first it takes your mind, then it takes your life
there are strong links between boozing and dementia
Dementia actually kills four times as many people as all the deaths attributed to COVID-19, even at the height of the supposed pandemic. And, dementia kills people in a particularly horrible and distressing way. I am not and have never been worried about the coronavirus, but becoming a shadow of myself through the hell of dementia frightens me, if I ever let myself think about it.
However, dementia is not inevitable, it’s not all down to random chance, it’s not all down to genetics, and it’s not a pestilence inflicted by a malicious God. Your mind does not have to be blown to dust ~ there are things we can do right now to help ourselves avoid the unimaginable suffering of being locked inside a mind afflicted by Alzheimer’s, or a softening of the brain, or whatever else causes this insanity.
Dementia is not primarily a mental illness, it is physical degradation of the brain.
A hell of a lot of dementia is caused by the lifestyle choices we make. To reduce your chances of becoming a shell of who you used to be then;
- get plenty of sunshine, fresh air, and exercise
- keep mentally and socially active, do not sit in front of the TV or computer screen for hours at a time
- keep regular hours and get enough good sleep ~ 6 to 8 hours a night
- do not smoke ~ and if you do give it up, forever
- do not drink to excess ~ avoid binge drinking
- do not take drugs, and I mean strong medication as well as street drugs
- have a good healthy diet; avoiding fat, sugar, wheat and other grains, dairy products, junk food and takeout, and especially high fructose corn syrup
- do not get avoidable diabetes
- do not get obese, regularly check your Body Mass Index
- control your blood pressure and cholesterol
- avoid hearing loss
- focus on your general health and well-being; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually ~ especially do all you can to avoid suffering from prolonged clinical depression
- do not to get sick from social diseases, so avoid; casual sex, using dirty needles, socialising with the dregs of society, drinking in sleazy bars, and taking vacations in disease riddled hell-holes like India
- do not get a head injury, so wear a helmet when cycling and avoid contact sports such as boxing. Do not get into bar fights.
- stay very clean; wash, shower, get in the tub, wear gloves for dirty jobs, wear clean clothes every day, change your bed-linen weekly
- do not get sent to jail
As it goes, all of the above are things that right-minded, self-disciplined, ethical and sensible people will do as a matter of course. There are two other things that will help you not to get dementia; be male and die young.
Some say that COVID-19 is the new plague sent by a vengeful deity. And that dementia only affects the very old. All I know is that all disease and infirmity is mostly preventable.
probably heading for dementia
with perseverance and endurance you can survive any storm
Nobody sane wants to suffer a doddering old age when you can’t remember anything or anyone. And certainly nobody wants to become an early victim of Alzheimer’s or Dementia.
Maybe most of us have had a parent or elderly relative who has suffered from memory loss, disorientation, poor judgement, mood swings, and a complete inability to live an independently normal life. To a certain extent maybe that can be expected and accepted when the sufferer in in their 80s or so, but why should it be? And why should anyone expect or accept the early onset of what should be a disease of the elderly such as Alzheimer’s Disease?
The fact is we can take steps to protect and, if necessary, repair our cognitive abilities. It’s not rocket science, look any website such as cognitive vitality and you will see that the things that we need to do to protect ourselves against things like dementia are exactly the same things we should be doing to live a healthy life. In order, and without even checking my information, these are;
- Stop smoking completely, (and vaping is even worse than smoking). Smoking will kill you in so many ways, but if you last long enough it will kill your brain.
- Don’t ever use drugs like pot, cocaine, heroin, (and don’t kid yourself that once in a while is OK). Don’t abuse prescription drugs, in fact as far as possible stop taking prescription drugs.
- Stop drinking, get sober, give up the booze, (and don’t even try to tell me that you can control your drinking). Drinking will also kill you in so many ways, but if you last long enough it will kill your brain.
- Eat for your brain. There is strong evidence that the right kind of diet will promote brain health. To begin with, stop eating canned food, processed food, and fast foods. Check out websites like Purple Almond Wellness.
- Get enough good quality sleep. Keep a regular bedtime 365 days a year, do not sleep in at weekends. Do not take sleeping medication, you should never need it.
