The Menopause Doctor: This Diet Delays Menopause! Menopause Is Shrinking Your Brain! Dr Lisa Mosconi

The Menopause Doctor: This Diet Delays Menopause! Menopause Is Shrinking Your Brain! Dr Lisa Mosconi

Intro (00:00:00)

  • Evidence shows that menopause affects brain functionality, causing it to shrink.
  • Dr. Lisa Mosconi's research focuses on understanding menopause and making necessary adjustments to thrive during this phase.
  • New research examines brain changes during different phases of menopause, revealing a 30% drop in brain energy levels.
  • Brain symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia, depression, and brain fog are often unrecognized in medicine.
  • Black and Hispanic women may experience more severe symptoms, and women have historically been portrayed as mentally unstable in medicine.
  • Dr. Mosconi actively implements lifestyle adjustments known to positively impact menopause.

Why People Should Listen To This Conversation (00:02:14)

  • Women's health has not been taken seriously in society and medicine for centuries, and this conversation aims to change that.
  • Understanding menopause is crucial for both women and men, as it affects not only women but also their spouses, friends, and families.
  • Men should listen to gain a better understanding of the women in their lives and how menopause impacts them.
  • This knowledge can lead to improved decision-making and communication within families.
  • Understanding human physiology and medicine is essential for supporting women's health effectively.

What People Need To Know About Menopause And The Impact On The Brain (00:04:10)

  • Menopause impacts the brain significantly, but society only focuses on its impact on fertility.
  • Most women experience brain or neurological symptoms during menopause, such as hot flashes, anxiety, depression, and brain fog.
  • These symptoms are related to menopause but not the ovaries and are caused by changes in the brain.

Who Is Lisa Misconi? (00:06:21)

  • Dr. Lisa Mosconi has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and nuclear medicine and is the director of the Women's Brain Initiative at Weill Cornell Medicine New York Presbyterian in New York City.
  • She leads the Alzheimer's prevention program and is at the forefront of reproductive neuroscience or gender neurology.
  • Dr. Mosconi has published over 150 scientific papers and is a leading expert on women's brain health, especially as it relates to menopause.
  • She conducted the first brain scans to compare a woman's brain before and after menopause and before and after surgical menopause.

Why Hasn't There Been Research And Investment Into Menopause? (00:08:08)

  • Alzheimer's disease predominantly affects women, particularly postmenopausal women, accounting for almost two-thirds of patients.
  • The author's research indicates that Alzheimer's disease begins in midlife, not old age, and women exhibit early signs of the disease in their brains compared to men.
  • Hot flashes, a common symptom of menopause, may impact concentration and focus, potentially contributing to the increased risk of Alzheimer's disease in women.
  • Brain scans reveal that perimenopausal women have a higher accumulation of Alzheimer's plaques in their brains compared to men of the same age, while premenopausal women and men of the same age show minimal differences.
  • Perimenopause, the transitional phase to menopause, is associated with irregular menstrual cycles, hot flashes, and cognitive difficulties known as brain fog.
  • Postmenopausal women have a significantly higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease compared to men of the same age.

What Is Menopause And Signs (00:14:28)

  • Menopause is defined as when a woman hasn't had a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months.
  • There are three phases of menopause: premenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.
  • Premenopause is when a woman's menstrual cycle becomes less frequent or there is less menstrual blood.
  • Menopause is when a woman has not had a menstrual cycle for up to 12 consecutive months.
  • Postmenopause is the phase that lasts for the entire remaining of a woman's life.

Menopause Stages Start Before You Think! (00:15:54)

  • Perimenopause typically happens in a woman's mid to late 40s and can last about 10 years.
  • During perimenopause, estrogen levels start to dip and fluctuate, causing symptoms of menopause.
  • Blood tests are not helpful in diagnosing perimenopause because estrogen levels fluctuate day by day.
  • Menopause is not just one day on the calendar, but a process that can take years.
  • The average age of menopause is 51 or 52 in the United States and Europe, but it is 49 globally.

