Alzheimer’s Disease: Nature and Nurture Play a Part
It is arguably one of the cruelest diseases – Alzheimer’s, which essentially robs a person of his or her memory, identity and physical abilities. While there is no cure, research has identified certain factors that can increase risk of developing the condition: age, genetics, gender and lifestyle.
Age: This is the strongest known risk factor for dementia. Over age 65, your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease doubles roughly every 5 years.
Genetics: Having a close relative (parent or sibling) with Alzheimer's disease increases your own chances of developing the disease compared to someone with no family history. However, it does not mean that dementia is inevitable for you.
Gender: For reasons that are not fully understood, women are more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than men.
Lifestyle: Unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking to excess, and having a poor diet and lack of physical activity — habits that lead to high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, poor diet, and type 2 diabetes, have been shown to increase risk.
While you can’t change the genes you’ve inherited from your parents, there are steps you can take to lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s including:
Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables
Keep your mind active by spending time with family and friends and engaging in activities
Control type 2 diabetes
Keep blood pressure and cholesterol at healthy levels
Maintain a healthy body weight
Stop smoking and drinking too much alcohol
Get plenty of sleep which is restorative for cognitive function
Alzheimer's Integrative Wellness Group provides a holistic approach to patient care. With respect, compassion, and expertise in modalities, we bring natural alternatives from initial dementia assessment to end-of-life stages. We strive to bring greater wellness and a higher quality of life to all of our clients. For more information on our services, give us a call today.