Hello All, today we are going to be looking at The Cause Of Memory Loss. Why do we forget? and what kinds of things can we do to improve our ability to remember.
Most of us tend to start to forget things as we get older but some of us manage to maintain recognition amazingly well. It is no surprise that many of us would like to unlock this secret. How we can prevent memory loss?
Now, there are two different types of memory loss. Short term and long term.
Short term memory loss is when we temporarily forget things, and long term memory loss is a bit more permanent. Kind of like what happens with Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
But what causes this to happen?
That is what we are going to be looking into for today’s post.
How we can identify these triggers and what can do to prevent this unfortunate condition from happening to us. Not only this but what can we do to reverse the damage that has already begun to affect our memory function?
Let’s dive In.
What Is The Cause Of Memory Loss? Explained!
Common Memory Loss Causes
Most of us will suffer from some kind of memory loss every so often. It could be we forget something before we go out like our phone or wallet/purse. It may not be too serious most of the time. It could just be we are in a rush or under pressure to hurry along but generally speaking there are a few common causes for memory loss.
1# – Sleep Deprivation can have a profound effect. Not getting enough sleep will make you feel very fatigued and this in turn can make it more difficult to remember things.
2# – Stress and Depression, if you feel stressed, depressed and anxious you will find it difficult to concentrate and pay attention. When you feel this kind of tension the memory suffers and can go blank.
3# – Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco: Firstly, Alcohol has been known since people began drinking it to have a detrimental effect on your memory.
Also, when you smoke you are reducing the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain which can affect memory function.
Medications, There are a number of prescription and over the counter medications that can interfere with or cause loss of memory.
Possible ones may include
- anti-anxiety medications,
- sleeping pills,
- muscle relaxants,
- and pain relief medications.
Any substance in fact that can interfere with our natural body functions can all affect how our brain works and this includes being able to remember things.
4# – Being Deficient in Vitamins and Minerals: For our brain to function properly certain nutrients are needed to create things like amino acids and enzymes. For this reason, it can actually transpire that suffering from vitamin and mineral deficiencies can affect memory function.
5# – Having a Stroke: when a stroke occurs it usually only affects one side of the brain and is caused by a blocked blood vessel in the brain that starts to leak. The after-effects of a stroke can leave you being able to remember things from years ago but in turn, you might very well struggle to remember about things that have happened more recently.
6# – Head Injuries, when you receive a serious blow to your head, it can damage your brain. This can cause both short and long term memory loss. With this type of injury, it is possible for the memory to come back over time.
7# – Transient global amnesia is a short-term type of memory loss. It, generally goes all on its own and doesn’t cause any harm or necessarily occur again. Doctors are not sure why this happens. Sometimes, it can occur with mini strokes, which can be seen in the hippocampus (the area of the brain associated with memory formation).
More Serious Memory Loss Causes
1# – Thyroid Imbalance, If you have an overactive Thyroid, which means the thyroid gland produces too much thyroxin. When this happens your metabolism speeds up and you lose weight rapidly. You probably think this is great if you are trying to lose weight Right? Wrong it is a terrible thing to happen to you. It affects you in so many other ways that are definitely not desirable.
I suffered from Hyperthyroidism more than 20 years ago, I went from weighing 9 stone (126 Llb) down to 6 stone (84 Llb) the rapid weight loss gave me other serious consequences. You can find out more here.
With Hyperthyroidism, you can suffer from short term memory loss, when speaking to people you can forget their name, what you were going to say next as well as forgetting where you have put things.
2# – Dementia, Is the name given to the progressive loss of memory and other aspects of thinking that are considered bad enough to interfere with the ability for you to do things in your normal daily life.
Dementia, is caused by damage to the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain.
Although there are thought to be many causes of dementia — including blood vessel disease, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, as well as other causes of damage to the brain — the most common and familiar is Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by a progressive loss of brain cells and other irregularities of the brain.
3# – Alzheimer’s Disease, when you are suffering from Alzheimer’s your short-term memory is usually what goes and your long-term memory is retained. Alzheimer’s doesn’t only affect the memory it can also affect your speech, behavior, moods, and hygiene.
4# – Syphilis, There are 3 stages and it is the third stage that can damage your brain. Which can then lead to memory issues and dementia.
5# – Brain Tumor, if the tumor is located in the front temporal lobe it can cause memory loss. Read my post about Brain Tumors here
When To Visit The Doctor
In your day to day life if you find you are forever forgetting things, then you should schedule an appointment with your GP or Doctor.
In most cases the medical practitioner will be able to diagnose and treat you.
To begin with, he or she will ask about your family history as well as your medical history. Then you may undergo a physical examination as well as a mental ability test. This ability test may include simple Maths equations as well as repeating certain sentences.
Depending on the results of the examination and mental ability tests, you may have to have blood tests for deficiency in nutrients and vitamins as well as urine tests, nerve tests, and imaging tests of the brain such as a CAT scan or an MRI.
It may also be necessary to have deficiency testing, which includes a lot of tests that help to point out the source of the memory loss.
A referral to a psychologist, psychiatrist, or another kind of counsellor may be necessary to help you to cope with the effects of your memory loss.
The sooner this is done the better it will be for you.
Treatments For Memory Loss
There are many causes of memory loss. Therefore the treatment depends much on what is causing it. In a lot of cases, it may be possible to reverse the effects. In the case of, memory loss from certain medications, you could be prescribed a different one where that memory loss is not a possible side effect.
Nutritional supplements are another useful thing to take against memory loss caused by a nutritional deficiency. The treatment of depression may also be helpful for memory loss when depression is a contributing factor.
Curcumin for example, the most active compound found in Turmeric is said to have a positive effect on Alzheimer patients.
In other cases, such as after having a stroke, therapy may be used to help you to remember how to do certain things such as walking. Whilst, In others, memory can improve over time.
Treatments can also be specific to conditions related to memory loss. As, drugs that are available to treat memory issues related to Alzheimer’s disease, and other drugs that help to lower your blood pressure can also help to reduce the risk of more brain damage from dementia related to high blood pressure.
It may also be necessary to have surgery if you have a brain tumor. This can cause temporary memory loss after the procedure because of the swelling that can occur on the brain. Although if the surgery is successful this should be something you can recover from.
My Final Thoughts
Memory loss is a part of getting older. Short term memory loss should not impact your day to day life.
Long term memory loss can make you feel very fearful, especially when you don’t know the cause and the treatments available. Some treatments can cause you to have severe side effects and those will be measured against any benefits before anything is prescribed to you.
There are always natural alternatives out there that you can take, with far less side effects.
There are also things you can do at home to help memory loss. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, learning new things, and a healthy sleep schedule have all been shown to help reduce memory loss.
If you start to notice any problems with your memory, make sure to speak to Your doctor.
I wish to thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read this article. If, you have a question or you wish to leave a comment, then please feel free to leave it below. I love to hear from you all and I will reply back to you.
If, you know anyone else who would benefit from reading this then please feel free to share it.
Take great care of yourself because you are worth it.
~Originally published by Lisa Harvey for HealthyMindHealthyPeople.com
Attention: Please speak to a doctor before taking supplements of any kind. Everyone is different and what works well for one may not necessarily work for another. Many supplements are available for brain health but many come with side effects.