Dementia In The Tummy

Dementia in The Tummy

 

In the previous blog I presented two bulleted sentences that help describe the causes of dementias such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

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

To complete this bulleted list I use the results of hundreds of  animal and human diet studies that describe how sugar, MSG and citrus may cause harm. I will also use advice from diet investigators that I respect. Even more important, I will also use what I have learned from my own experiences controlling my own dementia. I do this to teach you how to avoid suffering dementia or, if you or a loved one already are experiencing this brain damage, how to recover from it and then keep it under control. I wish I could tell you how to cure Alzheimer’s and other dementias but they cannot be cured, only controlled. Unfortunately, I know that!

Now, let’s return to the swallowed sugar, MSG and citric acid. We eat foods and drink beverages with these chemicals in two to three meals daily, every day of the year, every year. We consume a lot of it! Once we swallow them, they are trapped in our bodies because, unlike the mouth that quickly rids itself of food by swallowing it, the rest of the body has nowhere to quickly rid itself of these chemicals.   They stay in our bodies for about three days, allowing their effects to increase to a high level as we continue to include them in our meals.

As we age our genes also age including the genes that prevent sugar, citric acid and MSG from causing us harm. Some people are immune to any harm from these chemicals. They are fortunate and can tolerate foods and beverages that others can only dream about. To those of us whose aging genes cannot tolerate the high levels of this  persistent, irritating nerve stimulation—and that’s most of us—these delightful-tasting chemicals are poisons.

They overstimulate and eventually, over many years, injure and even  destroy our nerves. Any nerves, anywhere in the body. Including nerves in the brain which shrinks in size because of this damage. We call this brain-nerve damage and shrinkage dementia. To put this information into a bulleted list, including the first two points:

  • Foods and beverages containing excess sugar, MSG and citric acid cause dementia.
  • These chemicals powerfully stimulate the nerves of taste.
  • Swallowed, they stimulate and over years kill nerves and then the diner.
  • Aging, unfortunate genes and deficient body/mind exercise promote dementia.

End of lesson! This is a simple but I believe a true and simple way of looking at the cause of dementia. Caused in susceptible people by the powerful nerve stimulators that bring delightful tastes that our brains savor.  Want to learn more? Retaining the Mind has information that will help you understand.

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.

Ordinary people are beating Alzheimers

The incidence of Alzheimers disease and other dementias may be subsiding. This decrease is a shock: Why is the incidence of dementia falling? I believe it is because the average American is smart.

I believe average  Americans  appreciates that MSG and refined sugar  cause dementia and they are avoid them, delaying or preventing dementia. An article by Kenneth M. Langa, MD described a welcome trend. Funded by the National Institute On Aging (NIH), and published in JAMA Internal Medicine, November 2016, titled “Comparison of the Prevalence of Dementia in the United States in 2000 and 2012”.  Dr. Langa’s study found that the number of Americans suffering dementia decreased dramatically between 2000 and 2012.

Another suggestion that ordinary people are successfully fighting dementia: In the St.Paul Dispatch, September 2017,  David Pitt noted “An odd trend in wheat country: not enough wheat.” He notes that consumers want more healthy high-protein foods. The protein of wheat has much glutamic acid, the amino acid that makes MSG. Consumers are choosing a lower MSG food and avoiding wheat. This must help dementia decline. It will decline further as doctors learn more about nutrition. They should.  Much food research shows that a good diet helps prevent and treat many diseases. With more knowledge about good nutrition, and more pursuit of a good diet, dementia will fade.

I respect my patients; they taught me much. I believe that their thirst for knowledge and commitment to healthy living is the reason for the fading of dementia. High time this dread disease is placed in the trash bin.

 

 

The ‘business’ of dementia

Treating those afflicted by  dementia costs a lot of money. Is this cost necessary? Examining this treatment cost as you would examine a business cost can help to put this cost of treatment in perspective.

Where goes the money involved in this treatment? Untold millions go to the doctors who treat patients with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, the family doctors, internists, neurologists and all the other medical specialists who are so necessary to treat these unfortunate patients. Add in the nurses, therapists and other medical care workers participating in their care, plus the chronic care institutions housing them, including hospitals and hospice care organizations: These treatment costs are huge.

Add to these expenses the cost incurred by the loved ones who guard and care for dementia sufferers, including the cost of the salaries they must miss in providing this care. These costs cannot be tabulated but I know they are significant, often overwhelming, and drain the savings of the caregivers.  Now add in what it costs the wonderful volunteers who freely give of their time to help care for the demented.  Further, add the cost of the organizations who collect charity dollars to fund patient care and and to fund research into diseases of damaged nerves, dollars that could be channelled to other illnesses if dementia was less expensive to treat

Treating the sufferers of dementia is ultra-expensive, both to society which must help pay these bills and to the involved people, both the sufferers and the caregivers. Please understand, I am not arguing against spending this money: These costs must be paid or we and our society are unjust and uncaring. We would be a society without a heart.

