BRAIN HEALTHY HABITS FOR  WOMEN

BRAIN HEALTHY HABITS FOR WOMEN

A women’s brain reacts differently to the risk factors for cognitive decline.

Historically, medical professionals believed that the only thing that sets women apart from men were those body parts that lie beneath the small triangles of a bikini—namely, their reproductive organs. Setting these “parts” aside, as if one could, meant that many doctors would diagnose and treat both sexes in the exact same way. 

If you ask some doctors to look at a female patient through the lens of “women’s health,” they will likely run a mammogram or collect cells from the cervix to examine them for cancer.  Doing blood tests for estrogen and other hormones is just as common practice. In other words, women’s health is confined to the health of their reproductive organs.

Let’s be clear that all these procedures have indeed changed and bettered the lives of millions of women around the world. But is it enough?

Are these lines of research, inquiry, and intervention not a direct consequence of a reductive understanding of what a woman is?

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Some facts:

  • Women are twice as likely to have anxiety and depression as men 
  • Women are over three times more likely than men to be diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, including those that attack the brain, like multiple sclerosis 
  • Women are up to four times more likely to suffer from migraines and headaches than men
  • Women are more prone than men to developing meningiomas, the most common brain tumors 
  • Strokes kill more women than men
  • Women are more likely than men to be told their pain is psychosomatic, hypochondriac, or influenced by emotional distress

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Two out of every three Alzheimer’s patients are women

There is a silent and looming epidemic brewing that is going to impact women greatly—one that most people are completely unaware of.

  • Women in their sixties are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s over the rest of their lives as they are to develop breast cancer
  • A forty-five-year-old woman has a one in five chance of developing Alzheimer’s during her remaining life, while a man of the same age has only a one in ten chance.

Memory decline and its most severe condition, Alzheimer’s, will haunt the twenty-first century and sets its sight predominantly on women.

The bottom line: we are facing nothing less than an Alzheimer’s epidemic:

  • When it comes to caregiving throughout this continuing crisis, it is women once more who will bear the bulk of the burden
  • It is mostly women who will find themselves, inadvertently or not, drafted into full-time caregiving roles
  • Currently, there are 10 million American women providing unpaid health care and assistance to loved ones with dementia, all simultaneously shouldering the steep emotional and financial tolls that accompany that crushing task
  • For South Africa, although we do not have stats on it, it is assumed that this burden is the same for our women

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What many doctors know about preventing, diagnosing, and treating disease continues to this day to be pulled from male-biased or “gender-less” studies unless it has to do with the reproductive side of women.

This persistence in considering men and women as biologically identical is particularly frustrating for women considering that gender-specific genetic and hormonal factors have an enormous impact on a women’s response to a drug, as well as on its efficacy.

Women metabolise drugs differently than men do and often require different doses. However, dosages are rarely adjusted by sex, which results in women having almost double the chance of an adverse drug reaction than men. When Female Viagra was first evaluated for side effects, the studies were conducted on twenty-three men and only two women.

BRAIN HEALTHY HABITS FOR WOMEN distinguishes women’s health outcomes in one part of the body that no bikini will ever cover – HER BRAIN

What are the benefits of enrolling?  

The programme takes each of the following risk factors for memory problems and deal with it in terms of how women are affected and react to them: 

  • Poor Blood Flow to the brain as a result of cardiovascular disease, a stroke, loss of oxygen due to near drowning and sleep apnea, or being unconscious for a while. 
  • Early (brain) retirement especially if you stop learning new things and experience social isolation which lead to faster biological ageing. 
  • Chronic inflammation, the internal fire that destroys body organs, especially the brain.
  • Genetic predisposition for dementia. Remember negative genetic predisposition only loads the gun but poor lifestyle habits pull the triggers. So, nobody needs to be a victim of their genetics. 
  • Head trauma. Soft brain, like butter, plus hard skull and sharp ridges = big brain trouble when head injuries occur.
  • Toxins from what we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink and the drugs we take (alcohol and smoking), kill us slowly, but way before we die our brains go crazy.
  • Poor mental health such as depression, bipolar disorder and chronic stress increases the risk for dementia. Anything that negatively impacts the mind also has a negative impact on the brain.
  • Infections and poor immunity. A compromised immune system and infectious diseases are major contributing factors to dementia.
  • Neurohormone deficiencies. When hormones work in concert one feels great, but when they are out of balance the conductor is absent and the orchestra is out of tune and the brain becomes foggy.
  • Diabetes and Obesity. Lots of people dig their grave with a knife and fork and do not realise that sugar kills the brain.
  • Sleep problems. The brain heals itself when we sleep, but if we do not sleep long and well enough the cleaning crew cannot do their job and the brain gets clogged up with toxins and waste.

The challenge for women is to understand these risks and how they affect women in particular so that they can make informed decisions about what is good for their brains and to have a sound discussion with their doctors to ensure their unique needs are considered when it comes to treatment especially for hormone related issues.

Participants will benefit by developing a Personalised Brain Healthy Habits Development Plan, from a women’s perspective, to combat memory decline and to enhance their brain functioning, especially as they grow older and hormonal changes set in.  They can follow this personalised plan on their own and in consultation with their medical practitioner, if needed. They also have access afterwards to the Brain Fit Coach by e-mailing questions to be answered by the coach.

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Who will benefit?

If any of the following applies to you, the programme will benefit you:

  • I am a woman in my 30’s or older and want to learn how to care for my brain to prevent cognitive decline
  • I want to improve my overall brain functioning, longevity and quality of my life considering the risk factors from a women’s perspective 
  • I wonder what I can do to keep my brain healthy until I die
  • I experience stress and mood swings and wonder what role my hormones play in this
  • My memory is declining
  • I begin to forget small things, like keys, appointments or what someone said to me a short while ago
  • People say to me that I am not listening to them
  • I read a book or e-mail or watch a movie, but do not remember much of it
  • I struggle with brain fog
  • I suffer from hypertension, diabetes, obesity, inflammation, poor sleep, chronic stress, depression, poor sex drive, head trauma, chronic infections, hormone imbalances, exposure to toxins (we all do as a result of the food we eat) and lack of energy
  • I have been diagnosed with dementia
  • I have a history of dementia (Alzheimer’s) in my family
  • I want to maintain my independence and do not want anyone to look after me or take advantage of me when I am old

Delivery Mode

Online Group Interactive Sessions

Participants link up via ZOOM for 6 sessions over a three-week period for 2,5 hours each. You can choose which time slot to enroll for as per the programme time slots. 

You must have access to a reliable internet connection.

Participants receive homework to complete the risk assessment questionnaires and develop their personal development plan based on the content discussed during the online sessions.

Participants will receive PowerPoint Slides of the full programme as well as a copy of a text book on the subject matter.

Face-to-face Group Training 

A two-day programme for participants at a venue and dates as advertised on www.brain-fit.net

Participants will receive PowerPoint Slides of the full programme as well as a copy of a text book on the subject matter.

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