4 Lifestyle Changes To Reduce The Risk Of Dementia
In this article, we’ll discuss some lifestyle changes you can easily implement to reduce the risk of dementia.
Are you afraid, that you might not remember the memories you are creating and making now and have created before? Do you have a fear in your mind, that you may start forgetting some things once you start aging?
It seems very normal, right? Happens to everyone? The answer is “No”. If such incidents are occurring on an everyday basis then you may be suffering from dementia. This only happens when we ignore some very basic things we must do as youngsters. Generally, these include dietary habits and other consumption habits. In unfortunate cases, genetic disposition can also lead to such problems.
Lifestyle Changes To Reduce The Risk Of Dementia
According to studies, if we follow some simple lifestyle changes every day, we can avoid dementia once we turn old. Sounds interesting? Let’s have a look at them:
1. Consume A Nutritious Diet
This is the first and most important change we must inculcate in our lifestyle. Studies have shown, having a good number of vitamin-rich veggies and fruits will help reduce the risk of dementia in later life. Besides, several foods promote stronger neural connections. These neural connections help in memory retention and also in the betterment of your memory condition.
Some recommended eating habits are as follows:
- Eating protein-rich food at least twice a week. Increased protein intake will strengthen the existing neural links in the brain and delay the onset of dementia, if at all.
- Start having lesser salt and also limit sugar intake. Excess salt will lead to reduced blood flow to regions in the brain that are responsible for memory.
- Eating at least two portions of fruits and vegetables in a day. The antioxidants and specific minerals have a critical role to play in brain health. This in turn portrays positive efforts of the capacity to store and recall incidents and information of the past.
- Avoid eating starchy foods like bread, potatoes, pasta, and also avoid consumption of saturated foods and drinks. These food items increase the probability of dementia in the later stages of life.
These remedies will go a long way to reduce dementia and several other diseases like cancer and diabetes in old age.
2. Avoiding Alcohol And Cigarettes
Studies have shown that consuming alcohol and smoking cigarettes increases the chance of dementia. For regular chain-smokers and alcoholics, it might sound difficult to quit abruptly, thus these steps may help minimize consumption:
- Talk to a doctor or a Therapist
- Start drinking soft drinks against alcohol (in less quantity, since soft drinks contain a lot of sugar which can be detrimental). Basically, find a substitute.
- Use alternatives for smoking such as a pack of chewing gum that makes nicotine taste terrible.
Excessive alcohol will impair the cognitive ability of an individual. Chronic consumption over time will lead to weaker neural connections that send half signals to other parts of the brain. This makes it impossible to revive memories, perform basic functions, and even think within a straight chain of thoughts.
3. Be Physically And Mentally Active
Being active – both, physically and mentally – is one of the best changes you can make in your life to reduce the risk of dementia.
Good physical health comes with exercise. Thus, you need to include exercising in your daily lifestyle. Don’t do it with any purpose except making it a part of your lifestyle. It maintains effective blood circulation to all parts, including the brain. This proves valuable in having a clearer mind and better cognitive functioning. Some exercises which one can practice to keep healthy are:
- Brisk walking
- Aerobic dancing
- Basic stretching
Mental health also plays a vital role in reducing the risk of dementia. Learn to take up a positive mindset and filter out stress by a couple of minutes of meditation or deep-breathing each day.
Depression is a common mental health problem against youngsters. If not treated, the sadness-inducing hormones begin to secrete in excess and curb a range of mental activities altogether.
In the words of Aristotle, “Man is a social animal” and require humans for survival. Thus, it is advised to keep ourselves surrounded by people we like and who have a positive outlook on day-to-day life.
For those having a history of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and depression, consult with a therapist to avoid further brain development drawbacks.
Some ways to keep our minds healthy are as follows:
- Engage yourself in activities that interest you such as creating music, reading thought-provoking content, writing down your thoughts, etc.
- Talk to people who are good listeners and listen to them when they give advice.
- Spend time with your close friends and families.
4. Having Proper Rest In A Day
Just like machines, we are constantly operating through our minds and body. It is, therefore, extremely necessary to give your body enough rest each day. Overworking or insufficient rest can lead to the complete shutdown of brain regions that are responsible for memory. Such situations would inevitably lead to dementia.
Ways to have proper rest throughout the day are:
- Taking breaks every 15 to 20 minutes during work. Walk freely, listen to music, or practice some stretching to relax.
- Sleep for not less than 6 hours a day.
- Avoid being in contact with electronic gadgets all the time.
People with insomnia (difficulty in sleeping) have higher chances of having dementia. Maintain a sleeping schedule and avoid disobeying it. It would be much worse if you struggle with dementia and sleeping disorders. These situations could completely disrupt a human’s health condition and lifestyle.
Following the above-mentioned points will ensure you take care of your brain health. The process may be slow and may leave no evident signs to show how you are combating dementia. But one thing is for sure, if your destiny had dementia in store for you, it would be considerably delayed due to your precautious and healthy lifestyle.
WHO reports state that every year, 1 in 4 people are affected with dementia. More than 80% of them are elders with hardly any family support. This has been termed as a factor that occurs in the latter stages but it is surely not a permanent disease and can be avoided, as we know already know.
If you or a relative are diagnosed with mild dementia then the following medicines will curb the symptoms:
- Rivastigmine (Exelon)
- Donepezil (Aricept) – for all stages of Alzheimer’s
- Memantine (Namenda)
- Cholinesterase inhibitors
- Galantamine (Razadyne)
In severe cases, it may be too hard to calm a dementia patient down. Incidents of aggression, delusion, hostility, hallucinations, and agitation would prove hard to control. For such cases consider consuming the following medicines:
- Quetiapine (Seroquel)
- Clozapine (Clozaril)
- Haloperidol (Haldol)
- Ziprasidone (Geodon)
However, you may want to take expert opinion before consuming these medicines.
July 9, 2020 Sam Bell