5 Diseases That May Show Symptoms Identical to Dementia in Seniors
Since Alzheimer’s disease is widely known, we often begin to worry about noticing its signs. But dementia is not the only disorder that causes irritability, mood swings, and forgetfulness. Here are 5 common diseases that may be disguised as dementia.
1. Urinary tract infection
Having penetrated into the urethra, the bacteria can rise through the mucous membrane to the bladder and kidneys, forming chronic inflammation. At the same time, urination becomes painful, and in older people, it can cause agitation, fussiness, anxiety, & confusion. By avoiding urinating, an elderly person can stop drinking, which leads to dehydration and increases confusion. In this case, you must first cure the infection.
2. Excess medication
An elderly person suffers from a variety of diseases and, accordingly, takes a lot of drugs: from blood pressure to heart diseases and painkillers. Plus, many older people have the habit of taking medications they heard about from their friends or in advertising. Excess medications, their unpredictable interaction can affect memory and cause side effects, which might create symptoms identical to dementia. So, it’s necessary to consult with a specialist prior to taking such medications.
Depression affects every seventeenth person over the age of 65. In general, the symptoms of depression repeat the early signs of dementia: decrease and instability of mood, loss of activity, motivation, impaired memory. It is advisable to contact a psychologist or psychotherapist who has experience working with elderly patients.
Hypothyroidism affects nearly 30 million people in the world, most of them – older than 50. Half of the patients are unaware of this disease. Symptoms include depression, forgetfulness, lethargy, and sometimes anxiety. if you’re experiencing identical symptoms, consultation with an endocrinologist may be necessary.
5. Hearing loss
Age-related hearing loss is a common problem for the elderly. Hearing loss causes attention deficit, and the sufferer finds it challenging to understand what others are saying. Realizing this, an elderly person begins to avoid social contacts, becoming more and more locked up in himself/herself. Relatives begin to associate this behavior with dementia. Often, hearing impairment is combined with a lesion of the vestibular apparatus, which leads to falls, so an urgent consultation with a specialist becomes necessary.
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