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Medicine & Health Education
Essential Therapeutic Life Style Changes
For a Healthy Body, Mind and Spirit
Some Simple Steps to Uplift the Physical, Mental and Spiritual Health
Bala N. Aiyer, M.D.
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Part - 12
 
 
PART - 12: PREVENTION & MANAGEMENT OF DEMENTIA - Sec. 3
 
 
 
 
Confused thoughts - How to manage this before and after they start

12.01. A Search for prevention and Possible Cure for Dementia

Once dementia sets in, it is very difficult to completely cure the problems; but we can try for it to keep it under some control as we have seen already. This way, one may be able to live a life without being too much dependent on the family members. It would be good to change or modify a number of our usual customs and practices. The family members who are already under lots of stress also need to get an understanding of situation and show low and affection instead of anger. We should try to find out the reasons from what we have described earlier. "It is alright; I am only in my thirties now". Thinking on the above lines that there is "no need to worry about all this" is not good. One has to take steps at an early age itself to prevent the onset of the derangement at a later age.

As soon as symptoms of the mental disorder are noticed, immediate action will have to be taken to control it by proper dieting, which should include proper calorie intake with a balanced diet with essential nutritional supplements, vitamins and nourishing anti-oxidants. Vitamins, anti-oxidants and nutritious food help to some extent in controlling the disorder. Hence physical exercise and partaking of proper food has to be started from the middle age itself. Regular practice of Yoga exercises and meditation along with continuing any devotional prayer and traditional spiritual practices are also quite useful for this. A good blood circulation and nutritional supply to the brain is essential. Long-term control of diseases like diabetes and hypertension are also essential and they have to be kept rigidly under control with proper medication. This applies even to people who are in the borderline of such illnesses.

A good amount of vegetables and fruits should form part of the daily intake. Rice wheat and such starchy food products as also butter and fatty oils should be restricted to the minimum. There should be a regular checkup of the glucose level in the blood even in people with border-line Diabetes. Glucose levels should be proper maintained, especially in the morning. Breakfast is compulsory to ensure this and also a bed-time snack is useful. Aged people lose lots of water due to improper kidney function and should ensure that they do not get dehydration by taking enough water especially in the mornings. Sleeping pills, Sedatives, hypnotic drugs and liquor should be avoided.

12.02. The efforts to be taken to prevent and control Dementia

Normally, aging causes deterioration in the brain cells. But this is just memory loss due to aging. Just as we do physical exercise for the body, the brain should also get exercise. Reading books, solving cross-word puzzles, sketching / painting and singing help in this direction. These may be of use in preventing normal memory failures but this not sufficient to prevent dementia. Dementia is caused by damage to Brain cells and nerve fibers along with poor blood circulation. This needs to be addressed in any plan for control, cure and management of the condition. Yoga exercises and meditation are also good. Proper diet containing vitamins also help. Daily intake of food with proper nutrition containing Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin-E is very good. You might have heard of nutritional supplements and antioxidants like several vitamins, Green Tea, Omega-3 fatty acids and Grape seed extracts. There are similar items like Resveratrol, Co-Enzyme Q10, Acetyl L-camitine and Alpha Lipoic Acid (both are modified Amino-acids and Proteins) are considered to be very good supplements for most people. They help in controlling diabetes, blood pressure and fat levels in the blood, and ensure proper blood circulation as also oxygen utilization by the cells of the body. They may also help in correcting the abnormalities in the nervous system and brain cells.

A proper control and cure for any condition remains to be on few cardinal principles. Early recognition and proper diagnosis is very important. Prevention of the precipitating factors and proper nutritional supply has already been discussed. Early proper check-up to investigate associated health conditions and proper treatment are helpful. For all this to happen, one has to start at the age of 40 to 50 itself, to make necessary changes in the lifestyle habits and customs and one should start thinking about this and adopt necessary preventive measures. Right from middle age, one should cultivate the habit of taking nutritious (not rich!) food, engaging in physical exercise and ensure that the brain gets its proper nutrients also. One should not enter into the thoughts of denial that "it is not in our family" and "we are not crazy". Dementia is not a condition due to a curse or a bad Karma. It is a normal change due to abnormal lifestyle changes. As already said, steps should be taken to prevent the onset of diabetes, but if it occurs, keep it under control with proper medication. The quantum of food intake should be regulated to ensure that body mass does not increase. Above all, this there should be proper mental control; worries and anxieties should be reduced to the minimum and sufficient amount of sleep should be ensured. Spiritual exercises like regular reading of religious books should be engaged in; they help to keep the mind at peace. Yoga and meditation which improve mental peace also help in controlling dementia to some extent.

 
   
   
 
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-- This is called Behavior Modification --
Essential Lifestyle Changes -- for a healthy Body, Mind and Spirit 0
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Thank You
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