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Facts Concerning Dementia
So, you may think you're going to develop dementia some day.
This is a common thought, especially if a relative of yours has a dementia related condition.
'Risk' is a word often bandied around. Someone's 'risk factors'
are what constitutes their own personal risk, of, for example, getting Alzheimer's over a period of time. It is now known that a woman of 80 years has an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's compared with a 30 year old man. Whether or not either of them develops Alzheimer's is not known for definite.
So called 'risk factors' are aspects of people's lives that act to increase the chances of that person developing a condition.
Risk factors are either controllable, or not.
Risk factors associated with dementia can be split between environmental and genetic. Everyone is potentially at risk, some people have a higher chance than others. People that appear more likely to gain dementia may never get the condition, someone with a lower chance may end up actually developing it. The best people can do is to try to lessen the risk factors, usually having the knock-on effect of making that individual healthier.
The largest factor governing whether or not you get dementia is age. Although dementia can start in our younger years the risk of developing the condition increase with age. Between the ages of 65 to 70 one in 50 people have been estimated to suffer from dementia. One in 5 people over 80 have dementia of some sort. As we age risk factors that play their part are thought to be diseases like strokes and heart disease, high blood pressure, DNA and cell structures, nerve cell changes, and lowered abilities to repair one's own body.
Women are thought to be a little more susceptible to generating dementia than men, even when the extra years women live for are removed. One theory is that lowered quantities of estrogen in women past their menopause may be a risk factor helping to develop the disease. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) used by menopausal women is not known to lower the chances of developing dementia, the converse may in actuality be true, dementia could in fact be made more likely with HRT.
Men are more susceptible to vascular dementia, largely as they tend to have higher blood pressures (from conditions like high blood cholesterol, diabetes and irregular heart rhythms) and more heart problems than women.
Genetic predispositions to acquiring dementia have been seen in some families. This area is not fully understood and has huge amounts of research targeted at it. Possible dementia causing diseases are Niemann-Pick disease, Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease. Inheritance seems to play a small part in whether or not someone gains dementia.
Specific genes have been found to increase the occurrence of Alzheimer's. 'Apolipoprotein E' (APOE) has been shown to aid the development of vascular dementia and Alzheimer's.
Particular medical conditions such as Down's syndrome, HIV and multiple sclerosis can increase the chance of you developing dementia, amongst many other types of condition. Dementia is more likely in your latter years if you experience mid-life obesity.
By simply eating healthily people's weights and therefore blood pressures can be controlled and kept at normal levels, thereby reducing the chances of dementia. Vitamins and anti-oxidants found are found in a whole variety of fresh fruit and vegetables. These compounds may protect your brain as well as prevent dementia. Polyunsaturated fatty acids, commonly found in oily fish, help to safeguard blood vessels and the heart. Large quantities of saturated fats have the negative effect of clogging the arteries.
Research has hinted at the idea of various herbs and spices (e.g. sage and curcumin), and caffeine, have a protective function on your brain. Vitamin E has been proposed to lessen dementia symptoms, vitamin A helping to protect the brain.
Smoking, drinking alcohol and receiving head injuries are all damaging to our health and can increase the likelihood of developing dementia. A small quantity of alcohol in, for example, the form of a glass of red wine each day may actually lower the risk of dementia by maintaining the health of our hearts, vascular system and brain. Severe or consistent head injuries may dramatically increase the risk of developing dementia by up to four time's normal levels. Boxers have been seen with a type of dementia known as 'Punch Drunk Syndrome'.
Aluminum has been seen as toxic and damaging to people's nervous systems. Currently measuring the levels of this commonly found element, in the body, are very difficult. Other trace elements like copper or zinc could have some important role associated with how proteins are processed in the brain. More research at present is required on the effects of metals.
Good levels of physical exercise lower the chance of dementia, maintaining a healthy vascular system and hear, in turn keeping the blood circulation about the brain high.
Levels of social and mental activities should be encouraged.
Thinking a lot when young my increase the complexity of neural connections within the brain making the physical changes to a brain with dementia more easily coped with. Puzzles and crosswords and the like strengthen the connections in place in your brain.
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Building a compost heap is easy and cheap, since most of your ingredients are already being created right in your kitchen.
Items such as egg shells, coffee grounds, and pieces of vegetables that normally would go down your disposal or in your garbage can.
Before we begin I'd like to make it clear that my experience with building a compost heap is targeted at those who live in a warm climate and have lots of sunshine and a constant source of green grass. That while the ingredients will be the same, no matter what part of the country you live in. The actual breakdown of those ingredients will depend entirely on the amount of sun, water and warm temperatures your compost heap receives.
Having said that, Let's begin.
Fresh compost is some of the most fertile and nutrient filled fertilizer that you can use to create sweet, juicy, healthy fruits and vegetables. I don't believe there is a store bought fertilizer that even comes close to what you can produce right in your own backyard.
The size of your vegetable garden will determine the amount of compost you'll want to produce. Adjust your amounts accordingly.
If you want to contain your compost you can build yourself a compost bin. This can be achieved by sinking 4 two by fours or four by fours a couple of feet into the ground to for a square and wrapping them on 3 sides with chicken wire, leaving the front open for easy access. If not, a simple pile works equally as well.
Step #1 Using a clean 5 gallon bucket with a lid, begin saving your kitchen garbage in it. Dump items such as coffee grounds, egg shells, and parts of vegetables you normally would throw away when making a salad etc. A friend use to say when cleaning her vegetables, "Here's one for the pot and one for Mother Earth." Nothing got past the compost bucket. There are some things you don't want to put in your compost bucket, such as meat and grease. You can put bones in provided they've been stripped clean of meat and ground up. You don't want to attract unwanted rodents to your pile as the items mentioned above do not break down well nor as quickly. Once you've got a substantial amount in your bucket you'll be ready for the next step.
Step #2 Take some freshly cut grass clippings and make a layer about 4 inches thick. The area you cover will depend on the size of your pile or the size of your bin and of course the amount of fresh grass clippings you have at your disposal. (The Author had a pretty good size garden and had a local landscaper drop off several large garbage bags full of clippings, whenever he was in the area.)
Step #3 Using either a scoop or your hands, spread a healthy layer of kitchen garbage from your bucket onto the grass clippings.
Step #4 Apply a fine dusting of steer manure on top of the garbage and lightly water the entire surface.
Repeat this process over and over until your heap is approx. 3 to 4 feet high.
Step #5 Keep an eye on your heap making sure it hasn't dried up and stopped cooking. Every couple of days stick a pitch fork in the center and lift. You should be able to see it starting to darken or you'll see steam or smoke. The size of the heap should also be shrinking. If you think it stopped cooking add a small amount of water and it will resume the composting process.
You should also be able to detect a rich, pungent aroma from your heap, alerting you that it's just about ready to use. This will occur in 4 or 5 weeks.
Step #6 Turn the pile over at 4 weeks time, water lightly.
When ready apply generously to your plants. Don't cover them up.
Just use enough so that it comes up to the second or 3rd branches on the baby plants. Water Generously.
Your Veggies are gonna love you for it by producing some of the most delicious vegetables and fruit that you've ever eaten. They will also be very prolific. So if you don't plan on canning what grows, your neighbors are going to enjoy what your producing.
There You Have It! Quick and Easy! As Always - Happy Gardening!
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