Health Conditions that can Mimic or be a factor in dementia. Learn more about senile dementia
Unless otherwise noted, all content Copyright, Neva J. Howell
Questioning a Diagnosis of Senile Dementia
What You Need to Have Your Doctor Rule Out
I was surprised to come across some information about dementia and to realize that so many other health conditions could either contribute to the condition or even mimic the symptoms of senile dementia.
Before accepting a diagnosis of dementia, it would be wise to rule out the following health conditions:
Vitamin Deficiencies: Deficiencies that can cause some of the same symptoms as senile dementia include Vitamin B deficiencies. Specifically noted as cause of some of the same symptoms as dementia were deficiencies in Vitamins B1, B6 and B12. Related article on effects of B-12 deficiency
Iodine Deficiency linked to senile dementia symptoms: As far as iodine deficiency goes, you may think you get all the iodine you need in salt but on a salt-restrictive diet this might not be the case and, if the person eats a lot of soy products or drinks a lot of soy milk, they can still be deficient in iodine even though they eat iodized salt.
Soy has something that blocks absorption of iodine. Also, some salts do not have iodine, such as some sea salts. I know the sea salt I use says right on the box that it does not contain iodine.
Vitamin Deficiencies due to prescription drugs: Certain B-Vitamin deficiencies can happen when taking certain medications. My mom’s heart doctor has her on several B vitamins for that reason so check with your doctor to see if you need to supplement with B-vitamins because these vitamins are not fat-soluble which means the body can’t store them up like it does D or A. They need to be replenished daily, either in our diet or by supplementation.
Health Conditions to rule out in diagnosis of Senile Dementia:
Besides these common deficiencies, I’d also ask directly whether or not your doctor tested for conditions such as….
Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus ( NPH )
Heavy metals poisoning
In addition, if you have known heart disease then oxygen supply may be a factor. Check to see if decreased oxygen supply is evident and ask what can be done to help that condition which may, in turn, help the symptoms of dementia.
If symptoms have their onset soon after having had anesthesia, also have your doctor followup to see if you might have had a reaction to the anesthesia or if too much may have been given. I’ve seen two special reports lately about hospital mistakes that have caused people unnecessary suffering, pain and even death. Doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists….they are all people. People can make mistakes.
Drug abuse, whether with recreational or prescription drugs, can cause disorientation, confusion and other symptoms associated with dementia but you can also unknowingly have an allergic reaction to a medication or have an interaction between different prescription medications and end up with symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
It’s a good idea to go over all drugs and discuss all potential side effects and potential drug interactions with your pharmacist and your doctor.