stamped envelopes.

Mailbag! 7 Early Signs of Alzheimer’s

I’ve noticed my husband has been forgetting things more often and I’m worried about dementia. How do you know when it’s time to go to the doctor to get tested?

–Patti from Milwaukee, WI

Patti,

It’s comforting to remember that as we age, we do tend to become less “sharp.” Everyone has lapses in memory.

But some situations can reveal if you should worry about the early signs of dementia.

That can include:

  • Changes in mood. We all have days when we are in a good or a bad mood. Mood changes in Alzheimer’s disease, however, are generally for the worse and don’t improve. It can also be sporadic and drastic.
  • Memory loss. Everyone forgets where they put their keys, or the name of someone they met at a party a week ago. The memory loss I’m talking about is quickly forgetting information you’ve just learned or needing to rely on notes (or your phone) to keep you organized.
  • Problem-solving. You’ve done something your whole life, but now you find it hard to do. I’m great at directions, and my wife is great at remembering faces. If you were to challenge her with directions and me with faces, we would both fail. But if I start having problems finding my way, then that is a problem.
  • Difficulty speaking. I’m talking about searching for words. If you use “what’s-his-name,” or “that thingamajig” too often, then you might have aphasia, which is a condition of having trouble finding the right word. This can be an early sign of brain dysfunction.
  • Confusion about time and place. We all forget an appointment from time to time, but missing many appointments, or not knowing the season, or forgetting something happened last week can all be signs of brain problems.
  • Visual problems. Vision problems such as judging distances or determining colors is another early warning sign.
  • Withdrawal from activities. If someone you know stops participating in their normal activities, this can be a sign of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. (It’s also a sign of depression.}

With all these signs, it’s important to look for what’s NEW and what’s CONSISTENT. Losing your keys one day is no big deal, but losing them every other day or every day could mean it’s time to go to the doctor.

 

P.S. Have a health concern that’s worrying you? Click here to submit your questions and get featured in the weekly mailbag!

Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND

Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.

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