Consuming a diet can result in various health issues but not many people are aware that specific nutritional deficiencies can contribute to the occurrence and progression of dementia.
If you have observed alterations in someone close, to you it might be worth examining whether their dietary intake is adequately providing all the necessary nutrients.
What is dementia due to nutritional deficiencies?
Research has demonstrated that certain types of dementia can arise as a consequence of significant nutritional deficiencies, which might not be easily detected.
Many researchers primarily concentrate on the insufficiency of B 12 as it appears to be the vitamin with the potential impact, on the development of dementia when not consumed in sufficient amounts. If an individual maintains a diet lacking in vitamin B 12 they may start experiencing difficulties.
Risk Factors for Nutritional Deficiencies
If you have a deficiency in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients there is an increased risk of developing dementia. Some of these nutrients include;
1. Thiamin (also known as vitamin B 1) which is commonly found in individuals who have chronically abused alcohol.
2. Vitamin B 6
3. Vitamin B 12
4. Proper hydration
Maintaining hydration levels is crucial to prevent nutrition related dementia just like ensuring an adequate intake of B vitamins. To ensure a supply of B vitamins it is recommended to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
Fruits, vegetables, meat products and dairy items are sources of these vitamins while also helping maintain hydration due to their high water content. Examples include bananas, lentils, spinach, whole grains, salmon, chicken meat dairy products such, as milk and eggs. In cases taking multivitamins may also be beneficial.
Signs and Symptoms of Nutritional Deficiencies
Insufficient consumption of B vitamins can result in noticeable symptoms even before the cognitive effects become evident. People with a deficiency in B vitamins may observe;
- Anemia in the bone marrow due to DNA synthesis, which can cause abnormally large red blood cells.
- Digestive issues
- Problems with motor functions
Reduced ability to sense pressure, vibration and deep touch leading to decreased tactile sensation.
- Sluggish muscle tendon reflexes
- Severe weakness or paralysis
On the hand dehydration may show itself through:
- Feeling an sticky mouth
- Unusual fatigue
- Experiencing thirst
- Decreased frequency of urination and darker urine color
- Persistent headache
In cases where nutritional deficienciesre either sudden or persistent individuals may experience symptoms related to dementia; these can include memory lapses, difficulties with language changes, in personality traits or behavior and mild confusion.
Treatments for dementia caused by nutritional deficiencies
Nutrition based dementia is a type of dementia that can be reversed and prevented. A diet rich in nutrients, B vitamins along with proper hydration acts as a protective shield against this particular form of dementia.
In cases where dementia has already developed due to imbalances interventions focused on restoring the bodys nutrient levels can help slow down brain deterioration and restore mental clarity.
Dementia caused by nutrition is one of the more manageable types and can be mitigated effectively. By ensuring a diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, in B vitamins one can effectively avoid this condition.
Risk factors for dementia that you can’t change
The Alzheimer’s Association outlines highlights risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in general that cannot be changed by the individual. Such factors often increase the likelihood of a dementia diagnosis.
- Age: Advancing age is the most important risk factor for dementia.
- Family ties: Individuals with family members, whether parents, siblings, or offspring, who have been diagnosed with dementia may have an increased likelihood, either due to environmental influences or hereditary patterns.
- Genetics: Certain genetic markers correlate directly with certain conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Mark Willson, holding a Ph.D., functions as a psychotherapist in Washington, D.C. His specialized fields encompass addiction, anxiety, depression, as well as sexuality and interpersonal connections. Dr. Willson holds the distinction of being a diplomat for the American Board of Addiction and Anxiety, further serving as a certified counselor and addiction specialist.
Aside from his personal professional endeavors, Dr. Wilson has engaged in roles as an author, journalist, and creator within substantial medical documentary projects.