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Posted on: March 4, 2016 at 4:49 pm
Last updated: September 2, 2016 at 11:19 am

Imagine being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s only to find out later that what you’re really suffering from is nothing more than chronic stress.

Several of the symptoms attributed to stress, such as inability to focus and pay attention, can actually be signs of dementia. Many other illnesses out there come with symptoms that overlap with symptoms of dementia. This can lead to the misdiagnosis of a medical condition or illness, causing you to delay appropriate treatment.

dementia-globally

If you think you may have Alzheimer’s, double check to make sure that your symptoms aren’t signs of one of the following conditions instead:

  • Nutritional Imbalances and Deficiencies
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Some well-known symptoms of Alzheimer’s, such as memory loss and lack of energy may also be signs of vitamin B deficiency. A shortage of vitamin B in your system can lead to anemia so it’s important to know what you’re body is really suffering from. Consuming meat, poultry, dairy products or eggs can help boost the vitamin B levels in your body. If you’re vegetarian, you can take vitamin B supplements or multivitamins. But before signing it off as dementia, ask your doctor for a blood test to be sure.

  • Stress

As mentioned above, not being able to focus or pay attention can be symptoms for both stress and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, forgetfulness and mood swings are also signs of both. Getting tested by a doctor should be able to straighten out which condition you are exhibiting symptoms for.

  • Side Effects from Prescription Medication

Some of the common side effects caused by prescription medication include dizziness and decreased control over bodily functions. These could easily be mistaken for mild coordination problems, which is a sign of dementia. If you are experiencing any of the above, and are currently taking prescription medication or have recently taken some, find out from a professional whether what you’re experiencing is a side effect of a drug or a symptom of a brain disease.

  • Inflammation

Inflammation is sometimes associated with flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue. Feeling tired and having less energy to go about your normal daily tasks is also associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, more physical symptoms of inflammation include loss of joint function, which can be confused with coordination problems, like trouble writing. The latter is seen in cases of Alzheimer’s.

  • Thyroid and Hormonal Imbalances

Many people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s may simply have low levels of T3 thyroid hormone. A sudden change in weight is one of the most common symptoms of thyroid disorder. However, weight loss is also a symptom of severe Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, experiencing changes in mood or energy could also be a sign of either a thyroid disorder or Alzheimer’s.

An estimated 10 to 15 percent of all nursing home residents may actually just have low levels of T3.

  • Mercury and Other Heavy Metal Poisoning

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Several of the symptoms affiliated with mercury poisoning also overlap with signs of Alzheimer’s disease. They include, mood swings, weakness, changes in behaviour and decreased cognitive functions. At first glance, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two so it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional if you are worried or unsure in any way.

  • Artificial Flavoring and Coloring

Artificial additives may induce side effects that can be mistaken for symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia. For instance, some artificial flavours cause depression, which can be confused with mood swings, a sign of Alzheimer’s. Moreover, consuming caramel can give way to vitamin B deficiency, which comes with its own set of symptoms that overlap with signs of Alzheimer’s disease as previously mentioned.

Sources:

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/7-conditions-masquerading-dementia?page=2

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http://www.alz.org/what-is-dementia.asp

http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-symptoms-effects_of-stress-on-the-body?page=2

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/vitamin-b12-deficiency-symptoms-causes?page=2

http://www.drugwatch.com/side-effects/

http://www.webmd.com/women/ss/slideshow-thyroid-symptoms-and-solutions

http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/guide/understanding-alzheimers-disease-symptoms?page=2

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http://www.emedicinehealth.com/mercury_poisoning/page3_em.htm

http://www.wholevegan.com/food_additives.html

http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/arthritis-inflammation#2

Image Sources: 

http://www.aseniorschoiceonline.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/medication_1293360a.jpg

https://www.bupa.com/corporate/our-purpose/healthy-ageing-and-dementia/bupa-and-dement

http://www.ajnr.org/content/22/10/1901/F4.large.jpg

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