What on earth do Alzheimer’s and ice cream have in common?

Remember those hot summer days when you craved ice cream? 

Maybe you had a neighborhood ice cream truck…anyone remember Bomb Pops?

Or, you could walk to the “drug” store (maybe even without your parents), get an ice cream and still have part of your allowance leftover. 

Ice cream is one of those things in life where we expect multiple choices. Vanilla, mint chocolate chip, rum raisin, rocky road, dark cherry, or even blue bubble gum.

Picking your ice cream might even be one of the first times you were faced with multiple choices and got to choose for yourself.

Did you love ogling all the different colors and textures in the freezer?

What flavor did you pick?

How might that ice cream flavor describe you?

What would you say if I told you that diseases come in different flavors too? (I know that’s waaaay less fun to think about than ice cream, but stay with me. There’s a happy ending).

Even Alzheimer’s Disease comes in different flavors. Obviously, you’d choose none of the flavors! But, if you have a family history, genetic risk or mild symptoms, you can choose to take the targeted actions to reverse or prevent this disease. So, knowing your “flavor” is actually an empowering moment.

In Dr. Dale Bredesen’s first book, The End of Alzheimer’s, he introduced the idea that there are 6 types (or flavors) of Alzheimer’s disease.

Type 1 – Inflammatory

Type 1.5 – Glycotoxic

Type 2 – Trophic

Type 3 – Toxic

Type 4 – Vascular

Type 5 – Trauma

Come with me, let’s look at each one a little more. There’s a big bucket of hope at the end of this “flavor” rainbow, I promise.

Type 1 – Inflammation

Inflammation is our body’s response to injury or infection. It’s easy to see when we cut ourselves and the area swells, turns red, forms a scab and hurts. We can’t see inflammation on the inside, but rest assured your immune cells are marshaled like an army going to war. Acute, short term inflammation is a good thing to heal injury and infection. But, it’s not supposed to be called to active duty 24/7…that’s chronic inflammation. And, that can lead to a host of diseases: auto immune illnesses like Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis, heart disease and stroke, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and even Alzheimer’s disease.


  • A condition known as leaky gut syndrome where the intestines become permeable allowing the bacteria we’d normally excrete (aka poop out) leaks through the intestine and into the blood. That tells the immune system to fight…sometimes daily for years.
  • Diet rich in processed foods (which leads to leaky gut)
  • Certain foods like wheat, gluten-containing grains, dairy, eggs, and nuts can cause gut sensitivity and/or exacerbate leaky gut.
  • Untreated or recurring infections like Herpes virus, Epstein Barr and others
  • Genetic traits like the  APOE4 gene which makes us very good at marshaling an inflammation army but not so good at standing down that army. Very helpful gene to survive a plague. Not so helpful in our complex 21st century world.
  • Alcohol. All kinds.
  • Stress. Not kidding. Chronic, long term stress can set off inflammatory responses


  • Achy, sore joints
  • Bloating, gas (Can you clear a room if you let a little gas go? Probably leaky gut)
  • Stomach pain after eating 
  • Increased allergies
  • Brain fog

Type 1.5 – Glycotoxic

The glycotoxic type is a close cousin to the inflammatory type because glycotoxicity also leads to inflammation. Glycotoxic is a fancy way of saying your body cannot use the sugars from your foods effectively to power each and every one of your cells so they can make energy. You may have heard the term insulin resistant.

The down and dirty of insulin resistance is that your body converts the foods and drinks you eat into sugar. The sugar enters your bloodstream. Your pancreas notices the sugar in your bloodstream and then releases insulin. Insulin is like a key. It goes to your cells and inserts the key, so the cell can grab the sugar from your bloodstream and use it as fuel. With the right fuel, each cell can perform its function and stay robust.

Insulin resistance means that your cells are numb to the insulin key, so the sugar can’t get into the cell. That’s when things go wonky: sugar builds up in your bloodstream and can lead to Type 2 diabetes, cells don’t make energy to do their job which can lead to the start of disease. You create fat to try to store the excess sugar in your bloodstream. And, you kick off inflammation in your body. See how Type 1 and 1.5 are kissing cousins?


  • Diet rich in processed foods, sugar and simple carbohydrates
  • Sedentary lifestyle habits
  • Constant eating, especially late night eating
  • High body mass index between 18.5-25 (Here’s a handy BMI calculator)
  • High waist to hip ratio (Calculate your ratio)
  • High fasting insulin, fasting glucose and/or high Hemoglobin A1c (talk to your doctor about getting these tested)
  • Stress…it usually leads to poor eating and exercise habits


  • Feeling “hangry” or panicky about when you’ll have your next meal or snack. That’s an indicator your blood sugar is unstable.
  • Adding fat around your middle that’s stubborn to lose even when you’re “dieting”
  • Extreme thirst 
  • Frequent urination
  • Tingling in hands and feet
  • More tired than normal
  • Frequent infections

Type 2 – Trophic

The Oxford dictionary defines trophic as “relating to feeding and nutrition” and “of a hormone and its effect”. So, the trophic type of Alzheimer’s indicates there are inadequate nutrients and hormones are out of balance. Nutrients are many and varied, consisting of both vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and fat. Even people who may be eating “good” foods with lots of nutrients, may not be able to absorb them and power all the complex biochemistry in the body and brain. (Leaky gut can prevent nutrient absorption). Genetics can also play a role in nutrient deficiencies if someone has certain genes that interrupt metabolic processes. 

Ladies, our sex hormones go through a major transformation during menopause, so if you’re in peri-, full, or post-menopause, it’s a good bet that these hormones might be out of balance. You can feel it, right? Night sweats, hot flashes, irritability, weight gain, depression. Makes you feel like an alien is taking over your body.

