GP warns of early sign of dementia when it comes to eating and drinking

Dr Hilary lists the early symptoms of dementia

Symptoms of dementia vary according to the part of the brain that is damaged and the type of dementia.

Common early symptoms are recognised as memory loss, finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks, being confused about time and place, and mood changes.

According to Dr William Wong, a Consultant General Practitioner at Fitzrovia Medical Clinic, symptoms of dementia can manifest themselves in many aspects of everyday life, from how a person speaks to a person’s spatial awareness.

When it comes to food and drink, people with a more advanced dementia may have difficulty eating and drinking.

But he said: “An early sign of the disease is trying to eat spoiled or rotten food, or items that aren’t food.”

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Looking to the start of a person’s day, Dr Wong said there aren’t any early signs of dementia that appear specifically in the morning, though being confused about place and time are symptoms to watch out for.

If someone starts to speak in long, rambling sentences, he added this may also be an indication of dementia.

He said: “Other common signs in speech include losing words or finding it hard to form and speak certain words.”

If someone has trouble with standard, everyday tasks that never posed a problem before, it can be a sign, said Dr Wong.

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He explained: “They might forget where they’ve placed certain items, how to work certain machines, or how to do a simple task.”

Poor spatial skills can also be a symptom of dementia, he said, and someone might start having difficulty in judging gaps or directions when driving and parking.

Lastly, he said people with dementia can become disorientated quite easily so they might forget their route home or get lost when driving or walking, for instance.

He said: “Falling more often than usual can also be a symptom.”

Dr Wong noted in more advanced dementia, a feeling of restlessness, confusion and agitation can get worse when sunlight starts to fade.

He advised: “If someone finds themselves experiencing these symptoms regularly, they should consult their doctor.”

Dr Wong added: “The first thing to do if you are worried about yourself or a loved one having dementia is to consult your GP. They can help you from there.”

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