Memory loss that starts to impact daily life and activities, could be a sign of something more than normal aging. The early loss you are experiencing could be a sign of early Alzheimer’s disease, another condition, or just a normal part of the aging process. According to research, not all memory loss is associated with Alzheimer’s disease, but one has to worry if these flashes of forgetfulness are the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease. The single biggest risk factor is age. Keep on reading to find out more.
Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
The worry of Alzheimer’s disease is understandable. About one in ten Americans over age sixty-five and almost half of those over eighty-five suffer from this disease, and sixty-five percent are women. You are more likely to get the disease if you have a relative with the disease. Doctor’s are not sure what causes Alzheimer’s disease. Since no cure has been found as yet, some researchers have focused their attention on nutrition. Even though the body produces protective substances called antioxidants that help control free radicals, they are not enough of them, but you can get more antioxidants into your body by simply eating foods such as fruits and vegetables, that contain antioxidants.
According to research, men and women who drink fruit and vegetable juices at least three times a week had a seventy-six percent lower chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease than people who drank juice less than once a week. It further states that fruit and vegetable juices may play an important role in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
As we get older, many of us notice that our memory gets worse. This could be a natural part of aging, however, memory loss that prevents us from our daily activities could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging but age is the strongest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.
What is Alzheimer’s disease and what is Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are not the same. Dementia is a term that describes the progressive loss of brain functions. It is not a single disease but a group of illnesses that involve memory, behavior, learning, and communication. It affects your ability to think clearly.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disease that gradually destroys nerve cells (neurons) in most areas of the brain and causes thinking and memory to become seriously impaired. It is the most common form of dementia. There is no treatment for the disease, only medication that may temporarily slow the symptoms of the disease.
The difference between Alzheimer’s disease and normal age-related changes
Signs of Alzheimer’s disease include poor judgment and decision making, inability to manage a budget, losing track of the date or the season, difficulty having a conversation, misplacing things and being unable to retrace steps to find them.
The typical age-related changes are making a bad decision once in a while, missing a monthly bill payment, forgetting which day of the week it is and will remember it later, sometimes forgets which words to use, losing things from time to time. According to research, changes in the brain start long before the typical Alzheimer’s disease symptoms of memory loss, changes in behavior and problems with coordination appear.
Common warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease
These are some of the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease: Memory loss that disrupts daily challenges in planning or solving things, difficulty completing familiar daily tasks, confusion with time and place, difficulty finding words when speaking or writing, misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps, having decreased or poor judgment, withdrawn from work or social activities, a change in mood and personality, may exhibit unusual behavior such as wandering away from home, or become suspicious. If you or anyone you know are experiencing frequent memory loss, confusion, and having problems with normal day to day activities, speak to your doctor about the problems you have.
Some of the changes you may see with the disease.
As the disease progresses, a person’s ability to think, communicate, understand, and remember will be affected. The person would have problems to make decisions, perform simple tasks and follow conversations. A person may become withdrawn and lose interest in their favorite hobbies, may have reactions like repeating the same action or words, hiding possessions, and may have outbursts and restlessness. The disease can affect a person’s coordination and mobility to perform daily activities such as eating, bathing, and dressing self.
Things you can do to help your brain
Get and keep physically active. Staying active helps to reduce stress, boost your mood and keep relationships going. This is one of the ways to avoid diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease, which are all risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol. Keep your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and weight within the range recommended. Stay in touch with family and friends and interacts regularly with them and others as well. Read the paper, do crossword puzzles, or learn a new hobby. Make healthy food choices and eat a well-balanced diet rich in fiber, fish, legumes, and vegetables. Reduce stress to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Get enough sleep, and try to have seven to eight hours every night. Reports state that improved sleep can help to prevent the disease.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle can help prevent the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It has been estimated that up to half the cases of Alzheimer’s disease worldwide may be the result of risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity. It is good to make as many healthy lifestyle choices as you can to help ward off the disease. Our ability to maintain a life-long brain health is influenced by the choices we make in our daily lives. Research has shown that next to aging, the factor in determining one’s susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease are lifestyles and environmental factors.
It is never too late to make lifestyle changes to improve your brain’s health. Avoid harmful habits such as smoking, recreational drug use and limit alcohol consumption. Be socially active, make healthy food choices and eat well, stay physically active, and reduce stress. See your doctor regularly to address health concerns such as diet and physical activity. Get adequate sleep. Not getting enough sleep can impair your memory, mood and how you function. Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease should help you to know the symptoms and to get the help you need.
Delores Powell: With a passion for Health and Wellness, Success, and to help others succeed as well. Believe in yourself and you will achieve.