Eating an imbalanced diet can lead to a plethora of health-related problems, but few realize that certain nutritional deficiencies can lead to the onset and development of dementia.

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If you have begun to notice cognitive changes in a friend or family member, it may be worth investigating whether they are eating a nutritionally complete diet.

What Is Dementia From Nutritional Deficiencies?

It has been shown that some forms of dementia are able to manifest as a direct result of severe nutritional deficiencies that may otherwise go unnoticed.

Most researchers focus on the deficiency of B-12, which seems to be the vitamin most likely to influence the appearance of dementia if not consumed in adequate quantities. If a diet deficient in vitamin B-12 is sustained, a patient may begin to notice cognitive impairment.

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Risk Factors For Nutritional Deficiencies

If you are deficient in any one of a number of different vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, you may be at greater risk of developing dementia. Some of these nutrients include:

  • Thiamin (otherwise known as vitamin B-1), common among those who have chronically abused alcohol
  • Vitamin B-6
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Basic water

Chronically low levels of hydration can put you at risk for developing nutrition-oriented dementia, just as much so as the lack of B vitamins. In order to make sure you get enough B vitamins, increase the number of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.

Most fruits and vegetables and many meat and dairy products are rich in these vitamins, and can also help you stay hydrated with high water content; especially bananas, lentils, spinach, whole grains, salmon, chicken, milk and eggs. Certain multivitamins may also help.

Signs And Symptoms Of Nutritional Deficiencies

A poor diet lacking in B vitamins will carry a host of signs and symptoms, even before the cognitive impact begins to take hold. Individuals lacking in sufficient intake of B vitamins may notice:

  • Anemia with promegaloblastosis of bone marrow, as a repercussion of inadequate DNA synthesis
  • Gastrointestinal difficulties
  • Sensorimotor deficiencies
  • Deteriorated perception of pressure, vibration and deep touch, eventually leading to a numbed sense of touch
  • Poor muscle-tendon reflexes
  • Severe Paresis

Dehydration can be indicated by:

  • Dryness or stickiness in the mouth
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Severe thirst
  • Decreased urine output, and a deep yellow color of urine
  • Headache

If the nutritional deficiencies become severe enough or are chronic, a patient may begin to show signs of dementia; such as memory loss, difficulty with language, a change in personality or behavior and mild confusion.

Treatments For Dementia From Nutritional Deficiencies

Fortunately, dementia that stems from nutritional deficiencies is both reversible and preventable. By maintaining a healthy, balanced diet rich with B vitamins and sufficient hydration, you can prevent the onset of dementia from nutritional deficiencies.

If dementia has already set in, treatments designed to restore the nutritional balance of the body, can correct the cerebral damage and restore the mind to its original state.

Highly treatable, dementia caused from a lack of nutrients is one of the mildest forms of dementia. By keeping your diet rich in B vitamins with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, you can successfully avoid this disorder.