Is it really dementia?

It's a number so big it doesn't look real: A third of all seniors die with Alzheimer's disease or some other forms of dementia, an increase of 68 percent over a single decade, according to a new study.

And the reason it doesn't look real is because it's not.

I don't doubt for a minute that all of those patients were diagnosed with different forms of dementia -- and I don't doubt that they even exhibited all the classic signs and symptoms, such as memory loss and confusion.

But I don't believe all of them actually had the disease.

In many cases -- possibly even most cases -- so-called dementia is a product of medicine, not the disease itself.

The meds seniors take most -- including drugs for blood pressure, sleep disorders, and cholesterol control -- can cause memory loss, confusion, and other dementia-like symptoms.

Check the label sometime, you'll find it right there in the fine print with all the other warnings.

And many seniors don't just take one of those drugs.

They take two, three, four or more -- and then, when they're hit with a dementia diagnosis, they get a host of new drugs that can make the condition even worse.

Not all forms of dementia are caused by medication, of course. Some really are cases of true dementia.

But others are the result of exposure to toxins, especially metals, which can cause or worsen memory problems and other dementia-like symptoms.

An experienced holistic physician can test you for metals and start you on a detox program such a chelation if necessary. Treatment at the right time can slow or even reverse the dementia.

A holistic physician can also go over your medication history and figure out which drugs might be causing dementia-like symptoms -- and once they're identified, he can help you get rid of them.

In some cases, you may not even need the drug at all. In others, they can be replaced by natural remedies.

Early action is critical to treatment, so if you or a loved one is suffering from one of the forms of dementia or dementia-like symptoms, find a holistic doctor near you and make an appointment today.