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Memory Loss: Dealing With Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Memory loss is a symptom related to Dementia or Alzheimer’s but what is the difference between the two.

If you or a loved one experiences age-related memory changes.

Memory Loss

Memory Loss

 

It is easy to panic and fear the worst – Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s is now the number three cause of death in the US, after heart disease and cancer.

As the so-called Baby Boomers all start to reach 50 to 70 years of age.

The number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s is likely to increase.

However, it is important to note that not all memory loss issues are dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Some can be caused by stress, drinking too much alcohol, not getting enough sleep.

Or taking any number of over-the-counter and prescription medications that are known to affect memory.

Such as allergy medicines, antacids and antidepressants.

If you have tried to help your loved one to modify all of these and other important lifestyle factors.

But they are still showing signs of age-related memory loss.

It might be time to learn more about dementia.

What is it, and how are dementia and Alzheimer’s different?

 

Dementia

Dementia is a form of brain dysfunction related to aging.

It is a progressive condition that will worsen over time.

Unless steps are taken to try to maintain mental ability for as long as possible.

This can be achieved through a range of activities and also medications.

The first sign of dementia is usually forgetfulness that will increase in frequency and type.

Your loved one might not be able to find their keys.

Can’t remember how they got into a room.

Or whether they took their medicine recently.

A visit to the doctor should reveal.

If any of these signs are symptoms of dementia or some other health issue.

The doctor will use a scoring system and evaluate whether there is no dementia present.

Slight abnormality, or stage 1, 2 or 3.

Depending on the stage, you would work with your doctor.

To come up with a treatment plan of drugs and a new routine.

Over time, your loved one might not be able to do all of their regular activities.

Of daily living such as washing, dressing and so on.

But this is usually only in the advanced stages of dementia.

Some signs of what seems to be dementia can be related to other health issues.

For example, not being able to find keys could be the result of vision loss.

A person not responding to you in conversation might be due to hearing loss.

Dementia is usually not fatal in and of itself.

Death may be a result of dementia-related accidents instead of the actual condition.

Some people can show improvements in their condition.

And it is possible to learn to function quite well with it.

 

Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a particular form of dementia.

That is caused by protein clumps on the brain known as amyloid plaques.

Alzheimer’s manifests in seven stages, each one marking a progressive decline in mental functions.

And the ability to carry out activities of daily living on their own.

At the beginning of Alzheimer’s, the symptoms are similar to dementia.

Memory Loss

Memory Loss

 

Over time, however, the decline will become worse.

And death usually occurs within five to seven years.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia accounting for 60% to 80% of all cases.

Having said that, not everyone with mild dementia is diagnosed.

As compared with the more extreme symptoms and manifestations of Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is most common in those over 65.

The plaque in the brain results in the nerve cells dying.

Sufferers will eventually forget how to do things like dress themselves.

Go to the bathroom on their own, eat, and so on.

Alzheimer’s is dementia, but not all dementia is Alzheimer’s.

Make sure you get an accurate diagnosis.

So you can come up with the right treatment plan for your loved one.

 


Weight Management: Myths about Weight Loss

Weight management is something we all struggle with, especially after reaching your ideal weight loss.

Like everything, there are myths that somehow get started around weight loss.

Weight Management

Weight Management

 

Anyone who has tried slimming down.

Has had the misfortune of struggling through all the conflicting weight loss advice.

Every new diet is always the answer: Go high-fat, low-carb.

Cut out dairy, Eat only Greek yogurt.

And so on. It can be mind-boggling.

Here are nine myths about weight loss, and the truth behind them:

1. “Carbs will make you gain pounds.”

Some people think that carbohydrates make you gain weight.

Because they bind water which leads to bloating.

Empty carbs found in processed foods and sugary treats are easy to overeat.

Which can lead to added weight.

However, complex carbs such as vegetables, whole grains and legumes.

Will fill you up without adding extra weight.

 

2. “Indulging is a no-no.”

Never having your favorite food again the rest of your life is just not reasonable and sustainable.

If you really crave your favorite food, have a small bite, savor it and move on.

 

3. “Gluten free is the way to drop pounds.”

This is totally a myth.

If you don’t have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity.

Gluten-free eating won’t change your weight over the long term.

There may be some change in the beginning since you’re giving up pizza and pasta.

 

4. “The number on the scale means you’re healthy.”

Weight is a way for your doctor to let you know if you’re at risk for certain diseases.

But it’s not a reliable indicator of overall health.

If you eat healthily and exercise but your weight is outside the normal weight range.

You’re at less of a risk for heart disease.

Than someone who is in the normal range.

And eats unhealthily without exercising.

 

5. “Low-fat and fat-free foods are better for you.”

Almost all processed low-fat or fat-free foods have hidden salt, flour, additives and sugar.

And have just as many if not more calories than full-fat versions.

 

6. “Exercise needs to be hardcore and painful to count.”

Working out until you’re breathless and drenched in sweat isn’t the only way to exercise.

It’s better to just get moving.

Walk the dog, take a dance class, hike the local trails, or vacuum your house.

Any kind of movement counts.

