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    Tuesday, September 15, 2015

    Food Can Affect Your Brain: Breaking News?

      This past week, there were several “breaking news” segments on local and national news programs about how food can affect your brain health. A recent study (link is external) from Oregon State University indicated that high-fat and high-sugar diets can negatively affect brain health, causing changes in gut bacteria that appear to be related to loss of cognitive flexibility.

    Also, Dr. Oz featured a segment (link is external) on foods (notably, protein and good fats) that can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

    It’s hard for me to believe that these issues are just hitting the mainstream now.

    In the past years, I have developed my own recommendations for a Brain Health Diet as a direct result of my own brain injuries: a cerebral bleed from a cavernous hemangioma that caused me to black out behind the wheel of a car, multiple concussions, and brain surgery.
    Dr. Diane Roberts Stoler, Ed.D., with permission
    Source: Dr. Diane Roberts Stoler, Ed.D., with permission

    I wasn’t aware of it, but the cavernous hemangioma in my brain was leaking for ten years before my accident. During this time I noticed my speech would sometimes become slurred. Doctors attributed my symptoms to postnasal drip, possibly caused by allergies. I went to an allergist who put me on an elimination diet, and I discovered that I was allergic to multiple foods. When I stopped eating those foods, my symptoms improved.

    I also had symptoms from the leak that doctors attributed to hypoglycemia, such as feeling as though I was about to pass out. I went on a hypoglycemic diet, which eliminated sugar and was high in protein, good carbs, and good fats. This diet also helped because it was composed of the right foods to strengthen my brain.

    After my accident in 1990, I had memory loss, poor concentration, brain fog, slurred speech, halted speech, and exhaustion that led me to sleep more than 18 hours per day, all symptoms of Post Concussion Syndrome (PCS). Every doctor I saw told me I was permanently brain damaged, but I refused to accept there was no hope.

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     This topic brought to you from psychologytoday.com
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