Can Alzheimer’s Be Caused By Stress?
If you are experiencing a loved one experiencing the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease and are wondering can Alzheimer’s be brought on by stress, I think you have to be realistic. First of all, stress is a normal part of life. The person with Alzheimer’s has to be taught not to allow the stress overwhelm them because it can and will do just that.
It has been studied and the conclusion is, “Stress and Alzheimer’s Disease are not directly related.” Of course stress does not cause Alzheimer’s to begin with but they are related in that there are certain symptoms that can point to stress being an issue. When these symptoms manifest themselves, it is highly suggested that a full evaluation of the individual is made and an appointment with their physician should be made. Once this appointment is made, the physician will be able to rule out any other possible illness or condition that may be causing the stress.
It is very important to find out if there are any other health issues that could be behind the symptoms that are being exhibited by the patient. A doctor does not always see everything so if there are other family members or healthcare providers who may have a different take on the stress, they need to be shared. When one person notices that there is a change in the person they love, there should be a meeting to discuss the stressors that they may be causing. This is where communication with one another can help to resolve any potential problems. The better the communication between family members and the professionals, the quicker the process of relieving the stress and dementia for everyone involved will go forward.
Many patients are unaware of the fact that the cause of the problem may be as simple as a simple change in medications or their regular cleaning schedule. This is why educating patients and their families about Alzheimer’s disease and the different treatments available will only help the progression of the disease be quicker. With an Alzheimer’s patient, it is even more important to be able to address and treat potential problems early on rather than waiting for later stages to show up. Waiting for later stages to manifest can only delay getting better for the patients and their families.
If a patient continues to experience high levels of stress over the years, they may begin to show signs of memory loss, confusion and behavioral changes. Sometimes these behavioral changes are not noticeable to the patient but to others they will become very obvious. There are many different tests that can be done to see if a patient is experiencing any of these behavioral changes and to determine if it is stress related. Often time doctors are not even sure what is causing the behavior changes and may have to perform additional tests to identify the stressors that are causing the problems.
If family members are feeling overwhelmed with caregiving responsibilities and they feel that the patient is not receiving the level of attention that they deserve, this too can be a contributing factor in the progression of Alzheimer’s. It is important to give patients the support that they need to manage stress in their lives. This can often be done by having a support group in the patient’s life such as a religious or community service or other group that will assist in relieving the stress in the lives of the patient and family members.
If family members are not feeling supported or are not giving the patient the support that they need, there is a possibility that the patient may withdraw from society in an attempt to avoid the stressful environment. In some cases, the person may not even visit family. It is important for the patient to know that everyone in their life loves them and wants to help them feel better. It is also important for the family members to understand how difficult it is to handle the caregiving responsibilities on one mentally challenged person. No one is immune from stress and everyone needs support during this transition time. If you are one of the caregivers, please try your best to get support for yourself, as well as for the patient.
Can Alzheimer’s be caused by stress? Unfortunately, yes. It is very important for all patients and their families to work together to find creative ways to alleviate the stress in the lives of both the patient and their family members. If Alzheimer’s is something that runs in the family, it is important for everyone to find a way to focus their energy and positive practices in order to alleviate the stress that the patient is facing. The transition to caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s can be very difficult, but if everyone has their wits about them and continue to practice the proper stress management techniques, the patient will be able to enjoy his or her life more with their loved ones around.