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Lifestyle Behaviors Can Lower Your Risk of Dementia

Simple behaviors of a healthier lifestyle can lower your risk of developing dementia.

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Dementia is a brain disease that can damage or change a person’s memory or thought processes. It can also affect someone’s personality, communication abilities, and other mental functions needed for daily living. Image for illustration purposes
Dementia is a brain disease that can damage or change a person’s memory or thought processes. It can also affect someone’s personality, communication abilities, and other mental functions needed for daily living. Image for illustration purposes

Mega Doctor News

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What is dementia? 
Dementia is a brain disease that can damage or change a person’s memory or thought processes. It can also affect someone’s personality, communication abilities, and other mental functions needed for daily living. The most common and well-known form of dementia is called Alzheimer’s disease.

Who is at risk?
Anyone can develop Alzheimer’s disease, but some groups are at higher risk than others. This includes:

  • Older adults, especially those older than 65 years.
  • Certain minority groups, including Hispanic adults, African American adults, and American Indian/Alaska Native adults.
  • Women.

What can I do to lower my chances of Alzheimer’s disease? 
You can lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by:

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  • Managing high blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about managing it through medication and lifestyle behaviors.
  • Not smoking. If you smoke, a combination of counseling and medication can help you quit for good. Free support resources are available.
  • Being physically active. Just 30 minutes a day of physical activity can have significant health benefits.
  • Preventing diabetes and heart disease. Talk to a doctor about your risk and family history. If you have either of these conditions, there are effective ways to treat them with lifestyle changes and medications.

Take charge of your brain health.
Even small healthy lifestyle changes can make a big difference to lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, while also lowering your risk of other chronic illnesses — like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Manage high blood pressure.
If you already have high blood pressure, you can manage it by…

  • Discussing it with your health care provider, who can give you medications to keep your blood pressure in a healthy range.
  • Measuring your blood pressure regularly to make sure you’re staying in a healthy range.

Quit smoking.
You can quit with the help of counseling and medication.

Counseling may involve:

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Medications may involve…

  • Nicotine replacements (like nicotine gum or long-acting nicotine patches).
  • Prescription pills that can manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Stay physically active.
Staying physically active can be fun! You can incorporate it into your everyday life by…

  • Finding hobbies that include physical activity, like hiking, swimming, running, cycling, martial arts, weight training, or yoga.
  • Making small everyday choices, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Working with a trained coach who can help you make realistic lifestyle changes, like setting goals using a physical activity planner.

Talk to your health care provider before adding physical activity if you…

  • Have a chronic condition like arthritis or diabetes, or a disability.
  • Plan to start high-intensity physical activity (like running), especially after being inactive for a while.
  • Need help making a physical activity plan that’s right for you.

Prevent or manage diabetes.
If you already have type 2 diabetes, you can manage it by:

  • Using a glucometer to check your blood sugar levels throughout the day to make sure they stay in a healthy target range. You can also see your health care provider to get regular blood tests.
  • Eating at regular intervals rather than skipping meals.
  • Taking medications, like insulin.

Information Source: CDC

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