Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dementia...Don't Let This Happen!

by Glen Depke

My Grandmother had severe dementia for years prior to her death and my mother is having challenges  with dementia currently. With this said, I should expect to have the same challenge as I age, right?

Not a chance!

Most believe that this is simply a genetic issue but I do not see it that way. First of all let me be clear, it is my belief that about 96% of what we feel is a physical genetic challenge is actually a learned behavior. 

More on that though another day.

Dementia can be very scary for not only the person suffering with this issue but also for the family. To watch the neurological function rapidly decline can create some life challenges for any of us.

It is has been recognized that this is not a challenge for only the elderly, this can begin much earlier if life. A recent study shows that memory loss can begin as early as 45 years old. To view an article on this study, follow this link.

So what causes dementia and what can we do to be proactive?

Let's first look at some substances that can cause dementia.
  • Overconsumption of alcohol
  • Excessive accumulation of homocysteine
  • Excessive consumption of copper
  • Chronic lead poisoning
  • Chronic excessive exposure to manganese
  • Excessive or long term use of benzodiazepines
How about some ailments that are associated with or cause dementia?
  • Atherosclerosis of the brain
  • Cerebral insufficiency
  • Strokes
  • Long term dehydration
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Alzheimer's disease which is a form of dementia
  • Huntington's disease
Other factors that can cause dementia.
  • Excessive generation of free radicals is one of the underlying causes of dementia
  • Poor gut/brain integrity
  • Brain inflammation
  • Poor oxygen intake to the brain
  • Lack of brain use
  • Poor nutrient uptake to the brain
  • Poor adrenal function
Since this has been a challenge for my Grandmother as well as my Mother, I have been proactive in regard to my own brain health. There is no chance that I am going to take this path!

What is it that I do to be so confident that I will not have the same challenge?

First of all, I am going to be sure that I allow proper blood flow to the brain. Remember that your brain gets oxygen and nutrients via the blood. Poor blood flow equals poor oxygen and nutrient uptake. I use one of two different supplements in my practice to increase this peripheral blood flow. Unfortunately I cannot sell these on the internet, so feel free to call my office for this information at 949.954.6226. Once the blood flow is adequate it is very important to incorporate deep belly breathing into your regular routine. Increased blood flow with poor oxygen intake is not the answer. Please, deep breathe!

Next I want to be sure that I am getting the proper nutrients to the brain. Fat is so important to brain function and it is scary that there are still so many fat phobic people in our culture. Foods like coconut, avocado, and olives go a long way in assisting the brain but there is one supplement which I consider brain food. That supplement is one the components of your omega 3 fatty acid and specifically DHA. I take an omega 3 plus I take a separate DHA liquid drops every day to feed my brain. Follow this link for more information on DHA.

The other significant factor is to simply use the brain and this is done on more than one level. First of all puzzles that work the brain or that old card game I used to play when I was a kid. It was called memory. Do you remember it? Pun intended. Anyway, you would place a deck of cards face down on a table and pick two cards, trying to get  a match. As an adult, play this with a child and they will take you down. Another way to use your brain is with exercise and especially exercise that challenges your balance. A third way is to learn a musical instrument or a second language.

These are all great ways to use the brain.

Another factor is to assess your adrenal function. Your adrenals play a significant role in neural connectivity and those with dementia are typcially low in DHEA and pregnenolone. I do not advise taking these supplements without assessing your current adrenal function first. Hormones require a delicate balance so you do not want to blindly use supplemental hormones.

Focus on these for yourself to change your learned behaviors. Your brain can maintain optimal function for many many years, as long as you take care of it. Please do!

If you have any comments or questions about this article please post these below for me to address personally.

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