Shannon Seitz watched her mother fall victim to Alzheimer's. Now, she's worried about losing her mind.
"Every time I forget someone's name, or if I change rooms and I forget where I was going, I'm terrified for an instant that I have Alzheimer's," Seitz told Ivanhoe.
Here are five red flags. First, do you ask the same question over and over again?
"If it's worrying you … If other people are commenting on it…. That might be a time to check with your doctor," Gary Small, Ph.D., a geriatric psychiatrist from the UCLA Center on Aging in Los Angeles, told Ivanhoe.
Do you put things in unusual places? That's another sign.
"If you're forgetting everyday things that you really should remember," Small said.
Another sign is struggling to remember the words you want to say. Warning sign number four: genetics. The National Institutes of Health reports you have a 40 to 60 percent increased risk of Alzheimer's if your parents have it.
Number five: if you suffer from obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, you have a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's. All of these affect blood supply and reduce oxygenation to the brain.
"Don't overeat. If you're carrying around too much weight, you're at increased risk of high blood pressure and diabetes, which are weight-related illnesses that can affect your memory," Small said.
Small says stress and fatigue are the main causes of temporary memory pauses in adults under 60. It's been proven in mice and humans that the more stress you're under, the less memory cells you have.
If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Melissa Medalie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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