However, we can emulate businesses. When they encounter expenses that can lead to bankruptcy, they ask; “Can we continue our business in a less costly manner and with no loss in the quality of our work?” With these diseases of damaged nerves we can ask ourselves, “Can we care for these sufferers in a less costly manner and with no loss in the quality of our treatment?’ I firmly believe there is a way and I authored Retaining the Mind to advance it. We need to place the treatment  in the hands of the sufferers. Let them treat themselves. It costs far less and there is no loss in the quality of their treatment.

I had these thoughts in mind as I reviewed the work of medical practitioners including medical doctors, chiropractors and others  who are in businesses treating people with dementia. Each claims great success in slowing the onset or even reversing dementia. I cannot evaluate the success or failure in this worthy pursuit but let’s assume they are successful. Among the many treatment modalities they provide is, changing the diet. Perhaps, this diet change is the most important treatment they provide, leading to the success they claim. Actually, I think this diet change is the major reason they are seeing their clients’ improvements .

In my medical practice, in my hundreds of patients suffering nerve damage,  I suggested the diet changes that reduced consumption of the foods and beverages that damage and kill nerves. The results were outstanding. My patients’ improvement was superb. This same diet reversed and now controls my Alzheimer’s dementia. Its power can convert horrendous diseases, costing horrendous amounts of money, into a self-help disease that the sufferer can control simply by choosing what foods and beverages she or he eats and drinks. Thats why I authored Retaining the Mind, to tell people how to change their diets.

I know this diet change will not work for everyone but I firmly believe it will provide relief for most people afflicted by nerve damage, wherever the damage occurs in the body, including the brain.  It can convert diseases costing society billions of dollars into diseases that are controlled by the afflicted with the aid of a book. It can lower the expense of each sufferer from the many thousands of dollars required for diagnosis and treatment to just the price of this book, Retaining the Mind.

For yourself, if you suspect that you suffer dementia, before launching into far more complicated and expensive treatment, first try the book!

Dementia and failing eyesight

I believe that the nerve damage in dementias such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases affect all the nerves of the body. In my previous blog, I promised to discuss why I find it helpful to consider that all the nerves in the body are affected. It stops me from concentrating only on the nerve destruction in the brain while ignoring the damaged nerves in the rest of the body. It also brought to my attention a problem that is huge : This nerve damage causes many common diseases that we understand poorly, and that affect both the young and the elderly, including you. Further, realizing that any part of the nervous system can suffer, even when the symptoms differ—in one person dementia and in another numb feet and legs—helps us in seeking the causes of this damage. Once we understand the cause, we can find effective treatment for these common diseases and finding treatment is really exciting. This excitement is one reason I authored Retaining the Mind.

 

An example will help you understand my thoughts: after a meeting with friends from my high school class, six of us walked to our cars together, discussing my book as we walked. Two of the six surprised me by telling me that they could not read the book because of impaired eyesight. Then I remembered that two other friends had the same impairment. With four friends affected, all past 70 years old. I realized that this condition is not rare. My friends did not know the cause of this sight impairment and I suspect their doctor also did not know as my research shows me that this cause is too frequently unknown.

 

However, there is a clue. Failing eyesight is often associated with damage to the nerves that originate in the brain and end in the eye. Inflammation of these nerves accompanies the sight impairment. And, the sight loss intensifies as we age. But, what brings on the nerve inflammation with age? I ask myself that question each time I hear these unfortunate people discuss their sight.

 

Now I will pose it to you: What causes damage to the nerves controlling eyesight that strikes at the same age that dementias such as Alzheimer’s dementia strike and is accompanied by inflammatory changes to these nerves, similar to Alzheimer’s inflammation? If you are tempted to say that the cause of Alzheimer’s dementia and impaired sight is the same, I  agree with you.

 

Is this nerve damage in the eye due to the same causes as Alzheimer’s and other dementias—the years of eating and drinking foods and beverages containing the aging chemicals I discussed in Retaining the Mind? Can it be regarded as Alzheimer’s of the eyes? I think it is very possible. If it is, then we have a way to treat it. That is exciting!

