Having experienced my mum’s dementia journey, I’m encouraged by new evidence that it may be possible to avoid some types of dementia. The Bredesen Protocol – ‘a comprehensive personalized programme designed to improve cognition and reverse cognitive decline’ – is big news right now. I can’t wait for my copy of Dr Bredesen’s book, The End of Alzheimer’s, to arrive from Loot.co.za.
I’ve been surprised, though, to find many people writing off this possibility. In the on-line dementia support groups I belong to, there have been a number of posts stating that Dr Bredesen is just out to make money from selling his book, and that he is peddling false hope and ‘snake oil’ solutions.
Perhaps we don’t dare raise our hopes, only to have them dashed.
I’d like to encourage us to take this risk. I believe Dr Bredesen’s message of hope because I have experienced miraculous improvements in my own health resulting from a few dietary changes.
Only five years ago, my health was a mess. I’d shattered my wrist in 22 places falling off a chair! After surgery to insert a plate and screws, a scan revealed advanced osteoporosis. I was 53 years old. That wasn’t all. I had suffered from irritable bowel syndrome most of my life, was chronically depressed, had brain fog, and experienced mood swings related to unstable blood sugar.
Breaking my wrist was my wake-up call. I’d read about the side-effects of osteoporosis medications and knew that I didn’t want to take any of them. It was time to get to the root of my health issues.
I am grateful to live in the Age of the Internet. My healing journey started with an on-line course on osteoporosis offered by a functional medicine doctor in California. She taught me about the importance of gut health, the devastating impact of sugar and gluten on the body, and the essential role of the millions of microscopic ‘bugs’ that live in our bodies – especially in our intestines.
Just three days after cutting gluten out of my diet (I stopped eating wheat, rye, barley, oats and corn), my chronic depression lifted and has never returned. My brain fog also cleared up, and my balance improved.
Thanks to a low-carbohydrate diet and no sugar, my mood swings and anxiety are a thing of the past. Drinking home-made bone broth, and no longer eating foods that cause inflammation (e.g. gluten, sugar and industrial seed oils), has helped to heal my gut.
I discovered that osteoporosis is not just caused by poor absorption of calcium. It’s also an auto-immune condition, which is triggered by a condition called ‘leaky gut’. Since my gut health has improved, so has my bone health. Tests have shown that I no longer have osteoporosis!
Unsurprisingly, all the steps I’ve taken to improve my bone health are included in Dr Bredesen’s protocol for improving brain health. He too recommends a low-carbohydrate diet, minimising chronic inflammation, reducing blood sugar and insulin levels, and improving gut health. And of course, exercise, sleep and stress management are vital too!
Brain fog and chronic depression are signs of brain impairment, which may result in dementia. And yet, simple dietary changes healed not only my bones but my brain too. I hope that my story will encourage you to trust that we can and will turn the tide on dementia.