Fighting Memory Loss Naturally
We have all experienced some degree of memory loss. The mildest form would be something on the order of forgetting why you walked into a room, what you were going to say, or where you put the car keys. A more pronounced situation might be chronic forgetfulness wherein a person has difficulty with daily tasks at home or on the job. At the severe end of the spectrum would be neurological disorders, such as dementia, wherein an individual may not recognize a friend or family member. Even mild memory lapses can be daunting. What are some of the causes of memory loss?
Common Causes of Memory Loss
Certain medications can contribute to loss of memory and other mental side-effects. For example, antidepressants – Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, etc. – have been linked to a number of severe neurological problems, including memory loss, amnesia, delusion, and hallucination. Other medications, prescribed for wholly physiological reasons – high blood pressure, cholesterol, pain relief – can also be a culprit. But simply dropping a prescription due to its side-effects can be dangerous or catastrophic, so consult with your prescribing physician if you suspect a medication may be contributing to memory loss. In the case of psychotropic medications (antidepressants, etc.), a person can be prescribed several drugs simultaneously – wherein one drug is prescribed in an attempt to offset the effects of another. Getting off these drugs requires a precise, gradual withdrawal process.
Alcohol and Tobacco
Alcohol affects the brain and central nervous system, with “black patches” commonly associated with excessive consumption. If drinking is a steady part of your routine, and you have been experiencing memory loss, it’s time to cut way down or quit entirely. Cigarette smoke, in addition to containing nicotine and dozens of other chemicals, reduces oxygen to the brain and has been linked to memory loss.
Narcotic use – marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine, crack, opiates, etc. – can all be at the root of memory loss, whether used “recreational” or in fueling long-term addiction. Marijuana (cannabis), despite medical or legal status in some states, contains the active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a Schedule I controlled substance, classified as a hallucinogenic or psychedelic – with dulled thinking and memory loss being known consequences. Abuse of prescription drugs is now an all-too-common, even pandemic, reality. Conquering addiction – and its attendant pain and disaster – can be the task of a lifetime for an individual. Holistic recovery, such as that offered at Best Drug Rehabilitation, with an individualized program, can be the solution for a drug-free life.
Failure to get sufficient sleep can play havoc on your thinking and memory, as well as cause fatigue and other problems. Scheduling 7-8 hours of sleep per night will go a long way towards increasing mental focus.
Head Injury, Stroke, Disease, Dementia
Memory loss can be brought on by brain trauma, stroke, diseases like Alzheimer’s, as well as dementia attributed to old age. Testing, such as CAT scan and MRI, can be done to zero in on the problem. While cures may not yet exist for extreme causes of memory loss, therapies and exercises can be done to help people with these conditions.
Ways to Fight Memory Loss
Nutrition and Exercise
A poor diet, consisting of processed, fried, or fatty foods with little nutritional value, will cause general fatigue, weariness, and a depressed mental outlook. Proper, balanced nutrition – proteins, fruits, vegetables – means providing vital nutrients to the body and the brain. This, combined with regular exercise, can greatly help mental faculties and improve one’s overall enthusiasm for life.
Superfoods are plant-based, organic nutrients that include kale, spinach, chlorella, spirulina, wheatgrass, and barley grass. They also include fruits and nuts high in antioxidants, such as goji berries, acai, and blueberries. A superfood blast in the morning can mean an energized body and alert mind – and also provide a myriad of other health benefits like increased energy.
Simply taking daily supplements will add to your memory boost formula. The herb Ginkgo Biloba, originating in China, is often cited as assisting memory, apparently by increasing blood circulation to the brain.
Ever find yourself going off in all directions at once? Do you forget where you put something 60 seconds ago? Time to take care of your area and get organized! Start with your living space and move into your working environment. If everything had a place and you put things back where they belonged once you were done with them, and if you maintained this as a habit, you’d see a sharpening of your mental prowess. Composing a plan for the day, where you mark off each completed task, will also contribute to your newly focused mind.
When you don’t understand something – particularly when you need that piece of knowledge for your activities or profession – you feel dull and confused. Methods do exist for proper learning. When you truly understand and can use information, feeling dimwitted and forgetful can be a thing of the past – replaced by insightfulness and acuity.
Those are a few practical suggestions for improving your memory and living a better, more rewarding life!