Weight Management

Weight Management

 

7. “It’s fine to cut out entire food groups and nutrients.”

In some cases it’s necessary to cut out food groups.

Such as if you are lactose intolerant.

But for most people a healthy diet is one that is based on a variety of foods and nutrition groups.

And includes both balance and moderation.

Your body needs fat, protein and carbohydrates to function.

 

8. “Skipping meals is great for losing weight.”

Even though it seems logical that if you skip a meal.

You’ll lose weight because you’re eating fewer calories.

That’s not necessarily how the body works.

Those who skip meals are often hungrier later in the day.

And eat more than normal.

 

9. “You can eat whatever you want as long as you exercise a lot.”

Not really, it’s more about balance.

Healthy weight management means balancing a healthy eating habit with a good exercise habit.

That means real, unprocessed foods and daily movement.

Myths about weight loss are flowing and growing every day.

It’s important to follow your instincts.

Your doctor’s or nutritionist’s advice.

And do thorough research when attempting to lose weight.

 


Gout: Do We Know If It Can Be Cured?

Many people who suffer the agony of the arthritic condition gout.

Will wonder if it’s possible for it to be cured.

Gout

Gout

 

Unfortunately, while there is currently no cure for this illness.

There is a lot you can do to reduce your number of attacks.

And the degree of pain of each attack once you know how.

 

What Causes Gout?

Gout is an arthritic condition that attacks the joints.

It is caused by a build-up of a waste product known as uric acid in the body.

Uric acid is produced due to the foods we eat.

It should be eliminated from the body through the kidneys and via the process of urination.

But sometimes people produce too much uric acid and don’t eliminate enough of it.

The build-up causes uric acid crystals to form.

Which settle in the joints and can lead to severe pain.

Fortunately, there are a number of medications and lifestyle measures.

That can cut down on the number and severity of gout attacks.

 

Effective Medications for Gout

There are a number of effective medications for gout

that can relieve the short-term acute pain of an attack.

And the long-term damage that gout can cause if it is left untreated.

For over-the-counter pain relief, try non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as:

  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • Naproxen (Aleve)
  • But NOT aspirin.

Prescription pain relief can include:

  • Indomethacin
  • Celecoxib
  • Colchicine

This is a type of pain reliever that effectively reduces pain.

The main issue with this drug, however, is that it is poorly tolerated by many people.

Side effects include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

After an acute gout attack subsides.

Your doctor may prescribe a low daily dose of colchicine to prevent future attacks.

If you can tolerate it.

 

Steroids

Steroids will relieve swelling and inflammation.

The most common drug of choice for short-term relief is prednisone.

It can be injected directly into the joint.

Because of serious side effects.

Steroids will not usually be given long term.

Unless the patient can’t tolerate NSAIDS or colchicine.

 

Effective Lifestyle Measures to Deal with Gout

The most effective measures to deal with gout are:

a) Lowering the amount of uric acid produced

b) Increasing the amount of uric acid eliminated

Gout

Gout

 

In terms of option a, watching what you eat is the easiest way to do this.

With little risk of side effects.

Uric acid is formed by a substance in our food called purines.

Avoid the following foods that are high in purines:

  1. Organ meats, such as liver, kidneys, sweetbreads, and brains
  2. Meats, including bacon, beef, pork, and lamb
  3. Game meats such as venison and bison
  4. Anchovies, sardines, herring, mackerel, and scallops
  5. Salty foods

 

Steer clear of the following beverages:

  1. Beer
  2. Fortified wines like port
  3. Full fat milk
  4. Diet drinks with artificial sweeteners in them
  5. Beverages with fructose

 

In terms of option b, flushing uric acid out of the body.

The easiest way to achieve this is to stay hydrated.

Drink plenty of fresh, clear water.

The recommendation is currently 64 ounces a day: a 2-liter bottle.

If you struggle to drink that much, try adding some fruit juice or a squirt of lemon or lime.

If natural methods for these options don’t work.

Discuss further medication options with your doctor.

Since new drugs for gout are coming to market much more frequently now.

We are what we eat and drink.

So use these natural methods to deal with your ailment.

And you can minimize the number of attacks you have.

And the damage gout can do to your joints.

Dementia Sufferers The Difference From Alzheimer’s?

Dementia sufferers and Alzheimer’s disease in some ways.

Are one in the same with some subtle differences.

Dementia Sufferers

Dementia Sufferers

 

If you or a loved one experiences age-related memory changes.

It is easy to panic and fear the worst – Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s is now the number three cause of death in the US.

After heart disease and cancer.

As the so-called Baby Boomers all start to reach 50 to 70 years of age.

The number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s is likely to increase.

However, it is important to note that.

Not all memory issues are dementia or Alzheimer’s related.

Some can be caused by stress, drinking too much alcohol.

Not getting enough sleep.

Or taking any number of over-the-counter.

And prescription medications that are known to affect memory.

Such as allergy medicines, antacids and antidepressants.

If you have tried to help your loved one to modify all of these.

And other important lifestyle factors.

But they are still showing signs of age-related memory loss.

It might be time to learn more about dementia.

What is it, and how are dementia and Alzheimer’s different?

