Varied Causes of Memory Loss
The causes of memory loss are varied. Many of us find ourselves concerned that our memory problems or forgetfulness means that we have dementia. Lets explore just what are normal memory changes and what may suggest that we should be concerned.
As individuals age they begin to have some difficulty concentrating or giving things their fullest attention. We are slower to recall or retrieve information and may require more things to give us a clue, such as a word or a visual cue.
Some aging seniors begin to have a decline in their hearing or sight. These conditions will affect our ability to recall information. The techniques that we used when we were younger that triggered our memory, such as visual cues, organization or association may not work as effectively or as efficiently as we would like.
These are all problems we face as we age. There are many causes that will affect our memory as we age. The medications we take, both over the counter and prescribed medications can affect our memory.
Proper nutrition is important to maintaining a healthy functioning mind. The brain utilizes lots of calories, oxygen, vitamins and minerals to function at peak performance. Unstable blood sugars, especially low blood sugar can affect your memory and even exhibit as mental confusion.
Your blood pressure can affect memory when it gets too high. So it is important that if you are experiencing difficulties with your memory you may want to have your blood pressure checked regularly.
In today’s world we experience stress and anxiety that may affect us over time and affect our ability to focus and concentrate. Undiagnosed or untreated depression will also have an affect on our ability to recall information. Those with stress, anxiety or depression may not get enough sleep or sleep too much. All these things can lead to memory problems and cause us undue concern over the diagnosis of dementia.
More information on the causes of memory loss
So how do I know if I have dementia? First and foremost, it is important to understand that dementia is not a normal part of aging. Dementia is a symptom of many different types of diseases. It is not a specific disease.
Individuals that have dementia experience forget an entire experience, instead of part of an experience. An example is, you and your spouse go to the store and out to lunch. When you return, later in the day, your spouse turns to you and says “We really need to get to the store. Maybe we could have something to eat when we are out.” They have the inability to recall that you already went out. They are not able to recall that information, even when reminded or shown the receipts. There is a loss of short term memory.
Persons in the early stages of dementia are able to compensate or hide their new deficits.
Many begin to become irritable, accusatory and even suspicious or accusatory of family in the early stages, they may need step by step instructions to perform a once familiar task.
After a while they become unable to follow complex directions and loose the ability use tools such as a calendar or notes as reminders.
Dementia causes problems not only with memory, but in thinking skills. Judgment and reasoning skills are affected and personality changes or behavioral changes occur.
There are things that you can do to control and manage to improve or maintain your memory. Eat a balanced diet and get some kind of physical exercise each day. Try something new and different each and every day. Have your hearing and eyes checked regularly and get enough sleep every day.
The causes of memory loss are many. Are your memory problems and forgetfulness, or those of someone you know normal? Are you concerned that you or someone you know has dementia? A complete medical and mental evaluation preformed by your health care provider can offer you an answer if you feel that this is a real concern. Brain scan or MRI may also be needed to give you a diagnosis.
If you are just experiencing normal memory problems due to aging, learn to relax and take the necessary steps to keep your brain fit.
Diane Carbo Registered Nurse has more than thirty five years in the nursing field. Her experience as a geriatric care manager, makes her uniquely qualified to help those who want to live out their lives in their own homes. That decision may be made when you are 20, 30, 40 or in fact at any age, with sooner rather than later being ideal. Diane has developed a web site to make people aware of issues and options. You will find extensive helpful information that will be continually updated. Please visit Diane’s web site and learn more about causes of memory loss and brain fitness programs Sign up for “The Caring Advocate” her free newsletter and take advantage of a complimentary e-course Advocating For Yourself and Others
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