Memory loss and confusion are among the common and early symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but Alzheimer’s is not the only disease with those symptoms. In this post, we will take a quick look at some of the conditions that can also lead to symptoms commonly associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Although it may seem like the most improbable cause, depression can indeed bring about several symptoms in seniors which we tend to associate immediately with Alzheimer’s. This includes:
- Frequent mood swings and changes in personality
- Feeling of despair or hopelessness
- Loss of appetite followed by rapid weight loss
- Irregular sleep patterns and insomnia
- Reduced social interactions
- Confusion and noticeable reduction in cognitive abilities
- Memory loss and forgetfulness
- Disregarding personal hygiene
No one without the necessary medical training can tell whether the symptoms are indicative of Alzheimer’s, depression, or any of the other possible causes. If you or anyone close to you is showing signs such as the ones mentioned above, consult a physician first before coming to any conclusion. Irrespective of the reason(s) though, these are signs that the afflicted senior needs assisted living conditions. To help yourself or someone close to you lead a better, safer and more fulfilling life at this point, consider the McKnight Place for senior living St Louis MO facility.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
UTIs are unlikely culprits that no one normally connects to symptoms of dementia, and yet, a UIT is one of the most common reasons all the same. Symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Confusion and irritability
- Excessive tiredness and loss of balance
- Drowsiness and loss of focus
- Emotional polarization
It is to be noted that UTIs almost exclusively give rise to such symptoms when they affect the aged population. Younger individuals are unlikely to experience symptoms similar to dementia on contracting a urinary tract infection. The good news is that urinary incontinence and a change in color is very easy to pick up on. Also, they can be easily treated with antibiotics by a general physician or a urologist.
The issues caused by diabetes are not only brought on by having too much insulin resistant glucose in the blood (hyperglycemia). Hypoglycemia, aka low blood glucose levels, are also common in diabetics unfortunately, and that’s also an extremely dangerous condition for the patient to be in. Due to blood sugar deficiency affecting the body and the brain simultaneously, several symptoms identical to Alzheimer’s are seen in diabetics at times.
Since prolonged or severe hypoglycemia can lead to permanent brain damage, it is important to always be wary of signs like confusion, temporary amnesia, growing weakness, nausea, loss of balance, stupor and haze if someone has diabetes. An immediate dose of sugar or sugar-water should help, until a doctor can be consulted.
These are the main alternative reasons why seniors may at times show symptoms of Alzheimer’s, without actually having the disease. However, Lyme Disease should also be considered as a possible cause if such symptoms are exhibited by anyone, including seniors. Look for tick bites and the bull’s eye rash (erythema migrans), which most patients develop within 7-30 days after the bite.