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10 Daily Habits That Can Increase the Risk Of Dementia

By Andrew Alpin, 5 November

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Dementia is a common and serious brain disorder that mostly affects people over the age of 65. Symptoms include trouble remembering things, getting lost in places you know well, and being unable to make good decisions. Damage to brain cells is what causes dementia. The risk of developing dementia rises as you get older, have a severe head injury or have Parkinson’s disease, but there are ways to lower this risk. Dr. Tomi Mitchell, a Board-Certified Family Physician with Holistic Wellness Strategies, talked about everyday habits that could lead to dementia. Identifying these daily habits can help you lower your chances of getting dementia. So, what are these 10 habits? Let’s find out.

1 Poor Diet

Those already at risk for dementia may get it faster if they have a bad diet. There are many ways that a bad diet can increase your chances of developing dementia. First, it can make you deficient in important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. These deficiencies can affect the brain and make it harder to think and remember things. Second, a bad diet can cause long-term inflammation, which is linked to memory loss and dementia. Lastly, it is often linked to other things that put people at risk for dementia, such as being overweight, having high blood pressure, or having diabetes. Even though there is no sure way to avoid dementia, one of the best ways to lower your risk is to eat well.

Poor Diet

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2 Smoking

People who smoke are more likely to get dementia than people who don’t smoke. It’s not clear why smoking increases the risk, but it could be because of what smoking does to the brain. When you smoke, you hurt your blood vessels and get less blood to your brain. This can cause plaques and tangles to build up in the brain, which is a sign of Alzheimer’s. Cigarette smoke also has chemicals that are bad for you and can hurt brain cells. Also, smoking makes the body have more inflammation, which has been linked to dementia. Quitting unhealthy daily habits like smoking is one of the best things you can do for your brain health if you’re worried about dementia.

Smoking

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3 Excessive alcohol

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The risk of dementia is increased if you drink a lot of alcohol. Dementia is a broad term for a group of symptoms that make it hard to think and act, like forgetting things and having trouble solving problems. It is known that drinking too much alcohol can damage your brain and make you forget things. But research has shown that even moderate drinking can raise the risk of dementia. One theory is that alcohol hurts the hippocampus, an important part of the brain for making memories. Alcohol also makes it harder for the body to absorb thiamine, an important vitamin for nerve function. This can cause Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which can cause confusion, trouble remembering things, and changes in how you see things.

Also, alcohol makes inflammation worse all over the body, even in the brain. This inflammation can result in memory loss and dementia. Due to these factors, it is important to be aware of the risks of drinking, especially as you get older. To lower your risk of dementia, you should also avoid daily habits like binge drinking and limit how much you drink, even if you drink moderately.

Excessive alcohol

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