How Hormones Affect Your Memory
Hormone Balance and Memory Loss
Hormonal changes can affect nearly every body system. The “brain fog” description is commonly used to explain memory symptoms resulting from hormone changes. Read on to learn about how hormones can affect your memory.
What are hormones?
Hormones are chemicals your body makes and then sends through your bloodstream to give instructions for body functions. Hormones affect
- Growth and development
- Sexual function and reproduction
- Cognitive function and memory
Hormones are produced by your body’s endocrine glands, which include the
How do hormones affect your brain?
Hormones are mostly considered to affect the reproductive system but affect many other body functions, including your brain. Each hormone can affect the brain in different ways.
Estrogen seems to have a particular effect on memory and has been shown to be protective against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Estrogen effects on the brain include:
- Increased communication between brain cells
- Increased serotonin – a neurotransmitter that improves mood
- Increasing the amount of neurotransmitter receptors
- New nerve pathway growth
- Reduces brain inflammation and encourages cell repair
- Increases blood flow to the brain
Studies on estrogen and brain function have shown a decreased risk for Alzheimer’s disease when women are given estrogen therapy.
Testosterone also affects the brain by increasing blood flow and oxygen and improving memory. Additionally, testosterone strengthens muscles, nerves, and arteries found throughout the body, including the brain.
Thyroid hormones help regulate brain health. When they are imbalanced, blood flow to the brain’s gray matter is slowed. Alterations in the thyroid impact thinking, memory, and brain function.
Glucocorticoids are stress hormones released by activating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA). High-stress levels affect the HPA axis and increase levels of glucocorticoids. These changes can lead to memory problems and an increased risk of dementia.
While many people think a memory decline is a natural part of the aging process, it doesn’t have to be. If you experience “brain fog,” trouble concentrating, or memory lapses, you may benefit from having your hormone levels checked. When your hormones are in the optimal range and balanced, your body functions more efficiently on all levels, including memory and thinking. We can check your hormone levels at Vitality Aesthetic and Regenerative Medicine and determine deficiencies. Several treatment options for both men and women restore hormone levels to a range where you feel your best.