March 28, 2024  by Linda Wattier
March 28, 2024  by Linda Wattier

Aren't you tired of the way menopause is dreaded and ridiculed in our youth-obsessed culture—regardless of whether you're in perimenopause, menopause, or post-menopause?

How it's not acknowledged as a significant turning point in a woman's life.

How it carries stigmas associated with ageism, the demise of our vitality, and the end of our identity as women.

Are you not exasperated with the silence surrounding it, leading to generations of women suffering from misinformation, shame, and helplessness?

I certainly am.

For too long, medical research has neglected women's health, leaving us without a complete understanding of our unique needs, particularly about the female brain and the midlife transition.

Consider a few eye-opening statistics:

  • Women are disproportionately affected by brain-related issues such as depression, anxiety, and Alzheimer's disease compared to men.
  • A majority of women spend about 40 percent of their lives in menopause, with over three-quarters experiencing brain-related symptoms.
  • Women of menopausal age are the largest growing demographic group. By 2030, approximately one billion women worldwide will have entered or be on the cusp of menopause.

Hope on the Horizon

Given its prevalence, menopause calls for significant sociocultural attention, rigorous investigation, and profound understanding.

Fortunately, there is hope on the horizon. Initiatives like the White House Initiative on Women's Health Research are starting to challenge the status quo.

Pioneering scientists like Lisa Mosconi, Ph.D., neurologist and author of The XX Brain, are leading groundbreaking research that uncovers the intricate impacts of menopause on brain function.

In her latest work, The Menopause Brainshe sheds light on these effects and offers empowering insights for women navigating this transition.

Contrary to popular belief, menopause isn't solely a period of decline; it's a nuanced and individualized experience.

Dr. Mosconi's research highlights it as a neurologically active phase, where the brain undergoes a renovation process, shedding unnecessary connections and neurons related to reproduction and childcare, resulting in a more efficient cognitive system.

In fact, many women report feeling liberated and gaining newfound clarity and focus post-menopause.

In both culture and medicine, menopause is stigmatized as a flat-out unfortunate event with little, if anything, positive to say about it. But this reveals only one side of the coin.

Upon further examination, menopause is quite nuanced and much more individualized than sitcom stereotypes or medicalized portrayals would have us believe.

Whether we're talking about information passed down from mother to daughter or directly from doctor to medical student to patient, the message has been flawed and sorely lacking.

— Lisa Mosconi, Ph.D. —

Dr. Mosconi promotes a comprehensive approach to brain health during this period, highlighting the importance of lifestyle factors such as exercise, nutrition, stress reduction, and sleep hygiene.

She also advocates for minimizing exposure to toxic substances that wreak havoc on our hormones. Our healthy lifestyle choices are crucial for supporting cognitive function and mitigating the risk of decline.

While hormone replacement therapy may help some women with severe symptoms, Dr. Mosconi stresses the importance of personalized healthcare decisions tailored to individual needs and consultation with trusted professionals.

Your brilliant female brain is your biggest asset, so be informed and nurture it wisely.

The Menopause Brain offers a wealth of knowledge and empowerment, guiding us through this transformative journey with confidence and resilience.

Sections such as 'You Are Not Crazy,' 'The Change Nobody Prepared You For,' 'The Upside of Menopause,' 'Hormonal and Nonhormonal Therapies,' and 'Lifestyle and Integrative Health' provide valuable education.

Women are often judged based on factors beyond our control—age, body contours, or menstrual status. Yet, none of these metrics will ever define who you are or your inherent worth.

By cultivating a deep respect for what your brain and body can achieve and have achieved, you set the stage for even more enriching and fulfilling seasons ahead.

Read: Menopause and Your Brain Health | Health Matters

Book: The Menopause Brain | Bookshop

Watch: What is ‘menopause brain’ and how can people navigate it? | The Today Show on YouTube

How to Grow Older Like Isabella Rossellini

Isabella Rossellini built her own interesting and varied career, becoming one of the most recognizable models in the world as the face of Lancôme until, in her 40s, the beauty brand dumped her for being too old.

Rossellini was suddenly faced with a question that she’s still working through today: “Who am I, and how do I fulfill the rest of my life?”

How to Grow Old Like Isabella Rossellini | New York Times (Gift Article)

Age-Friendly Cards & Gifts? Yes, Please!

As Jan Golden, founder of Age-Friendly Vibes, grew more aware – and concerned – about the prevalence of ageism, she decided to use her skill as a web developer and her eye for design to create a line of greeting cards and gifts that would promote age positivity and launch conversations about the beauty and benefits of growing older.

Creatively Celebrating Joyful Aging | Next Avenue

Your Future Will Probably Be Better Than Your Past

It's true, getting older brings visible signs of physical decline, and may rule out some activities and opportunities. But in other ways, aging can involve growth and improvement—of character, perspective, and overall happiness. In a real sense, we should start looking forward to being old.

How to Be Happy Growing Older | The Atlantic (Gift Article)

What the Heck Is Inflammaging?

When it comes to the never-ending work of taking care of ourselves, we tend to not pay attention to the little aches and pains as much as the bigger, more holistic concerns.

But what if those small aches and tiny pains were direct indicators of a major medical issue? And what if paying attention to them was the key to a long, healthy life?

The Ins and Outs of Inflammation — and Why It’s So Important to the Aging Process | Katie Couric Media

Little Bits of Light

Words to open your heart and SOOTHE YOUR SOUL

Photos by: "agsandrew," DepositPhotos (#1)  & Linda Wattier (#2)

About Linda Wattier

Founder and Bold Wellbeing Coach at How She Thrives. I help women over fifty design their most authentic, meaningful, and fulfilling experience of midlife and beyond.

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