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This one change can be the earliest sign of Alzheimer's

This one change can be the earliest sign of Alzheimer's

Memory loss is often thought to be the telltale sign of Alzheimer’s disease, however neurological experts are finding that subtle change in eating habits or preferences can signal a problem long before memory difficulties.

There are a few possible reasons behind these changes. First, it could be from a general decline in the sense of taste and smell. Those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s have trouble detecting umami, one of the basic tastes associated with savory foods. So you may find a long-time vegetarian who starts eating meat or someone who swore off sweets suddenly making cake or ice cream part of their daily routine.

Another theory as to why those suffering from Alzheimer’s may change their food preferences or habits has more to do with cognitive decline and forgetfulness. Dietary restrictions including lactose intolerance or food allergies are often forgotten in those suffering in all stages of cognitive decline.

Beyond food and flavor preferences, Alzheimer’s can also influence coordination and food preparations in the kitchen, including basic cutting and chopping skills and using utensils and kitchen equipment. Frustration over difficulties with basic skills and daily activities can lead to skipped meals or unhealthy eating patterns.

If you recognize changes in eating habits, lack of interest or even a reduced motivation towards eating in a loved one, talk to a healthcare provider about your concerns. It’s better to catch dietary issues early and help to create a routine that ensures food is easily accessible and readily available so other health complications don’t arise.