The saying “don’t miss the forest for the trees” can usually be applied to most diseases. In some cases however, it’s valuable to inspect the “trees” if they lead to a condition more easily treatable than Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
For caregivers, it’s always good to look at the bigger picture in all cases regarding your elder loved one, but in many cases simple observation could be enough to alleviate their condition and keep it from turning into a four-alarm emergency rush to the hospital. According to this article, a Vitamin B12 deficiency could exhibit the following symptoms:
- Pale appearance
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue, weakness, or shortness of breath
- Sore mouth or tongue
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
The article adds:
Vitamin B12 can cause a change of mental state in very advanced cases, and is often confused with dementia. However, deficiencies of B12 and folic acid may contribute to the onset of Alzheimer’s or other similar dementias.
B12 rich foods include eggs, cheese, meats such as lamb and beef, shellfish and seafood (crab and lobster), fish, and liver. B12 is found in most animal products and vitamin supplements are largely available.
Symptoms pointing to depression in the elderly is also highlighted in the feature.