Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Need To Use Their Mental Muscle Or They Will Lose It

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Rightfully as Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Patients, you are already concerned about at least one organ of your body, but you need to attend to one other as well when considering your health, and that's your brain. As many as 60% of dialysis patients may meet diagnostic criteria for cognitive (mental) dysfunction. A study released by the American Geriatrics Society finds that CKD was strongly associated with dementia independent of age, sex, education, and other vascular risk factors.

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Obviously, you should continue to work at things that are physically possible, but you should also make sure to keep your mind stimulated. It was found that mental stimulation along with physical exercise improved brain function and actually protected against mental decline. It is never too late to start thinking about ways to keep your brain healthy. The following are a few of them:

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Mental Exercise: Not employing the brain for a prolonged period time might weaken some of the cognitive skills that you have worked so hard to develop. Exercising your brain by reading, solving puzzles or doing challenging games will help keep your brain in top shape and ready for use.  Challenge your brain by learning and experiencing new things. You can learn to play a musical instrument or learn how to read music; study a foreign language; sign up for a computer course or even use your less dominate hand for simple tasks like eating and writing.

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Physical Exercise: Regular exercise plays a role in regulating blood circulation through your brain and also reduces the risk of many diseases. Further, the secretion of endorphins after physical activity can positively alter your mood, which also reflects on your cognitive ability. Physical activity does not only mean working out in a gym, if you like you can simply walk after dinner, leg lift while sitting, or strip down and re-make your bed daily.

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Eat Healthy: Nutrition plays a huge role in our mental and cognitive abilities. Make sure your diet includes Omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in many foods such as fish. Antioxidants which can be found in most fruits and vegetables are another essential part of the "brain-diet." A well balanced meal can reduce the risk of certain brain diseases such as dementia. It can also boost your memory and concentration and improve your capacity to learn.

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Stimulate Your Senses: Some people are visual learners, while others learn by audio repetition. It is not out of the ordinary that some people might utilize smell or taste as means of learning. Using more senses stimulates more parts of your brain and helps keep your mind sharp.

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Be Social: Engaging in social activities keeps your brain active and engaged. Isolation and loneliness may trigger negative emotional instability, resulting in impaired concentration and cognition.

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You only have one brain, so it is essential that you use it rather than lose it. With some simple maintenance, it can perform at a high capacity for many years to come. It's never too late to start thinking about ways to keep your brain healthy and sharp because it is one of the most vital organs in your body. 

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Reference:  

Rakowski, Daniel A., Et. Al. "Dementia as a Predictor of Mortality in Dialysis Patients." Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.  

Kobayashi, Mayumi, Et. Al. "Relationship between Silent Brain Infarction and Chronic Kidney Disease." National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine

Sasaki, Yumi, Et. Al. "Chronic Kidney Disease: A Risk Factor for Dementia Onset." Wiley Online Library. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society