It is truly remarkable that a disease that affects so many has only started getting national awareness in the last decade or so. It is estimated that close to 2.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. If you or a loved one is concerned about succumbing, here are some telltale signs you can watch out for:
- Mood swings and personality changes
- Forgetfulness that goes beyond misplaced car keys
- Expressive aphasia
- Increased isolated behavior patterns
- Not recognizing loved ones
- Unable to carry out simple tasks
- Activities of living are affected
- Bad judgment, logic and problem solving
- Depth perception deterioration
If you suspect you may have it, get tested. The good news is new tests can detect it much earlier and preventative maintenance can be done that can significantly improve the quality of your life.
What Else Can I Do to Thwart Alzheimer’s Disease?
Eat Right: Eat heart-healthy, balanced and smaller portions of food. Avoid fatty, fried foods.
Socialize: Get active socially. Join community and senior events. Volunteer. By engaging your mind in social activities, you’re engaging brain function.
Get the Right Vitamins: Take Vitamin B12. A B12 deficiency can lead to dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Exercise the Body: Adopt an exercise routine. Get your heart pumping with stretching, walking, swimming or any other light exercise.
Exercise the Brain: Brain teasers like crossword puzzles, word games and cards exercise your brain.
Weigh In: Make sure you are a healthy weight for your height.
Blood Pressure: Monitor your blood pressure and talk to your doctor about the best methods to get it down (if you haven’t already).
Blood Sugar: Blood sugar is also important. Keep it at a healthy level by eating foods that don’t spike up your glycemic index. You can do this by avoiding sugars, starches and refined and processed foods. Try to eat as “clean” as possible.
Do not smoke: Ever. Quit if you are currently smoking. You may not have to worry about Alzheimer’s if you are addicted to cigarettes.
Protect your head: Prevent falling in your home by proofing it and being cautious. If you bicycle for exercise, always wear a helmet. Make it a habit of putting your seatbelt on as soon as you get in a vehicle.
Just like just about everything else, the more informed you are, the better your chances for success. With Alzheimer’s awareness, this is indisputably true. As our old pal Ben Franklin once said: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Never have more true words been spoken.
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