Memory and Brain Fitness

As we age, our ability to remember facts seems to diminsh. While there is undoubtably age related memory loss, sometimes these changes are not a sign of dementia and armay be indicators of an underlying disease or even normal.  Memory or the ability to recall facts and information can be affected by a number of medical conditions. When investigating memory loss it is important to rule out medical conditions or lifestyle habits that may be the source of the problem.

Memory loss can be secondary to hormonal imbalances, abnormal blood sugar levels, or simply not eating at regular intervals. Smoking, high cholesterol and lack of exercise are just a few causes of  poor circulation which can cause abnormal changes in the walls of the arteries which will result in diminshed blood flow to the brain.

When trying to determine the reason for your memory loss, go through this checklist to help you and your doctor pinpoint the source of your trouble.

REVIEW OF SYSTEMS

General : Loss of Appetite ­/Loss of Weight /Fever/Fatigue

Eye/Ear/Nose/Throat : Vision Loss /Hearing Loss /Sinus or Allergy Symptoms /Difficulty Swallowing

Sleep : Insomnia/Daytime Sedation / Frequent Naps

 Neurological : Headache/Weakness/Tremor/Trouble Walking/Numbness / Pain in Feet/Change in Handwriting/Falls

Cardiovascular : Chest pain/Palpitations / Irregular Heartbeat Syncope (Passing Out)/Shortness of Breath

 Respiratory : Cough/Bronchitis/Wheezing/Pneumonia  

Psychiatric : Anxiety Irritability/Depression/Apathy / Disinterest/Suspiciousness / Paranoia/Hallucinations

 Gastrointestinal :Reflux /AbdominalPain/Constipation/Diarrhea/Nausea /Vomiting

 Urinary : Urinary Frequency/Incontinence/Urinary Tract Infection

Next post will cover the areas of the brain that control memory.

Dr. Barb

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