Dementia is a general term for loss of memory and other mental abilities severe enough to interfere with a person's daily life. Dementia can appear in many forms, including Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and vascular dementia. The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, which accounts for an estimated 60-80% of cases.
If the cause is not treatable, the dementia can be progressive. Symptoms such as depression, apathy, and trouble remembering recent conversations, names, and events, can get worse over time. Some risk factors for dementia can be prevented, while others cannot.
Dementia summarizes various forms of ailments in which intellectual capacity is greatly diminished. Among the main dementia diseases is Alzheimer's disease or Levy's body dementia.
Risk factors for dementia
· Poor diet and vitamin deficiencies
· Use of medications that contribute to dementia
· Altered thyroid function
· Cardiovascular risks including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes
· Low physical activity
· Use of alcohol
· Head injuries
9 Ways to Help Reduce Your Risk of Dementia
In order for the brain to function well and to prevent its cognitive and functional decline, vitamins and minerals play an important role.
Therefore, a folic acid deficiency increases the risk of depression and can also affect memory. The folic acid found primarily in green vegetables like spinach or broccoli, but also in orange juice or yeast.
Also, the lack of vitamins or iron weakens brain function. Cellular protection can also be provided by polyphenols (phytochemicals) present in olive oil, blueberries, and red grape juice.
Before moving on to the full list of ways to prevent dementia, it is worth mentioning that bad habits should be avoided such as: smoking, excessive alcohol drinking, obesity, chronic stress and high blood pressure.
1. Challenge your brain
Challenging your brain regularly has some amazing benefits. Studies have shown that being bilingual delays the onset of dementia symptoms by almost five years, compared to older adults who speak only one language. Another study found that doing crosswords daily can delay the onset of memory decline by 2.5 years.
2. Stay physically active
Having good blood circulation and a heart pumping regularly is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your vascular system. Exercise is the best preventive medicine for many chronic health problems. About 30 minutes a day of moderate activity is enough to see the benefits for physical and mental health.
3. Control alcohol consumption
Studies have shown that people who drink alcohol excessively have the highest risk of developing dementia, compared to those who do not drink alcohol or consume moderate amounts of alcohol. Controlling your alcohol intake can help prevent numerous health problems, including dementia.
4. Take vitamin D
Studies have shown a correlation between low vitamin D levels and cognitive decline, leading to dementia symptoms. Supplementing with vitamin D can help protect the body against the processes that lead to dementia and Alzheimer's disease. The best way to get vitamin D is through the sun, but taking a supplement might also help if you're not able to get out as much as you'd like. It could also be useful during the winter months.
5. Protect yourself against head injuries
Wear a helmet when riding a bike. It is a simple but very important way to protect your brain from damage. If you're doing anything else that can be dangerous, like participating in water sports or hitting the ski slopes, consider a helmet as well.
6. Be social
Regularly interacting with others can help protect against the negative effects of isolation. Even if it's just a few friends or family members, talking to others on a regular basis can protect against several different health conditions. Even better than that, take a walk-in nature to exercise with a friend.
7. Take vitamin B
The B complex vitamins can be helpful in reducing the levels of a molecule called homocysteine or HC. This molecule is known to damage the vascular system. Having a good level can contribute to the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other vascular problems. Taking a B-complex vitamin can help protect the body against age-related cognitive decline.
8. Stop smoking
Smoking can harm almost every part of your body, including your brain. Studies have shown that smokers who do it daily are at 45% higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, compared to non-smokers and even former smokers. Even if you've smoked your whole life, quitting can make a difference.
9. Check your levels
Keep track of your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and body weight. Knowing your levels can help you find a problem early on. Cardiovascular and metabolic health are some of the most important predictors of dementia. Keep your body healthy to keep your mind healthy.
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