Saturday, January 15, 2011

9 Steps to Reverse Dementia and Memory Loss as You Age

"The body is one integrated system, not a collection of organs divided up by medical specialties. The medicine of the future connects everything."
- Dr Mark Hyman

Dementia was the topic for a PBS TV panel at the recent AARP convention in Boston. Dr Mark Hyman was a speaker. There were experts on the panel, including a Harvard neurologist and a woman with mild cognitive impairment, and all agreed that memory loss is NOT a normal function of the aging process. Sadly, they didn't have much to offer in the way of prevention. Their only solution, according to Dr Hyman, was a "very bad a pretty ineffective selection of drugs with lots of side effects".

Dementia is on the rise. It's a big problem, and is growing every day. Ten percent (10%) of 65 year olds, 25% of 75 year olds and 50% of 85 year olds will get Alzheimer's disease -- at a cost of $60 billion a year to society -- with the number of cases expected to triple in the next few decades.

Dementia is now the 7th leading cause of death.

Is it preventable? I believe so. And so does Dr Hyman. He believes we can slow the trend and even reverse it.

Brain aging responds to all the same insults as the rest of the body -- stress, diet, toxins, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, nutritional deficiencies, etc.

9 Steps to Reversing Dementia

Start by looking hard for correctable causes of memory loss. They include:

Pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome
Low thyroid function
Deficiencies in B vitamins, especially vitamin B12
Omega-3 fat deficiencies
Mercury or other heavy metal toxicity
Vitamin D deficiency
High cholesterol
• Unique genes that predispose you to
nutritional or detoxification problems

Doctors who practice Functional Medicine and follow Dr Hyman's principles discussed in UltraWellness can help you find these problems.

Once you identify the underlying causes of the imbalance, here are a few things that can help your mind get a tune-up:

1. Balance your blood sugar with a whole foods, low glycemic diet
2. Exercise daily — even a 30-minute walk can help
3. Deeply relax daily with yoga, meditation, biofeedback, or just deep breathing
4. Take a multivitamin and mineral supplement
5. Take an omega-3 fat supplement
6. Take extra vitamin B6, B12, and folate
7. Take vitamin D
8. Treat thyroid or low sex hormones
9. Get rid of mercury through a medical detoxification program

Dr Hyman says this is a start, but can go a long way to giving your brain a chance to heal and recover if you are already experiencing memory problems. If you're not suffering from cognitive decline, you should take these steps because they can help you prevent the aging of your brain and obtain lifelong health.


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