At a certain age, we often assume the worst. But it’s usually not – repeat not – dementia. There are a lot of lesser-known causes of memory loss. And some might surprise you.
Stress makes the shortlist of under-appreciated hazards. We talk about how bad stress is for you, but we don’t seem to take it very seriously in our own lives.
In fact, we might not even notice it anymore. Or we might think we can tough it out. But stress can take its toll in insidious ways, like forgetting where you left the car.
Depression and Anxiety
And chronic stress can lead to depression and anxiety. They can have an impact on memory in a couple of ways. For one thing, they’re painful and distracting. And they affect the brain directly.
But depression and anxiety can mean increased stress. You may get too little or too much sleep, or take medications with side effects. And your memory takes a hit.
There are some unusual medical conditions on the list of lesser-known causes of memory loss. Just a few questions:
- Had your thyroid checked? Liver? Kidneys?
- Getting your B vitamins? Absorbing them?
- Been hit in the head recently?
- Been drinking a lot?
- Taking sleeping pills, antihistamines, statins, and painkillers?
- Been eating right?
It’s as if the human brain is wearing a “kick me” sign. Luckily it’s pretty resilient. But occasionally the brain has a problem. And fixing it may fix your memory too.
You may not even know you have it. Snoring is one symptom. Waking up with a headache is another. But sleep apnea can be much more serious than it seems.
And it can cause memory problems. The brain is being starved for oxygen a little bit at a time all through the night. It can be treated, but it needs to be diagnosed first.
The problem may stem from one of the fixable, lesser-known causes of memory loss. What a relief!