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Causes of Memory Loss and How to Avoid Them

Submitted by Courtney on Wed, 02/24/2010 - 00:41

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You undoubtedly have experienced the annoyance or even downright frustration that comes with forgetting where you put your keys, or your wallet, or some other item you could have sworn that you placed down RIGHT THERE.

Think about how much worse it would be if you start to forget even more important things, such as simple math problems, your address, your family members' names or even your own. Not only is this a frustrating experience; it's an incredibly frightening experience.

So what causes memory loss? Is it preventable, or is it a natural part of the aging process?

Causes of Memory Loss

While it is true that with age our brains “slow down” and have more difficulties processing information, to become completely forgetful is an unnatural part of the aging process. At that point, one may be suffering from Alzheimer's disease which is a serious yet treatable condition many older persons face today.

The most prevalent causes of memory loss are:

  • Head trauma (some recover from this type of memory loss; others do not)
  • Medications
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Drug abuse
  • Infections
  • Chronic medical conditions
  • Chronic psychological conditions
  • Sleep disorders
  • Malnutrition
  • Prolonged exposure to dangerous toxins

How to help Prevent Memory Loss

Do not abuse alcohol, drugs or medications. If you are aware of any dangerous toxins in your area, or if you work with them on a regular basis, be sure to wear the appropriate attire and face masks to prevent breathing in the dangerous fumes and chemicals.

To further take care of your body, be sure to exercise every day to keep the blood flowing to your brain (it needs all that oxygen-rich blood to function properly!) and to eat right. Particularly focus on whole natural foods and avoid processed foods which offer little to no nutritional value. You will find that if you are eating right and exercising regularly, you should also be sleeping well each night. Don't underestimate how much we all need sleep; without adequate sleep the night before your brain will become sluggish and slow.

To work out your brain, grab a book from the library and nestle down in your favorite chair for a good read. Taking part in games, puzzles, and even being socially engaged with friends and family will keep your brain toned and alert. The key here is to keep your brain as busy as possible while respecting your body by eating a proper diet and exercising. Keep that up, and you'll have a better memory when you're 80 than when you were 40!

photo by Julia Freeman-Woolpert

 

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