Natural Treatments For Lewy Body Dementia

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lewy body dementia

It is a complex disease, which includes behavioral, cognitive, and physical symptoms. Hallucinations are usually the first symptoms of Lewy body dementia and they often recur. A tremor, rigid muscles, a shuffling walk, or slowed movement can happen in people who suffer from Lewy body dementia. The digestive process, sweating, pulse, and blood pressure are regulated by a part of the nervous system which is often affected by Lewy body dementia.

People, who suffer from Lewy body dementia, can experience problems similar to those of Alzheimer’s disease, such as memory loss, confusion, visual-spatial problems, and poor attention. You can have a loss of motivation, known as apathy if you suffer from Lewy body dementia. In some cases, people who suffer from Lewy body dementia can experience depression during the course of their illness.

This disease is characterized by the abnormal buildup of proteins into masses, known as Lewy bodies. People, who are older than 60, have an increased risk of getting Lewy body dementia. Men are more commonly affected by Lewy body dementia than women. People, who have a family history of Lewy body dementia, have more chances of getting it. It is especially tough to manage the symptoms of Lewy body dementia.

You need to talk with your doctor if you suffer from Lewy body dementia or some family member suffers from it. So, in this way, you will know that the mentioned natural remedies can really help you or him, without causing side effects.

lewy body

Here are some natural treatments for Lewy body dementia:

Creating daily routines and keeping simple tasks:

You should break the everyday tasks into easier steps. You should always focus on success, not on failure. When you have structure and routine during the day, then this can be less confusing.

Offering soothing responses:

The response of the caregiver can worsen the behavior of an affected person. You should avoid correcting and quizzing a person who suffers from Lewy body dementia. You should offer reassurance and validations of his or her concerns.

Modifying the environment:

When you reduce clutter and distract the noise, then the person who is affected by Lewy body dementia can function easier in his everyday life.

Tolerating the behavior:

In many cases, a person who suffers from Lewy body dementia is not distressed by hallucinations. In these cases, medications that are given to people who suffer from Lewy body dementia may be worse than the hallucinations themselves.

Establish a nighttime ritual:

Behavioral issues in people who suffer from Lewy body dementia can worsen at night. You should create calming bedtime rituals without the distraction of television. Also, you should avoid active family members and clean up your meals, so you will feel better before going to bed. You should leave the lights on, so you will prevent disorientation.

Provide mind stimulation:

You should participate in crossword puzzles, games, and other activities which involve using thinking skills, so it will help you to slow the mental decline if you suffer from Lewy body dementia.

Encourage exercise:

The benefits of exercise in people who suffer from Lewy body dementia include improvements in depression symptoms, behavior, and physical function. Some studies have shown that exercise can help to slow down the cognitive decline in people who suffer from Lewy body dementia.

Speak clearly and simply:

You should maintain eye contact and speak slowly in simple sentences and you should not rush the response. You should present only one instruction or idea at a time. You should use cues and gestures, such as pointing to objects.

Limit caffeine:

It is very important to limit caffeine intake during the day because this can worsen your bedtime routine.

Participating in caregiver support groups:

Caregiver support groups have benefits for people who suffer from Lewy body dementia, such as getting tried and true advice, being able to vent frustrations, and hearing from people in similar situations. It is essential to get support for helping you to stay as calm as possible in tough situations, as well as for finding creative solutions to behavior challenges.

Address family concerns:

Not all family members can accept or understand Lewy body dementia at the same time. This can create conflict. Some adult children may be supportive of their parents while others may deny that their parents have a problem. It can take some time to learn new roles and responsibilities. Those family members who are visiting the person affected by Lewy body dementia occasionally may not see the same problems as people who are daily with them. They can underestimate or minimize your responsibilities or stress.

It is recommended to visit professional counselors because they can help with family meetings or provide guidance on how families can work together to manage Lewy body dementia.

Care for yourself:

You are a caregiver, so you play an important role in the life of a person who suffers from Lewy body dementia. In some cases, caregivers will feel loving and rewarded. Other times, they can feel fatigued, resentment, impatience, and anger. It is very important to recognize your limitations and strengths, especially in the light of your past relationship with the affected person. Roles can change between a parent and adult children or between a husband and wife. You should adjust expectations, so this can allow you to approach your new roles realistically and seek help as needed.

People can approach challenges at varied paces. Some people want to learn everything possible, so they will be prepared for every scenario. Other people manage best by taking one day at a time. It requires a balance to care for someone who suffers from Lewy body dementia. You should always plan for the future. But, on the other side, you may want to make each day count in personal ways and focus on creating enjoyable and meaningful moments.

Consider alternative therapies:

There are many different therapies that can help both people who suffer from Lewy body dementia and caregivers. Occupational therapy can help a person with Lewy body dementia to maintain skills and improve confidence and independence. Art or music can give a sense of accomplishment, improve the mood and reduce anxiety. Using animals to improve moods and behaviors and pet therapy can boost mood in many people. If he or she cares for a pet, even if the pet is only visiting, can promote a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Also, aromatherapy can boost mood and promote relaxation.

Massage therapy can help to loosen stiff muscles, promote relaxation and improve circulation. Family or individual therapy or counseling can be useful for learning strategies to manage emotional and behavioral symptoms. Also, they can help caregivers to learn techniques to keep calm when conflicts come up.

Check for physical causes:

In some cases, a worsening of symptoms or new behavioral symptoms could be caused by physical pain or discomfort which the person is not able to verbally describe or express. The most common physical issues include constipation, bedsores, urinary tract infections, fever, injury, and severe arthritis. There are some cases in which simply being tired, being hungry, or needing to pee can trigger negative behaviors. But, when the physical pain is well treated, then the negative behavioral symptoms will decrease, so in this way, you can help a lot of people who suffer from Lewy body dementia.

Tolerate behavior that does not cause harm and focus on reassurance distraction:

Those people who suffer from Lewy body dementia often experience hallucinations or delusions which cause false accusations or strange behavior. One of the best solutions for people who do not have aggressive or harmful behavior and who do not seem to have any physical pain or discomfort and if they are not upset to an extreme degree is to tolerate the behavior and not to try to convince them of our reality to stop the behavior.

Instead, you should respond to their emotions and concerns rather than the facts or exact words. In these cases, the side effects of medications can be worse compared to delusions or hallucinations.

Consider speech therapy for swallowing problems:

When Lewy body dementia is causing problems with swallowing, then this can interfere with nutrition and can cause hunger. This is not good for someone’s mood or health and they will get hangry when they are too hungry. If you see that this is happening in someone who suffers from Lewy body dementia, then you should consider speech therapy.

Speech therapists can teach them techniques that make swallowing safer and easier. Also, they can make recommendations on the types and consistency of foods and drinks which help with swallowing.

References:

  1. Lewy Body Dementia. https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia/types-of-dementia/lewy-body-dementia.
  2. Dementia with Lewy bodies. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia-with-lewy-bodies/ .
  3. Lewy body dementia. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17815-lewy-body-dementia . Published April 22, 2020
  4. Treatment and support for dementia with Lewy bodies. https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/types-dementia/dementia-with-lewy-bodies-treatments .

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