Hormone Balancing and The Female Brain
Posted February 24th, 2021
Another article on Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus? Perhaps, but read on to learn how you can help yourself or your loved ones.
Let’s explore the difference between the female and male brain by looking at the advantages of being female caused by the effect of one specific hormone. This hormone is important for both males and females. However, as found in a recent science-based research article, it has greater potential in females for keeping the brain mentally awake and cognitively strong. It also decreases the risks of aging and increases your ability to handle everyday stressors.
What is this hormone? First let’s take a look at a patient who came into my office recently to see what can happen when its balance goes awry.
This patient, a 46-year-old mother of well-adjusted high school students, should have been doing well by most standards. She describes her husband as supportive and loving and she has a successful career that she enjoys.
Everything looks good on the outside, but she reported that for at least a year now, she had been falling apart on the inside. “I feel like I am being possessed by another person.” She told me she was becoming forgetful at home, at work and with her friends; having problems sleeping; and worrying at odd hours of the night about what she had not done right the day before. She was becoming more and more irritable, taking it out on her children and husband over the smallest infractions. Often, she would brood over her irrational behavior while attempting to go to sleep, only to experience another sleep deprived night. “Frustrating,” she said. “Could it be my hormones? Can it be fixed?”
Fortunately, the answer is yes. A recent science-based article, printed in Pharmacological Review, on the effects of estrogen on the female brain, found this particular hormone to have huge positive actions: Protection of synaptic remodeling, Glial plasticity, and Neuronal activity. Physiologic levels of estrogen offer neuroendocrine control and is anti- apoptotic, protecting against strokes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and MS.
Whew! All of this to say that balance of this one crucial hormone has the potential to improve her cognition, stabilize her mood, improve her sleep, and protect her from the risks of brain injury in the future.
I recommended running a hormone panel. Her blood work returned as we had expected: low estradiol, high estrone (a very irritating and inflammatory hormone), low progesterone (also affecting mood and sleep) and low testosterone (affecting cognition, strength, and energy).
Several weeks after we had stabilized her hormones to their optimal levels, she reported feeling back to her normal self. “I finally stopped feeling freaky…I feel like myself again,” she said. She found herself more playful with her children, more loving with her husband and less forgetful all around.
With over 30 years of experience and numerous board certifications and credentials, Dr. Watts, MD, ND, MSNM and Helena Williams, ARNP, MS are experts in the Science and Art of Integrative Medicine and Bio-identical Hormone Balancing. Bio-identical Hormone Balancing requires individualized therapy and ongoing dosing changes based not only on a patient’s diagnostic lab values, but also their symptoms. Due to the sensitive nature of hormone balancing, it is imperative that you work in partnership with an experienced provider and program.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, you can call us at 941-926-4905, email us at [email protected], or RSVP to our upcoming seminar.
- Glenda E. Gillies, Simon McArthur. Estrogen Actions in the Brain and the Basis for Differential Action in Men and Women: A Case for Sex-Specific Medicines. Pharmacol Rev. 2010 Jun; 62(2): 155–198. doi: 10.1124/pr.109.002071 PMCID: PMC2879914 PMID: 20392807.