 

We can treat this failing eyesight by changing our diet. In Retaining the Mind, in Chapter 9: “The Aging Chemicals and Nerve-related Illness”, I list the dementias and stated repetitively that it makes no sense to feed dementia sufferers foods with high levels of the aging chemicals that damage nerves. If we apply this treatment approach to people suffering eye impairment, stringently avoiding foods and beverages that contain high levels of these chemicals, would this impairment stop? Would the eyesight improve? Will it take six months or two years to see improvement? I do not know the answer to these questions but I know where to seek the answers—from people suffering sight impairment. Among them are people who may have recognized certain foods that worsen their eyesight and I would love to hear about their observations.

 

This experience, searching for causes of failing eyesight, is an example of how regarding nerve diseases as affecting all the nervous system helps us to understand diseases that affect a part of this system.

 

These notes are not intended to diagnose or treat any disease but to give you an example of how thinking about the entire nervous system can suggest the causes of the diseases affecting this system. I am not your eye doctor or your primary care doctor and you should closely follow their advice and not mine. I can neither diagnose or treat you. I can only tell you what I would do if my sight was failing. I would follow the same diet I follow now, using the information contained in Retaining the Mind, making sure it is a healthy diet, avoiding the foods and beverages that cause the nerve damage of my dementia. Nerve damage that I believe is also causing sight loss.

 

A research article:

An article from the journal Ophthalmology, January 20117, titled “Mediterranean Diet Score and Its Association with Age-Related Macular Degeneration” supports these thoughts. 4753 patients from different nations participated in the study. Those following a Mediterranean diet with its decreased refined sugar and MSG showed “significantly reduced odds of having” age-related macular degeneration.

 

These results are the same results shown in studies on Alzheimer’s disease: in people following the Mediterranean diet, Alzheimer’s disease  was significantly delayed . Or, to restate it, Alzheimer’s disease and age-related macular degeneration are both inhibited by a diet low in refined sugar and MSG. Therefore, diet must be a significant cause of both diseases. I make no secret that I believe that, in those genetically susceptible, diet is the most important cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Now, I also  believe, in those genetically susceptible, that diet is the major cause of age-related macular degeneration.

 

Assuming that these thoughts are right, it lends great support to regarding a diagnosis of damage to any part of the nervous system as damage to the whole nervous system. A sufferer of macular degeneration can also suffer numb feet and dementia. And you do not need to look for three different causes of these diseases. Just look in the diet. Treatment of all three can include following the diet in Retaining the Mind.

 

Addendum: If you are experiencing sight loss and would try the diet change discussed in Retaining the Mind to see if it stops the sight-loss and improves your sight, please contact me through the “contact” prompt at drwwalsh.com.

Dementia affects all nerves

One unified system

The best known of the diseases that damage nerves in the brain is Alzheimer’s disease. But,  it is not the only dementia. Among other nerve-damaging diseases are vascular and frontotemporal dementias and the dementia associated with Parkinson’s disease. They can all degrade speech, thinking and purposeful activity. They are all horrendous and disabling,

 

We possess other nerves that are not in the brain: They also are susceptible to damage and death. They include nerves of the arms and legs with the nerves in the arms leading to muscle weakness in the muscles of the upper extremity.  The nerves to the legs are particularly susceptible to damage, resulting in the numbness and weakness of the feet and lower legs that destroys the sense of balance that these nerves provide, forcing the use of canes, walkers and wheelchairs. This nerve destruction in the legs is especially marked in people with pre-diabetes and diabetes and is considered a reason for diabetic lower extremity infections that sometimes lead to amputation.

 

The above list of nerve destruction in various body parts is nowhere near complete. However, I hope they give you the idea that when we discuss any particular disease, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s dementias—or numb feet or stumbling—we are really discussing a wide-spread damage of the nervous system. I strongly believe that when a nerve disease, like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases, or vascular or frontotemporal dementia, afflicts one part of our nervous system, in this case the brain, it is also affecting every other nerve in the body.

 

Comparing our nervous system to a tree may help you understand my point. The trunk of the tree is attached to all the leaves on the tree through the branches, even the smallest leaf on the branch at the greatest distance from the trunk. The tree is all one unit, an integrated whole. Our nervous system is like this tree, one unit, an integrated whole, with the brain attached to every nerve in the body, even the nerves furthest from it such as the nerves of the feet. Although we may notice disease in only one part of the nervous system, the whole nervous system is involved in disease.

 

My next blog and a request for help

In my next blog, I will return to this subject and discuss the reason for regarding the nervous system as a unified, integrated whole. In the meantime, help me spread the good news that dementia can be controlled and reversed. I know it can be reversed as I have experienced this reversal and want to help others to recover thought, speech and purposeful activity. If you are aware of a group that would profit from this news, please have them contact me through my website, www.drwwalsh.com.

This website also contains several other blogs and my speech that supplements the information in my book, Retaining the Mind.