Hard to believe, but in a few days, September will be upon us.
September is World Alzheimer's Awareness month.
I know it can be an uncomfortable topic, but let's talk about Alzheimer's for a moment.
Do you know the risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s?
Genetics is one – Scientists have found that having the ApoE gene greatly increases one’s risk for Alzheimer’s.
I have spoken with some people who are afraid to be tested for this gene, as they don’t want to know if they are at a higher risk for the disease. Remember, FEAR is actually a False Event Appearing Real.
Here’s some food for thought, if you are afraid to be tested.
If you know you have the ApoE gene, you can find out how to reduce your other risk factors. Exercise and proper nutrition have been proven to change the expression of our genes. This is an important step to take for your brain health. The more you know, the more you can do for yourself and others.
Chronic Nutrition deficiencies damage the brain, increasing your risk for the Dementia illnesses.
Talk with your doctor about looking more closely at your Vitamin levels – especially Vitamin D and the B vitamins, and your mineral levels as well. The older we get, the more difficult it is for our body to produce enough vitamin D.
Taking supplements and eating foods with the vitamins that your brain needs is a great prevention tactic. Proper nutrition, like the Mediterranean diet which I’ve written about recently, is associated with reduced risk for Alzheimer’s.
Medical Conditions such as High Blood Pressure and Diabetes increase our risk, so it becomes even more important to do everything possible to lower your blood pressure and reverse your diabetes.
Alcohol and Tobacco Use increase risk for Alzheimer’s and other diseases, so if you smoke, please try hypnosis, EFT, and anything else that you can do to stop smoking.
Women are a higher risk than men for Alzheimer’s. I know, ladies, it doesn’t seem fair. And scientists have not discovered why our brains are more at risk than our male relatives, but what is known is that we can and should make sure we take all the steps we can to reduce our risk.
Plenty of exercise, and good sleep patterns also help reduce our risk for Alzheimer’s.
Which precautions can you take right now to reduce your risk?
Docs at the Mayo Clinic believe an active lifestyle is one of the most effective ways to prevent the onset of Alzheimer's or dementia.
Cardiovascular exercise causes increased blood flow to the brain which leads to the creation of more brain cells and removal of the brain's waste products, including Amyloid and Tau.
Keeping mentally active is also important. I can attest to both the mentally active and physical exercise prevention method, as my own mom began showing signs of Alzheimer’s and slid downhill rather quickly once she stopped driving at age 80. That one small step meant that she could no longer teach her exercise classes for osteoporosis prevention, attend all the meetings, participate in town events, and activities, including calling numbers for bingo a couple of times a week. Her mind as well as her life deteriorated in a flash without her social connection and physical exercise.
Mayo Clinic docs recommend keeping yourself involved! Attend social gatherings, play tennis, ride bikes, start a walking club, and engage in mentally-challenging activities like learning to play an instrument, a new computer program, a second language, or, learning to meditate! Many studies have shown that people with a daily meditation practice have more blood flow to the brain, and even more grey matter as they age compared to non-meditators.
If you want to learn to meditate, I am currently offering my 5-week training program at the West Springfield Senior Center, and I will be starting one at the Claire Teague Center in Great Barrington next week. Check the newsletter calendar or my Facebook page for dates and times.
I teach five different methods of meditation, which increases the likelihood that you will find one that you enjoy, so take advantage of this training now!
And, below is a Ted Talk by Dr. Daniel Amen which I find eye opening not only for Alzheimer's prevention, but much, much more!
Best of Health,