Alzheimer’s-Related Illnesses and Ways to Decrease Them

Depression and Alzheimer’s Disease
Several health ailments have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, the disease itself can be a risk factor for other health problems, particularly as it progresses to later stages.

As Alzheimer’s advances to later stages, it impacts a person’s ability to balance as well as control their bladder and bowels.

Our parents and senior loved ones with the disease can then become susceptible to several serious health problems, including:

  • Dehydration and malnutrition: The more difficult it becomes to ingest food or water, the more likely a senior with Alzheimer’s may suffer dehydration or malnutrition.
  • Depression: Cognitive decline and a lack of social interaction may lead to depression as well as aggressive or violent behavior, delusions, mood swings, and personality changes.
  • Fall-related injuries: Poor balance can lead to falls and related injuries, including fractures and serious head injuries.
  • Immobility: Seniors with late-stage Alzheimer’s are often bedridden, putting them at risk for bed sores, infections, and loss of muscle function.
  • Pneumonia: The inability to swallow correctly increases a person’s chances of aspirating or inhaling food or liquid into their lungs; aspiration pneumonia is the leading cause of death for people with Alzheimer’s.
  • Urinary tract infections: Loss of bladder control may require the insertion of a urinary catheter, which increases the risks for urinary tract infections.

Ways to Decrease Alzheimer’s-Related Illnesses

Alzheimer’s affects individuals differently. So, not all people will suffer the same disease-related health conditions, although difficulty swallowing and incontinence are common ailments.

Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s cannot be prevented. But, people with a family history of Alzheimer’s or dementia may consider incorporating certain lifestyle habits into their routine, like:
  • Eating a low-fat diet, including cold-water fish (tuna, salmon, and mackerel) that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Increasing intake of antioxidants by consuming plenty of dark-colored fruits and vegetables
  • Maintaining a healthy blood pressure
  • Staying mentally and socially active throughout life

Talk to your healthcare provider about your risks for Alzheimer’s before you make any lifestyle changes, especially if you already take medication for another health issue.
Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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