Is Dementia in Your Future? It Doesn’t Have to Be!

People who come to Prestige Wellness Institute aren’t just looking for relief from chronic pain, more energy, better cholesterol, or a happier gut.  They want more out of life.  They want to be working, traveling, gardening, reading, hiking, building, sewing, and dancing well into their 80s and 90s—not sitting in a rocking chair staring at the wall or television day after day.

My grandmother was not so fortunate.  She spent the last 15 years of her life with her head slumped to her chest, being wheeled back and forth from her room to the common area of a fine nursing home.  Fifty or sixty of her posterity converged on the home each Christmas to sing carols to her and the other residents.  It was hard to tell whether she ever heard us or knew we were there.

Dementia has become so widespread that many people assume it is just a part of life and that it randomly strikes unfortunate folks as they age.  People don’t realize how rare dementia used to be.  A 2012 report estimated the worldwide prevalence of dementia to be as high as 24 million, with a projected doubling every 20 years until at least 2040.  This is a new phenomenon:  The first case of Alzheimer’s—the most common form of dementia—wasn’t even described in the medical literature until 1906.

In other words, our genes aren’t causing this epidemic.  Rather, it’s a direct consequence of our environment and lifestyles.  Sadly, all we hear in the popular press is that dementia is incurable, that we have no idea what causes it, and that we can only hope to reduce the symptoms slightly using drugs. 

Fortunately, none of this is true.  Dementia has many causes, and ALL of them are preventable.  Just because you have a gene that makes you more likely to develop dementia doesn’t mean you are going to.  People have lived with these genes for thousands of years without losing their minds…until now. 

Many factors have been identified in the medical literature to lead to dementia.  These include insulin resistance/diabetes, aluminum, mercury, excitotoxins (MSG and others), sugar, pesticides, other toxins, hidden infections, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, hormone deficiencies, concussions (yes, that hard knock in high school football), sleep apnea, sleep deprivation, gut dysfunction, inflammation, gluten, and more.  The brain can handle a lot, but only for so long.

Considering the combined threat of all these factors, it’s a wonder we don’t all have dementia.  But it gets worse:  A number of prescription medicines impair memory and brain function, including drugs used to treat seizures, psychiatric conditions, and insomnia.  Anticholinergic drugs are notoriously damaging to the brain.  This class includes some drugs used to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s, urinary incontinence, irritable bowel syndrome, and asthma.  And you might want to think twice about long-term use of anything with diphenhydramine (aka Benadryl) in it for allergies or insomnia…unless you’re okay with losing your mind down the road.

Fortunately, you don’t have to rely on the “hope” method of preventing dementia.  You can take a comprehensive approach to protecting, healing, and supporting your brain’s functions so it can serve you optimally for decades to come.  Each person’s approach will be different from another’s, depending on the evaluation.  Contrary to decades of medical dogma, recent research has demonstrated that brain cells CAN be repaired and connections between them restored before it’s too late.  This is not science fiction:  Doctors are currently reversing Alzheimer’s disease in many people.

So what can you do to reduce your risk, or to reverse early damage? 

Everyone will benefit from bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.  Whereas human hormones are not FDA-approved drugs, there are ample studies demonstrating the brain-preserving benefits of testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, DHEA, melatonin, and thyroid hormones. 

Everyone will benefit from maintaining an optimal vitamin D level, which is significantly higher than what the Institute of Medicine recommends based on studies limited to bone health. 

Everyone will benefit from intermittent fasting, stress reduction techniques, exercise, brain stimulation, unmedicated sleep, purified EPA/DHA (in pharmaceutical-grade fish oil), and medium-chain triglycerides (e.g. coconut oil). 

Everyone will benefit from a careful review of medicines to identify and eliminate those that affect the brain in unhealthy ways.

Depending on testing, health history, and other factors, many people will also benefit from certain natural anti-inflammatory supplements, perinatal cellular therapy, and peptide therapy.  Peptides are fragments of proteins normally found in the body.  Supplementing with peptides can provide powerful support to all your other brain-supporting tools.

Imagine being able to remember names again.  Or why you went into that room.  Imagine being sharp as a tack again—even being able to go back to a career you love.  What if you could confidently return to some of those activities you used to enjoy?  What else could a comprehensive brain health evaluation and treatment protocol enable you to do?  There’s only one way to find out.  Call 435-210-0184 to schedule a consultation appointment.

 

Author
Ray Andrew, MD

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