It’s never too early (or late for that matter) to change your lifestyle and live healthier.
The consequences may not be as noticeable and in-your-face right now, but my experience with Alzheimer’s has motivated me to live better and to encourage my clients to do the same.
It all started when I was 15 and my grandmother developed Alzheimer's.
It was devastating to see someone I loved fail to remember everyone around her. She forgot about her husband, the man she had spent more than 50 years with, she forgot about her children (my mom), and she forgot about herself. She had enough clarity at times to realize what was happening, but that made it even more devastating.
My mom had always been on the hunt for healthier ways to live. This situation with my grandma enabled my mom to become immersed in finding proactive ways to prevent and treat Alzheimer's for loved ones.
As with so many harsh chronic illnesses today, diabetes type II, heart disease, it turns out that Alzheimer’s is associated with lifestyle factors, inflammation, etc. in which our body degrades.
Since it hits close to home, I take notice when reading articles, or studies are done about treating or preventing this illness.
The most recent one was a very exciting study done at UCLA titled MEND (Metabolic Enhancement for NeuroDegeneration).
In the UCLA protocol, patients made dramatic lifestyle changes. They avoided simple carbs, gluten and processed foods. They increased their fish intake, took yoga and meditated. They were instructed to take melatonin, get adequate sleep, incorporate vitamin B-12, vitamin D-3 and fish oil.
Within six months, nine patients saw a noticeable improvement in memory. One patient, who was in the late stages of Alzheimer's, did not show improvement.
In just 6 months, 9 out of 10 people saw improvement. If that’s not a big motivator to change your lifestyle, I don’t know what is.
Alzheimer's is a devastating illness, and there are no significant drug treatment options, so prevention is key.
From the WebMD News archive: Limiting risk factors could prevent Alzheimer’s.
The top ways to limit your risk factors:
The bottom line is changing a few keystone habits today, and educating your kids to do the same, can prevent a lot of suffering and result in much happier, healthier golden years.
So get to it, and when you feel like slacking off and going back to your old ways, think about forgetting your life, your loves, your children and grandchildren.