Dementia is not a specific disease. It is a term used to describe a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills that is severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform every day tasks.
There is often no known cause. Nothing can ‘diagnose’ dementia and there is no treatment.
Is dementia a disease?
First, I want to clarify that what I am about to discuss has not been studied scientifically. But I feel these questions are important to raise an awareness for the collective. We are not presuming to be right, but with years of experience in the health care industry this is what has been observed and what I feel doctors should begin considering.
Is Dementia a disease? I believe it is NOT a disease. Dementia varies from person to person, the level of progression and even symptoms are so wide and varied that each individual experiences it differently. In my honest opinion, I feel dementia is AGING. It is the various effects the elderly begin to experience as they age. How they experience these effects and the ‘symptoms’ they have depend largely on their body, their health, and how they lived their overall life.
Factors contributing to dementia
If a senior lived most of their life dehydrated I feel it is more likely that they will experience dementia. Science has proven that dehydration affects memory. Why? The brain alone is 75% water. The brain and cells need water to replicate and communicate effectively. If a person lived 40 years partially dehydrated, it seems very logical that their brain will experience more damage than a senior who stayed hydrated their whole life.
How did a senior live their life in regards to eating? Did they consume high amounts of sugar? Sugar has been proven scientifically to affect the brain, and not in positive ways. One of these things science has found is that ingesting sugar can result in ‘brain fog.’ It affects people in their 20s and 30s. So just imagine if someone is experiencing issues with too much sugar at 20 and they continue on that path into their 60s. What will the result be? Dementia? It’s highly possible and I’m sure many scientists and doctors would agree with this.
The emotional body affects our health. Scientists have proven this time and time again. Happy people generally live healthier. Stress creates ulcers, hair loss, etc. What about sadness? Anger? Resentment? Regret? How do these emotions affect the body? What if a person spent their whole life regretting and it was painful to ‘remember?’ What could one of the effects be? I feel it is really important that science and general doctors begin focusing more on the emotional status of their patients. But, I’ll leave this one up to you to ponder.
These are merely 3 examples of factors that could be contributing to why people experience different levels of dementia and why it cannot be quantified or diagnosed.
Some memory loss is a natural part of aging
The last thing I want to discuss is the natural process of aging. People who have been active, happy, hydrated and healthy most of their lives may still experience memory loss towards the end of their life. Why? They are getting older and it is a natural process in life that doesn’t need to be quantified or diagnosed. When will aging be viewed as a beautiful process in life that all living things on this planet experience? There is a natural cycle to life. Let’s rejoice in its wonder and beauty! Instead of worrying about what will happen 20-40 years down the road, let’s be here NOW! We will all die at some point, so let’s live… and live honest, happy, and kind lives with ourselves.
Is your loved one experiencing dementia? We offer in home dementia care to seniors in Northwest Kentucky and Southwest Ohio.