Brain is an important and vital organ in our body. Our brain is responsible for various things like our feelings, thoughts, memories, amongst other things. As one grows old, they also tend to get susceptible to developing dementia. Alzhemier’s disease is a common type of dementia in which neural cells get degenerated and die. It includes various symptoms like change in behaviour, personality and mood that take toll on the health of the person affecting their ability perform daily chores. Most of us are concerned about how we look on the outside, however, it is equally important to be concerned how our brain functions on the inside. Currently, there is no cure for dementia, and treatment is centered around delaying the disease progression and improving quality of life. On the bright side, we can reduce the risk of dementia by introducing few changes in our lifestyle.
Here are some lifestyle changes that one can follow to prevent the risk of dementia.
- Be active: If you are physically active, the risk of dementia is prevented. Being physically active or exercising on a regular basis has a lot of benefits that includes well- being of the mind. If you are a beginner, start by exercising for a few minutes daily and later you can build it up gradually. You can start with any form of exercise. The various forms of exercise include aerobics, jogging, swimming amongst others. Maintaining a healthy weight is important as one ages.
- Diet: Diet plays a very important role when it comes to the impact on your lifestyle. A healthy diet not only reduces the risk of illnesses like that of cancer, diabetes, but also prevents the risk of dementia. Include at least 5 portions of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Limit the intake of sugar and drink at least 6- 8 glasses of water in the day. High blood pressure, increased blood sugar and cholesterol are closely related to heart and kidney disease, both of which are involved in increasing the risk of dementia.
- Quit smoking: If you are smoking, you are putting yourself to the risk of dementia. Not only dementia, you are also increasing your risk to other diseases like diabetes, lung cancer also. Smoking harms the body as it creates obstacle to the circulation of blood in the body.
- Avoid alcohol: Drinking alcohol increases the risk of dementia as alcohol is directly toxic to the brain. As an alternative, one can consume juices, soft drinks/ alcohol free drinks..
- Practice mind exercises: Keeping your mind active surely reduces the risk of dementia. Indulge yourself into regular mental exercises as it helps to form a barrier against dementia and gives you mental strength to cope with the disease. You can start by learning something new, include a brain engaging hobby, start solving puzzles, read books that help you think differently. These are some of the techniques that will help you in keeping your mind active and also reduce the risk of dementia.
Article as provided by Dr. Sneha J. Karmani , Consultant Psychiatrist, Aditya Birla Memorial Hospital