Ep. 227 The Upgrade: A Unique Perspective on Perimenopause and Menopause with Dr. Louann Brizendine

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I was happy to connect with Dr. Louann Brizendine today! She is the founder of the Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic at UCSF. She completed her degree in Neurobiology at UC Berkeley, graduated from Yale School of Medicine, and did her internship and residency at Harvard Medical School. She also served on both the faculties of Harvard University and the University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Brizendine founded the Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic at UCSF. Her New York Times bestseller, The Female Brain, and its follow-up, The Male Brain, continue to be read around the world.

Today, we dive deeply into her new book, The Upgrade: How the Female Brain Gets Stronger and Better in Midlife and Beyond, which was released in April 2022.

“Your brain will not be at its healthiest with alcohol and caffeine in your body.”

– Dr. Louann Brizendine


  • The transition and the upgrade stage of life explained
  • Celebrating the transitional time of life and not fearing it
  • How hormones help guide behavior
  • Transition Stages 1,2,3 and what they mean
  • Then onward to the 3 stages of “The Upgrade”
  • Estrogen fluctuations that affect sleep
  • Be aware of caffeine in your food and drinks and how it may affect your sleep.
  • If you are having a problem staying asleep, you may want to cut back on alcohol or drink it earlier in the day.
  • The Women’s Health Initiative – (almost 20 years ago) disastrous misinterpretations and negative implications it caused by instilling fear in women to not use Estrogen – including osteoporosis, brain fog, anxiety, and sleep disruptions
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy – now viewed as a positive and much-needed step in women’s health
  • Women between the ages of 40-50 should get a bone density scan as one of the determining factors of whether or not to begin hormone replacement therapy.
  • Dr. Brizendine suggests that women should not be fearful of using therapies today to help balance hormones.
  • Cynthia discusses the loss of cognition later in life as another correlative symptom of not receiving needed hormones.
  • Dr. Brizendine advocates doing your own research regarding HRT and not depending only on information from major pharmaceutical companies.
  • Cynthia and Dr. Brizendine discuss the importance of keeping an open mind when it comes to synthetic hormones because of the good they can do.
  • If you are not well and do not feel like you can go on, please, immediately, seek out a doctor who can prescribe medications or hormones to help your particular and unique situation. Be your best and do not suffer in silence any longer.
  • Cynthia says the transitional time of life should and can be a very good time in your life.
  • Consider reading Dr. Brizendine’s book(s) to learn more and to keep it as a valuable resource.

Connect with Cynthia Thurlow

Connect with Dr. Brizendine

Dr. Louann Brizendine’s Book

Resource Mentioned

NAMS – North American Menopause Website


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