Stress is ubiquitous in our modern 21st century living and burnout is constantly on the rise. With the WHOs recently announced acknowledgement that burnout is a serious factor to be dealt with, defining it as a "syndrome" specifically tied to "workplace stress", hopefully we can start effectively addressing this modern ailment that can have serious medical repercussions
The brain is the most nutrient-dependent, energy-dependent and toxin- and stress-vulnerable organ in the body. The gut and the brain are very tightly linked. In the gut-brain axis, damage to one is often damage to the other.
What IS cognitive decline?
Cognitive decline is a deterioration of the functioning of the brain processes, caused by degeneration of the cerebral cortex. It is not a disease, but rather a description of a person’s condition. Although some kinds of memory loss are normal parts of ageing, these changes are not severe enough to interfere with the level of function.
In addition to progressive loss of grey matter in the brain, the hallmarks of cognitive decline include neurofibrillary tangles (twisted masses of protein fibres inside nerve cells) and senile plaques (nerve cell parts surrounding a group of proteins called beta-amyloid deposits) that clog the brain. In healthy individuals, regions of the brain interact to serve cognitive functions. With cognitive decline, there is less coordination between these regions, and a global loss of integrative function among the brain regions.
This post is written from a personal perspective with the hopes that it may help someone who is experiencing the loss of a loved one. The loss of my brother, aged 48 , in October was an extremely stressful time. Its was also not the first time I have lost a sibling, my sister had died in 2001. However, what was different is how I have reacted and been able to support myself physically and emotionally as well as accepting the support of others. This in turn has helped me reflect and work through the turmoil of emotions. I guess this comes with maturity. Grief never goes away , it simply changes, but as we are going through the process and transition we need to support our bodies and minds in order to ensure healthy outcomes.
The simple way to help your gut is to give it some diversity.
I am always happy when I see a client who comes in prior to pregnancy, with the intention of being in the best possible health by the time of conception. These future parents are highly motivated and aware that their health has a direct effect on the child, not only at birth, but for the rest of their lives. This is not something we make up to try and scare people into being healthy, but is well known and widely accepted- check out the Barker hypothesis or look up the term Epigenetics.