Remember: Your brain cells are dying in the time it takes you to read this blog!
November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness month. Dementia is the 7th leading cause of death in the US. One in three people over the age of 65 will suffer from one form or another of dementia. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s……but what if we could stop it before it begins?
As human beings our genetic road map predetermines our individual road to health and aging. What if we could change that course by changing our environment? Research has revealed that we CAN change genetics with a change of diet lifestyle and nutrition.
Through a better understanding of your genetic make up, and a look at diet, nutrition and lifestyle of your parents and grandparents, you can design and modify what goes into your life to better serve your health and quality of life as you age.
The 3 Earliest signs of brain degeneration are:
- Fatigue: This is brain fatigue such as with reading, doing a mental task requiring focused attention for any length of time or just watching an action movie with a lot of action, screen changes, and light changes. Under any of these circumstances the neurons are overwhelmed and ultimately fatigued. The brain literally shuts down and physical fatigue follows. As we get older this seems to happen more often and with shorter duration. We literally start avoiding that paperwork because we know we will be exhausted at the end. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is often brain induced.
- Depression: In the beginning short episodes which we excuse to all manner of reasons eventually become more frequent and part of our personality and our daily challenges to overcome. What starts as a simple decrease in frontal lobe function can become a serious and debilitating neurotransmitter imbalance. We seek treatment through SSRI’s and keeping plowing through life without addressing the actual cause of the issue.
- Gastro-intestinal dysfunction: We blame our weight, our stress, our dietary indiscretions on the recurrent heart burn, GERD, constipation, bloating, IBS and the myriad of other G-I disturbances. Here again, we reach for the medicine cabinet and do not address the actual cause and ultimately the brain suffers and vicious feed-back mechanism is triggered.
If you see yourself in any of these three early categories it is time to take action now.
The 3 Main Requirements for a Healthy Brain are:
- Oxygen: Lack of circulation to the brain, Anemia, chronic stress and metabolic disorder such as hypothyroid can reduce the oxygen supply to your brain. Here are just a few signs of a possible lack of Oxygen:
- Poor focus and concentration.
- Exercise and Caffeine improve brain function.
- Cold hands and feet or tip of the nose.
- Poor nail health or fungal growth on toe nails.
Repair should include:
- Addressing the underlying metabolic issue (especially anemia).
- Repair nutrients might include: Fever few, Butcher’s Broom, Gingko Biloba, Huperzine, and Vinpocetine.
2. Glucose: Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is one side of this coin, metabolic syndrome or Insulin resistance is the other side of the coin. If you have a blood sugar handling issue, your brain is not getting the glucose that it needs to function efficiently. Think about the common symptoms of blood sugar imbalances:
- Hypoglycemia: increased energy after a meal, craving for sweets between meals, irritability if meals are missed, dependency on coffee and sugar for energy, poor memory, foggy brained or forgetful.
- Insulin Resistance: fatigue after a meal, general fatigue, constant hunger, craving sweets but craving not relieved by eating them, difficulty losing weight, waste girth greater than hip girth, mood swings, foggy brain, poor memory.
- Repair: managing blood sugar with good nutrition, understanding the Glycemic Index and using it for food choices, removing food sensitivities and repairing leaky gut.
3. Simulation:The brain is like a muscle-“if you don’t use it, you will lose it”, this applies to both focus and memory along with the ability to do things like calculate numbers in your head, these functions are described by the term “plasticity”. Like any other muscle in the body, giving your brain a daily dose of exercise maintains healthy neurons and synapses, supporting the brains ability to process and act appropriately, crisp and on task. Exercising the brain reduces fatigue and burn out when focused mental attention is required.
What are your triggers to a degenerating brain?
Are they gut oriented, blood sugar initiated or a lack of exercise; both brain and general physical fitness?
Having a practitioner look at your diet, nutrition and lifestyle is the most efficient way to determine the triggers and causes of your brain degeneration. Don’t wait to find the right person, for most of us the following 3 items is enough to know where to Begin.
- Cleaning up and repairing the digestive system is a great start.
- Next working on hormones, neurotransmitters and blood sugar will slow down brain cell death.
- Finally, finding a new passion, hobby or interest. Challenging and working the brain is a basic requirement for healthy aging. If memory is already becoming an issue start writing your memoirs, push the brain to reconnect those synapses while you build new ones.
Don’t wait, remember you lost neurons while reading this blog!