Dementias Explained Simply

Dementias Explained Simply

Our modern American Diet causes many illnesses including dementias, strokes, heart attacks, obesity, diabetes, sight and hearing loss. These many illnesses and the foods that cause them complicate my presentations about dementias and consume much time, much more than the 30 to 50 minutes typically reserved for me when I present this information to an audience. I continually search for a way to simplify it; to make it more understandable; to prevent my presentation from exceeding my allotted time.

I believe that I have found this simplification. It allows me to present the major cause of dementias such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases in four bulleted sentences. The first two are as follows:

  • Foods (and beverages) that contain excess sugar, MSG and citric acid cause dementia.
  • These chemicals powerfully stimulate the nerves of taste (neurostimulants).

This stimulation is powerful, powerful enough to carry  a message of delicious taste to our brains. As you bite into a cherry or key lime pie and drink a sweet, citrus drink; you taste delightful sugar sweetness and citrus fruitiness. When you eat a steak seasoned with MSG; the first bite quickly floods your nerves of taste and then your brain with delicious meat flavor: Not on the second or fifth bite but immediately, on the first bite. The magnitude of this overwhelming delicious taste shows the great power of these  chemicals to stimulate nerves.

This power makes citrus, MSG and sugar delicious but also  dangerous. Many studies point out this danger and many people are aware of this danger; if their taste were not so great, they would not eat them. If they stopped eating these flavorful chemicals, they would avoid the so-common addiction to their wonderful taste and avoid the so-frequent illnesses that they cause.

These food chemicals, these neurostimulants, cause their damage quietly and not in the mouth as you eat or drink them. You may have let their lack of harm while in the mouth convince you that they are safe. Actually, in one way you are right, they do not harm you while the food is in the mouth because you swallow the chemicals when you swallow the foods that contain them, freeing the mouth of these nerve-stimulating food chemicals.

To repeat, our look at foods-in-the-mouth shows us that sugar, MSG and citric acid are powerful and quick-acting nerve stimulators. They cause no harm while held in the mouth because they are not held there very long. In the next blog, Dementia in the Tummy, I will examine what happens once they are swallowed.

Brain Fog and Nerve Damage

I told you about Jane (not her real name) and her experience with sugar addiction. While we talked, she brought up another subject. She told me that sweet treats (fructose sugar) makes her suffer ‘brain fog’.

This interested me as I, myself, had just experienced an episode of brain fog: For a day and a half I felt as my brain was operating in a thick fog. I particularly noticed this in my speech. I had to search for each word and phrase in this fog; like I was drawing them from a muddy swamp. This happened several days before my presentation; thank heaven that I had time to recover my ability to speak before I gave my presentation. I have tried to speak when I am suffering active Alzheimer’s: It was utterly disastrous and horribly embarrassing.

I have learned much about Alzheimer’s disease by searching for the cause of any worsening of my symptoms. In the case of this brain fog, I suspect the cause was whole milk. In my book, Retaining the Mind, I discussed the lactose intolerance that has to be present before I feel comfortable diagnosing a case of Alzheimer’s disease. This brain fog episode happened after I had returned to drinking whole milk; I should have tolerated it well as I drank it in small amounts. However, although the amount I drank was small, I must have exceeded my milk tolerance. Evidently, it precipitated an episode of nerve damaged the nerves in my brain impairing my speech. Probably an episode of brain swelling or bloating and not brain nerve death, as speech was much easier the following day. However, I will reduce my milk intake or avoid it entirely to prevent this fog in the future.

What part of the milk caused the fog? Remember that Jane and I suffer from fructose-sugar-craving that may have led to brain damage. From my previous experience with the way foods injured the patients I treated in my allergy practice, and from my experience with sugar sensitivity, I suspect that the sugar of milk, lactose, is the culprit. What caution should you learn from this information? Be careful with milk. Enjoy it if you tolerate it. Do not exceed your tolerance when you drink it, it may be a cause of your symptoms.

Sugar Craving and Dementia

I had just finished speaking to an audience about how our diet promotes many diseases, including dementia. I had stayed at the speaker’s podium after most of the listeners had left when a dear friend, who had been waiting patiently until everyone left, told me about something she wanted to keep secret. To preserve her privacy, I will call her ‘Jane’.

She told me she was so addicted to sugar that she had joined a group formed to treat people with sugar addiction. And she had been attending meeting of this group for years.  And she had been hiding her addiction from her friends for these years.

This news did not shock me as many people share her addiction; it’s why sugar is so hard to take out of the diet. I share her addiction to sugar: It was only my obvious obesity that forced me so many years ago to completely eliminate it from my diet. (helping me to lose 100 pounds – I often marvel that there are many slim people who weigh about a hundred pounds – I have lost a slim person worth of fat by avoiding sugar!!!).

I still, at times, open the refrigerator and look in and I know what I am searching for. Sugar!! I look, even though I know there is no sugar there because I have already eliminated all sugar-sweetened foods and beverages from my home. I think my sugar craving is a sign of addiction.

