Dementia is a lifestyle or genetic disease that can affect the brain and reduce the ability to think, remember, and process information. It may even result in death. But, can dementia be prevented? Although there is no cure as yet, dementia can be prevented, especially if the individual is made aware at an early stage that they are at risk.
If you are concerned that you are at risk of developing dementia, whether it’s because you have a family history of dementia, or in general, a simple, painless DNA test can determine this and allow you to make the necessary dementia prevention lifestyle changes.
There are a number of risk factors that could increase your likelihood of developing this condition. These include smoking, lack of regular exercise, untreated depression, cognitive inactivity, etc. These factors can be avoided, or replaced, with better habits that will aid in preventing dementia and other lifestyle diseases.
Eating to Improve Cognitive Health
Most people are already aware of the benefits of following a balanced diet that works for individual needs. One of the major risk factors of dementia is obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. A balanced diet will keep these levels regulated, and maintain a healthy weight.
This should be accompanied by regular exercise – find what you enjoy doing and do it at least twice a week consistently. This can be aerobic exercises, swimming, dancing, walking, or running. There are many beneficial, fun exercises that can be followed according to your preference.
Avoid Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Smokers tend to be at risk of many more diseases than non-smokers. In order to avoid the risks of dementia, smokers should consider stopping the habit. There are multiple treatments and programmes that have turned smokers into non-smokers successfully, and you can speak to your healthcare professional to find the right one for you.
Excessive alcohol consumption is also detrimental to your cognitive health, as well as your overall health. If you are going to drink alcohol, drink it in moderation and maintain other healthy habits to keep your body balanced.
For more information on our genetic tests in South Africa and to determine whether you are at risk for any lifestyle diseases, contact our experts.