People treat memory loss and Alzheimer’s as if they are unlucky genetic fates with no prevention or cure. But the truth is they start years before symptoms are diagnosable and you can do something about it. Your diet, lifestyle, physical activity, other factors all influence your brain health.
A 2014 study showed that 9 out of 10 patients were able to reverse their memory loss and experience significantly improved memory by implementing a program of dietary changes, regular exercise, specific supplementation, better sleep, and brain stimulation.
Results were so remarkable that some were able to return to jobs they left due to their worsening memory. In fact, the only patient who did not improve was one with late-stage Alzheimer’s — the brain is far too degenerated at that point to recover.
This study was the first of its kind to show memory loss can be reversed and the improvement sustained. But it takes work.
The researchers who conducted the study drew their inspiration from similar studies that showed diet and lifestyle changes improved the health in patients with diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and HIV.
Changes the study subjects implemented included:
- Eliminating all simple carbohydrates, such as breads, white rice, pasta, sugars, etc.
- Removing gluten and processed foods from the diet
- Eating more produce and wild fish
- Doing yoga and other stress-reducing activities
- Increasing sleep from 4-5 hours to 7-8 hours a night
- Supplementing with methyl B12, vitamin D3, fish oil, CoQ10, curcumin, resveratrol, ashwagandha, and coconut oil
- Exercising a minimum of 30 minutes 4-6 times a week
- Cutting out snacking
- Using hormone therapy if necessary
The biggest challenge in the study was that the subjects complained about making so many drastic changes. However, except for the one with advanced Alzheimer’s, they all improved their health and reversed their memory loss.
Things that cause memory loss
Reduced consumption of starchy carbohydrates and sugars was an instrumental part of the study. Sugars and processed carbohydrates are so damaging to the brain that some researchers call Alzheimer’s type 3 diabetes.
Exercise is also vital when it comes to brain health. Regular exercise prevents and helps reverse memory loss.
Adequate sleep helps with memory because brain waves produced during sleep transfer memories from the hippocampus, an area of short term memory, to the prefrontal cortex, an area of long term memory. Insufficient and poor-quality sleep promote memory loss.
Gluten and other inflammatory can cause memory loss by inflaming the brain. In fact, in individuals with gluten sensitivity, neurological tissue is the tissue most often damaged by gluten intolerance. For some just going gluten free can significantly reverse memory loss.
Ask my office how we can use functional neurology and functional medicine to help you reverse your memory loss and improve your overall brain function.