Secrets to Keeping Your Brain Young

By: | Tags: , , | Comments: 0 | October 23rd, 2017

Secrets to Keeping Your Brain YoungBy Donald Ellsworth, M.D.

Too often, people accept a decline in their health as “just part of getting older” and that they have to “learn to live with it.”  However, we find that what is often called ‘normal aging’ is due to age-related changes that we can do something about.   Many find that their memory issues can be significantly improved by detoxification, addressing the age-related declines in our hormones and vitamins, as well as making some simple lifestyle changes.

Yeast overgrowth and your own local brewery

An overgrowth of yeast in the GI tract allows your body to make alcohol, which is known as the “auto-brewery syndrome.” Alcohol is just one of several toxins candida makes to undermine clear thinking.

Age-related decline in our hormones

Hypothyroidism often causes significant memory problems.  It can start with slower speech, trouble focusing, trouble understanding what you hear and read, trouble finding words, forgetting where you put things, then progress to forgetting recent conversations and events.  In severe cases, it can even look like dementia.  Fortunately, hypothyroidism-related memory problems are reversible when diagnosed and treated properly.    Remember that the blood test most physicians do can let you down, it is easy to pass the test but still have a thyroid problem.  The key “test” to diagnose hypothyroidism is a careful look at your symptoms and physical exam.

Pregnenolone directly stimulates the brain and increases acetylcholine production.  DHEA levels drop dramatically as we age and studies have shown the DHEA can improve memory and mood.

Vitamin deficiencies associated with a decline in memory and mental clarity

All B vitamins play a key role in brain function.   Deficiencies in B vitamins such as B12, folate and B6 increase the risk of elevated homocysteine levels which can cause early onset of dementia.

Other issues

If you have sleep apnea or other severe issues sleeping, you will not be able to think clearly.  Have a sleep study done to determine if treatment is needed.

Depression impairs memory in many cases.  We find depression often responds to natural treatments without potentially harmful antidepressants.

Many medications interfere with memory and focus.  The most common culprits are anti-anxiety drugs – benzodiazepines like Clonazepam (Klonopin).  Cholesterol drugs block to production of energy by blocking CoQ10 production and they also rob the body of the fats needed for the brain to be healthy.   Hypertension drugs, especially Beta Blockers, impair thyroid use in the cells and cause memory issues.  Other potentially memory busting medications include seizure medications, antidepressants, sleeping pills, medications for incontinence, pain and older antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl).

Additional causes of memory issues include:

  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Toxins such as benzene and mycotoxins
  • Lyme disease
  • Head injuries
  • Strokes
  • Alzheimer’s disease: Alzheimer’s is the most feared cause of memory decline but usually does not cause symptoms until the mid-60s.  Since there is no perfect test of the disease, even those suspected of having Alzheimer’s dementia should have all the potentially treated causes of memory impairment addressed.

What can you do?

  • Have a thorough evaluation by your doctor.
  • Work with your doctor to get off as many medications as you can that may be contributing to memory issues. Remember that most of these medications need to be weaned very slowly.
  • Supplement with the right vitamins and minerals:
    • A good multivitamin plus minerals with omega 3, i.e. 1 – 2 PowerPak/day
    • Phosphatidyl Serine, 300 mg a day
    • Acetyl L-Carnitine 500 mg 2x/day
    • Ginkgo Biloba has been shown to help improve memory in many cases.
    • Hotze B-Complex 1/day for adequate B vitamins. This supplies the key B vitamins including thiamine, methyl folate, B6 and B12.  Avoid products with folic acid, such as some B-complex vitamins and processed foods with added folic acid.
  • Add DHEA and Pregnenolone.
  • Avoid alcohol as the brain only tolerates a low amount of it.
  • Avoiding wheat and dairy can help as many have allergies/sensitivities to these.
  • Avoid refined sugar.
  • Detoxify your body with far infrared saunas and boost detoxification with a detoxification cocktail: vitamin C 1,000 mg 2x/day, alpha lipoic acid 300 mg 2x/day and N-acetyl cysteine 600 mg 2x/day.

Is hypothyroidism or hormone imbalance causing your brain fog?

Find out if you have symptoms of hormone imbalance or hypothyroidism that can be causing your brain fog and memory loss.  Take our symptom checker quiz today.

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