What's The Youngest Person With Menopause (00:19:07)

  • The youngest person to experience menopause is during puberty, as transgender individuals may have their ovaries removed as part of their transition.
  • The earliest age for spontaneous menopause (not medically induced) is the early 40s, but women with PCOS or primary ovarian insufficiency may experience it even earlier due to genetic, autoimmune, or other causes.
  • Perimenopause:
    • Occurs in the mid to late 40s, with an average age of 47.
    • Lasts typically 2 to 10 years.
    • Estrogen levels begin to fluctuate.
  • Menopause:
    • Reached when a woman has gone one year since her last period.
    • Average age at menopause is 51 to 52.
    • Menopausal transition can last 7 to 14 years.
  • Postmenopause:
    • The rest of a woman's life after menopause, when she is without a period.

Perimenopause Transition (00:22:35)

  • The neuroendocrine system connects the brain, neurological system, ovaries, and the rest of the endocrine system, and is activated during puberty, over-activated during pregnancy, partially turned off during postpartum, and dismantled after menopause.
  • Women's brains undergo complex changes throughout their lives, including microcycles every two weeks during the menstrual cycle.
  • Sex hormones, particularly estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, are crucial for both reproductive function and brain health.
  • Estrogen acts as a master regulator in the brain, promoting neuron growth, increasing blood flow, providing immune protection, and activating glucose metabolism in neurons.
  • During perimenopause and menopause, the decline in estradiol, the most potent form of estrogen, affects brain function, while estrone, which replaces estradiol, has a lesser impact on cognitive function and brain health.

Menopause Brain Scans (00:29:54)

  • Brain scans show a 30% drop in brain energy levels during menopause.
  • This validates women's experiences of brain changes during menopause.
  • Menopause impacts the brain's functionality, structure, volume, connectivity, and blood flow.

Some Women Have More Shocking Brain Scans Than Others (00:33:09)

  • Not all women experience the same level of brain changes during menopause.
  • Some women show little to no brain changes, while others have more severe changes.
  • Changes in connectivity, brain structure, white matter volume, and gliosis are also observed during menopause.

Behavioural Changes From Menopause (00:34:28)

  • Brain scans show biological changes in the brain during menopause, but these changes don't directly correlate to behavior.
  • Many women experience brain fog, a feeling of mental exhaustion and difficulty thinking clearly, during menopause.
  • Subjective cognitive decline is when women are aware that their cognitive performance is declining, but standard neuropsychological evaluations show normal performance.
  • Historically, women's cognitive complaints were often dismissed as emotional or psychological issues, leading to a lack of serious investigation.
  • There is a connection between the uterus and the brain, and this connection can impact mental health.
  • Women have been saying for a long time that they experience cognitive changes during menopause, and now scientific research is validating their experiences.

How Many Women Experience Brain Fog? (00:38:05)

  • Up to 62% of women going through perimenopause and postmenopause experience brain fog.
  • Brain fog is more than just an inability to think clearly; it's a feeling that something is hijacking the brain and preventing it from functioning properly.
  • Brain fog affects memory, concentration, focus, attention, and language.
  • A common symptom of brain fog is the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon, where women know a word but can't retrieve it from their memory.
  • Brain fog can be particularly distressing for women who rely on communication for work or other important activities.

Menopause Rewires The Brain (00:39:53)

  • The symptoms of menopause are a result of changes in the brain.
  • Menopause leads to the brain rewiring itself, impacting specific brain regions responsible for functions like thermal regulation.
  • The hypothalamus, which regulates body temperature, is affected by fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels during menopause, leading to difficulty in regulating body temperature.

Symptoms As A Result Of Brain Change (00:41:11)

  • Brain scans show that some parts of the brain lose volume, become less connected, and have reduced energy metabolism during menopause.
  • Mitochondria, responsible for converting cellular energy into ATP, show reduced ATP production or increased ATP usage, leading to an energy crisis in the brain.
  • Neurons are lost, and other hormones are affected during menopause, contributing to the brain changes.
  • The loss of estrogen and the resulting rewiring of the brain are the primary causes of the observed brain changes during menopause.
  • Estrogen receptors in the brain shut down as estrogen levels decline, leading to a decrease in brain activity and volume.

