I used to remember everything. It’s not so much that I can’t remember things, as that I can’t remember the right words to say. And, wait, I forgot, I can’t remember things either. I always joke that between Menopause, my migraine medicine and early Alzheimer’s I am lucky I can remember my name, but the truth is memory loss and midlife isn’t a laughing matter.
The Many Causes of Memory Loss
Memory loss can happen for many reasons. As you reach a certain age, you will have some dementia, but does that occur in midlife? Dementia can, in fact, occur in midlife, but only about 10% of all people under the age of 65 have what is called “young-onset dementia.”
If you are experiencing forgetfulness along with symptoms like problems with movement, walking, coordination or balance, get thee to a neurologist fast!
Certain medications can also cause memory loss at midlife. A perfect example is what I call Stupidmax aka Topomax. Topomax is used mainly for convulsions, but it is also used in smaller doses for migraines, and it makes you forgetful and, well, stupid. Some other medications that could cause memory loss are:
- Antianxiety drugs
- Cholesterol drugs
- Antiseizure drugs
- Antidepressant drugs
- Narcotic painkillers
- Parkinson’s drugs
- Hypertension drugs
- Sleeping aids
- Incontinence drugs
For a complete list of drugs, take a look at our resource section below.
Sleeping habits, eating habits, and exercise habits can also affect memory loss. Here is the conundrum for us women in midlife. As you enter menopause, you don’t sleep as well anyway, due to hormonal changes and hot flashes, so if you throw in bad eating habits, lack of sleep and no exercise, it’s a recipe for disaster.
But, why does lack of sleep cause memory loss? One way is the blood vessels to the brain can become narrowed, which means less blood flow to the brain which is where your memory takes place.
There are foods that can bring on memory loss. It’s a fact that your brain needs healthy fats and nutrients to keep running at optimal smartness, so if you eat a bunch of processed white food, you will certainly be experiencing some memory loss or heartburn.
Because we know the brain needs proper blood flow, the best way to get your blood pumping is by exercising on a regular basis, which means that if you don’t exercise, you will inevitably have some memory loss along with flabby thighs.
And, last but not least, let’s talk about menopause and memory loss. Between the loss of hormones, the hot flashes, and depression it only makes sense that these things will affect your sleeping.
How to Remember, Wait, What Were We Saying?
I have this terrible affliction with my memory loss. I will be in the middle of a sentence, and my brain just dies. I can’t remember what I was saying, find the words and I just stop speaking. This drives my kids crazy, but not a crazy as it drives me. The thing is, when I look at the causes of memory loss, I commit every single crime listed above.
2017 is the year of 50 for me and it’s time to be proactive and make some positive changes, so my memory loss and midlife will cease. If you are like me, let’s do this together. Let’s eat whole foods, exercise on the daily, check to see if there are better meds that don’t bring on memory loss, up our hormones and get some sleep!
Let me know how you combat memory loss.
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