 

Dementia

Dementia is a form of brain dysfunction related to aging.

It is a progressive condition that will worsen over time.

Unless steps are taken to try to maintain mental ability for as long as possible.

This can be achieved through a range of activities and also medications.

The first sign of dementia is usually forgetfulness.

That will increase in frequency and type.

Your loved one might not be able to find their keys.

Can’t remember how they got into a room.

Or whether they took their medicine recently.

A visit to the doctor should reveal.

If any of these signs are symptoms of dementia.

Or some other health issue.

The doctor will use a scoring system.

And evaluate whether there is no dementia present.

Slight abnormality, or stage 1, 2 or 3.

Depending on the stage.

You would work with your doctor.

To come up with a treatment plan of drugs and a new routine.

Over time, your loved one might not be able to do.

All of their regular activities of daily living.

Such as washing, dressing and so on.

But this is usually only in the advanced stages of dementia.

Some signs of what seems to be dementia.

Can be related to other health issues.

For example, not being able to find keys.

Could be the result of vision loss.

A person not responding to you in conversation.

Might be due to hearing loss.

Dementia is usually not fatal in and of itself.

Death may be a result of dementia-related accidents.

Instead of the actual condition.

Some people can show improvements in their condition.

And it is possible to learn to function quite well with it.

Dementia Sufferers

Dementia Sufferers

 

Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a particular form of dementia.

That is caused by protein clumps on the brain known as amyloid plaques.

Alzheimer’s manifests in seven stages.

Each one marking a progressive decline in mental functions.

And the ability to carry out activities of daily living on their own.

At the beginning of Alzheimer’s.

The symptoms are similar to dementia.

Over time, however, the decline will become worse.

And death usually occurs within five to seven years.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.

Accounting for 60% to 80% of all cases.

Having said that, not everyone with mild dementia is diagnosed.

As compared with the more extreme symptoms and manifestations of Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is most common in those over 65.

The plaque in the brain results in the nerve cells dying.

Sufferers will eventually forget how to do things like dress themselves.

Go to the bathroom on their own, eat, and so on.

Alzheimer’s is dementia, but not all dementia is Alzheimer’s.

Make sure you get an accurate diagnosis.

So you can come up with the right treatment plan for your loved one.

Dementia Safety Concerns For Loved Ones

Looking after an older relative with dementia.

Can be a bit like caring for young children.

Dementia Safety

Dementia Safety

Only ones who are a lot more mobile.

And able to get into more trouble.

If you don’t pay attention to a number of important safety issues.

As with children, you might find yourself wishing for certain superpowers.

Such as having eyes in the back of your head.

And the ability to see through doors and walls.

Coping with adults who have dementia.

May have you taking on roles you never imagined you would have to.

Our parents have always been the strong ones.

That we looked to for help and advice.

It can be a very difficult transition.

To move from the dependent child.

To the mature adult as your parent becomes more like a dependent child.

 

Care Issues

Because they are adults, they have a range of responsibility.

And care issues that go beyond what you usually have to do for a child.

Such a bathe, dress, feed them, and deal with toileting issues.

These will be needed eventually once their dementia progresses.

They are hard enough to do with children.

And even more challenging when dealing with a large adult.

 

Home Safety

But you might also need to take care of bills.

Home maintenance and upkeep.

And safety within the home.

For example, if your loved one with dementia.

Has mobility issues like needing a walker or cane.

Make sure the house is neat and tidy.

And that they have adaptive aids to assist them.

These light include ramps, stair climbers.

Handles in the bathroom near the toilet and shower/tub, and so on.

 

Medications

Another issue is dealing with medications.

You should maintain an up-to-date list.

Of everything they are taking, and why.

Bring it to each doctor’s appointment.

Include all vitamins, over-the-counter products.

And herbal supplements they might use regularly.

Because some can cause serious interactions with each other.

A pill carrier can help them stay safe.

And not miss doses or accidentally overdose.

In relation to the medications that are essential.

And need to be taken regularly.

It is far easier to set the pills out for a week from each of the bottles.

Than to try to remember what you took from which bottle.

Set an alarm or electronic notification on a computer.

Or text messaging service.

So the medicine can be taken on time.

If you are not sure whether they have taken it.

Just check the compartment for that dose.

Dementia Safety

Dementia Safety

 

Benefits And Health Insurance

Once you take care of drug safety.

It is time to familiarize yourself with their social security benefits.

Health insurance, Medicare and/or Medicaid.

So you can understand what their income is.

And how much their medicines cost.

Some people decide to take out a supplementary benefit policy.

For their medications, for instance,

To help cover the cost of high-priced drugs.

Others might have long-term care policies in place.

In this way you will know all your options.

In relation to being cared for at home.

Versus going to an assisted living facility, nursing home, or eventually a hospice.

As the dementia progresses, they might lose their keys.

Crash the car, wander out of the house, leave the gas on.

Or leave the tub running and flood the house.

All of these incidents and more mean closer and closer supervision.

If you are not living with the loved one.

You will have to check on them regularly.

Plus organize round-the-clock care.

Putting safety first is not easy.

But it can help your loved one maintain their independence a lot longer.