Isn't The Cure Simple? (00:43:57)

  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was widely used without proper clinical trials and was later found to increase the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and dementia in older women.
  • Current research suggests that HRT is safer when using lower doses, different types of hormones, and starting treatment within a 10-year window of menopause.
  • Hormones work best for the brain if taken before menopause to stabilize hormonal concentrations and prevent symptoms.
  • Hormone therapy, specifically estrogen, is recommended to be started when menopausal symptoms begin to sustain the body's systems.
  • Hormone therapy is currently only approved for vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes and night sweats) and is used off-label for sleep support, relief of mild depressive symptoms caused by menopause, and brain fog.

What Age Should We Think About Treating/Preventing Symptoms (00:51:50)

  • Lifestyle adjustments for menopause include:
    • Diet
    • Exercise
    • Sleep hygiene
    • Stress reduction
    • Avoiding toxins
    • Regular medical checkups
  • Consider pharmaceutical options when the time comes.
  • Plastic is not allowed in the kitchen.

Going Deeper Into The Stages Of Menopause (00:52:50)

  • Menopause is a natural process involving several stages and symptoms.
  • During the premenopausal stage, menstrual cycles remain regular, but changes like shorter or longer periods may occur.
  • The early perimenopausal stage is marked by irregular menstrual cycles, skipped periods, difficulty sleeping, and occasional brain fog, especially around the menstrual cycle.
  • The late perimenopausal stage is characterized by infrequent periods spaced apart by more than three months, accompanied by symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood changes, irritability, tearfulness, forgetfulness, vaginal dryness, weight gain, slow metabolism, digestive issues, overactive bladder, muscle tension, and aches.
  • Symptoms typically intensify around age 45-47, with Black and Hispanic women experiencing more severe symptoms.
  • Suicidality and divorce rates tend to increase for women during midlife, potentially linked to menopause.
  • The diet discussed in the video has the potential to delay menopause.
  • Menopause can cause the brain to shrink, and men should also be aware of the information presented in the video.
  • The highest risk of suicide for women is around 55 years old, which is the late perimenopausal stage.
  • The four years before and after the final menstrual period are the hardest for women.
  • Many women experience severe symptoms during this time, but these symptoms are not recognized or formalized in medicine.
  • Menopause is a unique medical category that cannot be compared to aging or disease.
  • It is a neuroendocrine transition, like puberty and pregnancy, that affects the brain and various body systems.
  • During pregnancy, many women experience mood changes, attention deficits, brain fog, and hot flashes, similar to menopause symptoms.
  • However, pregnancy is celebrated and supported, while menopause is not.
  • There is a need for a framework to address menopause symptoms, similar to the framework for postpartum depression.
  • Currently, there is no system in place for women to describe their menopause symptoms to healthcare providers.
  • The term "brain fog" is not clinically meaningful and does not accurately capture the range of symptoms women experience.

Brain Fog Over Time With Menopause (01:02:55)

  • Most OBGYN specialists are not menopause specialists and receive minimal training on menopause during their residency.
  • Menopause has been pigeonholed as an issue with the ovaries, leading to a focus on OBGYN specialists for treatment, despite the neurological nature of many symptoms.
  • Brain fog tends to follow a U-shape pattern over time, with severe brain fog during the transition to menopause and a recovery postmenopause for most women.
  • Some women experience persistent brain fog postmenopause, which may be a sign of early dementia.
  • A study is underway to examine brain changes associated with menopause-related brain fog, aiming to understand why some women experience it and develop interventions to improve or prevent it.

The Benefits Of Exercise (01:07:28)

  • Exercise is important for hormonal health, brain health, and heart health.
  • Physical activity stimulates the production of proteins that support neuronal health.
  • Cardiovascular activity is helpful for hot flashes and brain fog.
  • Strength training is helpful for preserving metabolic activity, bone mass, and mood.
  • Flexibility exercises and mind-body techniques are helpful for stress reduction and sleep.
  • A study showed that Latin women who engaged in regular to moderate-intensity exercise were almost 30% less likely to have severe hot flashes.
  • Women in their 40s are the highest demographic group to exercise inconsistently or not at all.
  • Barriers to exercise for women in midlife include lack of time, fatigue, and sleep deprivation.
  • Creative solutions and a flexible approach to exercise can help overcome barriers.

