10 REVERSIBLE CAUSES OF ALZHEIMER’S AND DEMENTIA
Science is documenting an increasing number of dietary, lifestyle, environmental, and systemic causes of memory loss. Both research and individual experience show that natural approaches can be effective in restoring cognition, often completely. Sharp Again Naturally, and its Medical and Dental Advisory Board, have identified 10 factors to date that cause or exacerbate memory loss:
- Nutritional imbalances and deficiencies. Brain function can be strongly influenced by what we put in our mouths: some foods promote brain health, and others can erode it over time. Diets that contain brain boosting foods and supplements have been shown to preserve and restore healthy brain function.
- Toxins in food, water, air, work/home environments. Everything from artificial food additives, to pollutants in our water and air, to chemicals in our household cleaning products and furnishings, build up over time in our body. This “body burden” makes us more susceptible to all kinds of illnesses, including dementia.
- Effects of prescription medications. Drugs, especially pain meds, psychotropic drugs, and statins (which attack the very substance of which the brain is made) can severely disrupt cognition.
- Mercury and other heavy metal toxicity. So-called silver amalgam fillings contain 50 percent mercury, and that mercury can create vapor, cross the blood-brain barrier, and destroy neurons even without contact. Safe removal is key along with minimizing our exposure to large “steak fish,” polluted air and vaccines.
- Hormonal imbalances (T3 thyroid, estrogen, testosterone and others). Many people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia have low levels of T3 thyroid hormone. However, standard thyroid tests completely miss T3 levels, and Synthroid (T4) may be ineffective, especially as we age. Low hormone levels (HGH, estrogens, progesterone and testosterone) put us at risk as well.
- Inflammation from low-level infections (Lyme Disease, oral infections, food sensitivities, mold, etc.). Inflammation is the body’s response to injury and/or foreign substances in the body, and can cause pain or be asymptomatic. A short-term inflammatory response results in healing; if inflammation persists and becomes chronic, it leads to a host of problems, including confusion and memory loss. Common causes are root canals, urinary tract infections, food sensitivities and allergies, mold toxicity, and Lyme’s Disease. These last two are on the rise and become harder to treat the longer they go undiagnosed.
- Inadequate physical activity, mental stimulation and social interaction. Maintaining meaningful relationships, keeping physically active by exercising, and pursuing our passions and interests all contribute to staying mentally intact as we age. Combining at least two of these activities simultaneously gives our brains an even bigger boost!
- Stress, especially life changes and how we process information.
As the body ages, it becomes more vulnerable to stress. Stress elevates cortisol levels, which can cause hypertension, elevated blood sugar levels, hormone imbalances, delayed healing time, and susceptibility to disease. Major life changes, such as financial issues, moving, illness, and the loss of a partner and beloved friends are all stressful events. Our outlook on aging, and how we process these events, determine the toll they take on us.
- Sleep and Breathing Problems. Airway/Sleep Disorders (ASD) are surprisingly common and often go undetected even by dental professionals. People suffering from ASD experience fatigue, fogginess and cognitive issues and often fall asleep during the day. Untreated ASD deprives the brain of much-needed oxygen, short circuits vitally important detoxing and restorative functions, and can thus lead to dementia.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is now known to be a cause of dementia. The incidence of TBIs is steadily rising due to falls, car and pedestrian accidents, high contact sports, combat injuries and other violence.
Before concluding a person’s dementia is incurable, all of these causes need to be evaluated and treated. As more causes of dementia are discovered and successful treatment is supported by scientific research, we will add them to this list.