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Dr. Laura Pipher

Your age at menopause can increase your health risks

 When I speak with my patients I am often talking about their current plan & their future plan. Menopause is no exception. Our current plan may be to help heal your digestion,  reduce your hot flashes and help your sleep, but our future plan is focused on optimizing your health and managing your risk factors.  Did you know? The age at which you started menopause can dictate some of your risk factors for future health. One of these risk factors is dementia.  My perspective is the more we know, the more we can do, and the same goes for understanding risks which may be partly beyond your control. If you know you may be at a greater risk, then you can take steps to do everything in your power to reduce that risk.

One study found:

  • Women who entered menopause before the age of 40 were 35% more likely to have been diagnosed with dementia.
  • Women who entered menopause before the age of 45 were 1.3 times more likely to have been diagnosed with dementia before they were 65 years old (called presenile or early-onset dementia).
  • Women who entered menopause at age 52 or older had similar rates of dementia to those women who entered menopause at average age of menopause onset, which is the age of 50-51 years.

So how can you reduce your risk? 

  1. Look into some potentially helpful supplements including coQ10, Omega 3 fatty acids, gingko biloba, vitamin C and Vitamin E (speak with your doctor for supplements & dosing tailored to your needs)
  2. Exercise – Regular exercise can reduce the risk of dementia by about 30% 
  3. Re evaluate alcohol-interestingly, studies have shown that those who completely abstained from alcohol actually had an increased risk of dementia, similar to those who consumed an excessive amount. It appears that moderation is key here

Read the study here-

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