I was recently on a menopause summit called Menopause is a Trip. It was an excellent summit, and I spoke about hormones and cognition. As many who know me,  cognition is one of my favorite topics.

At the end of the menopause summit in which 5,000 people participated, a survey was done to find out what the biggest health concerns were of the people who had attended the summit. Not surprisingly, 73% of the respondents said the areas of brain function, cognitive health, and memory were their biggest health concerns – and rightly so. Two-thirds of the people with Alzheimer’s disease are women. One in three people will die with Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia, and we expect a huge rise in the number of cases of people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia in the coming years.

Many families are overwhelmed caring for people with these cognitive problems. It drains resources, time, and of course, creates broken hearts over what used to be and is no more. I can’t sit idly by and let this happen. We scientifically know what you can do for prevention.

There are many lifestyle measures that prevent Alzheimer’s and can improve cognition.  These include:

  • Sleeping 7-8 hours a night is crucial.
  • Exercising 5-6 times a week for 30-60 minutes, especially aerobic exercise and weight training boosts brain power.
  • Nutrition is another really big factor. One thing you can do right now is cut out the sugar and the refined carbs. Carbs are death for your brain. They’re not good for your heart and blood vessels either, but if the main thing that you are worried about, like 73% of listeners on the summit, you need to stop eating sugar and refined carbohydrates.

What does that mean? Remove foods made with white flour such as bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, pretzels, and a variety of snack food. Admittedly, refined carbs are all around us; they’re difficult to avoid. However, you really have to make a concerted effort to substitute something else. Start thinking about celery sticks with nut butter, apples with nut butters, nuts for a snack, turkey roll-ups with romaine lettuce and turkey. There are many, many things you can substitute for what you think you can’t do without. Instead of sandwiches you can eat salad. You have other options for snacks. This is one of the most important things you can do to keep your brain going in a healthy way.

I’m on a mission to help a million women keep their brains healthy into old age, so help me do that by taking good care of yourselves.

Dr. Susan Sklar is a nationally recognized Harvard-trained physician and a fierce health detective who believes that you can age gracefully and feel great while doing so. She believes that that hormonal and other biochemical deficiencies cause humans to age and decline in ways that are not necessary or inevitable. She utilizes the cutting edge science of functional medicine to support the body to heal itself through the restoration of hormones, proper nutrition, lifestyle and appropriate supplementation.  After more than 25 years of experience as an OB-GYN, Dr. Sklar started the Sklar Center in 2007 as a response to the unmet needs of men and women who are looking for answers to the questions of how to feel good in midlife and maintain optimum health long term.  She is certified in the Bredesen Protocol for slowing and reversing cognitive decline.  Dr. Bredesen’s protocol is the most well-known approach for successfully tackling the problem of dementia.  She sees private patients at her center in Long Beach, California. To Learn more about Dr. Sklar, go to Sklar Center for Restorative Medicine.