Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer's | Big Horn Basin Media

How to Lower Your Risk of Alzheimers

Written by on March 27, 2017

More than 5 million Americans across the nation are living with Alzheimers.

This type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior is the 6th leading cause of death in the US and kills more people than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined. Is there anything we can do to protect ourselves from developing this devastating degenerative disease? I’m Wendy Corr, with your daily wellness tip!

I lost my grandmother this weekend.

Honestly, she was lost to us in most ways several years ago, when dementia began taking over her life. And our family is by no means unusual – more than 5 million Americans across the nation are living with Alzheimers’. In 2016, unpaid caregivers such as family members or volunteers provided an estimated 18.2 billion hours of care. In 2017, the Alzheimer’s association estimates that this disease and other dementias will cost the nation over $259 billion dollars.

But YOU can take steps to help lower your risk of this terrible disease taking you away from your loved ones!

Although age and genetics do play a role in the risk of developing Alzheimers, there are certain health and lifestyle factors that can be controlled.

The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation lists four pillars that can help reduce your risk of developing dementia as you age:

First, diet and supplements. Just like the rest of your body, your brain needs proper nutrition, blood flow, energy, and care. Eating too many of the wrong carbohydrates too often is what causes blood sugar and insulin levels to rise, placing us at high risk for insulin resistance and Alzheimer’s Disease.

The MIND diet has been proven to reduce Alzheimer’s risk by up to 53%. The diet includes at least 3 servings of whole grains a day; 6 servings of leafy greens a week plus one other veggie serving a day; 2 servings of berries a week; 1 serving of fish a week; 2 servings of poultry a week; 3 servings of legumes a week and 5 servings of nuts a week, along with a small glass of red wine a day. ​Limit eating fast or fried foods and cheese to less than once a week, and limit red meat consumption to less than 4 times a week. Eat desserts, pastries or sweets less than 5 times a week, and use less than a tablespoon of butter or margarine a day.

The second pillar of Alzheimer’s prevention is stress management. Meditation, time management, aromatherapy and other activities can help your brain work at its best.

Third, exercise. It’s simple: if you want to maintain a healthy body and mind, you must exercise.

And fourth, Spiritual Fitness. Increased consciousness and cognition is the final frontier of Alzheimer’s prevention. Developing your Spiritual well-being may very well help reduce your risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment and even Alzheimer’s.

Another preventative measure to be mindful of is prescription drugs. These days, there’s a pill for just about every problem – and they often come with a lengthy list of potential side effects. Be aware that many common prescription and over the counter drugs, such as Benadryl, Demerol, Dimetapp, Dramamine, Unisom and others have been linked to cognitive impairment and an increased risk of dementia. Of course, never start or stop taking a medication without first consulting your doctor.

Alzheimers and dementia have devastating effects on individuals and families – but doing your part to lower your risk means peace of mind for everyone.

Thanks for tuning in to Wellness with Wendy! I’m a certified holistic nutritionist, a mom, an entertainer and a radio personality – so finding balance is the key to my life. I love sharing tips and tricks to help you live your best life – so for more health and wellness news and advice, follow my blog on mybighornbasin.com. See you again next time for Wellness with Wendy!



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