- Take lots of fresh air, exercise, and sunshine. You know that you need to walk for your circulation to work properly? If you try the 10,000 steps a day thing you will sleep alright.
- Lose whatever causes you stress. You know that too much stress could kill you? It will certainly shorten your life expectancy and make you prone to nasty diseases such as cancer.
- Be active in mind and spirit. Keep learning, meet new people, get a hobby, do stuff. If you sit there drinking beer and watching sports TV your body weight is going to balloon and your IQ is going to plummet.
- Get really, really physically healthy. This is a big topic, so learn how to do it, start with a website like seven fitness tips for improved physical health. And don’t just sit there, get up and do things.
Some say that their lifestyle is fine. And that it’s OK to always drive the mile to the store and back. All I know is that the average American is killing themselves, and if they’re unlucky they’ll live long enough to kill their brain first.
being upset is no reason to;
drink, use drugs, smoke…
Take Good Care Of Yourself.
It turns out that the urban myth of red meat being bad for you is true after all. Which is sad, because I do enjoy a good steak.
The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook. ~ Julia Child
Eating a lot of steak, or roast beef, or burgers, or lamb, or pork increases your chances of dying from 9 major diseases by 26%, according to the National Cancer Institute in Maryland. Red meat raises the risk of death from cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, diabetes, a stroke, various infections, and kidney, liver, and lung diseases. (You can die from Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.)
Processed red meat such as corned beef is even worse for you, as is eating offal, liver, kidneys, pate…
There is a lot of ‘bad’ stuff in red meat, including cholesterol, (although there is a lot of ‘bad’ cholesterol in other popular foods such as macaroni and cheese). As well as the fat in red meat having too much of the ‘bad’ cholesterol, (Low Density Lipoprotein), red meat also contains a lot of heme iron, and too much of that is very bad for you as well. Too much heme iron increases your chances of dying from cancer, a stroke, liver failure, or heart disease.
At the moment I am taking a daily iron supplement, because I was diagnosed with a low red blood cell count, (anemia), but when my blood count returns to normal I will stop taking iron supplements. Too much heme iron can result in haemochromatosis, which is a particularly nasty illness causing things like fatty liver, cirrhosis, and liver failure.
Luckily, regularly eating white meat, (chicken breast), and oily fish may reverse the damage caused by eating steaks. Just don’t eat the chicken skin, or processed white meat, or processed fish. In fact don’t ever eat processed meat or canned meat ~ canned food is generally very bad for your health.
We are what we eat. Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es. ~ Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.
It is a scientifically proven fact that our food choices affect our health. I know that if my diet is bad ~ if I drink too much booze, have too much sugar, eat processed foods, eat out, eat ready-meals, eat too much fatty meat, then I feel bloated, lacking in energy, and I gain weight. It is also a scientifically proven fact that an unhealthy diet will significantly shorten my life.
Health is the natural condition. When sickness occurs, it is a sign that nature has gone off course because of a physical or mental imbalance. The road to health for everyone is through moderation, harmony, and a ‘sound mind in a sound body’. ~ Jostein Gaarder
Like everything else in life, our diet should be moderation in all things. When it comes to my diet, I have tried various fads, including eating only one meal a day, being vegan, and never eating carbohydrates. Now I believe that a mixture of the Paleo Diet, and the Mediterranean Diet is right for me.
Some things I try not to eat include wheat, (bread, pasta, cookies), and some other grains, (white rice), processed food, canned food, and dairy products.
I need to eat more oily fish, such as salmon. Looks like I also need to cut down on steak too. Shame, especially as I like my steak well-done, and that is really bad for my health…
Nobody gets out of this life alive. Aging is inevitable. Senior citizenship isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. But it doesn’t have to be quite like that.
Old age may have its limitations and its challenges, but our later years can be the most rewarding and fulfilling of our lives. ~ Paul Silway
It isn’t all bad news. Life is full of compromises, and as we get older we really have to change the way we do things. After we have reached the milestone of 40 or 50 or 60, what we really need to do is follow that old adage; ‘Don’t Work Harder, Work Smarter‘. And remember this, you know a hell of a lot about life.