Link Between Exercise And Alzheimer's (01:11:04)

  • Too much exercise can increase cortisol levels and slow down recovery time, especially after menopause.
  • Studies show an inverted u-shape relationship between exercise intensity and health gains for women in their 50s and 60s.
  • Mild to moderate intensity exercise is optimal, with gains diminishing at higher intensities.
  • Regular moderate intensity exercise can reduce the risk of dementia in old age by 30%.
  • Aim for moderate intensity exercise 3 to 5 times a week.

Caffeine, Sleep And Menopause (01:14:11)

  • Switch to decaf as caffeine can disrupt sleep.
  • Caffeine has a half-life of six hours, meaning half of the caffeine consumed will still be in the system after six hours.
  • Caffeine can interfere with deep sleep, which is crucial for brain health and clearing out waste products.
  • The glymphatic system, which cleans the brain, is only activated during slow-wave sleep.
  • Many people wake up during the deep sleep cycle, missing out on the brain's chance to clear itself.

Is Alcohol Bad For Menopause? (01:18:08)

  • Alcohol can worsen menopause symptoms.
  • Alcohol is dehydrating, which can negatively impact brain health.
  • Dehydration can cause neurological symptoms such as headaches, migraines, dizziness, and brain fog.
  • Alcohol can impair cognitive function.
  • Drinking water with electrolytes and minerals supports hydration better than purified water.

What Toxins Should We Be Aware Of? (01:20:52)

  • Plastic is a common contaminant and pollutant.
  • Heating plastic can cause particles to penetrate food and drinks.
  • Plastic can leak harmful substances when placed in the dishwasher.
  • Pollutants accumulate in the body over time, especially in body fat.
  • Pollutants have been linked to reproductive issues, thyroid disease, dementia, breast cancer, and reproductive cancers.
  • Avoiding plastic and choosing whole foods can help reduce exposure to pollutants.

Specific Foods That Help Stave Off The Menopause (01:22:40)

  • The brain requires specific nutrients to function optimally.
  • Nutrients from food become part of the brain's fabric.
  • Focus on clean, nutrient-dense foods that support brain health.
  • The brain is not a sponge; eating cholesterol-rich foods does not directly impact brain health.
  • The brain relies on antioxidants, lean protein, and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
  • A Mediterranean-style diet is associated with better outcomes for women's health.

Are Supplements Needed In Our Diet? (01:25:42)

  • Supplements are meant to supplement a healthy diet, not replace it.
  • High doses of supplements are not necessary and can be harmful.
  • The brain needs between 3 and 6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day.
  • Omega-3s can be obtained from diet or supplements if needed.
  • Antioxidants are also important for brain health.
  • A diet rich in legumes and fatty fish is linked to a later onset of menopause by about 3 years.
  • The standard American diet is linked to an earlier onset of menopause by about 3-4 years.
  • Women who consume enough omega-3s may experience fewer menstrual pains and fertility issues.
  • Antioxidants are linked to a gentler menopause overall, fewer menstrual cramps, less pain, and a lower risk of premenstrual syndrome.

What Is The Evolutionary Reason For Menopause? (01:30:06)

  • Menopause is a biological puzzle as most female animals die shortly after it, but some species like killer whales, elephants, giraffes, and certain insects live long past it.
  • The "grandmother hypothesis" suggests that menopause evolved as a survival strategy for women to live beyond their reproductive years and support their daughters, sons, and grandchildren, ensuring the survival of their genetic line.
  • Menopause allows women to transition from reproduction to becoming caregivers, helping their children raise more offspring and ensuring the survival of their grandchildren.
  • Some argue that menopause is a problem due to increased life expectancy, but the human body has the ability to remodel and adapt to menopause.

