The quitter’s guide to stopping bad habits

Group Of Teenagers SmokingThey’re called bad habits for a reason: they haunt us, they steer us off track and they prevent us from living our healthiest lives. But, because they’re habits, they’ve become sort of a ritual, part of what we do and who we are. It can be extremely difficult to stop a bad habit like smoking, but not impossible.

The first step is to identify why you have these habits. Be extra mindful; keep a journal and write down anytime you feel the need to indulge in your bad habit. Where are you, what do feel, what are the circumstances? See if you can define the reason for your habit.

Keeping this record can help you identify possible triggers that could be making it more difficult to break your habit. You may find you even need to avoid certain situations, especially in the beginning.

To rid yourself of a bad habit you’ll need to be committed to a formulated plan of action. Write down your goal and believe you can achieve it. This may mean starting small. Making small strides towards an ultimate goal might not feel as satisfying, but it’s a great way to start the path to success. Maybe your bad habit is too much screen time and not enough exercising. Instead of going all out immediately, take steps for gradual change. Make your first goal to exercise at least 10 minutes a day. If screen time is an issue, exercise first, so you don’t get pulled into a binge session and skip the workout.

Reward yourself for good behavior. This can even be a part of the plan; you could do a reward system for every mini goal you achieve along the way.

Understanding what your bad habit is and why you do it is the first step. After that, you can formulate a plan of action and beat that bad habit.

Symptoms of cognitive impairment: Normal aging, neurocognitive disorder and dementia

30031239_SWhat is dementia? What is cognitive impairment? Can cognitive impairment be reversed? And how does one differentiate between the two and any normal memory loss associated with progressive aging? Are you interested in learning more about dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and the symptoms of cognitive impairment? Continue reading for a general synopsis.

Before diving deeper into the varying types of cognitive impairment, let’s uncover some of the symptoms most commonly associated with the neurological disorder.

What are the typical symptoms of cognitive impairment?

The following are some of the most observed symptoms associated with mild to severe cognitive impairment:

  • Confusion
  • Partial loss of short-term or long-term memory
  • Impaired judgment/decision-making
  • Poor motor coordination
  • Identity confusion
  • Missing/forgetting appointments or important events
  • Difficulty keeping up with conversations

An individual suffering with a neurocognitive disorder may present one or more of these symptoms. These symptoms can be a normal sign of aging in geriatric populations. However, they may start as symptoms of mild cognitive impairment and progress later on. It is important to talk with your doctor about creating a plan for treatment and enacting lifestyle changes that may be able to slow or reverse some or all of these symptoms.

This then raises another poignant question regarding these early indicators: How fast does mild cognitive impairment progress?

Answer: Unfortunately, there is no solid medically based research to back any data. It is vital, however, to see a doctor to discuss a thorough diagnosis and treatment plan – before these issues advance to more severe cognitive impairment symptoms.

If you notice any new or sudden signs of cognitive impairment in children, it is absolutely critical to seek out medical help immediately. The age of a child would obviously denounce any normal aging neurological related atrophy.

Are there any other behavioral or mood changes to look out for?

There are additional and equally notable behavioral and mood changes that can supplement the current symptoms of cognitive impairment. Keep an eye out for any of the following:

  • Quickly changing mood
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Impulsivity
  • Apathy
  • Social isolation

It is important to remember to watch for these mood and behavioral signs – and make sure to talk with your doctor about them should they present. These issues could be a symptom of mild cognitive impairment, or, they could be related to something else. Take note that individuals with mild behavioral impairment (MBI) do have an increased risk for developing dementia.

Memory and aging: Normal aging memory loss vs. dementia

Memory and Aging: Normal Aging Memory Loss vs Dementia

Another issue to address in the geriatric populations is normal memory loss vs dementia. What should stand out as a red flag and what should be cited and a pre-diagnosis market. It is vital to understand that when you are discussing mild cognitive impairment vs dementia, that there are specific diagnostic criteria that doctors utilize. Only a licensed doctor or nurse practitioner will be able to officially diagnose any potential condition.

If you are experiencing normal age-related memory loss, your doctor will likely ask about your lifestyle. There are many things that can be done to support cognitive health as you age. Diet and exercise are vital here. Eating well-balanced meals with the right vitamins and key nutrients can help support healthy aging. If you smoke tobacco, then it might be a great time to think about quitting.

Brain “exercises” are another underutilized technique that many assist in cognitive repairment and/or put a halt to current or impending symptoms. There are many ways to train your brain as you age. Here are just a few fun ways to help keep your cognitive receptors active and firing:

  • Word games
  • Puzzles
  • Trivia and quiz games
  • Memory games
  • Math and number games
  • Card games
  • Blogging
  • Reading

Current medicine and the treatment of cognitive impairment

Research into different types of cognitive impairment, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, as well as memory in general is ever evolving and technologically advancing while uncovering new information on an almost daily basis. Treatment of cognitive impairment is improving, and clinical trials are repeatedly discovering new breakthroughs.

If you would like to learn more about memory loss, cognitive impairment, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease, or if you have any questions concerning the cognitive wellness of a loved one, please click here to talk with a professional today.

Do you think you or a loved one may be suffering from cognitive impairment?

If you have noticed what you think could be symptoms of cognitive impairment in yourself or a loved one, please talk with a doctor as soon as possible. Reference the link above.

While you can find plenty of cognitive impairment tests online, it is critical to seek the help of a licensed medical professional.

Cognitive impairment symptoms can start slowly and then progress quickly. Please don’t wait to talk with a doctor after the signs worsen. Make the call today.