The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected. ~ Robert Frost
There is some very solid advice for the more experienced among us.
Take Full Control of Your Life. Don’t let others ever again tell you what to do. Don’t blindly follow the advice of others. This includes family, friends, lawyers, doctors, dentists, accountants, financial advisers, insurance agents, government officials, contractors, salespeople of any kind, store clerks… Always question their knowledge, experience, motives…, because usually they aren’t doing things for your benefit, but theirs. Don’t ever do things you don’t want to do. In the end, do whatever you want to do, it’s your life. If you want to take up skydiving at 70, why not? Realistically, what have you got to lose? (The statistics are interesting. If a 25 years old guy kills himself skydiving he’s lost maybe 60 years. If you kill yourself at 70, doing something stupidly dangerous, what have you lost, maybe 15 years? No worries.)
Stay Fit. Exercise needs for the older person are different from the twenty-something keen sportsman. It seems that strength and mobility training is more important than athletic training. Sex is one of the best exercises you can get.
Believe me, an old broom knows the dirty corners best. ~ Hannah Kent
Eat Right. Dietary needs change as we age. Despite anything anyone tells you, really cut down on carbohydrates and give up wheat completely. Don’t eat so much red meat. Think about a Paleo Diet. Try to really cut down on refined sugar and salt. Find a healthy drink to replace coffee. Don’t get fat, it will kill you.
Stay Active and Interested in Life. Don’t just sit around in your chair with a blanket around your knees. As soon as you do that you’ve put one foot in the grave. Live every single day to the full ~ being well-educated you know what carpe diem means. Do it.
There is no old age. There is, as there always was, only you. ~ Carol Grace.
Don’t just ‘retire’. Retiring early can kill you. You need to find something to keep you in the ‘working’ frame of mind. Start a business, volunteer for charitable work, get politically active… Whatever you do, don’t stay in bed until noon and then stay up half the night drinking beer and watching sports TV.
Be Optimistic and Happy. Pessimism and Depression will make you physically ill and kill you fast. Negative thoughts and feelings, being grumpy and miserable lead to increased blood sugar and higher blood pressure ~ and all those lead to strokes, heart attacks, dementia, and cancers. Don’t worry, be happy. As we get older it’s time to learn some spirituality and true happiness.
Realise Your Assets and Spend the Money. What’s the point of being the richest corpse in the cemetery? Having spare spending cash helps you to do all the good things in life, and it’s your life. You want to go on a round the world cruise with your new romantic interest? Why the hell not? There may be those among us who worry about a ‘legacy’ for their kids / relatives / the cats’ home… Stop worrying about that because worrying, scrimping and saving, and not having fun will kill you. Downsize your home, or rent, and enjoy the money, spend the savings you’re not actually going to need to live on, don’t buy excessive life assurance cover….
Never Pay For Advice. You know more about money, risks, and life than any young ‘professional’ you are ever going to meet. What’s more you have the time and experience to do the proper research. So, when you’re working out your pension plan, don’t let some financial adviser tell you what to do ~ all they are interested in is their own fees and commissions. So very many older people discover that their nice little nest eggs have just vanished due to avaricious fund managers and insurance companies. Keep your own cash and manage it yourself. You can always borrow money if you really need it.
Never Let Anyone Treat You Like A Senior Citizen. You’re wiser, better educated, and more experienced than some young doctor, nurse, government official, member of your family… They will all expect you to be diffident and compliant, maybe take the ‘happy pills’ ~ just tell them to fuck off. Don’t ever do things just because someone else thinks it’s best for an old person like you. The only time to admit your age is if it leads to getting a discount somewhere.
There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age. ~ Sophia Loren.
Sadly there are some things you should give up or cut down on. You must stop smoking, you should at least severely restrict the booze, salt, and sugar. And, don’t take too many drugs, prescription or stuff you buy on the street. Follow some of this advice and you will want as much time as you can get.
The wisest are the most annoyed at the loss of time. ~ Dante Alighieri
Don’t spend your life looking over our shoulder, maybe regretting what you did or what could have been different. Enjoy each new sunrise and make the most of your life.
these thoughts are very well researched,
but in the end, they are mine alone