Does Menopause Make You Sad? (01:37:14)

  • Research suggests that women experience increased emotional control after menopause.
  • The amygdala, responsible for emotional control, becomes selectively turned off after menopause, reducing the intensity of negative emotions like sadness and anger.
  • The ability to sustain joy, contentment, and wonder is maintained or even amplified after menopause.
  • This emotional stability is linked to better emotional control and a sense of emotional transcendence.
  • Studies have shown a U-shaped curve in life contentment, with a dip during the transition to menopause and a subsequent rise in the late postmenopausal phase.

This Diet Delays Menopause! Menopause Is Shrinking Your Brain! (00:00:00)

  • A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats can delay the onset of menopause.
  • Processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and sugary drinks can accelerate the aging process and contribute to earlier menopause.
  • Eating a Mediterranean-style diet, which emphasizes plant-based foods, healthy fats, and limited red meat consumption, has been associated with a lower risk of early menopause.
  • Certain nutrients, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids, have been linked to a reduced risk of early menopause.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise can also help delay the onset of menopause.

Surgical Menopause (01:40:11)

  • Surgical menopause, the removal of ovaries before natural menopause, can have severe consequences.
  • Until 2008, professional guidelines recommended removing ovaries during hysterectomy, even if unnecessary.
  • In 2004, over half of the 3 million women who underwent hysterectomy in the US also had their ovaries removed without medical reason.
  • Surgical menopause can cause cognitive decline, dementia, parkinsonism, stroke, and anxiety/depression.
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now recommends preserving ovaries whenever possible.
  • Women should discuss the risks and benefits of oophorectomy with their doctors before making a decision.
  • Surgical menopause increases the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, and brain/neurological disorders.

Isn't It Just Ageing? (01:45:17)

  • A study led by Dr. Lisa Mosconi found that women who underwent ovariectomy experienced significant loss of gray matter in various brain regions, suggesting a direct link between the ovaries and the brain.
  • Unlike women with regular menstrual cycles or in perimenopause, women who had their ovaries removed showed a decline in brain matter.
  • Despite concerns about hormone therapy's impact on brain health, there is a lack of clinical trials using brain scans to assess its effectiveness in perimenopausal women.
  • Dr. Mosconi is conducting a clinical trial for a new type of estrogen supplement called neuroserm, which selectively targets the brain without affecting breast tissue, potentially reducing cancer risk while supporting brain health.
  • The trial seeks premenopausal and postmenopausal women with hot flashes who are willing to collaborate with Dr. Mosconi's team in New York City. Interested individuals can contact her team for more information.

When Will I Go Through Menopause? (01:53:07)

  • The best predictor of when a woman will go through menopause is when her mother went through menopause.
  • A woman's experience during puberty or pregnancy can indicate when she will go through menopause.
  • Factors such as smoking, poor diet, and lack of exercise can reduce the age of onset of menopause.
  • Talking to your mother about her experience with menopause can help you understand your own potential future experience.
  • By 2025, one billion women will be experiencing or have gone through menopause.
  • Menopause can cause confusion and misunderstanding, leading to social isolation and rejection.
  • The suicidality rate among women aged 55 and above is high due to lack of answers and support.
  • Dr. Lisa Mosconi's work sheds light on the brain changes during menopause, helping people understand the physiological process and be more empathetic.

Last Guest Question (01:56:48)

  • The guest expresses gratitude to her parents for their unwavering support throughout her life.
  • She acknowledges that she did not fully appreciate their presence and support during her teenage years but now deeply values their role as her safety net.
  • The guest thanks her parents for being there for her financially, legally, physically, and mentally.
  • She apologizes for any difficulties she may have caused them during her teenage years but believes she has redeemed herself.
  • The guest expresses appreciation for Dr. Lisa's work and acknowledges the positive impact of her videos on people experiencing menopause.
  • She highlights the top comments on a previous video about menopause, which emphasize the severe physical and emotional symptoms women face during this stage.
  • The guest emphasizes the importance of destigmatizing menopause, raising awareness, and promoting research and investment in this area.
  • She acknowledges the potential of the designer estrogen being developed by Dr. Lisa to change the lives of many people.

The Menopause Doctor: This Diet Delays Menopause! Menopause Is Shrinking Your Brain! Dr Lisa Mosconi (00:00:00)

  • None of the information from this section is relevant to the summary.

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