detox

  1. 1 in 8 seniors fighting memory problems

    Fight memory loss and brain fog

    Seniors like to say "life begins at 60" and for good reason: Your golden years can be among the best years of your life.

    But for millions of older people, something else begins at 60 -- memory problems that can threaten to turn your best years into some of the worst.

    New government numbers show 1 in 8 Americans over the age of 60 are battling "brain fog," memory loss, or other signs of cognitive decline. And for a full third of them, the memory problems are so bad that they interfere with or limit daily function.

    Now, some people will tell you memory loss just means you're getting older... that it comes with the turf... and there's nothing you can do about it.

    But I know that's not true.

    In many cases, memory loss and other cognitive problems accompany aging, but they're not necessarily caused by aging. Just look at the over-60 crowd in the new study: Sure, they're getting older.

    But folks over 60 are also among the nation's leading consumers of prescription medications -- and many of those medications come with a notoriously high risk of memory loss and other cognitive problems.

    Blood pressure drugs, for example, can lead to memory loss. And cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are so notorious for this risk that the FDA recently issued a warning over it. Painkillers, antidepressants, and more can also do the job -- which is why whenever patients complain of memory loss, the first thing I do is look at any drugs they've been given by a mainstream doctor.

    (If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia or even Alzheimer's disease, you need to know that the real source of the problem might be in your medicine chest. Click here to learn more.)

    In some cases, the drugs were never even necessary in the first place. In many others, they can be replaced by natural alternatives that can work just as well, but without the side effects.

    Of course, not all memory problems are due to meds. But that doesn't mean the rest are due to aging, either.

    Diabetes, for example, is known to increase the risk of dementia -- and another new study shows how elevated blood sugar levels can increase your own risk even if you don't actually have diabetes.

    In the study, brain scans of 124 patients who were healthy but had a family history of Alzheimer's revealed reduced metabolism in key regions of the brain among people with elevated blood sugar levels.

    Those are the same changes we see in Alzheimer's disease.

    What makes this truly frightening is that the "high" blood-sugar levels in the study aren't sky-high. They're at the high end of the normal range, or levels that millions of otherwise healthy Americans seniors live with every day.

    Other conditions that can cause, mimic or worsen memory loss and dementia include exposure to toxic metals such as lead, which is why I also frequently test for metals.

    You might be surprised to find out how much metal you have inside yourself right now -- and even more surprised at how much better you feel after detoxification.

    If you're suffering from a little "brain fog" yourself, don't ignore the warning signs. Work with a holistic doctor to find the cause -- whether it's medication, blood sugar, metals, nutrition, hormones, or something else entirely.

    PS: I'll have more on natural brain protection -- including the one supplement that can fight the damage in the brain linked to aging -- in Thursday's House Calls. Keep an eye on your in-box -- you won't want to miss this one!

  2. Seniors are routinely given too much anesthesia

    Surgery is traumatic enough at any age. But once you get up there in years, even a minor operation can be tough to recover from -- especially when you're given an overdose of anesthesia.

    And sadly, this happens all the time.

    In fact, two-thirds of all seniors get too much anesthesia during surgery, according to a new analysis that also finds the median dose of the anesthetic propofol given to seniors is nearly 20 percent higher than the highest dose they should have received.

    This isn't a simple matter of giving patients a little extra to make sure they're unconscious. It's a dangerous practice that can complicate the surgery and turn recovery into a nightmare.

    In this case, the researchers found that seniors given overdoses of anesthesia were more likely to suffer hypotension, or low blood pressure, right after the anesthesia kicks in.

    It didn't increase the death rate, and because of that the researchers seem to think this might not be that big a deal.

    But it is a big deal -- because there are other factors to consider here besides the death rate, like recovery times and complications, and unfortunately the study didn't look at any of those.

    Any operation in seniors also comes with a risk of cognitive problems -- including a dementia-like condition called postoperative cognitive dysfunction, or POCD. And seniors who are put under are more likely to experience it.

    The condition can last for days, weeks, or even months -- and seniors discharged from the hospital with POCD actually have a higher death risk.

    Anesthesia can also cause or worsen delirium, a growing problem in hospitals that often leads to a downward spiral as doctors give these seniors powerful antipsychotic drugs that can actually make the condition worse.

    That's why it's absolutely essential that seniors only get anesthesia when they need it -- and, when they do, at the lowest possible dose.

    If you or someone you love is going in for surgery, be sure to have a few words with the doctor beforehand about anesthesia -- and make sure he listens.

    In addition, I recommend detoxifying nutrients such as glutathione and milk thistle extract to help the brain recover from anesthesia. Acupuncture can also be helpful.

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