As we get older, our bodies tend to show wear and tear, much like a car. Just as you can help prolong the life of your vehicle throughout the years by getting regular oil changes and repairs, there are steps for preventative maintenance that you can take to help slow aging on the body. While no one person has the magic elixir or fountain of youth to completely halt the aging process, there are some steps that you can take to be proactive about helping your body and mind to last longer. Working out, balancing your hormones, and eating healthy foods are the main lifestyle changes that we encourage. Many of our clients and trainers are living proof that these healthy habits will help you to age like a fine wine. What about your body’s engine – the brain? What if we told you that there’s an additional step that you could take to help your body down the road? Lets discuss what happens to the brain as you age, how hormones can help enhance cognitive function throughout the years, and how Relive Medical can help you measure both.
What Happens to the Brain When You Age?
No one can escape aging, it is one of the most certain things in life. Throughout the years, chemical changes in the body tend to result in a decline of mental performance. When you age, you will begin to notice certain changes such as shortened memory or trouble doing things that you used to view as simple tasks. Your sleep patterns will change and you will be more likely to develop dementia or have a stroke. You many have slower reflexes and find difficulty with filtering verbal responses to certain cues. Why is this?
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Health (NIH) on Aging, “As a person gets older, changes occur in all parts of the body, including the brain. Certain parts of the brain shrink, especially those important to learning and other complex mental activities. In certain brain regions, communication between neurons (nerve cells) can be reduced. Blood flow in the brain may also decrease. Inflammation, which occurs when the body responds to an injury or disease, may increase.
These changes in the brain can affect mental function, even in healthy older people.”
As this organ, your engine, tends to grow smaller and not receive the same amount of chemical nutrients, it becomes much more difficult to function at the same caliber that you used to as a younger person. Luckily, according to NIH, There is growing evidence that the brain remains plastic – able to adapt to new challenges and tasks – as people age.” What can you do to help slow cognitive decline? Studies predict that Hormone Replacement Therapy – especially in women, can help preserve memory function. How does this work?
How Can Hormones Help Prevent Cognitive Deline?
There is some literature that suggests that certain hormones can help maintain or increase blood flow to the brain, which in turn would increase the amount of oxygen that would nourish this vital organ. A study by Doctor Michael Donaghy entitled “Hormone Replacement Therapy and the Brain: A Clinical Perspective on the Role of Estrogen” quotes a scientist who insists that pervasive use of HRT therapy can greatly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease in post-menopausal women throughout the entire world and nation. According to Science Daily, HRT has the potential to help slow memory loss in aging women. It makes sense that more oxygen to the brain would increase cognitive function and decrease memory loss. This effect would be similar to the sensation that you would feel if you’ve ever climbed one of Colorado’s many fourteeners. Once you are at the peak, you begin to feel a bit loopy, uncoordinated, and lightheaded from lack of oxygen. When you are back on the ground, your mental skills return. So what does this have to do with Relive Med?
How Can Relive Medical Help You Monitor This?
At Relive Medical, we can closely track your hormone levels to determine whether HRT is right for you. In addition to monitoring Hormone levels through laboratory testing, complimenting treatment with a healthy exercise routine by one of our our personal trainers and a healthy diet will greatly impact your overall health.
Relive Medical is getting an EEG (electroencephalogram) Machine. According to the Mayo Clinic, “An EEG can determine changes in brain activity that might be useful in diagnosing brain disorders, especially epilepsy, stroke, or sleep disorders.”
We will be able to take a scan to monitor baseline brain function at the beginning of Hormone Replacement Therapy. This will give us a good indication as to how well HRT is working throughout the span of therapy. Taking preventative steps to help reverse brain decay and encourage “plasticity” are not complete tried-and-true fixes to aging, but they can certainly help. Although the aging is inescapably inevitable, you can get a jump on the process and help set yourself up for an extended quality of life. Contact us today to find out more!