There is no single way to define dementia. It is not one specific illness, but an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of symptoms. Senility increases as you age, and with it, goes the ability to participate in daily activities. It is not uncommon to experience memory loss, inability to pay attention, vision impairment, and trouble with higher level thinking. In fact, at least some of these symptoms must be present in large proportions for dementia to be diagnosed.
Dementia is often a progressive disease. What may start as fuzzy thinking can slowly advance into severe memory loss or Alzheimer’s. This is becoming a huge problem for Americans, as studies show that in 2010 4.7 million people over the age of 65 were living with the disease.
Just as Dementia cannot be described by just one symptom, its causes vary as well. Some underlying issues are as simple as aging. Over time, brain cells die as a result of years of use. Just as cars and phones don’t last forever, there is an expiration date to your brain cells. Neuro-generative diseases can also cause the regression in brain function as well as injury or infarction due to lack of oxygen.
Perhaps the worst part about Dementia is the fact that there is no cure. You cannot reverse brain cell death, or the imminent consequences of aging. It is rare you’ll meet someone who doesn’t have a family member or friend who is suffering from some type of dementia. But just because there is no cure, doesn’t mean that prevention and treatment shouldn’t be explored. By taking certain measures and precautions, Dementia can be delayed, dealt with more comfortably and maybe even stopped in its tracks.
As far as treatment goes, the research in this area is continuous. With so many people affected, how could there not be an ongoing search for a cure. There are tons of medications that can delay or subdue the symptoms that someone experiences as they go through the Dementia progression. Though these vaccines are good at what they are prescribed for, there are also alternative ways to achieve relief from the symptoms experienced. Natural remedies can make drastic improvements, and the sooner you start, the better chance you have of seeing results.
Start incorporating these nutrients into your diet:
Omega 3 fatty Acids: These fatty acids contain DHA that can reverse brain plaque and can be extremely beneficial to brain health. They can improve cognitive function and have even been shown to increase memory significantly after consumption. Sources of omega 3 fatty acids include: salmon, avocado, chia seeds and fish oils.
B vitamins: The B vitamin benefits are endless. Vitamin B12 is helpful in forming myelin sheaths which speed up brain impulses. Vitamins B6 and B3 are necessary for the development of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are crucial for relaying messages throughout the body and must be kept in pristine condition in order to function properly. Many B vitamins can be found in soy, fortified cereals and animal products.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Deficiencies in this particular area can lead to loss of memory and cognitive function. The great thing about vitamin D is that you don’t need money to get it. Simply walking outside and soaking up some rays can supply you with your daily requirements. Not to mention, it is so important to be getting outside in general!
Supplements: Supplementing your diet with key vitamins and minerals can ensure that your brain works its best. There is a reason that your body requires an abundance of nutrients, and without meeting these levels, you can’t hope to have clear thinking or adequate cognitive function.
But what else besides diet can impact your body’s resilience to dementia? Certain lifestyle factors can be extremely beneficial to ensuring that your mind remains your own.
Physical activity: Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body, not just to avoid dementia, but to remain healthy overall. When you get your body moving, you are supplying more oxygen to the brain. This is extremely beneficial for cognitive, mental and physical health.
Meditation: Meditation is becoming an activity that should be a part of everyone’s daily life. It involves focusing on your breathing and becoming in tune with your body. It also relaxes your mind. Meditation can provide a variety of outlets for relieving Dementia symptoms, as it forces you to concentrate on using your brain proactively.
Reduce Stress: Stress has been linked to an increases in risk of a number of different diseases including cardiovascular disease. Stress, whether it be in spurts, or chronic, can have a huge effect on your state of well-being. Try to tone it down. Remember that worrying doesn’t help situations, and that getting crazy about things will only hurt you. Most of the time, by calming down and taking some deep breaths, it is easier to problem solve anyways.
Sleep: Sleep has an inverse relationship to stress. When you decrease the amount of sleep you get, there is a rise in cortisol and stress increases. Making sure you get a good amount of sleep (at least 7 hours) is crucial to brain health and cognitive function.
Seek to be better: Laugh more, learn more, and do more. When you learn and create experiences, you are creating brain connections. There is definitely some truth to the “use it or lose it” mentality. Be curious and discover new things and you will keep your mind young and healthy. Positive thinking and optimism can help you create a more fulfilling life for yourself.