Often, memory loss is a common sign of aging- but not always! Certain foods, health conditions, and routines actually worsen your ability to remember the important things in life. Listed are some healthy lifestyle changes to effectively (and naturally) improve your mental focus, reduce fatigue, and prevent symptoms of memory loss that sometimes occur in the under-65 crowd.
Memory loss is preventable, especially if you’re still in your 30s or 40s! Unless you’re over the age of 65, you can’t really attribute symptoms such as brain fog, forgetfulness, or fatigue to old age, not just yet.
Here are some likely alternative causes of memory loss that you can avoid, regardless of age.
1- Vitamin B12 deficiency
B vitamins are essential for healthy brain functioning and energy production; vitamin B12 in particular helps your body make red blood cells needed to carry oxygen to the brain, and also assists in protecting your nerve cells from deterioration.
Which is why when vitamin B12 levels are low, as in severe vitamin B12 deficiency, some of the first signs you experience involve the brain.
Memory loss, poor concentration, brain fatigue, slow thinking, depression, and anxiety are all common symptoms of early-onset vitamin B12 deficiency.
Yet many people are deficient in vitamin B12 without realizing it, as many doctors aren’t quick on the uptake when it comes to testing and diagnosing for vitamin B12 deficiency.
Risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiency, including pernicious anemia (the autoimmune cause of low vitamin B12) include:
- Autoimmune disorders, including fibromyalgia
- Gastrointestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
- Family history for pernicious anemia
- Bariatric surgery
- Vegan or vegetarian dieting
- Medication for diabetes
- GERD, chronic heartburn medications
- Old age
If you think you may have memory loss from vitamin B12 deficiency, ask your doctor for a vitamin B12 blood screening. Alternatively, you can also begin taking OTC vitamin B12 supplements on your own, as there are no health risks involved with high-dose vitamin B12 supplementation.
2- Too many carbs
Eating a high-carbohydrate diet rich in trans-fats and saturated oils is another oft-cited cause of memory loss. Many researchers believe that eating an abundance of simple carbohydrates, while also indulging in fried foods, causes arterial plaque buildup, resulting in less oxygen to the brain and impaired thinking skills.
Many of us are dehydrated without even realizing it. If you don’t drink at least 6-8 glasses of water each day, plus extra on hot days or after exercising, then you may be experiencing memory loss caused by dimple dehydration.
Do you spend hours in front of the computer at night, or lay awake thinking of things you need to do tomorrow? Then you may be causing your own memory loss simply by not getting enough restful sleep at night. It’s one thing to “wing it” every now and then after a 4-hour resting period, but to maintain healthy mental skills and stay alert, and this is a no-brainer, you need to allow yourself plenty of sleep. Sleep deprivation not only causes memory loss, but also increased stress, anxiety, and depression.
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