Reversing Alzheimer’s With Food and Lifestyle? For Real?

In the small way that I can, I try to redeem myself and modern medicine regarding food and lifestyle.  I don’t know where we got so off base.  I’m just a stay-at-home mom now who homeschools.  I’m not sure why I can’t just leave it behind and say, “Who cares?  Not me.  At least now I know.”  I guess it doesn’t matter.  I can’t.  You can take the doctor out of the hospital and clinic, but you can’t quell her thirst for learning and helping.

I put this following information on my personal Facebook timeline several days ago, but this morning a real friend who isn’t a Facebook friend (Oh my Gosh, is that possible?) sent it to me with excitement.  I decided to make it a small post here in case others haven’t seen it.  It is regarding a small research study which successfully implemented diet and lifestyle change for Alzheimer’s dementia.

I have three very good medical school friends that I hold dear who are scattered across the United States.  Two of them have strong family histories of premature dementia in their families, and I harp on them about nutrition when we talk by phone.  When the craziness of these days with young kids is over, we all plan to get together for a beach vacation.  I jokingly, but quite seriously, tell them they have to change the way they eat or else they won’t know who I am over their pina coladas.

Anyhow…

Memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s reversed: Small trial succeeds using systems approach to memory disorders

An excerpt from this article, (emphasis mine):

“Bredesen’s approach is personalized to the patient, based on extensive testing to determine what is affecting the plasticity signaling network of the brain. As one example, in the case of the patient with the demanding job who was forgetting her way home, her therapeutic program consisted of some, but not all of the components involved with Bredesen’s therapeutic program, and included:

(1) eliminating all simple carbohydrates, leading to a weight loss of 20 pounds;

(2) eliminating gluten and processed food from her diet, with increased vegetables, fruits, and non-farmed fish;

(3) to reduce stress, she began yoga;

(4) as a second measure to reduce the stress of her job, she began to meditate for 20 minutes twice per day;

(5) she took melatonin each night;

(6) she increased her sleep from 4-5 hours per night to 7-8 hours per night;

(7) she took methylcobalamin each day;

(8) she took vitamin D3 each day;

(9) fish oil each day;

(10) CoQ10 each day;

(11) she optimized her oral hygiene using an electric flosser and electric toothbrush;

(12) following discussion with her primary care provider, she reinstated hormone replacement therapy that had been discontinued;

(13) she fasted for a minimum of 12 hours between dinner and breakfast, and for a minimum of three hours between dinner and bedtime;

(14) she exercised for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-6 days per week.”

What Are You Waiting On, People?

I just want to yell, “What are you waiting on, mom, dad, sisters, friends, doctors?”  Do we need to wait on studies to confirm that we need to eat REAL FOOD, REDUCE STRESS, AND GET SLEEP?  Good grief.  Are we stupid?  WE ARE NOT.  Please, do the right things when it comes to food and lifestyle.  Eliminate sugar.  Make treats treats–as in, not every day!  Get rid of all the processed vegetable and grain oils now!  Strongly consider eliminating wheat.  Increase vegetables and fruits.  Do not buy premade food.  Reduce stress.  Get sleep.  Move more.  We doctors have tried to make it too complex for you for years.

And now, geesh, to do it right, it sounds too hard for people!  What?  Buy fresh fruits and vegetables?  But they’ll spoil.  What?  Turn on the stove?  I might burn the house down!  Don’t buy things in a box?  But what will we eat?  Take away cereal?  But my kids will scream.  What will they eat?  Buy fresh meat?  I don’t know how to cook it.  Don’t drink pop?  What do I drink?  Juice?  Ummm.  NO.  Water has worked for millennia.

I don’t want to be a part of some faction who eats weird.  I’m tired of fighting the crowd who brings candy to my kids.  I want you on board for the sake of all of our kids.  I’m not a self-righteous, better than thou, health nut snob.  I’m not.  I’m a doctor who used to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE pizza, pasta, sub sandwiches, donuts, bagels, bread, cookies, cake, Diet Coke, Sonic, candy bars and eating out.  Medical school taught me no different.  So I learned it the hard way on my own thanks to some people willing to put themselves on the line (on-line) when my gut finally crashed.  And I am going back now and applying what I have learned about food to the biochemical and physiological pathways I learned in med school and pharmacy school.  And I am aghast.  Duh.  Duh.  Duh.  You are what you eat.

If you have any questions, drop them in the comments.  Try me.  What are your barriers?  Do you think I’m full of it?  Do you not care?  I’ve got one of those medical school friends burning the house down with coconut oil while her kids run to the windows for fresh air and the fire alarms in the house scream out.  Yay!  I don’t know how she caught the coconut oil on fire, and I don’t care.  She has made the change and she tells me her kids feel better for it.

The research will eventually pile up on real food.  Don’t wait on it.

~~Terri

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