Sauna Use and Alzheimer's Disease
You can reduce your risk of the sixth cause of death in the U.S. with consistent sauna use.
Your muscles and your heart begin reaping benefits quickly once you step into a sauna. Those results are only added upon with repeated and regular sauna use. However, much like diet and exercise, the very best results may lie further down the road and consist of what does not happen to your body.
Aging comes with a variety of health challenges. As much as we may not want to admit, we need to set habits now to increase the likelihood of longevity and higher quality of life in later years. One of the most amazing miracles of sauna bathing is its affect on mental health in aging persons. More than 5 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and it is currently (2020) the sixth leading cause of death in the United States (alz.org).
Let’s take a closer look at what Alzheimer’s is, and how sauna use can inversely affect its development.
~Just as a coronary disease affects the heart, Alzheimer’s disease affects the brain. Brain function begins to corrode and deteriorate until visible symptoms, like speech impediments and memory loss, are manifested.
~It is thought that Alzheimer’s may begin developing as many as twenty years before symptoms appear.
~Symptoms may begin mild and progress until the patient is incapable of self-care, and eventually may result in death.
A study conducted in Finland followed the lives of over 2,300 middle-aged men. It concluded that men who utilized a sauna two to three times a week reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s by 65%!
How does it work?
The build up plaque (beta-amyloid) is believed to lead to Alzheimer’s. This plaque interferes with the neuron synapses in our brain that help us function. When our body undergoes heat stress in a sauna session, we produce heat shock proteins. Those heat shock proteins go to work to rebuild cellular strength and improve function in your blood cells. Additionally, the improved blood flow stimulated by the heat breaks down those beta-amyloid plaque build-ups—literally clearing your mind.
Statistically the odds are against many of us when it comes to Alzheimer’s and dementia. Regular and consistent sauna bathing can reduce those risks and improve your health now and quality of life later.