Inflammation in Alzheimer’s – Can Reducing Inflammation Minimize the Impact?
Whether you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, or you care to minimize the risks for you or an aging loved one, it’s never too early to learn about the role of inflammation in Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s is a disease marked by brain degeneration. Because it first affects the areas of the brain responsible for recent memories, various factors can minimize the early symptoms. These include mental exercises, moderate exercise for good blood flow, staying in familiar surroundings associated with older memories, and using digital assistants for everyday reminders. Research is, however, looking at one additional consideration that may also help minimize the early effects of Alzheimer’s.
The Impact of Inflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease
In a Forbes article, David DiSalvo wrote about a new study, saying that “chronic inflammation surfaced as the most important, changeable factor for both reaching the century mark and enjoying better physical and mental health on the way.” The article quotes the study’s co-author, Professor Thomas von Zglinicki, from Newcastle University’s Institute for Aging saying “…it’s only very recently we could mechanistically prove that inflammation actually causes accelerated aging in mice…This study…makes a strong case to assume that chronic inflammation drives human aging too.”
So what is inflammation and what can you do to reduce it?
Amanda MacMillan writes on Health.com that “Inflammation is part of the body’s immune response; without it, we can’t heal. But when it’s out of control—as in rheumatoid arthritis—it can damage the body. Plus, it’s thought to play a role in obesity, heart disease, and cancer.”
But beware of pills as a quick-fix. In an article on PsychCentral, Rick Nauert PhD warns that anti-inflammatory drugs may not be right for everyone, and may actually increase the impact of inflammation in Alzheimer’s.
Logically, if inflammation is part of your body’s internal defense response, removing what is irritating your body will allow inflammation levels to drop naturally and allow your system to be healthy.
For most people, the best method of controlling inflammation is diet and exercise. If you’re ready to get healthy fast, check your local library for a film titled Forks Over Knives. You can also start searching on the Internet regarding which foods increase inflammation, as well as the foods and exercises which can actually help in reducing it.
Here is a list of diet suggestions from WebMD
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Minimize saturated and trans fats
- Eat a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish or fish oil supplements and walnuts
- Watch your intake of refined carbohydrates such as pasta and white rice
- Eat plenty of whole grains such as brown rice and bulgur wheat
- Eat lean protein sources such as chicken; cut back on red meat and full-fat dairy foods
- Avoid refined foods and processed foods
- Spice it up. Ginger, curry, and other spices can have an anti-inflammatory effect
While you don’t have to give up all of your favorite foods completely, you may want certain items you eat relegated to the level of occasional treats, while learning delicious ways to prepare all those foods you may have been passing by every time you go the grocery store– the produce aisle. Remember, you’ll have to make a noticeable degree of dietary change if you wish to see a noticeable drop in your body’s inflammation.
And, an exercise routine doesn’t have to be extreme. Controlling your weight and getting out and about more provide significant benefits. If you can handle more active walking, gardening or other aerobic exercise, that’s even better.
The impact of inflammation in Alzheimer’s can be reduced. Home and Hearth Caregivers home care workers are all skilled in the preparation of anti-inflammatory foods for anyone in your family. Even delicious ethnic meals if you desire. Plus, we’re happy to accompany you on a walk or other activities.
For more information, give us a call today. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.