5 Ways to Lower Your Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common kind of dementia, comprising up to 80% of dementia cases. It leads to dramatic memory loss and reduced cognitive abilities that can become so severe that they impact the sufferer’s personality and daily life. Since anyone at any age can start to suffer from dementia symptoms, our team at MD Now wants to help the community understand the severity of Alzheimer’s and encourage everyone to get medical checkups on a regular basis. Since there are no proven tactics to completely protect yourself from Alzheimer’s, we have provided five effective ways to help reduce your risk of experiencing these life-changing dementia stages.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, symptoms typically start gradually and get worse as the sufferer proceeds through the stages of dementia. In the earliest Alzheimer’s stages, there is only slight memory loss. Over time, there is a progressively larger decline in memory and cognitive abilities, along with major changes in personality. And by the later dementia stages, the sufferer is exhibiting serious Alzheimer’s symptoms and can be completely dependent on others. This can cause the sufferer and their family extreme frustration, as well as emotional, physical, and financial stress. Interestingly, Alzheimer’s can be confused with vascular dementia, which is marked by changes in the brain that affect memory and cause cognitive impairment. While the disease is similar to Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia is actually a separate type and is the second-most common reason for dementia, following Alzheimer’s.
To help you and your family avoid the overwhelming toll of Alzheimer’s and reduce your risk for the disease, follow these five helpful tips:
- Maintain a Healthy Diet
Strive to include more healthy foods in your diet, such as vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, tofu, beans, reduced-fat dairy, and healthy fats. At the same time, reduce your intake of sweets, soda, fast food, fried foods, and starchy foods. Changing your daily diet will allow you to curb your calories and get the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you need for good health. In addition, monitor your portion sizes to help you manage your weight over time.
- Get Regular Exercise
Physical activity benefits your body in many ways by controlling your blood pressure, reducing your cholesterol, managing your weight, and more. Aim to add two-and-a-half to five hours of moderate to vigorous aerobic exercise into every week.
- Stay At a Healthy Weight
Your weight plays a major role in your overall health. If you need to trim down, reduce your calories and increase your amount of exercise to help you lose the weight.
- Watch Your Waistline
According to the National Institutes of Health, men’s waist measurements shouldn’t exceed 40 inches and a woman’s waist shouldn’t measure more than 35 inches. It’s easy to measure your waist. Just wrap a tape measure around the smallest part of your waist.
- Get Regular Medical Exams
While all of us forget things from time to time, how do you know if you’re exhibiting real dementia symptoms? While it would be ideal if there were a specific Alzheimer’s test, there unfortunately isn’t one at this time. The only way to know if you’re in the stages of dementia is with a complete medical exam that reviews all possible causes of your symptoms. During this exam, a medical professional will check your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, in addition to asking about your diet, exercise habits, and lifestyle. This exam will allow the doctor to determine if other health factors or conditions could be contributing to your symptoms.
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