The end of Alzheimer’s

The book I read recently, called The End of Alzheimer’s, is the inspiration for this post.  It is written by Dr Dale Bredesen and can be purchased here.

Seven years ago I was struggling with various health issues including a terrible short term memory.  As I worked through the process of finding out what my problem was, I discovered that many common dietary habits are linked to poor short term memory and the general fatigue I was experiencing.

More recently I heard about this book that claims to contain the solutions to preventing and even reversing the cognitive decline of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.  I was intrigued since the causes of cognitive decline outlined in this book are eerily similar to what I discovered were the causes of my earlier health issues.  That is my excuse for why there are so many internal links to my previous posts.

I will attempt to summarize these causes and their solutions, but read the book for full details if you are seriously concerned about yourself or someone you care about.  What I took away from reading this book is that the main cause of cognitive decline (dementia including Alzheimer’s) is an overproduction of sticky amyloid plaque that destroys the synapses of the brain.

Alzheimer's
synapse: Wikipedia

 

This amyloid is produced naturally as a defence mechanism when our immune systems detect irritants or pathogens in our bodies.  The problem becomes when our immune systems face a chronic (consistent) bombardment of irritants to fight and never shut off.

According to this book, the three culprits that cause our immune systems to be overworked resulting in the overproduction of amyloid are:

  • inflammation including infections (viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic) poor hygiene (gum disease) and poor food choices (trans fats, omega 6 fats vs omega 3s, sugar, dairy, gluten)
  • the shortage and decline of nutrients, hormones and molecules that are necessary to support our brains
  • toxins (metals, chemicals, antibiotics, medication, alcohol) and biotoxins (mold)

So, how do we prevent or reverse the onset of cognitive decline and yes, even Alzheimer’s?  The author uses the analogy of terrorists on an airplane.  If you prevent the terrorists from getting on the plane, they cannot blow it up mid air.   Likewise, we can thwart these neuroterrorists (listed irritants) that are wreaking havoc on our immune systems by not ingesting them.

Note that the first two irritants on the list are diet related, meaning they should be easier to control.  Removing the toxins in your home and life may be more complicated, but can be done.  Note too that this neglect or abuse of your immune system has (most likely) gone on for years.  That means fixing it won’t happen over night!

From my own personal experience I can say that eliminating gluten, reducing sugar and trans fats, choosing omega 3s over 6s, and reducing my exposure to toxins for the past seven years has made an incredible difference in my overall health.

 

 

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Omega 3 vs omega 6 fatty acids

When researching a previous post about healing fats, I learned that the balance between omega 3 fats and omega 6 fats is another health concern.

First of all, you have to know the difference between the two. Both are important for maintaining a healthy body and neither are manufactured by our bodies, so must be obtained from our diets. While 6s are found in the foods within a common modern daily diet, 3s are usually supplemented.

omega 3s:

  • cold water fish (sardines, salmon, herring etc) and fish oil
  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • garlic, flax seeds,  walnuts
  • extra virgin olive oil

pictures from Pixabay and Pexels

 

omega 6s

  • wheat, whole-grain bread, and cereals
  • grain fed chicken and their eggs
  • refined vegetable (soy, corn, sunflower, safflower) and grape seed oils
  • nuts
  • meat from grain fed animals
  • processed and fast foods

 

pictures from Pexels and Pixabay

 

Both omega 3s and omega 6s have health benefits and drawbacks.  While 6s are helpful in treating the symptoms of arthritis, diabetic nerve pain, menopause,  high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, eczema, and even allergies, too many 6s can cause depression, dyslexia, obesity, hyperactivity, and other health problems.

Omega 3s are crucial for our brain, hormone, and immune function,  good vision and hair, skin, cell and tissue growth.  They are helpful in treating symptoms of lupus, asthma, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, breast and colon cancers and irritable bowel disease.  A deficiency in 3s can result in conditions such as depression and mood swings, poor memory, fatigue, poor circulation, dry skin and more.

The problem comes when too many 6s, especially from vegetable oils and grain fed (as opposed to grass-fed) meat, outweigh and overtake the benefits of the 3s.  This happens because the 3s and 6s compete for the same enzymes to aid in their metabolism.  Although a ratio of 1:1 between 6s and 3s is the ideal balance to strive for, studies have shown modern diets to be as high as 16:1   This higher proportion of omega 6s is leading to the increase of many disease states within our modern societies including arthritis, heart disease, autoimmune diseases and other inflammatory processes, as well as numerous types of cancer.

Start paying attention to the ratio of omega fatty acids in your diet and make some changes before your health takes a turn for the worse!

Sugar, Sugar

 

lump-sugar-549096_960_720

In the diet or health and wellness world, sugar is a bad word these days.  Apparently, processed foods, even the fat-free, fat-reduced or light products are not the way to go as they are making us fatter and fatter.  Why?  Because of the large amounts of sugar they contain.

Sugar comes in many forms and names.  Packaged, processed or prepared foods may be convenient and tasty, but are loaded with various forms of sugar:

  • sucrose, maltose, fructose, dextrose, glucose (anything ending in ‘ose’)
  • honey, syrup, nectar, sweetener, cane crystal, molasses, cane juice, malt

Sugar in any form causes our blood sugar (glucose) levels to rise and fluctuate, causing weight gain and more.  When the sugar is metabolized in our bodies, it is stored as fat.  A level, controlled blood sugar level is the best way to maintain a healthy weight and ward off diseases such as:

  • diabetes
  • breast, endometrial and colon cancers
  • heart disease and high blood pressure
  • infertility
  • sleep apnea
  • osteoarthritis
  • liver and gallbladder disease
  • stroke

 

Starting your new weight loss program does not have to be difficult.  Aim to eat more fresh, non-processed foods. If you are tempted to buy convenient, processed foods, beware of the hidden sugars; read the labels!

