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Posts Tagged ‘low levels of vitamin B12’

6 Surprising Causes of Memory Loss

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012



Memory loss happens, and not just to the elderly.  The most common causes of severe memory loss are dementia (Alzheimer’s disease), drug abuse, brain damage, and neurological illness.  Even minor memory loss can be debilitating, if it goes on for years.  Reduced cognitive skills- brain fog, mental fatigue, irritability, lack of focus, and yes- memory loss are usually symptoms of an underlying condition that require medical attention.

6 Surprising Causes of Memory Loss

Here are 6 unusual causes of memory loss that you haven’t considered:

Not getting your vitamin B12

One of the many symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency is cognitive impairment.  Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is necessary for red blood cell distribution.  If you have low levels of vitamin B12, then your brain is not receiving enough oxygen, and the results are symptoms like memory loss, decreased mental focus, irritability, fatigue, and difficulty understanding new concepts.

Other symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • “Pins and needles” in hands and feet
  • Painful numbness in the extremities
  • Lack of muscular coordination
  • Muscular pains
  • Frequently dropping things and stumbling
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin itching
  • Eye twitches

Also read Here’s Your Brain on B12 Deficiency- Memory Loss and Aging

6 Surprising Causes of Memory Loss


A recent study published by the Mayo Clinic reveals that elderly individuals who eat between 2,100 and 6,000 calories each day are twice as likely to suffer mild cognitive impairment (MCI) than people who don’t overeat.

  • Survey information collected from 1,233 elderly residents of Olmstead County, Minnesota found a direct link between high caloric intake and memory loss.
  • Study participants were asked to submit a questionnaire regarding their eating habits, including calorie intake.
  • While none of the participants suffered from dementia, 163 did experience symptoms of cognitive impairment such as memory loss.
  • After reviewing survey results, scientists noted that most of the people who had MCI overate, making them twice as likely to suffer from short-term memory loss.

6 Surprising Causes of Memory Loss


Being a male

In a recent report by the Mayo Clinic on aging, researchers found that elderly men are more likely to suffer from memory loss than women of the same age.  In a study of 1,450 test subjects, 296 showed signs of mild cognitive impairment, with an incidence rate of 7.2% for males and 5.7% for females.

Being stressed out

When you’re stressed, anxious, or depressed, you become fatigued.  Your brain becomes overstimulated, and unless you give it a break, you’ll suffer signs of cognitive impairment, such as memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and disorientation.  There exists a high correlation between many types of mental illness (bi-polar disorder, severe depression, and anxiety disorder) and attention deficit disorders.


Autoimmune disorder

“Brain fog” is a common complaint among people who suffer from autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and celiac disease.  If you also suffer symptoms like severe stomach pain, diarrhea, constant muscular soreness, or daily headaches, then consult your doctor immediately.  

(Also read: 6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease)

Not getting your Omega-3’s

A recent study published by Neurology indicated that people who are low in omega-3 fatty acids have significantly less brain mass and more symptoms of cognitive impairment than people who eat healthy amounts of omega-3’s.

  • Using MRI testing and blood samples, researchers observed 1,500 elderly individuals who had no prior history for dementia.
  • Participants who had the lowest levels of DHA omega-3 fatty acids had the least brain mass, putting them in the bottom 25% range.
  • Also, subjects with the lowest omega-3 intake performed poorly on cognitive skill testing, including visual memory, abstract thinking skills, and executive function.
  • Overall, low omega-3 levels accounted for accelerated brain aging and atrophy by two years.

Please tell us…

  • Do you have trouble remembering words that used to roll off your tongue?
  • Do you find yourself forgetting to do things unless you write yourself a memo?
  • Have you been tested for vitamin B12 deficiency?
  • Please let us know your thoughts by commenting below!

Spread the love…

Know anybody who could be helped by this information?  Please share this article on Facebook, Google+, or by emailing a link.  As always, we welcome your comments!

Read more about memory loss and vitamin B12:

5 Ways to Ruin your Memory without getting Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Brain Fog: 20 Ways to Deal

How to keep Vitamin B12 Deficiency from Shrinking your Brain


Overeating May Double The Risk Of Memory Loss

Mayo Clinic Finds Mild Cognitive Impairment is Common, Affects Men Most

Red blood cell omega-3 fatty acid levels and markers of accelerated brain aging

Memory loss: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia


DerrickT, TheAlieness GiselaGiardino², David Castillo Dominici, stockvault

Can Vitamin B12 Deficiency cause Dementia?

