Dementia is a condition in which the patient experiences severe decline in mental abilities.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, and patients deal with memory loss, mood/behavioral changes, cognitive issues, etc.
Experts agree that dementia is often caused by depression, medications, thyroid malfunction, chronic infections, head trauma, vascular problems, Parkinson’s disease, and vitamin deficiencies.
If not treated in time, brain cells “die,” and the symptoms become even worse. Most of the symptoms are treatable and reversible.
Although it’s usually related to genes, dementia can also be caused by serious psychological, environmental and lifestyle factors.
Risk factors of dementia
- Head injuries
- Poor physical activity
- Cardiovascular issues (hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes)
- Thyroid malfunction
- Vitamin deficiencies and malnutrition
Dementia can be prevented, and we give you 10 ways to do it:
- Vitamin B complex
These vitamins play an essential role in most cellular processes. Vitamin B6, B12, and folate regulate homocysteine, a type of molecule that affects the vascular system.
High homocysteine levels increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, and vascular problems. These lead to age-related cognitive decline. Increase your intake of vitamins B complex, and try to get about 500mg of vitamin B12.
- Regulate cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and weight
Take more care about your metabolic/cardiovascular health to reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and dementia. Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, as confirmed by recent studies.
- Fish oil
Low DHA levels affect memory and cognitive skills in elderly. Fish oil is rich in docosahexaenoic acid, which means it prevents dementia. Take about 1000mg every day.
- Anticholinergic medication
These drugs hinder the parasympathetic nerve impulses. The automatic nervous system consists of two parts. The parasympathetic nerve regulates the body function wile resting.
These nerves regulate the involuntary muscle movements in your lungs, urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract, and every other system in the body.
Sleeping pills, allergy drugs, heart medication and antidepressants have anticholinergic effect in the body.
There is a strong connection between anticholinergic use and dementia. Consult your doctor, and opt for a healthier alternative.
- Vitamin D
Scientists have confirmed the connection between vitamin D deficiency and cognitive decline. When given vitamin D supplements, lab animals were less prone to develop Alzheimer’s and dementia. Vitamin D prevents the onset of dementia.
Spend more time in the sun, and consider taking high-quality supplements.
- Protect the brain
Always use the right equipment when hiking or riding a bike. Make sure your head is well protected.
- Be more active
Give a healthy kick to your heart, and exercise more often. This will have a positive effect on your cardiovascular health. Walking, running, biking or gardening are some of the options you should try.
- Brain challenge
Your brain needs a healthy challenge. Spend some time doing crosswords, word puzzles or learn a new language.
According to researchers, bilingual adults are less likely to develop dementia unlike those who only speak one language. Train your brain, and protect your memory by doing crosswords every day.
- Social life
Spend more time with your friends. Loneliness is your worst enemy, so try to “nourish” your social life.
- Stay away from cigarettes and alcohol
Cigarettes and alcohol have a detrimental effect on overall health. A recent study has shown that smokers have a higher risk of developing dementia when compared to ex-smokers and non-smokers.
Alcohol can sometimes save your life, as studies have found that moderate consumption of red wine can give you a healthy antioxidant kick.