July 18th, 2017
Special Guest Contributor: Dr. Shirley, City Osteopathy and Physiotherapy Two
The pressure on young to middle aged adults to perform and excel in this day and age has increased almost 20-fold in the last 40 years. The amount of work and expectations that have been put on our shoulders has resulted in more adults in their 30’s developing conditions such as heart disease and high cholesterol than at any time in the past. People as young as 16 are having symptoms of stress- fatigue, sleep disturbances, and poor memory and focus! I personally see many adults in their 30’s come to me for alternate solutions to improve cognitive functioning.
There are many reasons why people develop symptoms of poor memory and concentration, but a few of the main reasons for this include stress, sleep deprivation, diet, and a multi-tasking lifestyle. It is commonly known that as we age, our cognitive functioning tends to slowly decline, but it is the contribution of the previously mentioned lifestyle factors that can accelerate this deterioration.
So how can we take charge of our cognitive health and help improve our memory and cognitive functioning? Mentioned below are some important nutritional and lifestyle factors that are commonly known to impact cognitive performance and memory.
Did you know that your digestive system is considered the ‘second brain’ of your body? Did you also know that you have over 100 trillion microbes living in your gut? Modifications in the microbial population in your gut greatly impact your health both physically and mentally. There are studies that demonstrate the connection between the gut and brain showing how microbes in your gut greatly influence this connection. Simply put, the composition of the bacteria in your digestive system can greatly affect mood, cognition and behavior. Makes you wonder who really is controlling your body, doesn’t it?
I have patients come to me for concerns of ‘brain fog’- which is a lack of focus, concentration and mental clarity, poor memory and fatigue. More often than not, they have symptoms of poor digestive health as well and once we create a healthier digestive foundation and cultivate a healthier microbial population in their gut, they see an immediate improvement in their cognitive performance.