Memory Loss Has Several Causes
The majority of us have experienced the unfortunate experience of forgetting something at some point in our lives, whether on a rare occurrence or on a more regular one.
Irritation and aggravation are common reactions to these moments of memory loss, as is a concern that we’re “losing it” and are on the verge of contracting Alzheimer’s disease.
The good news is that, although Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are responsible for a large number of instances of memory loss, there are other, non-permanent conditions that may also contribute to memory loss. Even better, some of them can be readily undone with a little effort.
So what is it that causes us to forget? Was there anything in our minds that prevented us from cognitively storing or recalling that piece of information? Here are just a few of the many reasons we can’t recall.
Memory Loss Can Be Caused by Emotional Stress
Because our mind and body are intertwined and influence one another, our emotions and thoughts may have an effect on the functioning of our brain.
The amount of energy required to cope with particular moods or deal with life stress might interfere with the ability to store or recall information and routines.
Support, therapy, and adjustments in one’s lifestyle may often help to alleviate the emotional triggers that cause memory loss.
Even just being aware of, and limiting one’s exposure to, things that cause stress may be beneficial.
Stress may lead our thoughts to become overloaded, resulting in distraction and brain drain.
Stress that is short-term and acute in nature might cause a temporary memory issue, however persistent and long-term exposure to stress can raise your chance of developing dementia.
Stress management is a critical approach for preserving one’s quality of life while also enhancing the health of one’s body and mind.
Memory, focus, and awareness may all suffer as a result of depression since it can dull the mind and produce such indifference in your surroundings that you lose track of time.
It is possible that your thoughts and emotions are so burdened down that you are unable to pay attention to what is going on around you.
As a result, remembering anything that happened when you weren’t paying attention might be challenging.
Depression can also impair the ability to get a good night’s sleep, making it more difficult to recall important information later on.
Pseudodementia is a word used to explain the combination of memory loss and depression that occurs in certain individuals.
The results of cognitive testing might be encouraging if you believe you are suffering from pseudodementia, as well as confirming or ruling out actual dementia.
Despite the fact that they are “out of it” in their everyday lives, people suffering from pseudodementia will be able to score admirably on cognitive tests.
Depression is often a fairly curable condition.
A combination of therapy and medicine may be quite successful in many cases.
If you’ve ever had a mental blank while taking an exam, even if you knew the answers, you may blame worry for your lack of concentration.
Some individuals experience anxiety when they are in specific circumstances, such as while taking a test.
Others suffer from a more severe kind of generalized anxiety disorder that interferes with their ability to operate normally, including their memory.
Identifying and treating anxiety may have a substantial impact on one’s quality of life, and it may even enhance one’s memory.
Grieving requires a significant expenditure of physical and emotional energy, which might impair our capacity to concentrate on events and people in our immediate environment.
As a result, our memory may deteriorate as a result.
5 Grief and depression are similar in that they are both sparked by a particular circumstance or a sudden loss, although depression may seem to be unrelated to a specific situation or sudden loss.
Deep sorrow takes time to process, and it is okay and important to allow yourself to be in your sadness for an extended period of time.
When you’re going through a difficult time, you may expect to feel exhausted—both physically and psychologically.
While you’re mourning, give yourself plenty of time and space to heal.
Individual therapy and grief support groups might assist you in coping with sorrow more successfully.
The use of certain medications and medical treatments that may impair memory
Medication or other chemicals may sometimes cause memory gaps, which can be traced back to their source.
Prescription medications, other mind-altering chemicals, and even surgical procedures might be included in this category.
Use of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs
Both short-term and long-term memory impairment may be caused by excessive alcohol consumption or the use of illegal substances (including marijuana).
These chemicals, among other things, may dramatically impair your memory, resulting in anything from blackouts to an increased risk of dementia years later.
Excessive drinking can also lead to the development of Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which in some cases, if treated promptly, may be able to be partially reversed.
