1. robina1

    robina1 Registered User

    Mar 27, 2008
    1
    Hello everyone, My mum has been diagnosed with dementia. We will find out the results of her mri next month but we know its not vascular. I just wanted to find out from you if you have experienced dramatic weight loss with this illness. Its like looking at a walking skeleton. I have never felt so alone. Although the doctors have said they will support us, they don't say who or how - and always seem too busy when we want to ask questions. I just don't know where to start and found this site. Is weight loss common in the early stages? Thanks
     
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    Hi Robina - glad you found us, but sorry you have to be here.

    In answer to your question - well no, I don't think it's the most common symptom at the early stages. Having said that though - does your mother live on her own? Because I think what can happen is that people forget that they haven't eaten, and then the less you eat, the less hungry you feel and so on. Anyway - it's irrelevant really: it's happening to your mother and you're obviously concerned about it. I think the first thing you have to do is work out if it is that she's eating but is losing weight anyway, or isn't actually eating.

    As to what support you can expect - this is very variable not just by diagnosis but also by area. Sorry to be vague but every PCT and social services department seems to run by a different system.
     
  3. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Hi Robina

    I think it depends on whether diagnosis really happens in the early stages, or whether the condition is actually quite advanced at that time. It may seem early stages to you, but it may have been developing for quite a while.

    Becasue she had young onset dementia, my Jan wasn't diagnosed until 8 years after initial symptoms, by which time she was well into her condition.

    Jan certainly decreased from nine stones to around six by the time she moved into care. This despite the fact that I was feeding her and she was eating [smaller quantities than usual however].
     
  4. Luca

    Luca Registered User

    Jul 9, 2008
    49
    Sutton Coldfield.
    Hallo Robena. my husband went from 13 stone to 10 stone now. He eats like a horse and my doctor says he is as fit as a young man and he is 84. I must say he has the figure of the young man I married all those years ago - it's just his memory and some of the silly things he does which get us both upset. I am slowly coming to terms with his illness.
     
  5. LilyB7

    LilyB7 Registered User

    Sep 10, 2007
    19
    Pontefract
    Hi Robina,
    my mum was also diagnosed with Alzheimers last year and yes she has lost a LOAD of weight. She didn't even recognise herself in a photo!
    Mum lives with her sister, who is doing her best, but can't always get her to eat. Food that she used to love she now pushes aside in disgust, and yet she's eaten stuff which she was never bothered about before and enjoyed it at the time.
    I know what you mean about looking like a walking Skeleton, mum has always been an "ample" lady, but now looks like a tiny fragile person who you want to wrap in cotton wool.
    But mum thinks it fab, she can remember being big and overweight and is now boasting about how much weight she's lost and how thin she is, but she looks shocking! None of her clothes fit her, she won't buy new ones, and won't wear anything new that anyone else buys her and just wants to wear the same old stuff all of the time.
     
  6. ocharlotte

    ocharlotte Registered User

    Sep 11, 2008
    6
    TN
    Hi Robina. I'm a new member, too.

    My mom is now in very bad shape. However, when I think back, her weight has gone up and down about three times. Right before she left home was one time that she had lost quite a bit of weight, and she was happy about it as if she had been on a diet. We now know that it wasn't a diet, at least not a healthy one, causing the weight loss. She was able at that time to live by herself. We didn't realize what her diet had become! Basically, she was forgetting to eat or either just not becoming hungry much of the time. When she did eat, it was often junk...and especially cereal. She would have lived off Fruit Loops and been satisfied. I'm from the USA, so if you don't know what that is...a sugary cereal aimed at children! Then she went to the hospital and was placed on an appetite booster. This caused confusion in her, but it also caused her to eat more than it seemed she could possibly hold. She gained Fast and was taken off it because of the added confusion. Good luck.
     

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