Image for post
Image for post

Studies show type 2 diabetes increases the risk of Alzheimer’s — the most common form of dementia — by 56%. In fact, type 2 diabetes raises the risk of developing all types of dementia. Understanding why diabetes increases the risk of dementia empowers us to implement simple changes that significantly reduce the risk for both conditions.

Diabetes is so common and so “manageable” that we can easily fall into the trap of believing that it’s not a terribly serious disease. I used to believe that diabetes wasn’t that big of a deal…until my husband lost his mother to the disease…


How moving beyond willpower empowers you to become your best self

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Florian Berger on Unsplash

Habits shape who we are and we can use them to be the people we want to be.

For those of us who are passionate about dementia risk reduction, habits matter a lot. Research shows that reducing risk depends on making long-term lifestyle changes that stick, but if you’re like most people, that’s easier said than done.

I should know. I smoked cigarettes for almost twenty years. Did I know it was bad for me? Absolutely. Did I want to quit? Kind of.

Logically, I knew my habit would eventually kill me but that knowledge and fear did nothing to…


Harnessing the power of neuroplasticity and neurogenesis

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by bantersnaps on Unsplash

We used to believe that you’re born with all the brain cells you will ever have…but we were wrong. It turns out that we can create new brain cells and new connections between brain cells throughout our entire lifetime. We do this through two processes: neurogenesis and neuroplasticity.

Neurogenesis

Neurogenesis is the process of forming new neurons in the brain. Most new brain cells are formed in utero, but neurogenesis continues in certain brain regions after birth and throughout our lifespan. Adult neurogenesis is now accepted to be a normal process that occurs in healthy brains.

The science of neurogenesis shows…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

Last year I found myself at a crossroads. One road led down the same path I had been trudging along for years. It was paved with good intentions, lots of rules, and looped endlessly back on itself. No drinking during the week…except for tonight. No more wine…after this glass. Never again…until tomorrow.

When it came to alcohol, my ability to bargain and rationalize the breaking of my own rules was second-to-none. I had been down that road again and again and kept ending up back where I started, another year older and apparently none the wiser. And I was tired.


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

Up at my dad’s house in the mountains of New Mexico is an apple tree unlike any that you’ve ever seen before.

It’s branches come from a dozen different heirloom apple trees, each one carefully grafted on many years ago. It lives on the side of the house, basking in the west sun. When it blooms in the springtime, the scent is heavenly and the fruit erupts in summer with a riot of colors, textures, and tastes.

The first couple of years that the tree put forth fruit, we could reach out of the living room window on the second…


Women are twice as likely as men to get Alzheimer’s during their lifetime. New research sheds light on the reasons why and what you can do about it.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

In pre-menopause, your brain energy is high. But in perimenopause — the transition time to menopause that generally hit in the mid to late 40’s — your brain’s ability to metabolize glucose slows down by 20–30% or more.

Your brain uses glucose as fuel to make new connections between neurons. Glucose is a type of sugar that you get from the foods you eat.

Estrogen plays a key role in this process…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Matt Howard on Unsplash

On Wednesday, I went for a run for the first time in a couple of weeks. It was so hot and sticky outside (hello, Houston!) that the air almost felt solid. I was drenched in sweat. It was awful.

We’ve all been there: trying to do something “good for us” and hating every minute of it. And if we’re honest about it, that can be enough to make us give up on whatever goal we’ve set. I can’t tell you how many times I have tried and failed to break a bad habit or start a new good one. …


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Kendal on Unsplash

Depression is a major health crisis in America and getting worse by the day thanks to COVID-19. For many people living with depression, drugs that are supposed to help them get better often come with unpleasant side effects and can even make their symptoms worse.

Make no mistake about it: depression is big business. The sicker people there are, and the longer they stay sick, the more money drug makers make. This is good news for the pharmaceutical industry, but bad news for people struggling with mental health.

Antidepressants don’t cure depression because they’re not designed to cure it, just…


A new study shows promising results. Now what?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Fred Kearney on Unsplash

In the next 10 years, 1 in 10 baby boomers will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. A new study by the National Institutes of Health shows the combination of exercise, diet, and three other healthy habits slash the chance of Alzheimer’s by more than half.

But it’s not just about doing one or two new healthy things. It is a combination of four or five healthy habits that makes a difference.

The study looked at data from nearly 3,000 people to assess the impact of physical exercise, not smoking, high-quality diet, light-to-moderate alcohol consumption, and cognitive activities on their risk for…


Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Two thousand years ago, Saint Paul was stuck in a rut when he wrote the words I do not understand what I do. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

While we don’t know what exactly he was referring to, we do know how he felt. The anguish of repeating patterns that we hate and are ashamed of. The self-loathing that builds over the years when we live in slavery to our old habits and patterns. …

Tamara Claunch

Integrative Wellness Consultant & Life Coach, specializing in dementia risk reduction. Lover of human beings in all our quirkiness 🤙🏼

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store