If you are having chemotherapy as a cancer treatment, you may have “chemo brain,” which is defined as mental fog caused by the medications that are being used to treat your illness.
It might be encouraging to know that this is a typical and generally transitory side effect of chemotherapy treatment.
According to some study, those who have had heart bypass surgery may be more likely to have disorientation and memory impairment than those who have not.
The situation may improve as you recover, and in most cases, the need for this type of heart surgery outweighs the potential risks involved.
Make an appointment with your doctor to address your concerns.
Following the administration of anesthetic, some persons have memory loss or disorientation that lasts for a few days at a time.
The research, on the other hand, has been inconclusive in identifying whether there is a direct association between anesthesia and impaired brain function or whether other variables may be contributing to impaired brain function.
Therapy with electroconvulsive devices
Emotional control treatment (ECT), commonly known as “shock” therapy, may be very beneficial for those suffering from severe depression, but it can also cause considerable memory loss. You should discuss the dangers and advantages of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) with your doctor.
Because it has been shown to be helpful in certain cases, the risk of minor memory loss may be worth it in terms of improving your overall quality of life.
Physical and medical conditions that might cause memory impairment are listed below.
Remembering loss or issues with memory may be caused by a variety of illnesses other than dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Fatigue and sleep deprivation are two of the most common ailments.
There are several advantages to obtaining a good night’s sleep, including less weight gain, more vitality, and the capacity to think more clearly.
Being weary because you didn’t sleep well the night before, as well as being chronically sleep deprived, have both been demonstrated to impair memory and learning abilities.
It’s worthwhile to experiment with some simple strategies for improving your sleep patterns.
Concussions and other types of head injuries
However, recent study has revealed that although concussions and severe head injuries might cause short-term memory impairment, they can also raise the probability of developing dementia over time, according to some findings.
When participating in sports, always careful to take precautions such as wearing protective equipment and helmets.
It’s also critical to allow your brain to completely recover after sustaining a concussion before returning to normal activities or engaging in sports.
Consult your doctor if you are experiencing headaches or have trouble concentrating after a head injury.
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 is a very needed nutrient. In more severe situations, vitamin B12 deficiency has resulted in symptoms that have been misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease.
Some people may notice an improvement or even a complete resolution of their symptoms after receiving adequate vitamin B12.
Thyroid Issues are a common occurrence.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism include memory loss and confusion.
If you’re experiencing brain sluggishness or finding it more difficult to recall things, speak with your doctor about it right away.
Tests to determine thyroid function may be necessary, particularly if you are suffering additional symptoms of thyroid disease.
Thyroid disorders may be treated, and this might help you retain more information and concentrate better.
Kidney Disorders are a group of medical conditions that affect the kidneys.
Chronic or acute kidney failure (also known as renal failure) is characterized by the buildup of waste products in the body, such as protein breakdown, which may have an effect on brain function when the kidneys aren’t functioning properly.
Furthermore, according to research released in 2017, persons who have albuminuria (the presence of albumin protein in the urine) are more likely to suffer from memory and cognitive problems than the general population.
Disorders of the Liver
Liver illnesses, such as hepatitis, may cause toxins to be released into your circulation, which can subsequently have an impact on your brain’s ability to operate properly.
Hepatic encephalopathy is a brain ailment that may occur as a result of major liver disorders. It is similar to Alzheimer’s disease.
If you have liver issues and are experiencing memory or cognitive difficulties, you should see your doctor right away so that you may get the proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.
It is possible that this acute infection of brain tissue can cause signs of dementia, such as disorientation and memory issues, in addition to other symptoms such as a fever, headaches, and possibly seizures.
If you have a suspicion of encephalitis, get immediate medical attention.
Hydrocephalus at Normal Pressure
In most cases, normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) manifests itself as symptoms in three areas: cognitive difficulties, incontinence, and a loss of balance and walking ability.
Treatment by a physician may assist to reverse memory and reasoning issues in NPH patients, as well as to help them restore their ability to remain stable and walk effectively.
