Dementia is a general term which includes various conditions like memory loss, and other cognitive issues which significantly impede the everyday life.
It can occur in various forms, such as vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. The most common type which occurs in about 60-80% of cases is Alzheimer’s disease.
Dementia is progressive if the cause of the issue cannot be treated. Its most common symptoms include apathy, depression, and difficulties to remembering recent events, conversations, and names.
Some dementia risk factors can be controlled, such as:
- Head injuries
- Impaired thyroid function
- Low physical activity
- Poor diet and vitamin deficiencies
- Use of medication that contributes to dementia
- Cardiovascular risks such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes
- Alcohol use
We recommend 9 ways to lower the risk of dementia:
- Quit Smoking
Smoking causes a great damage to the body, including the brain. According to studies, daily smokers are at a 45% higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s in comparison to non-smokers and ex-smokers. Hence, we strongly advise you to quit this detrimental habit.
- Be Physically Active
To strengthen the vascular system, you should boost the blood flow and the heart pumping. Therefore, exercise regularly to prevent numerous chronic health concerns, at least half an hour a day.
- Vitamin B
B vitamins reduce the levels of a molecule known as homocysteine or HC, which damages the vascular system. When in high levels, it raises the risk of strokes, heart diseases, and other vascular problems. Therefore, increase the intake of B complex vitamins to prevent age-related cognitive decline.
- Vitamin D
Researchers have found a link between the reduced levels of vitamin D and cognitive decline, causing dementia symptoms. Therefore, the use of vitamin D supplements prevents processes that contribute to dementia and Alzheimer’s.
The sun is the best source of this vitamin, but you can also use supplements, especially in the winter, when the sun exposure is reduced.
- Challenge Your Brain
Researchers have found that the onset of dementia symptoms is delayed by 5 years by being bilingual, in comparison to elder people who speak only one language.
They state that the brain benefits a lot if you challenge it. Experts have also found that doing crossword puzzles often delays the onset of memory decline by 2.5 years.
- Prevent Head Injuries
If you are riding a bike, you should wear a helmet, or in the case of water or winter sports, always protect your head in order to prevent head injuries and brain damage.
- Control Your Alcohol Intake
The excessive alcohol use raises the risk of dementia, so you should control it in order to prevent various health issues, including dementia.
- Track Your Numbers
You should always keep a track of the values of your weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Ones of the main predictors of dementia are cardiovascular and metabolic health, so you need to have a healthy body in order to have a healthy mind.
- Social interaction
You can successfully avoid the detrimental effects of isolation by regularly interacting with others. You can take a walk in nature with a friend, or at least talk to a few friends or relatives on a regular basis to prevent severe health issues.
Additionally, doctors maintain that learning new things support the health of the brain!
Other included sources linked in David Wolfe’s article:
The Hearty Soul
Dementia Research Foundation
Featured image source: www.davidwolfe.com