Dementia is an umbrella term that describes numerous different memory and cognition related diseases that one could get throughout the lifespan. Many older adults are typically concerned with developing symptoms of dementia, due to it’s inability to be fully cured and it’s detrimental effect to the quality of life for the individual. The full scope of what causes dementia isn’t fully understood yet. There is, however numerous different risk factors, and behaviors that can increase the chances of someone developing dementia. This is the scary truth behind dementia. Most people think that developing dementia is completely up to genetics and ultimately the luck of the draw. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Let’s take a look at a few of the behaviors that individuals may be doing that could potentially increase the chances of someone developing dementia.
Dementia Provoking Habits
Poor Diet and Inactivity
Poor diet and inactivity greatly increase your chances of developing dementia. This is in large part due to the fact that exercise, and eating the proper foods, helps to promote blood flow to the brain. In addition to this, exercising and eating properly also helps to reduce chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation throughout the body increases the chances of developing disease both in the body and brain.
Not a lot of people smoke nowadays, but it is still a good thing to note. Smoking decreases blood flow to the brain, which can decrease the ability for neurons and brain cells to stay alive. In addition to this, smoking anything brings toxins directly into your body. When you bring toxins into your body, guess what? They can cloud your brain, and lead to decreased function and potentially dementia.
Just like smoking, alcohol is another way to bring in toxins directly into your body. Although your body can process alcohol and use it as fuel, this doesn’t mean it is helpful in keeping your brain healthy and reducing the risk of developing dementia. If you wanted a good reason to quit alcohol, this would be a great one to focus on!
This is something that I found was interesting. Being in an area with a large amount of air pollution actually increases your chances of getting dementia. This is largely from the fact that, just like smoking and drinking alcohol, you are directly taking in toxins into your body. Do you see a theme here? Any time you are putting toxins into your body, the chances of your brain remaining health and active long term goes down tremendously. If you live in a big city, or an area that is filled with smog, it might be time to move.
Not Challenging Your Brain
This one of the most interesting things that I find in decreasing the risk of developing dementia. That thing, is not giving your brain stimulus to challenge itself. If you are not solving problems, doing something that keeps you thinking, and working your brain, you are not giving your brain a reason to stay alive. Just like a muscle needing to be worked to stay large, the same thing goes for your brain. This is why many older adults struggle with mental health issues after they retire. They lost a reason to think and use their brain, ultimately not giving it a reason to keep it’s cells.
What do you think? Do you fall under any of these habits or categories? If you are concerned in keeping your brain healthy, and avoiding dementia, these are just a few of many things that you should focus on to improve and maintain your brain health.
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