Consider the possible environmental causes – see Merrilyn’s new post, published 12 Feb, 2017:
Memory loss is something which concerns many people today. Even young people can suffer from memory loss.
We are all afraid of getting alzheimer’s disease: when the memory and brain function have declined so badly that we are incapable of making decisions and caring for ourselves, then we have lost control of our lives, we get put into care, and our active contribution to society ceases. We all wish to avoid this scenario.
There are several main causes of memory loss in people who are not yet old. If you have reason to believe that your memory function is declining, or is impaired, then it would be prudent for you to consider the list below which outlines memory loss factors, then you can begin to take measures which will help remedy the problem.
SLEEP DEPRIVATION can cause memory loss. Lack of sleep makes you feel tired, and it also makes the brain tired. This causes not just short term memory loss, but a general inability to think clearly, to make decisions or string your sentences coherently together. Sleep deprivation can also cause you to become depressed and listless.
DEPRESSION, whether it be from lack of sleep or from a deep-seated emotional cause, or from lack of certain nutrients in the diet, can cause short term memory loss. Addiction to alcohol or other drugs can cause depression.
ANXIETY which is often associated with sleep deprivation and depression, can inhibit brain function, including memory. Vitamins and good nutrition can help enormously in minimizing anxiety, and DEEP RELAXATION exercises which include YOGA BREATHING and YOGA NIDRA do wonders for alleviating stress, anxiety and depression, thus helping the problem of memory loss. Try to remove emotional factors in your life which could be causing anxiety, or learn, via these yoga techniques, to overcome them.
POOR NUTRITION alone can be the cause of short term memory loss. Lack of IRON is a well known factor in memory loss, poor mental function, and general tiredness. Lack of VITAMIN B complex components, especially NIACIN, and VITAMIN B12, can contribute to temporary memory loss.
A fluctuating blood sugar level (hypoglycaemea) means that the brain is not being fed a constant supply of blood sugar, and this is the cause of many people’s memory loss.
Keeping sugar to a minimum and using other quality foods which help the blood sugar level to be more stable should be the aim. Use rice instead of wheat products and bread. Eat adequate protein. Include enough good quality fats and oils in your diet: These things all help improve memory function.
If you find that some days your memory is good, while on other days it seems to be poor, then try a diet which excludes wheat, bread, sugar and dairy products, alcohol and coffee for a while. On the other hand, a quick-fix of sugar, best from fruit or honey, can alleviate a sudden attack of memory loss, but it is best to avoid letting things get to this state of affairs by following a good dietary regime and leading a sensible life style.
ADDICTION TO ALCOHOL OR MARIJUANA OR OTHER DRUGS can cause short term memory loss as well as long term memory loss. Too much COFFEE can affect memory function also: too much makes the brain tired, as it, and alcohol, etc, deplete the brain of essential nutrients, causing a state of malnutrition. Many young people smoke marijuana thinking that they are avoiding the harmful of effects of alcohol – well, alcohol probably affects the liver and nervous system more drastically, but marijuana affects the brain and its memory function much more quickly than alcohol: it doesn’t take very long for a young brain to manifest the memory loss effect of smoking marijuana. Of course, some people have more resistance to the stuff than others, but there is plenty of evidence to show that marijuana causes memory loss.
DENTURE plastic/acrylic could be contributing to your state or memory loss. Check out the article I have posted on DENTURES which follows this post on memory loss. Dentures should be made of quality materials and really are best, for the benefit of mental function including memory, to be changed for a new set every three years or so. In my experience, the life of a denture is about three years before it begins to affect memory adversely.
DEHYDRATION: Insufficient water causes the brain to malfunction and suffer memory loss. WATER is necessary for a healthy brain. Alcohol, coffee and other drugs and medications can make you dehydrated. Check your water intake: start your remedial measures to counteract memory loss and improve your brain by drinking plenty of water each day.
SLUGGISH BOWELS can, and DO cause memory loss. It is very important to get the bowels cleared of effete matter which causes auto-intoxication. A diet which includes plenty of fresh, raw fruit and vegetables, and which avoids those dairy products which clog the bowel with mucous, is imperative. Using rice, preferably brown, instead of wheat products, plenty of salads with sprouted grains and seeds with adequate proteins will help cure your sluggish bowels.
ENVIRONMENTAL POISONS, such as preservatives in our food, herbicides on grass verges, household poisons such as pesticides and weedkillers, and petrochemicals, are very bad for your health generally: they contribute to cancer setting in, but also affect your memory very badly. Fly sprays, potions which kill fleas on the dog or the cat, are all very harmful for the general health and for the memory, both to your pet and to you. Every time you pat your pet you will be getting a dose of that poison you put there to counteract fleas. Make sure that you buy safe homeopathic or herbal preparations for your pet.
Many hair products, especially hair dyes, could be affecting your state of memory loss.
FORMALDEHYDE is extremely toxic to humans and to animal life. Formaldehyde is probably the most potent of the chemicals known to cause memory loss. It is found in many products used about the home, and is even found in some cosmetics and balms. It is found in particle board flooring (fake wood, or chip board) and in many synthetic building materials. It is found in many glues, paints and varnishes. It is found in dyes and in leather-tanning products. Much of our clothing, which comes now from China, is made with cheaper dyes and materials which use formaldehyde and other extremely poisonous chemicals.
If you handle photocopy print, or inks a lot, then beware – many of these contain formaldehyde and other dangerous chemicals.
