your cognitive functions, and one of those is to reestablish your hormonal balance and keep it that way.

However, there’s no simple answer to healthy brain aging. That’s because severe cognitive decline and neurological conditions can be triggered by several different things, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Lifestyle
  • Chronic conditions, such as diabetes or thyroid issues
  • Hormone imbalance

That last point is the one we want to focus on in this post. Hormone decline is a natural part of aging – but you may not have linked it to how it affects healthy brain function.

And the link is significant.

For this reason, we’ll discuss optimizing hormones to support healthy brain aging, and how the WAVi Brain Scan and BHRT can help keep your brain sharp at any age.

Brain Health and Hormone Imbalance

Hormonal balance is crucial, not only for your overall health but also for healthy brain function and longevity. Some hormones can even protect your brain from neurological disorders, prevent you from getting chronic illnesses, and improve your cognitive processes.

You therefore need to focus on maintaining a healthy brain as you age.

In integrative medicine, we believe that your body is an interconnected whole. If your brain gives you some warning signs, this could mean there’s something not functioning well within your body.

So, suppose you’re experiencing significant cognitive decline, brain fog, or other neurological concerns without having any genetic predisposition or chronic condition. In that case, it’s worth investigating the root causes of this dysfunction.

And chances are, it could be related to hormone imbalance.

Hormones play a significant role in different aspects of brain function. And imbalances can have short- and long-term effects on your cognitive health and aging.

Let’s take a closer look at how imbalanced hormones can directly impact your brain health as you age.

Hormones That Can Directly Impact Healthy Brain Aging

Sex hormones and your brain

Sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone have neuroprotective effects. They can influence your brain’s ability to repair and protect itself from damage. Imbalances in these hormones may reduce this protective effect.

For example, estrogen can influence cognitive function, memory, and mood. For this reason, the natural decline in estrogen levels during your menopause can lead to cognitive changes and an increased risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Another critical hormone for sexual – and brain – health is testosterone, which is important for both men and women, although men typically have higher levels.

Just like estrogen, testosterone also plays a significant role in cognitive function. So, low testosterone levels in men – usually during andropause – are associated with cognitive decline and an increased risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

Thyroid hormones and your brain

Your thyroid gland is vital for your overall health and healthy brain aging. That’s because it produces some essential hormones that regulate your

  • metabolism,
  • menstrual cycle,
  • digestion,
  • bone strength, and
  • brain development and function.

If your thyroid hormone levels are too low or too high, you’ll feel something is wrong.

For example, hypothyroidism – or low thyroid hormone levels – can lead to cognitive impairment, depression, and fatigue.

On the other hand, an overactive thyroid gland produces too many thyroid hormones (hyperthyroidism), which may lead to anxiety and mood swings.

Stress hormones and your brain

Hormones like cortisol and adrenaline mediate your body’s stress response. Too much of these is not healthy.

Chronic stress and elevated levels of these hormones over time can have adverse effects on your brain. They can lead to conditions like

  • chronic anxiety,
  • cognitive impairment,
  • memory problems,
  • mood disorders, and
  • even structural changes in the brain.

Insulin and your brain

Insulin resistance (which is a hormone imbalance) is also linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. It’s often associated with type 2 diabetes and therefore adversely impacts healthy brain aging.

In addition, because insulin resistance in the brain leads to inflammation, your brain’s local signaling system goes awry – which is important when you consider that your brain organizes and controls your food intake, among other things!

How BHRT and Regular Brain Scans Can Help Promote Healthy Brain Aging

Although we can’t escape from aging, there are some practical strategies you can adopt to improve your brain functions and promote longevity, including the following:

  • Adopting healthy lifestyle choices
  • Eating balanced and nutritious meals
  • Taking physical exercise
  • Keeping your brain active with activities that stimulate your cognitive reserve
  • Being socially active

In addition, now that you know that healthy brain aging is connected to your hormones, it’s essential to keep them balanced to improve your cognitive health.

That’s where bioidentical hormone replacement therapyBHRT – emerges as an excellent option for achieving this.

BHRT involves using hormones chemically identical to those produced in your body to re-establish balance and therefore optimize your health. Because they’re natural, your body can easily access them, and the formulations are tailored to your body’s specific hormonal needs.

BHRT is the perfect way to keep your hormones in balance and help keep your brain on a healthy trajectory into older age!

Your doctor can assess you for hormone imbalance symptoms, prescribe, and also adjust your dosage when necessary – and also use other tools to check your brain is aging healthily. At Nava Health, we use the WAVi brain scan.

Why a brain scan? Regular brain assessments like WAVi make it easier to

  • identify the root causes of any cognitive decline you experience and
  • address them with the best treatment, which may include BHRT.

Ready for Optimal Brain Health at Any Age?

If you think your hormones are affecting your brain health, come in and talk with us today. We have experts in BHRT and hormone health, and help thousands of people to recover hormonal balance and improve their overall and cognitive health.

Our functional practitioners will be happy to assess your cognitive functions and hormonal levels and create a customized health plan to help prevent neurological issues and chronic conditions as you age.

Schedule your consultation today and uncover your best and healthiest version with Nava Health.

Imagine attribution

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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.

Article Name
Optimizing Hormones for Healthy Brain Aging
Hormonal balance is crucial for healthy brain aging. Learn why – and make the smart move to keeping your brain sharp at any age!