I have coloured my hair for 30 years (or, as Peter says, “You got your hair cut and stained!” …like a touch-up job on an old piece of wood!!) Over the past year, I have been transitioning to my natural grey. I consider this a positive decision, but I recently found an added benefit.
I discovered this while visiting my daughter, Jill. After a day of wandering around Vancouver, it hit me like a cannonball. No one looks at you, I mean literally; it’s like I am wearing an invisibility cloak.
Case in point:
I was at the Granville market enjoying my favourite empire cookie and coffee when I glanced in my bag and found the greeting cards, I had been carrying around the stationery store. There they were…not paid for.
After our yoga class, Jill asked me to take her stuff home and later when I met her for lunch she said, “You bought a new yoga mat?” “Isn’t this yours?” “Nope.” I had walked out of the yoga center with the studio’s mat fully sticking out of my backpack and no one said a thing.
When I returned to the store to pay for the cards, I said to the young girl. “Apparently I am now an old lady that steals stuff”. “Oh no”. she says, “You are an old lady that steals stuff and then pays for it”.
One might look at this as a bit depressing but just think of the fun we could have.
What happens when we get older?
Turning to Robin for information on the topic she came up with some great facts about cognition and menopause.
You are not alone. 60% of women complain of issues with memory, fuzzy thinking, and concentration like forgetting what you are saying mid-sentence. The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) suggests memory problems women report during peri/post menopause are more related to natural aging PLUS lifestyle factors. Like maybe there is just too much on our plate. Teenage children, aging parents, self-image, relationship issues, ah… where is the red tent! Give us a minute!
Research and NAMS state the best way to decrease the chance of dementia and Alzheimer’s is to improve your cardiovascular health.
* Keep blood pressure within the normal range.
* Watch cholesterol
* Avoid Type 2 Diabetes
This will help with good blood flow and provide oxygen to the brain. Cardiovascular exercise is the best-known preventative measure for cognitive decline.
Great, something more to do in the day.
Oh, and another fun fact, memory begins to decline from age 20.
What about Hormone Therapy?
Three known studies (KEEPS, WHIMSY, ELITE) have shown no cognitive benefit or harm with hormone therapy. That said, women on HT will suggest their memory has improved. The likely reason for this is better sleep (reduced night sweats and hot flashes, reduced anxiety, etc.) more than the actual effects of increased estrogen.
If women do decide to use HT, it is best started closer to the final menstrual period as possible for the best cardiovascular and bone benefit. If starting HT later, then there can be concerns with older women using medroxyprogesterone acetate, so be sure to discuss this with a health care provider.
Thanks, Robin for the info...