Feb 24, 2022
Dr. Louann Brizendine talks about why menopause is not only a
period of transition for women but also an opportunity for positive
transformation and more happiness than you thought possible. Learn
why the female brain becomes stronger and better in the midlife,
how to adapt and thrive during that time of change, and why we need
to incorporate more compassion, community, and connection in our
lives as we age.
- [0:45] There is a physiology of mental health that is often
ignored. There are changes to our brain that happen as we age and
we need a comprehensive approach to healing. Biology and psychology
have always both been fascinating for Dr. Anna, which is why she
graduated with a double major in both fields.
- [4:30] To thrive you must honor your physiology. There is no
mind/body dichotomy, they work together and rely on each other to
make up you.
- [6:45] The Female Brain recently became a movie. It told the
story of Dr. Brizendine, played by Whitney Cummings, and her
- [11:30] Being in psychiatry, Dr. Brizendine thinks of life in
chunks. The Female Brain takes you to the beginning of the
transition of your brain and the developmental stages from the ages
between 40 and 90.
- [12:30] Declining progesterone and other hormones after the age
of 30 affects our mood and thoughts through our physiology.
Psychosis and mood changes can happen because of this
- [13:50] Menopause is a rewiring of our brain that is as
important as puberty. Hormones cause behavior. We think we are
driving our own ship, but that’s not entirely true. Right around
the late 30s there are some shifts in our hormones which can cause
all kinds of disruptions.
- [16:05] These hormone disruptions can cause all sorts of
behavior changes where you feel calm and cool one moment and a
raging inferno the next. It’s important to honor and nurture
yourself during those days of the cycle and realize that you can
get a handle on it.
- [18:30] Even with women who have had their ovaries removed,
they often experience a second stage of menopause.
- [20:20] If you’ve had a total hysterectomy, you technically
don’t need to take progesterone. A lot of women around the age of
50 in this situation start to feel fatigued and depressed, largely
due to the adrenal glands. When we’re younger, our ovaries produce
90% of the testosterone in our bodies, but that switches to our
adrenal glands as we get older, and as we age, we don’t produce as
much of the hormones we need.
- [23:50] Men don’t typically go through andropause until the age
of 60. This can cause a mismatch between women who have a low sex
drive and can be treated in ways that can help.
- [25:00] The Bush administration canceled the Women’s Health
division of the FDA that was looking into those effects. There is
still a lot of sexism in the medical system. Doctors have the
ability to prescribe medication for off-label use, and Dr. Anna
often prescribes testosterone in this way.
- [26:45] When you give someone too much testosterone, it can
create agitation and anger as well as novelty-seeking behavior.
Physicians need to be careful when recommending or prescribing
these hormone supplements.
- [28:30] Dr. Brizendine recalls the story of a patient who was
prescribed testosterone and accidentally took 10 times the normal
- [29:50] If the couple has a good sexual relationship, they can
create a schedule and framework for sex and supplementation that
makes it easier to experiment and adjust. A lack of sex drive is a
- [35:10] Loneliness is more prevalent than ever. We don’t
generally live in a commune with our extended families anymore, and
are more isolated. Oxytocin is a basic human hormone created from
touch, the one thing that we have minimized for the past two
- [38:20] A lot of people have had a chance to get in touch with
their spiritual life as an antidote to loneliness. First, you have
to become aware that you’re lonely, then you have to accept it.
There are a number of symptoms that afflict people that you
wouldn’t necessarily associate with loneliness.
- [40:30] Once you’re aware and have accepted, the action phase
starts. Research has shown that women generally need at least four
human contacts per week. Humans need contact. Without it we feel
like we’re dying and it can lead to all kinds of negative health
- [43:20] The 50s and 60s are wonderful decades. Research shows
that we generally get happier as we age as we let go of the
nonsense expectations we have and do things that are more
meaningful to us. There is a lot to look forward to as you get
older including more compassion, community, and connection.
- [47:50] Dr. Anna asks a series of rapid fire questions about
Dr. Brizendine’s favorite foods, supplements, and exercises.
Mentioned in this Episode:
The Upgrade by Dr. Louann Brizendine
Always seek the advice of your own physician or qualified
health professional before starting any treatment or plans.
Information found here and results are provided for informational
purposes only and are not intended to replace a one-on-one
relationship with a qualified healthcare professional and are not
intended as medical advice.
Be sure to check out Dr Anna’s new book, MenuPause.
Get your sneak peek: dranna.com/gfd-sneak
Order your book today: dranna.com/gfd-book
Take Dr Anna’s quiz and get matched with your ideal menu:
Get your Weight Loss Checklist as well: dranna.com/gfd-checklist
Try her Keto-Green Recipes for Menopause at dranna.com/gfd-recipe
Sign up for her FREE masterclass today: dranna.com/gfd-diabetes