What should we do to prevent dementia and altzheimer's?

Dementia is a very big problem that’s becoming bigger every day. This is a fact we need to get used to.

Let’s talk numbers. Statistically, 10% of 65-year-olds, 25%of 75-year-olds, and half of all 85-year-olds will develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. And the fastest growing population of our time is the 85-year-olds.  Researchers predict Alzheimer’s will affect 106 million people by 2050. It’s now one of the 10 leading cause of death.

Scientists now call Alzheimer’s disease “Type 3 diabetes.” why? Well, new research shows insulin resistance, or what is often called diabesity (from eating too many carbs and sugar and not enough fat) is one of the major factors that starts the brain-damage cascade, which highjacks the memory of over half the people in their 80s, leading to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Too much insulin does not affects only older peoples’ memories. It doesn’t just suddenly occur once you’re in your 80’s. Dementia actually begins when you’re younger and takes decades to develop and degenerate your brain.

Eating sugar and refined carbs can cause pre-dementia and dementia. But the good news is that cutting out the sugar and refined carbs and adding lots of healthy fat can prevent, and even reverse, pre-dementia and early setting dementia.

Recent studies demonstrate that people with diabetes have a quadruple risk for developing Alzheimer’s. Even people with pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome have an increased risk for having pre-dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI).  But you don’t need to have full blown type 2 diabetes to develop brain damage and memory loss from high insulin levels and insulin resistance.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the mind-body effect. But it also works the other way around. So you can impact your brain through your diet and heal your body.  In fact, your body and your mind aren’t two separate entities; they work together as one system. What you do to the body affects the brain, and what you do to the brain affects the body.

Cognitive decline and memory loss can be prevented and even reversed. That’s a fact.  We simply have to optimise brain function and then the magic happens. I’ve witnessed that many times in my practice.

When I put people on a detox diet, their memory, mood and well-being often dramatically improve.

Alzheimer’s disease starts because of too much sugar on the brain. The cycle starts when we over-consume sugar and don’t eat enough fat, which leads to diabesity. Diabesity leads to inflammation, which creates a vicious cycle that slowly but surely decimates the brain.  This inflammation occurs over and over again in every chronic disease and very dramatically with the aging brain and overall aging process.

The good news is that dementia and cognitive decline can be reversed. To achieve that, you must control your insulin and balance your blood sugar levels, which will allow you to overcome diabesity, balance your mood, help your focus, boost your energy level, increase your resilience and inhibit all of the age-related brain diseases including Alzheimer’s.  I’ve seen this happen with many patients and there’s a lot of data available about it.

It was once thought we could not reverse artery-clogging plaque that triggered cardiovascular disease. We now know otherwise. Likewise, dementia can be reversed if caught early enough and by attending to all the factors that affect brain function – including diet, exercise, stress, nutritional deficiencies, toxins, hormonal imbalances, and inflammation.

It might sound complicated but in fact it is very easy.  The basic principles of Functional Medicine (also known as integrative medicine), or treating the root cause of disease, helps optimise your biological functions. In other words, change in lifestyle choices where the bad stuff is out and the good stuff is in.  Our body will take care of the rest. It has the innate knowhow of what to do and heals itself.

From that perspective, here are some strategies to help reverse or prevent dementia. These are all tried and tested.

  • Balance your blood sugar with whole-foods, low-glycaemic diet. You can achieve this by eliminating the bad stuff (refined carbs, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, dairy, and inflammatory, omega-6 rich oils such as vegetable and seed oils) and replacing them with better choices (healthy fats like avocados, walnuts, almonds and cashews, grass-fed meats, free range chicken and eggs, olive and coconut oil).

  • Eat healthy fats that improve your brain. These include omega 3 fats in wild fatty fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, herring and trout), as well as coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, whole eggs, nuts, and seeds.

  • Exercise daily. Even a 30-minute walk can help. More active readers might want to incorporate high-intensity interval training or weight lifting. Studies show physical activity can slow down and even prevent the progression of cognitive decline and brain diseases such as dementia.

  • Supplement wisely. At the very least, take a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, an omega 3 fat supplement, extra B6, B12, and folate, as well as vitamin D3. And, a good probiotic will enhance the brain-gut relationship. You can find all of these and other supplements in my store.

  • Check your thyroid and sex hormone levels. If they are out of balance, you will want to treat them. There’s a home test kit that is very handy and very accurate.

  • Detox from mercury or other heavy metals, if you have high levels, by doing a medically supervised detox program.

  • Control stress levels. Chronic stress takes a toll on your body and brain. Relaxation isn’t a luxury if you want to prevent or reverse dementia. Whether that involves deep breathing, meditation, or yoga, find something that helps you calm down. Many patients find Heartmath tools helps them relax and reduce stress and anxiety. 

  • Get 8 hours of sleep every night. Studies show poor sleep becomes a risk factor for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Aim for at least 8 hours of quality sleep every night. You can get some ideas for better sleep here.

Although these strategies are just a taster, they go a long way by giving your brain a chance to heal, recover, and experience less memory failures.

Even if you aren’t suffering from cognitive decline, you should take these steps because they can help you ensure that your brain doesn’t age quicker than the rest of your body and help you achieve lifelong health.

 

If you would like more information or have any question please don’t hesitate to contact me.