Another sunny and bucolic day here in Panama City, Florida, has lured Ginger and I out to our back porch.
I was telling you about my fear of dementia and Alzheimer’s in our last post ACDC’s Rhythm Guitarist Malcolm Young Has Dementia.
Talking about that got me digging deeper into the hellish labyrinth of dementia . This post is the result of that research.
Dementia is not a normal part of aging.
The chances of getting dementia do increase as we grow older. But, this is because our unhealthy lifestyle choices are finally catching up with our bodies decreased abilities to overcome those choices.
Even the wildest chickens eventually come home to roost.
i.e., discounting genetic tendencies, how we have lived, and what we have eaten and drank, are ultimately the causes of getting dementia. (Strictly my opinion from research, observations)
What Is Dementia:
Dementia isn’t classified as a disease unto itself. But, as an identifier of the presence of two or more symptoms related to decline in mental abilities severe enough to interfere with daily life. e.g. Memory loss; loss of communication skills; inability to concentrate.
Dementia is caused by damage to brain cells. The damage disrupts the ability of brain cells to communicate with each other, which interferes with normal thinking, changes behavior patterns and affects feelings. Source
Dementia isn’t Alzheimer’s Disease. Yet, Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type of dementia.
3 Types of Dementia:
- Lewy body dementia: most common form of dementia, and is associated with aging.
- Vascular dementia: 2nd most common type of dementia. Occurs because of brain damage from stoppage of blood flow to the brain. e.g. Like after a stroke.
- Frontotemporal dementia: least common dementia. Usually occurring between the ages of 40 and 65.
- For more details Click Here
Signs of Dementia:
- Loss of memory
- Problems doing familiar tasks
- Loss of communication skills, i.e. forgetting simple words, or using wrong words, etc.
- Disorientation, can’t remember where they are or how they got there
- Poor judgement
- Changes in behavior
- Mood and personality changes
- Misplacing familiar things
- Foggy thinking
If two or more of these symptoms are chronically present, it’s classified dementia.
What Causes Dementia:
- Lifestyle choices
- Injury, especially those affecting the head
- Medication side effects
- Excess use of alcohol
- Thyroid problems
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Genetic factors
Dementia probably develops as a result of complex interactions among multiple factors, including age, genetics, environment, lifestyle, and existing medical conditions…” Source
- Drink 1/2 half your body weight of filtered water daily. Weight = 160 lbs equals 80 ounces of water
- Eat 6 to 8 portions of fruits & vegetables daily
- Eat lean cuts of meat, no more than 1/3 your daily diet
- Eat less Omega 6 fatty foods, and increase consumption of Omega 3 fatty foods to balance your Omega 6’s levels
- Stop, or at least limit, eating processed foods (lay off the sugar)
- Control blood pressure to maintain healthy levels
- Limit alcoholic drinks
- Stop smoking
- Get a good nights sleep (7 – 9 hours)
- Exercise 30 minutes daily. (walking, running, sports)
- strength training 2 – 3 times weekly
- Balance stress with meditation, yoga, exercise, and avoidance of stress enablers. Click Here To Watch How To Make Stress Your Friend
- Stay socially active and connected
- Continue learning new things
- Play mind agility games, do mental exercises
- Monitor, and if necessary, adjust prescription, and over the counter drugs
- Develop outside interests. (hobbies, volunteering, etc.)
- Most Important Of All: Find some reason to get outta bed
If dementia is at all preventable, it’ll probably come through lifestyle choices. Started early enough, a combination of fitness and exercise programs, eating whole foods, doing mental exercises, and maintaining social connections, could well be the key to prevention.
Let me end this by saying “I don’t know anything for certain and I’ve no advice about anything. My role is reporting upon my research and sharing personal stories with you.
Still, I hope to inspire you in some small way.
Ideas for me, your aging related story, or comments are very damn welcome…