MAILBAG: Don’t Miss These Dementia Red Flags

Dear Living Well Daily Reader,

“How can I spot the difference between normal forgetfulness and signs of dementia?”

Murphy, from Gatlinburg, TN

Hi Murphy,

Most of us start to have some minor memory complaints as we age. For example, I struggle with tip-of-the-tongue brain burps.

I know the word I’m looking for, but I can’t locate it in my brain. Then someone says the word I’m struggling to remember, and I feel foolish.

This kind of memory problem, as well as misplacing items or forgetting someone’s name, is VERY common. Researchers think it’s a basic data retrieval issue.

By the time we reach middle age, we have countless details crammed into our brains. Retrieving a small bit of info from such a large database can naturally get dicey from time to time, causing a memory slip.

But, early warning signs of dementia are far more than these common memory hiccups. Following are some potential red flags to look for:

  • Mood changes: We all have our ups and downs. Being in a bad mood from time to time isn’t anything to worry about. But extreme negativity that doesn’t improve could signal something more and shouldn’t be ignored.
  • Memory loss: Don’t panic if you forget where you put your keys every once in a while. Everyday distractions and ordinary stress can cause forgetfulness. But if you frequently lose newly learned information or consistently rely on notes to help you retain details, it’s worth checking in with your doctor for some testing.
  • Problem-solving trouble: If you suddenly find it difficult to complete everyday tasks you used to excel at, that could be a red flag. For example, I’m great at directions, and my wife is great at remembering faces. If you were to challenge my wife with directions and me with faces, we would both fail. But if I suddenly struggle to find my way around town, that’s a potential problem.
  • Time/place confusion: Missing a lot of appointments, forgetting something significant that happened recently, not recognizing a familiar place, or not knowing what season it is can all be signs of brain problems.
  • Visual problems: Vision problems such as judging distances or determining colors is an often-overlooked early warning sign for dementia.
  • Withdrawal from activities: If someone you know stops participating in their usual activities, it can be a sign of early onset Alzheimer’s (or depression).

Remember, what you’re looking for with all of these potential red flags: the behavior is NEW and CONSISTENT.

In other words, if you lose your keys one day, it’s no big deal. But if you start to lose them EVERY day? It’s time to go to the doctor.

P.S. Researchers recently discovered an “age insurance” policy that can FIGHT BACK against memory loss improving protection by up 60 percent. I’ve got all the details on this cheap but effective solution right here.

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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