Give Your Brain a Boost
Struggling with memory issues, concentration and recall can be frustrating at any age. Somewhere between the fifth and sixth decade of life, it can become downright scary. It is not uncommon for patients to report being concerned that they are “losing their marbles,” with dementia high on the list of health priorities.
In the United States, there are currently 9.4 million cases of dementia, and that number is expected to rise to 15.8 million cases by 2030. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.
The brain, just like any other organ in the body, is sensitive to diet and lifestyle factors. Your brain will suffer the effects of poor nutrition and lack of exercise, which over time can manifest as dementia-like symptoms.
It can start off mildly with intermittent bouts of short-term memory lapses, trouble with word recall, brain fog, or difficulty concentrating. Symptoms will progress from there.
Signs of moderate dementia include: difficulty communicating thoughts, mood swings and irritability, confusion, disregard for personal hygiene, misplacing things, short-term memory loss, tripping and falling, and being withdrawn and inattentive.
If you notice that your brain is not as sharp as it once was, or if dementia runs in your family, it’s time to get proactive. Progressive dementia is extremely difficult to treat once it has transitioned past the mild stages. Treatment with conventional medications is limited in efficacy and there are side effects.
Here is a list of factors that increase dementia risk:
- Inflammation and free radical damage
- Heavy metal toxicity
- Hormonal changes
- Lack of oxygenation
- Lack of blood flow from sedentary lifestyle or arterial disease
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Pre-existing medical conditions, such as heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes
Three things to do today to give your brain a boost:
- Consume a Mediterranean diet high in vegetables and fruit. Darkly pigmented berries and fruits are associated with slower rates of cognitive decline. Darkly pigmented berries include all purple, red and dark red varieties, with wild frozen blueberries packing the greatest content of antioxidant-fighting compounds.
- Engage in consistent moderate exercise, as this has been shown to increase brain performance. Decide on something you enjoy and do it consistently.
- Optimize levels of vitamin D and B vitamins, including B6, B12 and folate. These have been shown to reduce brain inflammation and promote nerve cell regeneration.
Taking a natural approach to brain health works to address these underlying causes head on.
Naturopathic doctors treat the body as a whole, not a jumble of parts. With this approach, all of the important aspects of brain/body health are addressed so you will have the education and tools to take good care of your brain far into the future.
For more information, call Andrea Purcell, NMD, at 800-318-8582 or visit DrAndreaPurcell.com. Purcell specializes in women's health, hormonal balance, medical nutrition, body detoxification, Prolozone joint therapy, and weight loss. She assists her patients by identifying and treating the underlying cause of disease. By looking at the whole body, emotions and diet, she creates a personalized path to optimal health.