Did you know that November is National (US, I presume) Alzheimer’s Awareness Month? Actually every month is about a dozen things, but I’ve been ruminating on dementia recently, so it’s time to share some more thoughts.
I hope you’ve read my article Feed Your Brain, which summarizes a complete approach to brain rehab, designed, tested and reported by Dr. Dale Bredesen of UCLA. 30-plus interventions you can implement that will work in some systematic way to reverse cognitive decline, in most people, if not too far advanced in their disease. (A little pearl from that, is the super form of Magnesium called Magnesium-Threonate. Quoting Dr. David Perlmutter from his article here , “magnesium threonate has the unique ability to permeat the brain and enhance the receptors that are involved” in learning and memory. Part of Dr. Bredesen’s program, and available in my office store, not online, as NeuroMag.)
If I had to pick one key to sustaing healthy brains, here it is: I’d identify and reverse any insulin resistance. If you have great insulin sensitivity (low blood sugar, low hemoglobin A1C, normal body comp), you probably do not have serious worries about dementia. If you do, the article above gives you a host of other things to implement. They work, not only in the research, but from patient reports.
Insulin resistance is likely if you have even one of the following:
- High fasting blood sugar (over 100)
- Hemoglobin A1C 5.7 or higher
- Fasting insulin 10 or higher
- Triglycerides over 150
- Accumulation of extra weight around your mid-section (if your waist measurement is half your height, or greater)
If you have any abnormals in this list, you have a serious task ahead of yourself as well as some real benefit to be derived from attending to it.
There are resources all over this site that you can choose from. The important steps are to identify the problem, resolve to fix it, and then check to see that the fix has worked.
To normalize insulin sensitivity, you may need to:
- Eat a lower carbohydrate diet (see Low Carb Weight Loss). If you do NOT need to lose weight, you can still modify carbs, emphasize protein and fat, eliminate the inflammatory carbs.
- Normalize your vitamin D levels and take some magnesium as explained in Solutions for type 2 Diabetes.
- Incorporate some high intensity intervals into your exercise plan, also in the diabetes article.
- Take sleep seriously: 7-8 hours every night!
Once accomplished, you will have reduced your risk of Alzheimer’s, yes, but also reduced your risk of heart disease, other cancers, arthritis, and auto-immune disease. Wow.
And keep Alzheimer’s in the “awareness” category, not the “diagnosis” category.