Dr. Timothy Gerhart is less concerned with a quick and easy solution to dementia and focuses on encouraging a long path of healthy decisions.
“We don’t make people well,” Gerhart said. “We guide them on a journey toward improving their wellness.”
Gerhart is hosting a free series about living free of dementia and leading a healthy life. The classes will take place 6:30 p.m. Feb. 28 and March 27, at Renovare Wellness by Design in Peoria.
Seats are limited, so people interested are encouraged to call to reserve their spot.
Gerhart is a licensed chiropractic physician who focuses on looking beyond patients’ symptoms to understand why they are having health problems. He has more than 35 years of experience in teaching physicians and patients how to solve the puzzle of chronic diseases.
“I’m a holistic doctor because people come to me with a whole long list of problems,” Gerhart said.
In his work, Gerhart said he encounters many misconceptions about dementia and mental problems. He said many people believe dementia happens as an effect of aging, bad luck and it can’t be helped.
“That’s not what the research tells us,” Gerhart said. “It tells us dementia is a result of many years of a lifestyle failing to fit our genetic needs.”
The classes explain how to look at overall health and adapt lifestyle choices to specific gene pools.
“We know anxiety and depression are two sides of the same coin and over time, they increase the risk of neurodegeneration,” Gerhart said. “Dementia is just one facet of the brain degenerating.”
He focuses on natural solutions to living free of fatigue, concussion and brain fog. He said energy is particularly important to mental health.
“If you could give a suffering brain one gift, it would be the gift of energy,” Gerhart said. “We’ve learned dementia is really a disease of the mitochondria, which are the energy factories in every cell where we make energy.”
The lack of energy creates inflammation and can damage the brain and even lead to shrinking of the brain, Gerhart said, something also leading to health problems like dementia.
The digestive system, Gerhart said, is very important to the mental health of a person.
“Our digestive system is sometimes referred to as our second brain,” Gerhart said. “The brain in our skull has 100 billion neurons and the gut has 500 million neurons. So, our ‘second brain’ is really important.”
What are the best lifestyle choices for people? Gerhart said this is impossible to answer as everyone has different genetic needs.
“Everybody is different,” Gerhart said. “One size does not fit all and there’s no magic solution to dementia.”
“When we see enough encouraging and improvement, sometimes dramatic improvement, it really makes it dramatically satisfying to know we’re making a difference in somebody’s life,” Gerhart said.
“We want to make a dent in the tsunami of dementia that’s coming our way. We must do things differently.”