This week its Dementia Action Week, so we wanted to take it upon ourselves to raise awareness and talk about what Dementia is. Dementia is an umbrella term that Alzheimer’s disease can fall under; and encompasses a set of symptoms that may include memory loss, difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language difficulties.
Changes are often small to start with, however may be severe enough to affect daily life. Early signs can include not recognising everyday objects or their use (e.g. looking at a washing machine but not understanding what it is for), disorientation to place (being unable to find your way out of a shop or public place) and confused thinking. A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour.
Diet has always played a pivotal role in our general health and wellbeing, and therefore it was intriguing to read about an 82-year-old lady who was diagnosed and hospitalised with Alzheimers, who claims to have got her memory back after changing her diet to one which consisted of high amounts of blueberries and walnuts; broccoli, kale, spinach, green tea, oats, sweet potatoes and even dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacoa. According to an article written in the Collective Evolution this combination of foods have been known to be beneficial for brain health. Whilst her memory did not return overnight, slowly memories started to come back, and she began to seem like her old self again.
The Alzheimers Society claims, ‘The best way to reduce your risk of dementia is to adapt various aspects of your lifestyle, including eating certain foods, taking regular exercise, not smoking, and maintaining normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.’
It is therefore imperative that we support our bodies to be the healthiest they can be, potentially reducing the likeliness of developing dementia and other diseases now and in the future. A number of Studies (by the Alzheimers Society and National Health Service) discuss a therapeutic approach including dietary optimisation, low GL, low inflammatory, low grain foods, fasting for 12 hours (intermittent fasting), stress reduction techniques such as yoga or meditation, optimising sleep by increasing melatonin levels, exercising 4 to 6 times a week, keeping your mind active, optimising gut health, either increasing dietary sources or potential supplementation of curcumin or ashwagandha; Omega 3 fatty acids (DHA & EPA), B12, D3 & K2, zinc (The role of zinc in Alzheimers disease), a diet high in antioxidants may be beneficial.
At the Bury Natural Health Centre, our resident Nutritional Therapist Rebecca Hancock trained in the principles of Functional and Evidence-Based Medicine at the renowned College of Naturopathic Medicine in London. This encompassed a science-based method that assesses and supports the underlying causes of symptoms. If you would like to find out more about the Nutritional Therapy treatment, click here, and you can contact us to book in for your free 20 minute consultation.