The World Health Organization predicts that by the year 2020 the number of people with dementia will have grown to 19 million throughout the world, two thirds of these cases will be because of Alzheimer’s disease.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s includes:
- Difficulty remembering names
- Apathy and Depression – these are often the first symptoms
- Impaired Judgment
- Behavioral changes
- Trouble speaking
- Difficulty swallowing
These changes occur due to a build up of proteins called beta-amyloid plaques and twists in strands of a protein called tau.
What is interesting about the latest research coming out about Alzheimer’s disease is that it is now thought that this condition is related to changes in insulin levels in the brain. Insulin you see has a direct effect on how ‘plastic’ our brain is. The new term Type 3 diabetes is being used when there are changes in the brains levels or insulin beyond what is deemed normal.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes occur when the body is unable to produce or use insulin produced by the pancreas. Type 3 diabetes refers to the same changes but in the brain.
Another interesting fact is that scientists have found that many people with type 2 diabetes have deposits of proteins, similar to those in Alzheimer’s disease in their pancreases!
So how do I get type 2 or 3 diabetes?
My answer is inflammation, inflammatory processes in the body are being found to be linked to a group of conditions known as metabolic syndrome (more about that in later blogs!). The long and the short of it is, that inflammation caused by our diets and lifestyles change the way our body is about to produce and utilize hormones, this results in a heap of conditions with two of the being type 2 and type 3 diabetes.
So what does this all mean?
Well the good news is that, as natural therapists, treating Alzheimer’s just got easier. You see what the research is finding is that if you can regulate insulin levels, like you do in people with type 2 diabetes through diet and specific supplementation then you can have an effect on the insulin levels in the brain. We are finding in practice people are responding to a blend of a Mediterranean / Paleolithic type diet along with specific nutrients designed to regulate insulin production, reduce glucose levels and reduce systemic inflammation.
So my top tips to reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease:
Eat a healthy diet high in fresh vegetables, fruits and good sources of protein like fish, organic chicken and lean red organic or pasture fed meat
Reduce your intake of highly refined and processed grains and cereals
Reduce your stress levels – stress is inflammatory!
- Quit smoking
- Make sure you are at a healthy weight
- Control type 2 diabetes if you have it
- Use you brain – do cross words, Sudoku, learn a new skill every year
- See a naturopath for a check up, we can assess your risks for inflammatory type diseases and get you on track to a healthy and balanced life style, inflammatory free!