Sometimes, the changes in the body’s chemicals and hormones, together with the mental and physical changes that occur during pregnancy, may lead to forgetfulness and poor attention in the pregnant woman.
Fortunately, this is a transitory condition that will cure on its own in due course.
Similar to pregnancy, the hormonal changes that occur during menopause may cause confusion in brain processes and sleep disturbances, both of which have an influence on your cognitive functions.
The brief symptoms of menopause may be alleviated temporarily by taking hormone supplements or using other therapies, according to some doctors.
The presence of infections, such as pneumonia or urinary tract infections, may produce amnesia, which is particularly prevalent in older persons and those suffering from chronic medical disorders.
For some persons, delirium (a rapid change in mental capacity) is the sole apparent indicator of an infection; thus, it is important to report these symptoms to a doctor as soon as possible after seeing them.
When treated promptly, memory may frequently be restored to its normal working state.
Improve your short-term memory with these exercises and home treatments.
Individuals may take steps to control short-term memory loss and, in some situations, even aid strengthen short-term memory by following a few simple guidelines.
The following are some suggestions for dealing with short-term memory loss:
Create and adhere to a daily schedule.
Make to-do lists, schedule chores, and utilize reminder tools such as notes, calendars, and phone notifications or alarms to keep track of your obligations and responsibilities.
Important goods such as phones, keys, glasses, wallets, and handbags should all be kept in the same location.
In order to challenge the brain, try to acquire a new skill or do things that are mentally demanding, such as puzzles or memory games.
Activities that stimulate the mind, such as socializing and volunteering, or being involved in organizations, may help to keep the brain active.
- Continue to communicate with family and friends.
- Consumption of alcoholic beverages should be limited.
- Make sure you get adequate exercise.
- Maintain a reasonable and well-balanced diet.
- Maintain proper sleep hygiene and adhere to a regular sleep pattern.
- High blood pressure can be controlled, and it can even be prevented (speak with a doctor about dietary changes, medications, and exercise).
- If you experience depression, get medical treatment.
- Make an effort to limit the amount of clutter and unnecessary stuff in your home or surroundings.
- To make information simpler to recall, break up huge amounts of information into smaller portions. For example, memorizing a phone number as two individual digits rather than one continuous string of numbers is easier to remember.
- To make new knowledge easier to recall, repeat it or relate it with something else to make it more memorable.
Treatment for the loss of short-term memory
The most important factor in treating short-term memory loss is determining the underlying reason.
The following are examples of common therapies for short-term memory loss, depending on the underlying ailment or cause:
Surgery, medicines, and occasionally post-surgical treatment are used to treat injuries, abnormal growths, and aneurysms.
Infection: Antibiotics, antiviral drugs, or antifungal medications, as well as medical supervision.
Diseases of the thyroid: Consult with your doctor about thyroid hormone medicines.
Depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Psychiatric drugs such as antidepressants and antianxiety medications, as well as psychological treatment such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, are used to treat both illnesses (CBT).
Side effects of medicine: Consult with your doctor about discontinuing or lowering the dose of your medication.
Consult with your doctor about lowering or discontinuing your alcohol or recreational drug intake, which may need the use of substance addiction treatment. Alcohol or recreational drug use
Sleep deprivation may be prevented by practicing proper sleep hygiene and adhering to a tight sleeping schedule.
Extreme stress: Engage in stress-reducing or stress-management activities such as yoga, regulated breathing, exercise, or meditation to alleviate or manage your stress.
Vitamin deficiency: Eat a reasonable, well-balanced diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to prevent vitamin deficits. Take into consideration using supplements.
If you have epilepsy, see your doctor about anti-seizure drugs.
Arthritis may be caused by a variety of reasons, including pain medicines and lifestyle variables such as getting adequate sleep and exercising.
If you have vision or hearing problems, you should use prescription glasses or hearing aids.