Understanding the risks of developing dementia with your everyday habits

By December 16, 2021 Health & Nutrition, LifeStyle

Sourced with thanks from  timesofindia.indiatimes.com

One of the key worries, among many others, that tends to keep us anxious as we age is the fear of developing dementia. It’s easy to confuse the least of the memory losses as dementia and let the anxiety build up. So, it’s best to make an effort to understand the various aspects of dementia better as it will stop some unnecessary worrying and in fact help you understand ways of preventing developing dementia. This is one such article where the author has shared some of the risks of developing dementia. Team RetyrSmart

Understanding the risks of developing dementia with your everyday habits

Lifestyle habits which can be bad for your brain health

Dementia is a significant health risk which can reduce one’s quality of life and impose cognitive, as well as mental difficulties. A general term given to the neurodegenerative diseases which cause cognitive impairment, memory loss, impact day-to-day living, behaviour, communicative skills and personality changes.

Dementia preventable? How does your lifestyle impact risk?

While the condition is primarily caused by physical changes to the brain matter, heavily dependent on one’s age, genetic risk, family history or if injuries to the brain, the kind of lifestyle you lead, dietary deficiencies may also increase one’s chances of developing dementia, memory loss or ageing faster than usual. In particular, these habits can prove to be the most impactful and impact brain health significantly:

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Not including enough Vitamin B12 in your diet

If there is one single factor which can increase your chances of cognitive decline, poor brain health and accelerate ageing, it has to be the lack of Vitamin B12 in our diets. While some diets like the DASH diet and Mediterranean diet have proven to be particularly helpful in reducing the risk of dementia, poor levels of Vitamin B12 can induce symptoms like memory loss, aggravate development of dementia in individuals. While it does not have a direct impact on memory function, Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient to be included in your everyday diet, whether you are vegan, vegetarian or a non-vegetarian, since it is intrinsically good for the brain and other parts of the body.

Taking heart health lightly

It’s mighty important to never ignore or take matters of the heart lightly, be it in your 20s, 30s or 40s. While we are increasingly hearing of rising heart attacks amongst the young, experts have also said that poor diligence and attention to heart health, following poor cardiac preventive measures can also raise a person’s risk of cognitive decline and issues like dementia. This is because many of the risk factors which are tied to poor heart and lung health, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, inflammation is also tied to poor brain health as you age.

Staying sedentary

Staying sedentary, and not exercising enough are determinants for a lot of lifestyle diseases, and also undoubtedly slow down your brain. Not only is it vital to keep our brains sharp and in shape as we age, exercising also doles out a number of benefits which keep cognitive issues at bay. They release good endorphins, elevate your heart rate and most importantly, promote blood flow to the brain, which keeps the brain healthy. Start by taking out 30-40 minutes of time every day for exercising and meditation and slowly, you’ll start to see a difference!

Being socially isolated

The pandemic has made people experience a form of extreme isolation, which comes with its own negative health effects. One amongst many is the effect it has on one’s cognitive health. There are multiple studies which have highlighted that there is an acute risk between social isolation and declining cognitive health. Not only does prolonged isolation increase the risk of stress and anxiety, it also affects brain health considerably and thus, increases the risk of developing dementia early on.

Gratitude, positive outlook and engaging in social aspects within the communities can be good ways to connect and stay physically and mentally healthy.

Poor sleep

Lack of sleep can be extremely bad for your health. Not only will it make you grumpy and tired, poor sleep can negatively impact the brain and accelerate the rate of development of dementia. Simply said, when you do not sleep well, not only are you low on energy levels, but it doesn’t give time for the body’s vital organs, including the brain time to recharge well. Further, lack of sleep can result in difficulties in memory thinking, retention and cognition.

Excess alcohol intake

Apart from liver and heart, having too much of alcohol has also been linked to poor brain health, and dementia. A neurotoxin like alcohol can cause brain atrophy and cause an onset of early-stage memory loss. For optimum health benefits, stick to a maximum of a drink or two every day and stay aware of all risk factors.

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