Cut out sugar from your diet for a healthier, slimmer 2017.

Get real results by eliminating wheat from your diet

For several years, I suffered from various symptoms for which my doctor could find no solution.  Although my low ferritin or iron stores level explained my chronic fatigue and low energy, the supplements prescribed did not help boost the level, but it did make me constipated.  I was beginning to feel like a hypochondriac since none of my symptoms could be reasonably explained or alleviated.

This chart summarizes the blood work and various tests before and after eliminating wheat from my diet…

 

20160226_231059

The primary change, at least for me since I first went to the doctor because I was tired all of the time, is the ferritin or iron stores results.  The normal range is between 80 and 300.  In 2007 my ferritin level was 9, extremely low.  By adding more iron to my diet I was able to get it up to a whopping 18.  I then discovered a wheat allergy that was preventing my body from absorbing iron from my diet or supplements.  Two months after eliminating wheat from my diet, my ferritin or iron stores result was up to 42, one year later up to 63 and four years later to a normal level of 100.

A second  major change was the disappearance of my asthma symptoms.  At my last visit to my respirologist he was amazed at how my pulmonary function tests were completely normal.  I didn’t tell him about the wheat-free diet until after he expressed his surprise at my results.  He was skeptical of the fact that a naturopath figured out my problem, but agreed I should continue avoid wheat.

Another healthy change is the difference between my before and after cholesterol results that went from slightly high at 545 to a mid normal range of 315.  My weight had also been creeping up over the years hitting 140 pounds before the wheat elimination.  I dropped 5 pounds within 6 weeks of eliminating the wheat and currently weigh in at 130 pounds four years later.  At five feet and five inches in height, I am satisfied with my current weight.  The biggest bonus to the weight loss has been the loss of flab and excess fat around my middle.

I have experienced similar positive results with arthritis symptoms which were getting worse every year until I eliminated wheat.  I currently suffer from very minimal arthritis symptoms. Although I have not have repeat ultrasounds or chest x-rays to see if the ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids and lung hyperventilation are no longer present, the symptoms associated with those three conditions have disappeared.

My white blood cell and platelet counts still remain low, results I have been aware of for many years.  Having worked in the field of laboratory medicine for thirty years, I had many opportunities to test my blood.  I have always suspected some form of autoimmune action within my body; someday I may investigate this suspicion.

 

Bring in 2016 with an elimination diet

 

Happy New Year to all of you writers and readers out there in the blogging world.  Instead of a new year’s resolution for a typical diet, I think this suggestion for an elimination diet is a much healthier way to bring in 2016…..

new years diet

Give it a try and make 2016 a wonderful, healthy and happy year!

Please be sure to visit my other blogs:

Laugh out loud (LOL) with me at YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE

and

be inspired and motivated by famous words of wisdom at WoW

 

Another Success Story: Wheat Free and Reduced Sugar Diet

Just before Christmas a friend confided that she has been struggling with weight gain, sluggishness, and low energy for a while now and since a car accident a few years ago has added concussion-like symptoms, body aches and brain fog to her list of ailments. She was in a no win cycle where she knew she needed to exercise more, but exercise worsened her symptoms…

I told her how my wheat-free diet has eliminated many of my health issues and loaned her my copy of “Wheat Belly” by William Davis. She read the book from cover to cover, gaining motivation along the way, and by the end she was hooked!

Three weeks ago she began to eliminate wheat and sugar from her diet, noticing an improvement almost immediately. To date she has lost 12 pounds, and 2 pant sizes. More importantly, she feels more energetic and is able to exercise more frequently and for longer periods of time…fantastic!!

What a difference a year makes!

Last year at this time I wrote “spring is just around the corner” about my gardening hobby. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would soon be the proud owner of my own gardening company! In April 2012 Gardnes4U was born and I must admit, these past eight months have been a whirlwind…

I was busier than I had anticipated, even throughout the scorching hot weather we had here in Ottawa. I am blessed to have so many friends and contacts that were willing to give my services a try, and then recommend me to others. I created, planted, designed, cleaned up and restored many gardens, loving every minute of it. When I wasn’t in someone else’s garden, I managed to find time in my own.

On the few rainy days we had in the summer and throughout the fall, I printed up  business cards and built a website; a real challenge for me as I am the first to admit that I am seriously technically challenged!!  Although I am proud of what I have accomplished so far, I am always open to suggestions and comments…

In the late fall, I created some indoor and outdoor planters for the Christmas craft sale at the QCH in December.  They were a huge success (you can view some of them on my website, under my garden pictures) and eventually I sold them all.  As the fall faded to winter, I got back into writing articles on wordpress and decided to start a blog to discuss my wheat allergy with those interested in cutting wheat from their diets. I have discovered that many people are concerned about the negative effects wheat can have on our bodies, even without a diagnosed wheat allergy.  To organize all of my current interests in one place,  I added a few pages about my wheat-free diet to my gardening website…

This spring I am looking forward to working for repeat clients and to meeting new ones.  I have the advantage this year of time to schedule these clients according to what they need me to do for them.  I also plan on creating outdoor spring planters; I will be sure to post some on the website…

Please check out my website at www.gardens4u.ca on a regular basis, it is a work in progress with new pictures, articles and links added frequently.