When formaldehyde first became popular as an antiseptic in the 1950’s, it was used widely in hospitals and dental surgeries in New Zealand and other parts of the world. It was regarded as a best friend to nurses, doctors and surgeons, as surgical objects, after being used on a patient, could be placed in a jar of formaldehyde which would sterilize them immediately. No one was aware of the dangers to the health, especially to the brain. I read an article years ago which documented two nurses who were working in New Zealand in the 1950’s. Their memories were shot well before time, and they attributed this to the fact that they had freely used formaldehyde, even dipping their hands in a bowl of it to quickly kill off all germs, while they had been working in hospitals. They were reported as saying that there was no point in reading a book, as they had forgotten completely what the plot and the characters were all about by the time they had gotten very far along with the story.
I had peritonitis when I was about five years old, in early 1955, the year of my sixth birthday. I remember the glass of formaldehyde which sat beside my bed in the hospital where the operation to save my life had been done. The smell of the glass of formaldehyde made me feel sick, but the worst thing was the thermometer which permanently sat in the fluid. The nurses would come around, take the thermometer out of the liquid formaldehyde, give it a quick flick, and put it straight into my mouth. I was getting dosed, inadvertently, with formaldehyde. I quickly began to associate the ‘white outs’ in the brain, when it was apparent to me that not only could I not remember anything, but it seemed as if I did not exist at all; and confusion and drowsiness, the heavy sleep which followed, with the stuff in the jar, as these things happened to me straight after each thermometer reading. I therefore began to scream loudly every time they came to take my temperature, and to fight them off, but to no avail, of course. I was simply held down and forced to take the thermometer. I remember, after returning home from hospital, screaming hysterically every time my mother opened the bottle of dry cleaning fluid, which was carbon tetrachloride: I feared that this might put me to sleep just as the formaldehyde had done, as it smelt similar. I suspect it probably is just about as bad in its effect on the memory, but I never waited to find out. I would run out the door to gasp at the fresh air outside. Because of this early experience which sensitized me to formaldehyde, I have to be very careful with anything containing formaldehyde, or indeed most chemicals, as they can cause complete memory loss. But fortunately, once I get onto a fasting diet and the offending toxins are removed from my body, my memory improves again.
Vitamin C in mega doses is one of the best things to get rid of toxins from the body and the brain. 1000 mg of ester C or another non-acidic type of Vitamin C such as calcium ascorbate, work wonders. You can take a 1000mg dose once, or twice, or even three times a day in cases of acute poisoning.
ELECTRO MAGNETIC RADIATION. This is affecting people’s memories today. Cell phones, cell phone towers, electricity transformers which are located near your home, electricity meter boxes which are too close to your bed or working space, TV aerials too close to where you sleep or work, an environment which is too well-circuited with electricity wires and plugs, such as apartment buildings where you have a super-charged electrical environment because of the TV upstairs and below and to the side of you, and all the wiring to go to stoves, meter boxes etc above and all around you: all these things affect your brain function, including your memory. Apartment buildings are bad also because of the clusters of cell phones being used all about you: this energy is intensified with more cell phones being in use together.
MENTAL STIMULATION: It is important to stimulate the brain on a regular basis. Crossword puzzles, chess and card games, writing short essays on chosen topics, reading stimulating books, learning new pieces on the piano or another instrument, and conversing with people, all stimulate the brain. Communicating with people and interacting socially is very good for mental function as well as the emotional state. It is amazing how quickly you can lose confidence in communicating verbally with people if you are living in isolation. The brain becomes really slow at responding if it is given a chance to be idle for too long. Keep the brain active by enjoying activities where you get to talk to people, about meaningful things, or simply just in a caring way, to friends, family and neighbours.
CONCENTRATION: Make sure that you concentrate totally on the task in hand, or on the conversation you are having. Do not allow yourself to daydream whilst you are talking to somebody, or, say, listening to the news. How can you remember the important things people tell you if you are not listening with full attention? Day dreaming is OK too, but day dream with your full attention, and not too long at a time. Try to have a half hour of snoozing/daydreaming, or meditating, and then get straight onto a specific task which you will give your full attention. Give yourself projects which you find exciting: having goals is a great thing for encouraging the memory to perform well.
EXERCISE: Physical exercise, whether it be from yoga, or light jogging, playing tennis, swimming, or such-like, cannot be underestimated in the beneficial effect on the physical body and the brain. Memory loss can be helped enormously by taking up an exercise such as these listed above, especially if they are done daily, or at least three times a week. Working up a bit of a sweat helps eliminate toxins from the body and the brain. Physical exercise also helps move the lymph around the body and to the brain: this is important in helping your brain to function optimally, as the nutrients are carried throughout the body and brain, not just via the blood, but via the lymph.
SAUNAS are very useful in helping memory loss. Saunas will help your body to sweat out all those toxins which are impairing your mental function.
Modalities such as MASSAGE, ACUPUNCTURE, ACUPRESSURE, HERBAL MEDICINE, HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE, and AYURVEDIC MEDICINE can also have a beneficial effect on the brain when the right treatment is given.
GINKGO is reputed to help people with memory loss. However, I find that I cannot ingest the stuff, as it has the effect of lowering my pulse rate too much, which makes me feel terrible. Funnily enough, though, I picked up some fruit of a giant ginkgo tree in Remuera yesterday, which I took home to have a go at growing from the seed inside. Just handling and smelling these pale, lemon coloured fruits has had a definite positive effect on my brain and powers of recall. But I have kept them outside to avoid a negative effect which could result from having too much of the stuff around me.