This is a continuation from the previous weeks post.
As you may recall, I am not a medical professional. We are social media friends and I am sharing a post on ways to decrease your chances of developing dementia.
1.) Eat Healthier Foods
Drop processed foods from the menu. Eat foods which help build a stronger healthier cerebrum. Foods containing antioxidants and help with inflammation like leafy vegetables. Doctors and scientist believe certain foods cause our brains to shrink and boost our risk of dementia.
Start your day with a nutritional breakfast and not one consumed with sugar. Stop setting yourself up for afternoon failure by choosing unhealthy choices. Also, limit salt and sodium intake which increase your risk for other long-term concerns besides dementia such as heart disease or stroke.
2.) Manage Blood Sugar & Health
You can lower your risk of getting diabetes by eating more fruits and vegetables and less processed foods. Eat fewer foods filled with empty calories (sugar) and exercise daily.
I have heard people state we as humans need sugar to live. WRONG. The human body needs glucose and insulin to live and a healthy human body can produce both. Glucose is our main source of energy and its carried through our bloodstream. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas which allows glucose to move from our blood stream into cells, muscles and fats. Our livers produce the correct amount of glucose and releases it as needed for us to function and maintain our blood sugar levels. When we eat and ingest more than the required daily dose, our bodies stop producing. Trying to limit how much is in our body.
3.) Avoid Chronic Inflammation
Inflammation is a defense mechanism our body activates when bacteria is inside the body, an infection or anything causing the body harm. If the inflammation defense system is disabled, damaged cells and tissue cannot heal from infections or wounds. When the body forgets to deactivate the defense system, and it's stuck in active mode all the time, it becomes an issue. It becomes chronic inflammation and will last for years if untreated.
What happens if the defense system stays active? Depending on the area affected chronic inflammation can become very painful, cause swelling and immobility. Doctors believe chronic inflammation can cause rheumatoid arthritis, certain variations of cancer, and damage brain cells by interrupting the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain.
4.) Eliminate Chronic Stress
There are two types of stress, acute and chronic. From my understanding, acute stress is normal. You drop your new phone and crack the screen, or you oversleep and late for work which makes your blood start pumping. You are feeling the pressure. The pressure you are feeling means your stress hormones are working. How you respond to any situation determines if your acute stress transforms into chronic stress.
If your stress level never decreases and stays activated on the time, then your stress hormones will never deactivate. Your acute stress becomes chronic stress. This means your stress hormones are getting overworked. Eventually you’ll develop an anxiety disorder, depression, high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease. All linked to dementia.
5.) Eliminate Depression & Anxiety
We hear those words often, but what is depression? For the few I spoke with, depression is an illness which fills them with feelings of melancholy so strong they can't move forward. Nor be bothered with their children, spouse or anyone. Solitude is their preference, so they can sleep and continue their depression. Let their thoughts of sadness, failure, worthlessness and death torture them right out of their minds.... because that's what's happening.
According to a psychologist, depression is more than overwhelming sadness. It's a sickness which causes the millions of people living with the disorder excessive suffering. Feelings must be present daily for a few weeks before it's considered depression. In our crazy society, a few weeks can have a year worth of drama. Two weeks filled with problem after problem can become fatal to a person living with depression or even anxiety. How about when we notice the behavior after a few days we get involved?
Don't let family members, friends, neighbors or coworkers suffer. Get them help or put them in contact with someone who can assist them. Check on them frequently. Depression is a serious issue and people are suffering unnecessarily.
6.) Stop Smoking
Smoking is addictive and the sooner you start the more damage you cause. When a person smokes their defense system (inflammation) tries to protect tissue in the lungs. If the defense system doesn't turn off, then the smoker risk severe damage to their lungs. Smoking is linked to heart disease. As we are learning, anything that interferes with our breathing or forces the heart into overdrive mode increases someone's chances of dementia.
What makes you happy or brings you peace of mind?