Ginger just might be the wonder root

Fresh ginger rootWhat’s in your herbal first aid kit? If the root vegetable ginger isn’t in there, here are a few reasons to consider keeping it around the house. If you’ve ever reached for a ginger ale when you felt sick to your stomach, it might be no surprise to you that ginger can have some satisfying health benefits. For starters, the root of the plant is actually what you ingest. It’s used to not only flavor beverages like ginger ale, but also to spice up dishes, and even to clean your palette after eating sushi. Additionally, it has some awesome properties that make it a great staple to keep around.

For thousands of years, ginger has helped relieve various types of pains. It’s been shown not only to help stomachaches and motion sickness, but also to ail other issues. You may find it helps with diarrhea, gas, and menstrual cramps. Ginger has some amazing anti-inflammatory properties, making it helpful for pain from rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. It eases general joint and muscle pain. It may even help with a migraine or headache.

There’s a substance in fresh ginger, called Gingerole, that may even help reduce your chance of infections. Raw ginger has even been shown to have possible anti-cancer properties.

Ginger is easy to add into to a diet plan. It can be found in various forms, including pickled, powder, supplements, and hot teas. Grated ginger can also be added to soups and stir fries.

Of course, as with anything, exercise caution and do not use ginger as a substitute for medicine prescribed to you by your doctor. Ginger can interfere with some medication, can raise insulin, and can act as a blood thinner. Check with your doctor regarding the safety of using it during pregnancy and if you have certain health issues. Keep in mind, a lower dose is usually recommended. In a day, the typical amount is 4 grams or less.

Once you’re approved to add this supplement to your diet, consider giving it a try. Add flavor and health benefits to your palette.

Neuroscience basics – Understanding Alzheimer’s

18996499_SWhile neurological research utilizes technological advancements on a daily basis in attempts to further delve into the abyss of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), neurodegeneration is steadily becoming a predictable diagnosis in monitored patients.

In short, Alzheimer’s Disease is an age-related degenerative progression that affects an individual’s brain. Oftentimes, at the time of initial observation or clinical diagnosis, substantial and irreversible brain damage has already manifested thus intensifying the need to implement regular checkups to allow for preliminary markers to be observed and even predicted. Early monitoring can allow for therapeutic treatment to drastically slow the progression of the disease.

Understanding the early stages in a comprehensive manner could be the difference between putting a stop the illness and suffering from significant damage.

Some basic signs to be aware of when observing an individual will be briefly touched on throughout the remainder of this article in hopes to give the foundational knowledge needed for preventative measures.

Memory loss

Memory loss is a common and generalized occurrence in elderly people, but can also be an underlying predicator of other, more threatening medical conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease.

In normal, progressive aging, when a person ‘forgets’ something they have a tendency to recall the subject matter later on. With early on-set Alzheimer’s, in this same example, the individual will forget with no recall or cognitive connection to the subject matter whatsoever.

Memory loss is in fact one of the most common signs and early stages of AD. In conjunction with observed loss of memory, take note if the individual is seemingly asking the same questions over and over. This obvious repetition and dependency on other people to remember certain tasks or dates is critical to the proactive time frame.

Trouble expressing thoughts, feelings, and emotions

An elderly person who seems to be slipping in their ability to articulate thoughts in an educated manner should not be disregarded. Especially if this particular individual had no trouble of this in their past.

Someone who is aging at a normal speed is going to naturally develop progressive issues in regards to thought communication but this type of occurrence will be minimal and certainly not advance or worsen over time.

Those suffering from early on-set dementia or pre-diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, will often stop mid sentences. They may even stop the conversation completely or repeat their sentence. Other times you will notice them having issues identifying common objects or calling them by different names.

Because of the inevitable frustration this will cause them, you may notice that they begin to shy away from having general conversations with people.

Misplacing objects

As we previously stated, memory loss is a common sign in individuals who are suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. What often comes along with forgetting names, places, and dates, is forgetting where you placed an item.

A person with AD will often put things in strange places, making it extremely difficult to find them even with the help of another person. For instance, a person living with Alzheimer’s may put a frying pan in their sock drawer. This is obviously not the pans typical spot and will now be very hard to find the next time someone needs it to cook.

If the person is then questioned on the whereabouts of the frying pan, they may begin to through accusatory theft allegations, in attempts to make sense of their unusual behavior.

Visual impairment

Sometimes and in some people, visual problems can be a sign of Alzheimer’s Disease. Understand that visual impairments are also a normal sign of aging but monitor the remaining behavior in direct comparison to the other signs outlined above. Being unable to judge distance, differentiate colors, and failing to recognize their own image in a mirror are critical markers that should be taken seriously and discussed with a medical professional as soon as possible.

Suffering from visual impairment is a preliminary indicator but this can also be coupled with feelings of anxiousness, confusion, and intensified irritability.

Conclusive discussions

Again, the importance of having a thorough understanding of what these symptoms look like while being able to recognize the signs in a loved one is imperative to proactively treating the disease.

Preventative and alternative medicines are viable treatment options. Bredesen Protocol Treatment, for instance, is a form of integrative medicine that has seen increased effectiveness in treating Alzheimer’s Disease or patients suffering from dementia. It has shown a reverse in cognitive decline and improved brain health.

“Providing Alzheimer’s treatment for patients and those who want to optimize their brain health to avoid this dreadful disease and reverse cognitive decline has been a passion of Doctor Lawson for a few years now. Dr. Lawson is passionate about helping patients to understand their risks and mitigate them through lifestyle changes, targeted nutraceuticals including nootropics, advanced peptide therapy and the right medications when indicated.” [Bredesen Protocol Treatment for Dementia/Alzheimer’s]