The diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease can be a scary time for anyone. For the 5 million people living with Alzheimer's, one of the main signs that occurs is the onset of dementia.
One of the main symptoms of dementia is memory loss, but if you're experiencing this then the cause may not directly be from dementia. Instead of jumping to conclusions, it's a good idea to consider alternate options for the memory loss instead of dementia.
This is one of the hardest diseases to diagnose, especially on your own. On the surface, you will probably be displaying the typical signs of dementia. This includes forgetting people, memories, and everyday functions. It takes a doctor to determine the source of the memory problems, and this usually includes a psychological evaluation.
One of the main differences between the diagnosis of dementia and pseudo dementia is depression. A person in a depressive state more than likely has a temporary pseudo dementia instead of a permanent disease. Along with depression, suicidal thoughts and an overall lower daily energy are some of the main signs to look for. A doctor can help test you and ask the proper questions to help distinguish between the two diseases.
Once pseudo dementia has been diagnosed, there are multiple steps to help overcome the problem. A variety of methods include intense counseling, medications, and possibly an assisted living program to get you through daily activities.
If the memory loss comes and goes in rapid sequences then you could be suffering from delirium. Bouts of delirium can last for just a few minutes or for longer than an hour, depending on the specific person. As you are going through delirium problems, it may be common to associate the confusion and memory loss with dementia.
Some of the main causes of delirium are alcohol use, substance abuse, and medication issues. If you are on a newly prescribed medication and are experiencing confusion or memory loss, then you should consult your doctor as soon as possible. A change in the medication can help remove the delirium.
A series of health issues can cause the onset of memory loss. Through proper medical treatment, this memory loss often goes away and is not a permanent problem like dementia.
- Dehydration: Severe dehydration is often a cause for memory loss. Your body cannot function correctly and your brain is not getting the proper nutrients. In really bad cases, an IV may be connected to get the proper fluids through your body. Once the body is hydrated, memory loss symptoms will slowly disappear.
- Vitamin Deficiency: Without the proper nutrition, it is easy for elders to suffer through memory loss. When not in taking the proper food, your body can quickly suffer multiple problems, including memory loss. One of the main vitamin deficiencies that causes memory loss is B12. Foods like crab, clams, skim milk, and Swiss cheese are filled with natural vitamin B12. A supplement can also be taken to help improve the deficiency.
- Urinary Track Infections: UTIs are common infections and one of their main side effects includes cognitive problems like memory loss. A general physical exam can help rule out these infections and problems.
Old Age & Anxiety
It's often common for people to exaggerate problems or heighten issues that are not present. Old age, dementia, and Alzheimer's are often associated with each other. Common memory loss or simple "brain flubs" can be mixed with natural anxiety to cause feelings that you are becoming onset with dementia.
While it's important to keep track of any changes in your everyday function, you can never fully diagnose yourself. Keep track of issues, discuss it with family, and see a doctor. A doctor will run through all the proper tests and give you a true diagnosis.