Published on: June 6, 2015
by Carol Higgins Taylor for Bangor Daily News:
Early memory loss can be a truly terrifying thing to experience. What is normal aging, distraction from being too busy or simply living with stress? What constitutes the beginnings of dementia?
Look at the differences in these scenarios:
— Did you forget to pay a longstanding bill or are you having trouble managing the checkbook and household budget?
— Did you get turned around and distracted in the grocery store or are you finding shopping overwhelming and the store difficult to maneuver?
— Do you sometimes get lost when driving to a rarely visited area or do you have difficulty finding your way home after running errands?
— Have you missed an appointment or two at work or are you struggling with successfully completing routine daily tasks?
— Do you occasionally forget to take your medication or are you having trouble setting up your meds and keeping track of times and dosages?
See the difference? We all occasionally have problems with forgetfulness, but when the memory lapse begins to interfere with normal living it is time to take a hard look at the situation and contact your health care provider.
If you are starting to panic, don’t. There is a pretty wide gap between early memory loss or early dementia and an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Not to mention memory loss can be caused by any number of reasons that have nothing to do with Alzheimer’s disease. For example, thyroid problems, medication interaction or side effects, vitamin deficiency, urinary tract infections, among others can be the culprit behind your forgetfulness.
While early memory loss and early dementia can be a frightening experience, your first step should be getting as much information as possible.
Although it’s great to celebrate the big achievements, it’s also important to celebrate the small wins.
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