Going Nuts or Getting Old? 5 Keys to a Healthy Aging Process
The woman wrote in obvious distress that she was repeating herself. Felt depressed. Brain fog. Admitted to the occasional suicidal thought. She was terrified she was getting Alzheimer’s’ disease. At this point, she is committing to a long, possibly painful and confusing process of testing at a major university.
What’s going on? Don’t we all feel like that some days? Well yes, and no. Let’s consider the possibilities.
Is Alzheimer’s the Only Possible Problem?
Over-the-counter and commonly-prescribed medicines can cause brain fog, dizziness and our ultimate enemy: falls. It’s a very good idea to research all the pills you’re taking to see if any of them – especially in combination with others – may be causing what ails you.
Head Injuries Can Have a Later Life Effect
Ask yourself this hard question: Have I banged my head over the course of my life? And if so, how many times, and how seriously?
This could have been at any time, from a fall as a kid, to a horseback riding incident, to a recent fall in the bathroom. Any time you crack your coconut, you may be a candidate for post-concussion syndrome.
While I find the Mayo Clinic’s advice wanting, it is important to acknowledge any and all head injuries, for they are cumulative.
PTSD, Depression and Anxiety Symptoms Can Get Worse
As we age, and particularly if we also suffer from PTSD or depression/anxiety, some of these symptoms can get worse. You have a host of good choices: get active, get moving, get social, eat better, and move move move move move.
The more oxygen you deliver to your brain via better habits, the better. The more pills you take for your symptoms, the worse you’ll get, if for no other reason than those very pills may be causing dizziness, disorientation and depression. When all else fails, question the meds. Always question the meds.
Never Ever Assume That What You’re Feeling Is a Natural Part of Aging
There are too many excellent examples of supremely healthy folks in their 80s and 90s who present none of these same symptoms. Among the reasons: regular exercise, eating a lot of healthy greens daily, and being surrounded by a richly rewarding social support system.
Increase Your Oxygen Intake
Increasing oxygen intake has to do with better breathing, more exercise and better nutrition so that your circulatory system works more efficiently.
If your symptoms are severe, find a way to increase your oxygen through an oxygenation system. They are increasingly available. You may want to buy one, or visit an office where they are available, with supervision. At this point they are more available through chiropractors, sports medicine and holistic healing clinics.
I installed an oxygenation system in my downstairs gym and it has made all the difference. However, each of us is unique, so take the time to research options, give them a try and see if they work for you. They can be costly, but my brain health is worth the investment.
Mental Decline Is Not a Predictable Part of Aging
If we take care to protect our brains, our health and our bodies, mental decline is not a predictable part of aging. We are supremely well designed to age well, with all our faculties.
If you are presenting with any of these symptoms, and most of us do at some point or another, it serves to not panic first, but to do our due diligence.
Take the time to carefully research what you’re taking. Too many caregivers don’t consult each other in elder care and vast numbers of us – and most especially our very elderly parents – are taking far too many meds, some with dangerous interactions. It’s up to us to do the research to protect our brains, our bodies and our health.
Above all, don’t assume the worst. There is a very real possibility that those symptoms arise from something simple, and a quick change here and there may clear the fog.
Have you made healthy changes that have resulted in clearer thinking? What have you found to help you deal with the occasional senior moment? Have you quit pills and opted in for more exercise and a better diet with great results? Please share your stories in the comments below.
Julia Hubbel is a prize-winning author, journalist, international business and women’s conference speaker and international adventure traveler. Her work teaches people how to erase the impossible and redefine their boundaries. As a sales and leadership trainer, her work focuses on success skills and finding the courage to be your best.