This is where I normally get the deer in headlight’s look or the huh expression.
Your response to the above question should be automatic, not your life, every single day.
When you're asked what makes you happy, be ready with an honest answer. There is no right answer because it depends upon the individual. However, your happiness shouldn't revolve around other actualities, such as your significant other, children, pets and achievements.
I know some of you are thinking my children and spouse make me happy. And that’s a great feeling but it can’t be your only source for happiness. Your happiness is then contingent upon someone else. It should come from within you, then nobody can prevent or damper your joy.
What makes me happy? The feeling of accomplishment I get when I walk or exercise. Followed by an unexplainable peace. I find a similar peace when I listen to music or witness one of nature’s moments. Such as flowers blooming in the spring, the change of colors in the fall, a sunset, an eclipse, or any awe-inspiring mother nature wonder. If I am overcome with the urge to pull out my phone and capture the moment in a photo, then yes, I'm inspired. I also find joy and fulfillment when I read books, learn something fascinating and create thoughtful gifts for someone, for no occasion.
Start small, with the simple things. Whatever sparks something within you. When you discover your happiness or feelings of peace store it in your long-term memory for retrieval later.
We all could use more reasons throughout our days and life to smile and have inner peace. Once you can conjure the spark which ignites your happiness with a single thought, you have the power to change your day. Habitual positive daily changes, in turn, lead to positive lifestyle changes.
One memory can be the source for a positive day. Every time something threatens to ruin your day, retrieve your happy memory or memories. Who says you can only have one? The happier the memories you have in storage the more positive energy you have on standby.
Build your reserve for happiness, today. Write two or three happy provoking things fitting the criteria I stated in the above post. Afterward, remember them; even if you must write them on a post-it note, store them on your phone, or get them printed on a t-shirt. Do whatever is necessary to embed them into your long-term memories.
You and I are going on an adventure which will transform you from the “go with the flow” type to a fulfilled, trailblazer making their own path. During your transformation you will require happiness and inner peace, both are mandatory for your success.
You can do this. I know you can. I believe in you. Now believe in yourself and go find your happiness.
~Til Next Time!
Did you know dementia damages the cerebrum years before someone's diagnosed?
So, wouldn’t it make sense to prepare now and not after the cognitive decline?
When a tornado or hurricane is headed to your home, you don't wait until the disaster is on your doorstep before getting to safety. You take preventive measures before it's too late.
This same logic should apply to your brain and overall health. By the time we reach our fifties or sixties, our health is declining, and we most likely live with ailments and diseases which contribute to our declining health and fuel this deadly disease.
By now you're wondering, who is at risk for developing dementia?
Any person carrying the gene responsible for creating the protein called apolipoprotein E (ApoE) which can increase a person's risk of getting Alzheimer Disease.
Anyone living with diabetes because research has shown insulin deprivation may cause dementia.
Anyone not achieving 7-8 hours of sleep.
Anyone suffering from a head or brain injury, caused by a car accident or sports-related injury.
Anyone suffering from Chronic Inflammation.
Anyone suffering from Chronic Stress.
Anyone suffering from depression and anxiety.
Anyone who has a heart condition or heart disease.
Anyone who has suffered a stroke which interrupts blood flow to the brain.
Anyone who is an alcoholic or suffering from alcohol dependency. Also binge drinkers.
Anyone who is physically, mentally and socially inactive.
Anyone who smokes.
Now I have your attention, do you see the theme for who's at risk for developing dementia? Anyone.
Doctors and researchers have identified several causes and people living with diabetes, binge drinkers, smokers who deny their brains much needed blood and oxygen, people making unhealthy food choices and consistently eating processed fast food or at risk for developing dementia.
We can't exclude regular drug users. Yes, this includes drugs prescribed by the doctor, over the counter (OTC) or ONLY taking for recreational use. The things I have mentioned are linked to dementia and people making poor lifestyle choices are the most at risk.
