Several medical complications are linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, it can be a risk factor for other health issues, especially as it develops in the later stages. However, there are ways for you to prevent and lower your risk of having Alzheimer’s.
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In this article:
- Medical Complications Caused by Alzheimer’s
- How to Prevent Medical Complication of Alzheimer’s
Effects of Alzheimer’s and Its Medical Complications
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a very well-known progressive disease that affects cognitive and memory function. It commonly occurs to people over the age of 65, but sometimes it happens to people in their 40s or even younger. The symptoms usually include confusion and forgetfulness in the early stages, but it gradually worsens over time. In the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease, it can even cause severe and permanent damage to the brain.
Therefore, the best way to prevent this from happening to you or your loved ones is to go and see the doctor right after noticing the first signs of its symptoms. Early diagnosis can be crucial for slowing progression and improving cognitive health. However, with treatment, the patient might still experience one or more medical complications of Alzheimer’s disease.
Medical Complications Caused by Alzheimer’s
Bowel and Bladder Problems
Bowel and bladder issues are connected to Alzheimer’s because messages between the brain and the bladder and/or bowel may not function correctly, and this can lead to complications. As the disease progresses, the patients are likely to experience some discomfort and needing to use the restroom more often. They can also be incapable of responding quickly to urges due to their limited communication skills and mobility. Even worse, people with AD can suffer from urinary tract infections due to losing control over the bladder, which may require a urinary catheter insertion.
AD can also affect coordination and balance. As a result, patients have a higher risk of falling, leading to broken bones or head trauma. However, this medical complication can easily be avoided by assisting the patient in their daily activity and making sure to have their pathways cleared from any potential obstacles.
One of the effects of Alzheimer’s is depression. Symptoms include:
- Having trouble sleeping
- Mood swings
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Withdrawing from social relationships
Both of the symptoms of AD and depression can be very similar, so it is tough for non-medical people to know the difference. The quickest way to find out for sure is to get some help from medical professionals.
Medical complications from Alzheimer’s can also include losing control of bodily functions, which can even result in forgetting how to chew food and swallow. This can lead to the risk of patients inhaling their drinks and food. Consequently, the patient can get life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia and pulmonary aspiration, which are some of the leading causes of death of people with AD.
You can help patients out by cutting their food into bite-size pieces, so it’s a lot easier for them to eat and avoid choking.
Another effect of Alzheimer’s is suffering from dementia, leading to more significant problems such as forgetting surroundings. People with AD can experience sleeplessness and restlessness because of the disruption in their regular sleeping habits. As a result, they sometimes get out of the house and start wandering around as they think they are going to work or running errands.
To support this, patients can wear a medical alert bracelet with their address, name, and contact information.
Dehydration and Malnutrition
It’s essential to help people with Alzheimer’s stay hydrated by giving them enough water to drink and food to eat. This task can sometimes be challenging as they might refuse to eat and drink as the disease progresses.
How to Prevent Medical Complications of Alzheimer’s
Some of the best things for you and your loved ones can do to prevent or at least lower the risk of Alzheimer’s complication are:
- Have a Mediterranean diet. Research shows that having a healthy, Mediterranean diet can drastically slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s. The diet should include wholefood, veggies, fruits, and nuts. You can have a deeper look here.
- Improve mental health. In general, you can do plenty of things to improve your mental well-being, from doing meditation to owning a pet. It helps you to increase your brain power and help with memory problems.
- Exercise. Doing a workout will improve your physical strength and strengthen your mental health by helping with blood circulation. Thirty minutes of daily exercise can help to prevent and slow the progression of the disease.
There isn’t a cure for AD, but treatment can easily enhance your mental health and improve cognitive function, which potentially prevents you from getting AD. Unfortunately, it can happen to anyone in their early 40s or even younger. Therefore, consider changing your lifestyle if you want to reduce any risk factors.
What are your plans for preventing Alzheimer’s and its medical complications? Let us know your opinion in the comments section below!