Early menopause, which is the age at which a woman’s menstrual cycle stops, is not good for health. A recent study found that women who enter menopause before the age of 45 are at an increased risk of suffering from dementia by 35%. At the same time, the study found that the risk of diagnosing women who enter menopause early with early dementia is higher. Researchers looked at women who were diagnosed with dementia. They factored in when the women started menopause before adjusting for their age at their last exam, race, educational level, cigarette and alcohol use, body mass index, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, income, and physical activity level.
One of the possible causes of this risk is low estrogen level. The reduced estrogen raises oxidative stress, which causes an imbalance in the body’s free radicals and antioxidants. Consequently, this accelerates cognitive impairment and brain aging.
Antioxidants can be activated by estrogen, a common genetic risk factor for dementia, and reduce amyloid plaque in the brain. The amyloid plaque build-up is one of Alzheimer’s disease features, usually the most common form of dementia. Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, the President of the American Heart Association, spoke to CNN, noting, “It’s a red flag on many levels when a woman goes through premature menopause, as it indicates there may be some underlying genetic, environmental or health behavior issues that we really need to focus on.”One of the limitations pointed out by Dr. Jones is that “the scope and breadth of the data are important and impressive, but it doesn’t give us the details we need to understand the study’s full implications.”
The study on 153 000 women did not include reasons that some women entered menopause early or the family history of dementia. The federal office of Women’s Health notes that a typical woman’s average age to enter menopause is 52. However, anyone who enters menopause is considered to have entered premature menopause. Therefore, early menopause is characterized by stopping the menstrual cycle between 40 and 50 years of age.
The possible causes of early menopause are autoimmune disorders, genetics, chemotherapy, and smoking. Besides, it can be triggered by surgery to remove the uterus and the ovaries and pelvic radiation.
If you want to know that you have early menopause, the signs, and symptoms to look for include hot flashes, vagile dryness, night sweats, trouble sleeping, mood change, night sweats, dry skin, thinning hair, and weight gain.
Some women opt to treat the symptoms through hormone replacement therapy. However, this has been linked to the increased risks of suffering from stroke, blood clots, breast cancer, and heart diseases.
However, strategies beyond estrogen therapy can safely help women in early menopause to minimize their risk of cognitive decline. It recommended engagement in activities that stimulates the brain, regular exercises, and practicing a healthy lifestyle. One must also avoid smoking and drinking alcohol and do everything in their power to maintain a healthy weight.
Any woman who notices that they have entered early menopause should work closely with their healthcare provider to monitor their cognitive function as they age.