Does Alzheimer’s affect the absorption of nutrients and calories?

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Worried2018
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Does Alzheimer’s affect the absorption of nutrients and calories?

Postby Worried2018 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:53 pm

Does Alzheimer’s affect the absorption of nutrients? My mother died of LOAD, my brother from EOAD. Both were extremely skinny at the time of their death, though both were eating plenty of calories. My brother’s wife did everything to help him keep his weight up and I saw him eat well and happily, yet he weighted less than 100lbs to his 6ft frame at the time of his death.
Is this common for all ADs or only to specific types? I have not found any research on it.

My brother had an other strange health event. He had high cholesterol and took statins for over a decade, but a couple of years before his EOAD diagnosis his cholesterol level dropped unexpectedly. I do not know the exact numbers, he was very private about his medical condition, but I know that he discontinued statins. He was told that this happens sometime and be happy for it.
Again, it’s there any research on that?

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Julie G
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Re: Does Alzheimer’s affect the absorption of nutrients and calories?

Postby Julie G » Fri Nov 23, 2018 2:55 pm

Worried, it’s very common to see a trajectory like you describe with Alzheimer’s disease. Many carriers have high midlife cholesterol which tends to drop as they get older. The same is often seen with weight. It’s typically presumed that sufferers lose interest in food and eventually the ability to swallow.

I know you said that both your family members were eating enough calories to maintain weight... which in itself is unusual as the disease progresses. That said, you raise an interesting and unanswered question regarding an altered HYPER-metabolic state. There certainly could be something to that especially if the disease process were driven by a viral or toxic contributor putting extra demand on the body. I haven’t seen research specifically focused on this but it could be an alternative explanation for this phenomenon.

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Re: Does Alzheimer’s affect the absorption of nutrients and calories?

Postby mike » Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:59 am

Worried2018 wrote:Does Alzheimer’s affect the absorption of nutrients? My mother died of LOAD, my brother from EOAD. Both were extremely skinny at the time of their death, though both were eating plenty of calories.


Were they skinny during their lives, or just near the end?
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Torimintz
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Re: Does Alzheimer’s affect the absorption of nutrients and calories?

Postby Torimintz » Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:25 am

I wonder this too. My mother was always overweight a bit, but now she is thin for the first time ever. Although she looks great, it is weird that she could never lose weight , and now while not trying or even knowing, in her Alzheimer's state atlhough she eats, she is thin.

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Re: Does Alzheimer’s affect the absorption of nutrients and calories?

Postby Jlhughette » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:13 am

My mother weighed 120 lbs and only varied by 1 or 2 lbs up or down her entire adult life until she got Alzheimer’s, at which time she became ravenous and ate constantly. We put healthy snacks out like nuts and veg and some fruit. She lost almost 40 pounds by the time she died and never lost her appetite. In the late stages she continued to want food, especially sweets until about a week before she died. She often had diarrhea and rarely had good stools.

Interestingly, the decade before her symptoms of AD, she wrote in her diary that she couldn’t seem to get rid of diarrhea, and she went to several doctors. She had always been a health nut so also took gut supplements. I now feel convinced that her gut issues contributed to the onset of Alzheimer’s.
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SusanJ
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Re: Does Alzheimer’s affect the absorption of nutrients and calories?

Postby SusanJ » Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:49 am

Jlhughette wrote:She had always been a health nut so also took gut supplements. I now feel convinced that her gut issues contributed to the onset of Alzheimer’s.


Just saw this summary, which underscores that the makeup of bacteria and other microbes in the gut may have a direct association with dementia risk.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... 075751.htm

Makes me wonder about my own father who was on antibiotics a few times in his 70s after two surgeries and UTIs. I did manage to get him on probiotics after the last couple of antibiotic treatments, but he continued to eat too much sugar, which I'm sure whacked his microbiome. So maybe once it was altered, he wasn't absorbing nutrients as well - he probably lost about 40 pounds in a few months prior to his death. The nursing home never reported that he wasn't eating well.

Did your mom eat any fermented foods?

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Re: Does Alzheimer’s affect the absorption of nutrients and calories?

Postby Jlhughette » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:19 am

We made homemade sauerkraut but as her disease progressed she no longer ate it. She was, however, the original yogurt freak in the late 1950s and early 50s. None of us kids or my father liked it as children. She read Adele Davis at that time and taught me how to read labels on foods.
For years her breakfast was plain yogurt, lecithin,
small amount of pineapple for the bromelain, small amt black strap molasses for the B vitamins and magnesium and maybe 1/3 cup cooked
Oatmeal, after soaking over night. This was
way before low carbs or keto.

I agree with you about the lack of absorption of nutrients after the gut is altered. Sorry to hear about your father. It must have been very difficult for all of you.

Thank you for the study!
I will read it.
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chrissyr
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Re: Does Alzheimer’s affect the absorption of nutrients and calories?

Postby chrissyr » Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:34 pm

Is it possible that any of the meds are affecting weight gain? My mom initially lost 20 pound after dementia dx, and was on galantamine for a few years. When she came off galantamine (due to headaches) she slowly gained the weight back, and now is at her middle aged weight again. My understanding is that galantamine is a similar acting drug to donepezil/aricept


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