A Holistic Approach to Alzheimer’s disease.

Dec 26, 2023

Health Canada designates January as Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

To bring in the New Year sharing wellness, Health House will contribute from a Holistic Perspective.

Alzheimer’s has been named the disease of the 21st century and has reached epidemic proportions with more middle-aged and elderly being diagnosed annually than ever before.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive brain disorder that begins with common memory loss but develops into dementia and, eventually, death. It specifically targets a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which controls memory and intellect.

Often, AD is difficult to diagnose because many conditions including nutritional deficiencies can mimic the same symptoms of the onset of this heartbreaking illness. Since Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease, symptoms worsen over time and often follow by order:

  • Memory deficiency
  • Confusion & Disorientation
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Inability to complete basic tasks
  • Inappropriate behaviour
  • Hallucinations or delusions
  • Episodes of violence & rage or passivity
  • Dementia
  • Loss of judgement

A diagnosis of AD relies on clinical judgement, numerous tests, and evaluation of alternate conditions. Before a diagnosis can be made, medical exclusion of certain conditions must be ruled out:

  • Depression
  • Anemia (Iron, B12 and Folic Acid levels)
  • Heart disease & Stroke
  • Hypothyroid
  • Alcoholism
  • Prescription Medication effects

However, to truly diagnose AD, a biopsy of brain tissue must show the presence of neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques which are usually discovered after the patient succumbs to the disease and an autopsy is performed. Prior to death, Alzheimer’s is medically diagnosed based on exclusion and various medical test results.

Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented or even arrested with the correct nutrition and detoxification plan.

Current research has discovered numerous triggers for Alzheimer’s, but the most common and well known is an increased instance of AD in diabetics. For this reason Alzheimer’s has also been termed “Type 3 Diabetes”, where researchers have made a correlation between insulin levels and brain cell deterioration. Brain cells can become “insulin resistant” just like any other cell in the body, leading to glucose starved cells. These brain cells shrink and become “tangled” when blood sugars are elevated. This can be corrected by consuming the correct nutrient dense food plan that regulates blood sugar and insulin levels.

Other causes, linked to Alzheimer’s, are exposure and toxicity of certain heavy metals, namely mercury and aluminum. Mercury sources include dental fillings and its vapours that are released into the blood stream as you chew, vaccinations, water, and other environmental sources. Remember the Mad Hatter? He was poisoned by mercury toxicity from the felt used in the making of hats. Aluminum sources include food and pop cans, vaccinations, baking powder, antacids, and pharmaceutical drugs, to name a few. Aluminum can be inhaled, consumed internally, or absorbed through the skin and scalp. It is metabolized in the body, transported through the blood stream, and either excreted in the feces or absorbed into the brain cells. The neurotoxicity of aluminum is also increased when there is a deficiency of specific mineral concentrations. Aluminum has been discovered in elevated amounts in the neurofibrillary tangles found in the brain and mercury has been shown to be responsible for brain neuron degeneration and reduced brain function. Watch this video showing how the University of Calgary Research Lab uses mercury to recreate brain neuron degeneration as seen in those diagnosed with AD.

British and Norwegian scientists at the Universities of Oxford and Bergen discovered homocysteine as the first firm link to Alzheimer’s as long ago as 1998. Researchers at Boston University have found that a high homocysteine level is a strong, independent risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease. This can be reversed with large amounts of specific nutrients. Homocysteine levels correlate directly with the condition of your memory, your mental alertness, mood, and the width of the hippocampus. If you are concerned about your memory, the first step is to test the blood homocysteine level. Both the changes in the brain and rising homocysteine levels happen before any noticeable symptoms emerge.

When dealing with chronic degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, practicing prevention is key. Following a whole food, natural diet, including healthy fats is recommended. Minimal sugars and refined grains are also suggested, reducing fruit consumption to 1-2 per day, and making sure each meal contains clean proteins and good brain-building fats.

Holistic, all natural, recommendations can be made by a Holistic Nutritional Consultant or a Naturopath and should include some of the following recommendations:

Antioxidant therapy – especially Vitamin A (beta carotene) & E
B Vitamins – B12, B3 (Niacin) and Folic Acid
Trace Minerals – namely Zinc
Herbal Remedies – Ginkgo Biloba
Phospholipids – phosphatidylserine & choline
Fats and Fatty Acids such as Coconut Oil consumption
A personalized dietary plan
Staying physically and mentally active

It is imperative to determine the nutrient imbalances, toxicity levels and all contributing factors in order to eliminate the Root Causes and therefore repair and rebuild the body’s cells.

Jennifer Papaconstantinou NNCP, RNT
Marlene Marshall, ROHP, RNT

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