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012



Everybody knows that Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that occurs among the elderly, but did you know that severe memory loss from vitamin B12 deficiency can happen, regardless of your age?  Find out how vitamin B12 deficiency affects brain health.


What is dementia?

Dementia is a brain disorder that causes you to lose thinking skills like memory, reasoning, language, and social awareness.  Dementia is a progressive condition- the symptoms of dementia only worsen with time.  

Degenerative dementia is permanent, meaning that the brain damage that caused dementia is irreversible. Still, some kinds of dementia can be reversed if caught in time; such is the case with a brain tumor.  

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most notable types of degenerative dementia.

Adult ADHD Could Lead to Dementia

What are the symptoms of dementia?


The most common symptoms of dementia are:

  • Short-term memory loss: While dementia patients don’t usually have difficulty remembering things from their childhood with crystal-clear vision, they are likely to forget messages, conversations, or doctor’s appointments from the previous day…or hour.
  • Moodiness: Alzheimer’s disease patients may shift through moods in the blink of an eye- one minute content, the next minute expressing deep anger, and rage.  Paranoia and depression are common traits of elderly individuals suffering from dementia.  Often, people with dementia lose interest in things like hobbies and social clubs that they used to enjoy.  In some cases, they may become antisocial and exhibit bad behavior in public.
  • Difficulty communicating: People with dementia tend to have circular conversations, immediately forgetting what they spoke of a moment ago, and returning to the same topic.  They also have trouble recalling everyday words, as their vocabulary skills have decreased significantly. 
  • Decreased perception skills: Dementia patients have great difficulty understanding new or foreign concepts.
  • Inability to multi-task
  • Cognitive decline: Senior citizens with dementia have trouble thinking abstractly, figuring amounts, and using logic.
  • Tendency to lose things
  • Hallucinations
  • Loss of self-awareness

Aging begins at 45- Tips on how to Prevent Early Memory Loss

What causes dementia?


As there are many different types of dementia, there are also various causes and correlations, as well.

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Stroke (Vascular dementia)
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pick’s disease
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy
  • Brain tumor
  • Head injury
  • Chronic alcoholism
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency (Pernicious anemia)
  • Certain cholesterol-lowering medications

How do doctors diagnose dementia?


If your doctor suspects dementia, he will have to review the patient’s medical history and order various physical exams before he diagnoses dementia.  Additionally, any underlying medical conditions that may contribute to dementia symptoms will be reviewed, such as low levels of vitamin B12 or history of depression.

The most common tests used to diagnose dementia are:

  • Neurological exam (mental status examination)
  • MRI brain scan
  • Vitamin B12 blood test
  • Ammonia blood test
  • Blood chemistry test
  • Thyroid test
  • Toxicology screening for alcohol
  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis
  • Electroencephalograph (EEG)
  • Head CT
  • Urinalysis

Treatments for dementia

Depending on the cause of dementia, your physician might prescribe one of the following treatments for dementia:

  • Vitamin B12 supplements, if vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms are the cause of dementia.
  • Acetyl cholinesterase inhibitor, for dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Antipsychotics
  • Mood stabilizers
  • Stimulants
  • Donepezil (Aricept)
  • Rivastigmine (Exelon)
  • Galantamine (Razadyne/Reminyl)
  • Memantine (Namenda)

Brainy People are high on B12, according to Brain Health Study

Please tell us…

Do you or a family member suffer from short-term memory loss, chronic fatigue, or depression and anxiety? You could be suffering from B12 deficiency

Other symptoms of low B12 levels include painful tingling or numbness in hands and feet, sore red tongue, unusual clumsiness, and tinnitus ear ringing.

Please share your experiences with our community, and let us know if you found this article helpful.

Thanks for sharing!

Read more about vitamin B12 and the brain:

Here’s Your Brain on B12 Deficiency- Memory Loss and Aging

How to keep Vitamin B12 Deficiency from Shrinking your Brain

Vitamin B12- How much do you need?


Dementia- PubMed Health

What is dementia?  Alzheimer’s Society

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin B12

Images, from top:

digital cat , Rosino, GabrielaP93, Colin_K

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