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Here's How Your Lifestyle Affects Your Risk of Dementia

According to the World Health Organization, dementia affects about 50 million men and women across the globe. Over the next 30 years, that number is expected to triple.  

At The Well for Health in Davidson, North Carolina, we’re here to help. Our team of health specialists has experience helping improve the lives of men and women with dementia. We offer a holistic approach to treating dementia to help prevent or delay its progress.

The highest risk factor for dementia is getting older, but the disease is not an unavoidable consequence of aging. Recent studies uncovered the important role lifestyle plays in the development of dementia. Read on to learn how your lifestyle can affect your risk of developing dementia.  

What is dementia?

Dementia describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory and other thinking skills severe enough to interfere with your daily life. This chronic, progressive condition causes deterioration in cognitive functioning beyond what is expected with normal aging.

Symptoms of dementia vary depending on the stage and the person’s predementia personality. Early-stage dementia is characterized by an increase in forgetfulness, becoming lost in familiar locations, and not remembering chunks of time. As the disease progresses, other symptoms include:

Lifestyle factors that can affect your risk of developing dementia

Although the rate of dementia is rising, research suggests one-third of dementia cases worldwide might be prevented by better managing certain lifestyle factors. These factors include:

Education level and continued learning

Staying in school through at least age 15 may reduce the risk of dementia, and studies show a positive effect in ongoing learning. Seek book clubs, community classes, and lectures at museums and other cultural locations to keep yourself learning.

Healthy blood pressure

What’s good for your heart is good for your brain. Maintaining healthy blood pressure can reduce your risk of developing dementia. So if you have high blood pressure, take steps to get it under control.

Maintaining a healthy weight

Obesity can increase the chances you’ll develop dementia. Figuring out how to manage your weight can be tough. The team at The Well for Health can help you reach a healthy body weight.

Midlife hearing loss

Taking steps to avoid midlife hearing loss helps reduce your risk of developing dementia. Do you already have trouble hearing? Men and women who get treatment for hearing loss can experience the same benefits.

Not smoking

Smoking is linked to brain damage and cognitive decline. To reduce your risk of dementia, stay away from smoking. Already a smoker? Taking steps to quit can lower your risk of dementia and other smoking-related diseases.

Getting physical

Long-term studies demonstrate a positive association between higher levels of physical activity and reduced dementia and cognitive decline. The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of aerobic activity every week. If you have physical limitations, the team at The Well for Health will create a plan customized for you.

Eating a healthy diet

A diet of whole foods, such as legumes, fresh vegetables, and fruit, is rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, and it can contribute to improved cognitive performance. In addition, it can mitigate your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Getting Type 2 diabetes can increase your risk of developing dementia.

Treating depression

Men and women with depression have a greater risk of developing dementia, and those who leave it untreated risk exacerbating the confusion and forgetfulness dementia can bring. If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, seek treatment.   

Staying connected

Becoming socially isolated is linked to faster cognitive decline, especially in men and women over age 65. Staying involved with family, trying new social activities, and making friends can help reduce your risk of developing dementia.  

The Bredesen Protocol

The Bredesen Protocol is a natural approach to treating all aspects of dementia. Developed by Dale Bredesen, MD, one of the world’s foremost experts on neurodegenerative diseases, the Bredesen Protocol addresses metabolic factors that trigger neurodegeneration.

Designed as a guide for health care practitioners caring for patients with dementia, the Bredesen Protocol is a comprehensive treatment system that improves cognition and supports the reversal of dementia.

Using the Bredesen Protocol, The Well for Health has helped improve the lives of men and women living with dementia. With a team of trained professionals, including medical practitioners, nutritionists, and a Bredesen-trained health coach, The Well for Health treats the conditions that contribute to neurodegeneration.

To learn more about reducing your risk of developing dementia or alleviating its symptoms with the Bredesen Protocol, book an appointment online or over the phone with The Well for Health today.

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