Sex hormones are not the only ones that can be unbalanced and affecting brain health. Other important hormones are thyroid and cortisol. 


  • Menopause
  • Undiagnosed thyroid imbalance (under or overactive thyroid)
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Genetics – like certain variations of the MTHFR gene and others
  • Diet rich in processed foods (they’re low in nutrients)
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Stress – long-term chronic stress is notorious for knocking cortisol out of balance


  • Fatigue that can’t be fixed by sleeping more
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Mood swings, including depressive symptoms without a history of depression
  • Menopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats
  • Weight gain (especially around the middle and difficult to lose)
  • Brain fog – sometimes severe

Hang in there, I promise there’s good news!! The HOPE train is coming!

Type 3 – Toxic

The toxic type of Alzheimer’s refers to someone who is experiencing Alzheimer’s symptoms because their body has accumulated too much toxic “burden” and it has started affecting their brain tissue either by creating amyloid plaque build up as a protection mechanism or reducing brain volume or both.


  • Mold
  • Heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, aluminum and others
  • Infections like lyme disease, bartonella, herpes virus, Epstein Barr virus and others
  • Pesticides like glyphosate (aka Roundup) and others
  • Chemicals in household, garden products and containers, especially plastic containers.
  • Air pollution
  • Water pollution
  • Autoimmune conditions can increase susceptibility to toxic overload
  • Genetics that limit the body’s ability to detox effectively

This is the most complex form of Alzheimer’s to diagnose and treat. One person can have multiple toxins affecting their brain health. Detox processes can take trial and error and time to be effective and are usually addressed with specific protocols depending on the specific toxin.


  • Memory loss
  • Word finding problems
  • Getting lost in familiar places
  • Inability to follow directions even when written down
  • Inability to independently care for themselves or follow daily routines
  • Fatigue
  • Development of skin or other allergic symptoms

Type 4 – Vascular

Anything that disrupts blood flow to the brain can cause Vascular Dementia. These are health risks we hear a lot about that relate to heart disease: high cholesterol, hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis, stroke (big or tiny), heart attack, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure. All of these conditions have the potential to slow or interrupt blood flow to the brain either acutely (a lot in a short period) or chronically (slowly but consistently over a long period of time). When the brain doesn’t get oxygen, it starts to shrink.


  • Diet rich in processed foods (particularly high sugar)
  • Low fiber eating styles
  • Sedentary lifestyle habits
  • Alcohol (increases triglycerides)
  • Stress – especially long-term chronic stress
  • Genetics and/or family history of heart disease


  • Blood tests indicating high cholesterol, particularly high quantities of small LDL particles and high triglycerides. (Talk to your doctor about getting these tested)
  • High blood pressure diagnosis (aka hypertension)
  • High calcium score as diagnosed by your doctor
  • Personal or family history of mini strokes (or TIA), heart attack, bypass surgeries, carotid artery “clean out” procedure (aka – endarterectomy)
  • Weight gain especially around the middle

>>Almost done. One more to go.

Type 5 – Traumatic

Injury to the brain can cause Alzheimer’s, particularly if the injury is not diagnosed and treated. In these cases the brain has sustained some type of physical damage affecting one or more parts of the brain. Depending on what part of the brain is damaged, the symptoms can resemble Alzheimer’s.


  • Concussion
  • Brain shaking injury like car accident or a veteran exposed to explosions
  • Other types of traumatic brain injury (TBI)


  • Memory loss
  • Lack of problem solving skills
  • Word finding problems
  • Mood changes

Whew, that’s a lot of info! Now, you know the 6 “flavors” of Alzheimer’s. It’s common that one person has more than one flavor that affects their cognition.

I did. My primary flavor was Type 2, followed by Type 1 with Type 3 sprinkles on top. I followed the Bredesen protocol to reverse my symptoms. I still follow the protocol for prevention. It’s my new normal because I feel better than I have in decades.

Ready for more GOOD NEWS and buckets of HOPE? 

You have the power to reverse or prevent cognitive decline. 


Isn’t that the best news ever?

There’s a growing number of researchers showing that Alzheimer’s is Optional and a growing number of physicians who specialize in diagnosing, treating and preventing the various types of Alzheimer’s.

Here are the top 10 actions you can take right now to preserve your brain power or reverse cognitive symptoms like brain fog, fatigue, memory lapses, word finding or mood changes.

  1. Find a doctor who can identify (with proper testing) and treat the various root causes of Alzheimer’s. You can check out Apollo Health to find a doctor.
  2. Journal any symptoms that worry you so you can share them with your physician.
  3. Eat at home more. You’re the best person to prepare anti-inflammatory meals.
  4. Reduce your sugar intake in all forms
  5. Eat more vegetables → 5 to 7 cups a day
  6. Reduce packaged foods
  7. Move your body → Every day. Even 10 minutes counts
  8. Meditate or quiet time. Just 5 minutes a day can help lower stress
  9. Get outside, especially surrounded by nature
  10. Prioritize sleep → 7 to 9 hours a day, every day

That’s a 3-for-1 that only takes 15 minutes: Take a 10-minute walk outside in a natural setting. When you’re done with your walk, sit quietly for 5 minutes without looking at your phone. Just breathe. You checked off 3 items on the list above with one 15-minute block of time. 

Start with a tiny habit change in one category and keep stacking tiny habits in each category on top of each other. You’ll be amazed how much you can accomplish with habit stacking over time. Friendly reminder…perfection is not the goal. Consistency and persistence pay off big. Be kind to yourself.

Questions? Overwhelmed? Not sure where to start?

No problem. 

Book a complimentary 20-minute chat.

A healthy brain is the best gift you can give yourself…and your family.

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