The sugar I am avoiding is fructose or fruit sugar, naturally present in many natural foods in small amounts that we easily tolerate. Glucose, a sugar better tolerated by the body, gives little sweetness to foods or beverages and is not our concern. Our concern arises because farmers have bred large amounts of fructose into many fruits and food manufacturers have purified it and added it to treats because of fructose’s ability to sweeten these fruits and treats. We react to this higher concentration of fructose because most of us have genes that poorly tolerate this increased concentration (See Retaining the Mind). This poor tolerance gives fructose, in table sugar, honey and other sweets, the power to hurt us badly. In excess, it acts like a poison and promotes common illnesses such as obesity, stroke, myocardial infarction and dementia.

Now, back to my discussion with Jane: I regretted that she kept her addiction secret. Many people, including me, suffer this addiction. Her experience could have helped  us sugar-addicted take the brave step she took to control this unhealthy sugar addiction. Maybe her story will help you face your addiction.

You should find value in one other aspect of my discussion with Jane. I will tell you about it in my next blog, ‘Brain Fog and Dementia’.

Eating to repair nerves

Retaining the Mind shows you how our diet causes dementia and tells you how to change your diet to recover from it. How to recover the thoughts, plans and purposeful activities certain foods stole from you.

Following the diet is not easy. You must give up  many of the delicious foods that you enjoy. However, if you do not change your diet you may lose what must be more precious to you than delicious foods, your ability to think, plan and care for yourself. You will not enjoy looking back on this day as you sit, confined to a memory-care unit, after your family and friends gave up feeding and cleaning you. Then, you will think, this need not  have happened: If you only had changed what you ate and drank.

In this and next few blogs, I will supplement and sometimes repeat the diet information I gave you in Retaining the Mind. I hope this repeating will help you remember  the information you need to choose the foods and beverages you should eat and those you should avoid. Without this information you may not be following the diet and may not  bring relief to the nerves that the diet damaged.

In this blog I will give you the some general principles that guide me and should guide you as you follow my diet. First, follow this diet as exactly as you can, even compulsively,  for long enough to discover if it helps you. With dementia or any other disease of damaged nerves, it may take months to determine if you have improved. If the diet helps, you should be noticing improvements during this time, improvements such as better memory, deeper sleep, easier movements, less weakness, improved conversation, less need of cane or walker, progressive weight loss and/or other improvements.

A general principle I follow concerns following the diet long-term: If the diet does not help you, stop following it. If you find that it helps you, continue to follow it! A second principle, practice moderation in your choice of foods and beverages. You can eat the foods you are trying to avoid, just eat them in the amount you tolerate. What quantity can you tolerate? Only you will know;  tolerance differs from person to person, most probably depending on your own genetic makeup. You will learn this tolerance by watching for worsening of the symptoms that I mentioned above. if they worsen, you are exceeding your tolerance. Don’t feel bad about exceeding your tolerance: You are learning more about yourself and re-proving that the diet helps you. Just return to it to re-control the symptoms.

In my allergy practice, in my food-sensitive patients, I noticed that the patients who followed my diet without testing it at times eventually stopped following the diet. It is not easy to follow a diet that avoids sugar, MSG and citrus so people who did not prove again ( and again) that they should follow it, didn’t. But, people who tested it, and suffered the return of symptoms, then scooted back to the diet because they feared permanent damage from deviating from the diet, they continued to follow it.

And those fears are well-founded: The diet does not cure illnesses, it controls them. If you stop avoiding the foods that damage nerves you will suffer the return of the horrible symptoms the diet relieved. You do not want to hear the click of the lock on the door to the memory unit. Or to hunt for where you stored your cane. Go back to avoiding the excess consumption of the foods and beverages that are damaging your nerves.

Well, you must say to yourself, “What’s this!” A doctor who advocates testing the diet. Yes, you are right, I also test it at times and learned great lessons from this testing. I will take them up in future blogs when we look at how I react to foods.

Please help me spread the good news that dementias like Alzheimers disease are controllable and even reversible. If your church, business or social group needs a speaker, contact me at acallergy@gmail.com. 

 

 

Dementia and intimacy

Many people, both women and men, as they grow older, experience decreased ability to participate in intimate relations with their partners.  Is this inevitable and unchanging? Not if the cause is the years of eating and drinking foods and beverages containing more than they tolerate of the aging chemicals. It is not inevitable if the nerves involved in intimacy have only been damaged and not destroyed by these chemicals. If these nerves are destroyed, lovemaking is not possible.

Some proof of this dependence on the nervous system is seen in surgeries to remove the cancerous prostrate gland. A certain percentage of of these surgeries can result in the loss of ability to engage in lovemaking.

If the nerves are still intact, even if damaged but not destroyed by surgery or the diet, there is a chance to again engage in intimate relations with your partner. Closely follow the diet as described in Retaining the Mind. As nerves heal very slowly, it may take 6 months, 1 year or 2 years to find out if this function can be regained.

May the diet restore you.