My Mom (who passed away in 2015 at age 94) spent the last three years of her life in a nursing home after falling and breaking her hip.
And although those final years were filled with pain and being confined to a wheelchair, she would always say to me with a smile, “I hurt from head to toe, but it’s OK, Sher. I still know who you are.”
Unfortunately, increasing numbers of people are not as fortunate. Dementia is not showing any signs of slowing down, and it’s occurring at younger and younger ages.
But the good news is there are several measures you can take to slash your risk!
Let’s look at some of dementia’s causes and contributing factors and see how you can help keep your brain function sharp and strong into your golden years.
The incredible shrinking brain
Our brain weight drops by about 10 percent by the time we reach age 80. In addition, blood flow to the brain diminishes, neurons and connections die, and nerve functions slow down.
But on the plus side, the human brain has great reserve capacity and our brain cells can not only regenerate, but they can grow new dendrites (finger-like connections to other cells that form little electrical “pathways” for brain function)!
Common signs of dementia include:
- Memory loss
- Impaired judgment
- Difficulties with abstract thinking
- Faulty reasoning
- Inappropriate behavior
- Loss of communication skills
- Disorientation as to time and place
- Gait, motor and balance problems
- Neglect of personal care and safety
- Hallucinations, paranoia, agitation
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease—accounting for 80 percent of all dementia cases.
It’s not just old age anymore!
Dementia is typically found in people over age 60, but there’s been a troubling surge in the number of people with early-onset cases.
That’s because there are other little-known causes of dementia that can affect people at all ages.
Here are 6 of the most common:
Heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure
Heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure are all linked to dementia.
Decreased blood flow to the brain from these conditions is linked to the formation of the classic plaques and tangles that disrupt brain activity in Alzheimer’s.
And considering that even young children and teens are on high blood pressure medication, that’s providing a L O N G window of opportunity for dementia to be created.
Type 2 diabetes
Your brain needs glucose to function properly, and when there is impaired glucose function with Type 2 diabetes, it can damage brain cells. Plus high blood sugar causes inflammation which is harmful to brain cells.
And heaven knows we are in a diabetes epidemic at all ages!
Use of acid reducers
Studies have shown that regular users of PPIs (like Nexium) had a 44 percent increased risk of dementia compared with those not using the medications.
Lack of exercise
Regular exercise improves blood flow throughout the body, including the brain.
Unfortunately, many people would rather stick needles in their eyeballs than exercise. Being sedentary is the worst thing you can do for SO many reasons, including increasing your risk of dementia.
Aluminum is neurotoxic to the brain, and it’s probably only second to mercury in terms of toxicity.
For over 30 years, high levels of aluminum have been observed in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s (and autism for that matter).
Although people are exposed to aluminum from drinking water, pots and pans, foil, beverage cans, antiperspirants and even baking powder, a sneaky source of aluminum comes from vaccines.
Aluminum is used as an adjuvant in many vaccines, including flu shots which are pushed on the entire population over age six months.
And unlike aluminum that is ingested into the GI tract (via foods stored or prepared in aluminum containers or cookware), aluminum that is injected into the muscle tissue can very easily get into the bloodstream and have a clear path to the brain.
Aspartame (Equal and NutraSweet) has been linked to Alzheimer’s as well as a variety of other neurological conditions.
Studies have shown that drinking just one diet soda a day TRIPLES your risk of dementia!
Now that you’ve seen several possible factors behind the development of dementia, it’s time to do all you can to keep it far away from you.
Here are 6 Sharp Brain Strategies that can help prevent, slow or in some cases even reverse cognitive decline:
Sharp Brain Strategy #1- Omega-3 essential fatty acids
A deficiency of Omega-3 EFAs makes it impossible for your cell membranes to perform their vital functions, and your brain is heavily dependent on the Omega-3 EFA Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Unfortunately, our typical diets are severely deficient in Omega-3 EFAs, so daily supplementation with these nutrients is essential!
VitalMega-3 fish oil formula provides an impressive 1,200 mg of Omega-3s in every daily two-capsule serving, including 600 mg of EPA and 400 mg of DHA--two of the very best Omega-3 EFAs for sharp brain functioning.
Sharp Brain Strategy #2- Antioxidants and zinc
Your brain cells are very vulnerable to free radical damage, so the protection of antioxidants is extremely important.
And zinc deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies associated with the development of dementia!
Having a diet that concentrates on nutrient-rich REAL foods (lots of fruits and vegetables) is a great way to help get the antioxidants and zinc your brain needs.
But if your diet is dicey or you wouldn’t know a healthy food if it jumped up and bit you in the derriere, then Super Core Multi-vitamin and mineral formula can help pinch hit where your diet may be lacking.
Super Core contains a complete array of essential nutrients (including zinc), plus extra antioxidants to help fight back against free radical damage.
Sharp Brain Strategy #3- Regular exercise
Numerous studies have shown that physical exercise helps prevent cognitive impairment and dementia as we age.
In addition, regular exercise also helps lower your risk of high blood pressure and diabetes, which are also dementia risk factors.
So, get your doctor’s OK, dust off those sneakers and get moving! Even brisk walking is helpful.
Sharp Brain Strategy #4- Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is essential to produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter which allows the nerves and brain to communicate and can help you maintain clear-thinking abilities for a lifetime.
But getting enough B12 can be tricky, especially if you’re prone to digestion problems or have had gastric surgery. To ensure you get enough of this vital nutrient, Hydroxaden 2.5 is your ticket.
Hydroxaden 2.5 is an easy-to-use vitamin B12 spray that you spritz under your tongue so it can be absorbed by the mucus membranes in your mouth.
Sharp Brain Strategy #5- Eliminate aluminum
Try to eliminate as many sources of aluminum as you can. Here are some suggestions:
- Get your tap water tested, or drink only purified water
- Ask your doctor to do a heavy metals urine test. If your levels are high, consider chelation therapy.
- Use stainless steel or cast-iron cookware.
- Use natural deodorants instead of antiperspirants.
- Use aluminum-free baking powder and unbleached flour in baking.
- Rethink vaccination. Reducing stress, getting proper sleep, avoiding sugar and having a healthy diet will all help your body naturally resist colds, flu and viruses like it was designed to.
- Buy beverages in glass bottles instead of cans.
- Use parchment paper instead of foil.
Sharp Brain Strategy #6- Avoid acid reducers
If heartburn is your regular companion, then you can help naturally eliminate it with the food combining advice I provide in Great Taste No Pain!
Great Taste No Pain will show you how to create delicious, nutritious meals that are MUCH easier for your system to break down. When you make your GI tract’s job easier, you help eliminate the root cause of heartburn, gas and bloating!
And that means bye-bye purple pills and hello to feeling good after meals.
You can make a difference in your brain’s sharpness and make tremendous strides toward keeping it strong and disease-free for many years to come!
To your health,