Don’t just take my word for it, do your own research. I am not writing this, so you believe everything I say. I want you to experience doubt because doubt is good. Doubt convinces you to find out the truth and conduct your own research. Don't trust one source, research several credible sources.
Remember, the human brain is priceless and worth saving.
As human beings, we display ignorance when it pertains to the human brain and our bodies. If we're educated on this amazing masterpiece, we'll understand our capabilities and stop destroying ourselves. We sometimes care more for materialistic possessions instead of the one thing we cannot live without, our brains.
Name one thing you cannot be without. Without this object, person, whatever, you're devastated, and the world is momentarily frozen while you mourn the loss. Imagine you are the reason this whatever is no longer in existence. You have poisoned, harmed and damaged it beyond recognition and over time it's reduced to useless matter and it's your fault.
Back to reality, this occurs every day to our brains. For most of us, it's not too late to change our habits. The sooner we change our lifestyle, the sooner we stop the progression of dementia. If we continue to believe the antiquated information, we join the masses fighting for space in the overcrowded nursing facilities. My purpose is to point out the most common misconceptions we have regarding the human brain and our body.
Your brain is worth saving, so put forth the effort to change your lifestyle. Live a little longer and die as yourself. Not as the outer shell of a person you once were before dementia stole your life.
What’s so terrible about living on autopilot you may be thinking. Nothing, if you enjoy doing the same routine every day for the rest of your life.
Six years ago, I was living on autopilot and experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions. Majority of the time I was angry and depressed. Through my journey of anger and other emotional woes, I found joy in food. It didn’t matter if it was fried fatty foods, chocolate treats covered in ice cream, bowls of sweet juicy fruit or large salads served in what resembled small punch bowls (no dressing that’s where the calories hide I convinced myself). Before long, I only found happiness in food, and food became my addiction.
Since food became my new bestie, I gained more than 65lbs during my pregnancy. After the birth of my son, the weight stayed, and I didn’t like my new appearance. I avoided mirrors whenever I could.
In retrospect, I should have cried then, but I didn’t. Months later is when you find me a mess in my bathroom crying over my appearance, my health, and depression. I needed to cry it gave me the strength to open my eyes and mind to my new reality. I had to make necessary changes to my weight, health and overall life, so I did.
I stopped living on autopilot.
Another issue I endured while living on autopilot was memory loss. I couldn’t remember different moments of my life. I was so used to doing the same things every day, I couldn’t recall completing those tasks. Soon large chunks of my day were missing from my memory and I didn’t understand how I could forget so much. Especially when I was normally so detailed and focused.
Each of us has limited time on Earth and we don’t know when that moment expires. I don’t want to die with a bunch of regrets and wondering “what if”.
When my time is up, I want to know I followed my dreams and lived. Yes, there will be failure. Lots of it for some of us but so what. We began our life as failures. As a baby, we learn everything. We aren't born knowing how to talk, walk or take care of ourselves. We learn to accomplish those tasks through trial and error. Imagine how the world would be if most of our babies gave up every time they couldn’t accomplish something.
The same resilience and perseverance we develop as babies has to stay with us through adulthood. If not, our failures have a way of deflating our confidence and self-worth. That’s when we become dependent upon the safe choices and the safe life. The life with little chance of failure but there is also little gained from this life.
Success is not determined by your level of intelligence or how accomplished you are because everyone has failed at some point in their life. Yes, even billionaires can be failures. Anybody that say’s different is lying or too preoccupied to know they are failures.
Remember everyone makes mistakes and has moments that go wrong, maybe disastrous but convince yourself it will be better next time. Yes, there will be a next time. Prepare yourself for the moment and you will achieve success.
Everyone has a talent and a purpose, just discover what yours is. If you don’t know where to start, then start with your dreams. What are your dreams? Can those dreams be turned into goals? If so, how do you plan to accomplish your goals? Start now, today, don’t wait.
Your life has been placed on hold long enough, now go accomplish your dreams.
~Til next time!