7 Steps To Reduce Your Risk Of Losing Your Mind As You Age
Frightening new research suggests that Alzheimer’s disease actually starts in your brain decades before you have any symptoms. And Alzheimer’s disease is expected to triple in the next thirty years with no cure on the horizon. Furthermore, it is estimated that 50% of people eighty-five years old and older will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.
So is this future inevitable for you?
No! Based on our experience with thousands of patients, here are 7 specific steps you can take to minimize your risk, reverse pending illness, and keep your brain healthy for decades to come.
1. Develop Brain Envy
Falling in love with your brain is the first step to reclaiming, sustaining, and strengthening your
brain. Since most people never look at their brains, most have no idea if and when they are headed for trouble. To get truly well, it starts by developing a deep sense of love and care for your brain—what I call brain envy.
2. Get Baseline Brain Health Assessments
It is critical to assess your brain and important numbers. You cannot change what you do not measure. Periodic brain imaging can help, especially if there are signs of trouble or risk factors.
We routinely screen other organs for trouble, but very few people ever screen their brains. New research shows that lower memory and thinking scores up to 18 years earlier can indicate possible Alzheimer’s disease later on. Knowing the health of your brain is critical to keeping it strong over the long run.
3. Optimize Your Important Health Numbers
It is also critical to know your important health numbers (BMI, waist-to-height ratio, sleep hours) and baseline screening labs (fasting blood glucose, C-reactive protein, vitamin D, ferritin). Work with your health-care professionals to optimize those numbers, not just have them in the normal range. Who wants to be normal? Remember – 50% of people age 85 and older will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. That’s normal and I want no part of it.
4. Help Your Brain In Multiple Ways
Your brain gets sick or ages in multiple ways which is exactly how to get it better—by using multiple interventions that target things like gut health, inflammation, blood flow, blood sugar levels, and more. Single mechanism interventions, such as only taking vitamin E or ginkgo by themselves have not consistently worked in large scale studies. However, when we use smart combinations, in a multiple mechanism approach, they are much more effective.
5. It Must Be Repeated…Over, And Over, And Over
When people come to see me they usually are not doing very well. Over time, if they work the plan we develop, they get better. But no one gets better in a straight line. They get better, then there is a setback, then they get better still, then there may be a setback, then they continue to improve. Over time, they reach a new steady state where they are consistently better. The setbacks are critically important because if we pay attention to them, they can be the best teachers. And this plan has to be iterative; you can never stop … because aging never stops.
6. To Decrease Your Risk For Alzheimer’s, Decrease The Associated Risk Factors
The best way to decrease your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is to eliminate all of the risk factors that are associated with them—and the good news is that most of them are either preventable or treatable! Some of the most common risk factors include obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, smoking, using drugs or alcohol, sleep apnea, insomnia, and low estrogen, testosterone, or thyroid.
7. Get Your Food Right
The Standard American Diet filled with sugar, processed, pesticide-laden foods, high omega-6 fatty acids, excessive calories, and trans fats increases your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. People who have a healthy-fat-based diet (fish, avocados, nuts) have 42% less risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. People who have a healthy-protein-based diet have 21% less risk. But people who have a simple-carbohydrate-based diet (bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, fruit juice and sugar) have a 400% increased risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
Although getting older is unavoidable, aging is optional. To see how our experienced staff will help you learn more about your brain and support you in preventing Alzheimer’s and dementia, call us today at 888-288-9834 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.