When it comes to brain health and cognition, traditional medical approaches often focus on treating issues after they have fully manifested, rather than addressing early "red flag" symptoms.
This reactive approach overlooks the importance of early intervention in symptoms like brain fog, mood changes, memory issues, sleep disturbances, and fatigue, which can be crucial indicators of underlying cognitive concerns. Proactively addressing these early signs is key to maintaining long-term brain health and preventing more serious cognitive impairments.
Cognitive decline, or cognitive impairment, occurs when you begin struggling with your cognitive abilities. This includes trouble remembering, concentrating, learning new information, and making sound decisions.
Most people struggle with cognitive decline later in life, but a cognitive impairment can happen at any age, which is why it’s important to watch out for the telltale signs.
The signs of cognitive decline or impairment can be subtle at first, but they tend to worsen over time. Some of the most common signs to look out for include:
Conditions that cause cognitive decline can feel especially isolating if you work full-time or are enrolled in school. Proper diagnosis early on can help minimize the effects of your condition, so you can lead a healthy, productive life.
Several conditions can cause cognitive decline, but the most common and well-known are:
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition that causes brain cells to degenerate and die. It often leads to dementia, which impacts your ability to think, retain memories, and function without support. While there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s, taking the right medications at the first sign of the disease can help slow its progression.
Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nervous system that primarily affects movement. Some of the early signs of the disease include slurred speech, hand tremors, stiff muscles, loss of balance, slowed movement, and changes in the way you write.
Over time, your ability to perform automatic movements, such as smiling or blinking, may become impaired. There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but medication and early intervention can slow its progression.
A decline in memory, problem-solving abilities, communication skills, and more, characterize dementia. It is not a single disease, like Parkinson’s, but rather a collection of cognitive decline symptoms. Dementia is the result of dying brain cells, and an injury or disease, including Alzheimer’s, may be the cause.
The goal of functional medicine when treating cognitive decline is to determine the root cause of your symptoms.
Dr. Mark can help boost cognitive performance by recommending certain supplements, tailored to your unique needs, and stress management techniques. This can help increase your mental clarity and slow the progression of cognitive decline.
In addition, Dr. Mark can help design a diet that improves your cognitive performance. Depending on your unique health history and goals, a gluten-free, dairy-free diet can help boost your mood, reduce brain fog, and more.
Early detection of cognitive decline increases your chances of slowing the disease’s progression. To learn more, call All Functional Health or schedule a visit online today.
We also offer HIPPA compliant Telemedicine services.
The functional medicine approach to brain health is holistic and proactive, focusing on the interconnectedness of various bodily systems and their impact on cognitive function. This approach recognizes that hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, poor sleep quality, gut health issues, and exposure to toxins can all significantly influence brain health.
By closely examining these areas, functional medicine aims to identify and address the root causes of cognitive decline. Hormonal imbalances, for instance, can affect mood, memory, and concentration, while nutritional gaps can lead to reduced brain function and energy levels. Similarly, poor sleep quality can impair cognitive abilities and emotional stability.
In functional medicine, gut health is also seen as a key player in brain health. The gut-brain axis, the bidirectional communication pathway between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain, plays a critical role in maintaining cognitive health. An unhealthy gut can lead to inflammation and imbalances in gut flora, which can negatively impact brain function. Additionally, the accumulation of toxins from the environment, food, and lifestyle choices can contribute to cognitive decline. Functional medicine addresses these issues through personalized treatment plans that may include dietary changes, supplementation, detoxification, and lifestyle modifications, all aimed at restoring balance and optimizing brain function.
Do you have questions about starting your path back to health? Our patient coordinator is standing by, happy to answer any questions you have to determine if our approach is right for you.
Known for his successful approach towards chronic digestive and wellness issues, Dr. Jeffrey Mark, M.D. and his team at The Real Gut Doctor combine an integrative, functional medicine approach informed by advanced lab testing.
Our unique approach to diagnosing and resolving chronic health issues recognizes that lasting health depends on resolving the underlying root causes of your symptoms. Click here to learn more »
The Real Gut Doctor is based in San Ramon and Turlock, CA and serves patients internationally as well as throughout the Bay Area and Northern California. These areas include but are not limited to Sacramento County, CA, San Joaquin County, CA, Stanislaus County, CA, Alameda Country, CA and Santa Clara County, CA.