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Memory Loss Guide

Alison Beaver

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I've been experiencing short-term memory loss, why is that? It's become a running joke in my house that I'm going crazy, but now I'm concerned. Should I see my doctor for this?

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Anonymous

Hi, I'm 21 yrs old and studying Electronics Engineering. My problem is that I think I have a short term memory loss. I used to remember things quickly (6 5 years ago)even if it happened days, months or years ago but now I'm having a hard time recalling things that happened to me or to my surroundings even if that just happened an hours or days ago. Now, I'm having a hard time solving a problems because I normally forgot or don't remember what formula or method to use. Sometimes when I'm having a conversation with a friend or family I can't find words to say what I'd like to tell them and this things happening to me is bothering me so much. How can I get rid of this short term memory loss? I do understand that as we become older we experience this kind of things but I'm not that too old yet. I hope you can help me. Thanks.

August 26, 2013 - 9:03am
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

Thanks for your post!

There can be several reasons for short term memory loss (we'll forgo talking about aging since you are so young). 

But some other reasons include an accident or injury - you haven't mentioned this so I assume this hasn't happened.

Drugs and alcohol - you haven't mentioned this either but let us know if this is a factor and we'll assume it is not.

Stress - as a student, you may be under stress. Could this be the case with you?

Diet and nutrition - this can directly impact your short term memory - do you eat well and exercise?

Insomnia and depression - could these be a factor?

Medications - are you on any?

Illnesses - something like syphilis can impact the brain. It might be worth having a sexual health check up. 

Since you memory loss is quite noticeable, I think it's worth talking to a doctor about this.

Best,

Susan

August 26, 2013 - 10:46am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Susan Cody)

Thanks for the reply Susan. I think my case goes with Stress, insomnia and lack of exercise. Thanks for explaining I'll consult a doctor soon.

August 27, 2013 - 10:24am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I am a 26 year old male. In high school I suffered from nearly a dozen concussions, some very minor, some taking me almost 12 hours to regain memory and awareness of where I was. Ever since then - I have been notorious to repeating stories, sometimes in the same car ride that the driver told me the story earlier on. Though I graduated as an engineer, once knew over 250 digits of PI, and am able to learn things very quickly - some simple things are very difficult for me to remember. Recently I have started a consulting business where I meet anywhere between 3-10 clients a day and often 40-50 a week. Most clients I see more than once a week. Even though we see each other often - I have a very difficult time remember stories, what we discussed last meeting, when we have planned future meetings, I often have no clue what day it is, and without my calendar on my Iphone I would truly be completely clueless.

Clients often comment about my bad memory and we always joke it off - but it has been a growing concern of mine. I feel like I really have a difficult time processing new information and remembering it on the fly.

October 10, 2012 - 8:25pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

Thanks for your post.

If I were meeting with 40-50 clients a week, I'd have a really hard time remembering conversations and keeping everything in order because for anyone, this would be a huge challenge.

The more we use technology to map our lives, the less good we are with doing it alone - using our brains. It's the "use it or lose it" theory.

We should all be doing memory exercises - you can download them via a simple google search. You can also play card games that can help with that. Crosswords and puzzles also help.

However, as a sportsman during your school years, and having suffered numerous concussions, you may have some serious brain damage. I'm sure you have heard of the many footballers and boxers etc who have suffered brain damage from their careers but this is the same kind of damage seen in high school and college sports. I think it's really important for you to see a doctor about this and get early intervention if you have acquired damage from all those concussions. Anon, concussions are brain injuries in themselves. Please see a doctor and keep us updated.

Susan

October 15, 2012 - 1:55pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Hi,
I am 26 years old and since before I can remember I have always had issues with memory loss. When I was younger it was just simple things like not remembering where I would put things or what I was going to ask someone. Now in my 20s it has become worse. Now I will walk into a room and forget why I was coming into the room in the first place. Because of this problem I will try to make notes to myself reminding me of things like what I need from the grocery store but it has gotten so bad that most of the time I will forget my list at home and won't have a clue as to what I came to the store for. I also took the memory loss test that you had on this site and I got the first two correct but after that it just went down hill. On the last one I actually on scored about 20% of them. Please help as I do not want to be in my 30s and not know who I am!

Sincerely
Forgetful in GA

January 12, 2012 - 8:19am
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

Thanks for your post!

You need to be evaluated by a doctor as it sounds like your memory loss is quite significant. You may have a condition that is causing this or you may have something wrong with your brain that is causing such memory loss but this needs to be evaluated by a health care professional.

Best,

~Susan

January 13, 2012 - 11:24am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Hi I'm 27 and I do suffer from extreme anxiety disorder and the other day my spouse and I went grocery shopping and on the way out I had completely forgotten what we drove to get there or where it was parked. It was like I could not clear my head at all. I'm very scared a out it and don't know if I should be seen.

July 24, 2011 - 7:21pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon,

Thanks for your post!

You do need to be seen for this kind of anxiety and memory loss - both could be connected or are individual issues but please make an appointment with your health care provider as soon as possible. Will you let us know an update?

Best,
~Susan

July 25, 2011 - 12:06pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

i am having the same problem, but i am only 13. i have adhd, so i think that might be causing it. is there any way to improve my memory at all?

June 15, 2011 - 7:17am
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon

Thanks for your post! Due to EmpowHER's policy, we cannot help readers under the age of 14 so please talk to your parents about this. I promise you there is help out there!

~Susan

June 21, 2011 - 8:36am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

So I have spent the last 2 hours 'googling' memory loss, memory loss in women, memory loss in young women, etc. So I came across this cite and cant help myself from writing a post!

I am 25, work out 4 times a week, not very stressed out, no kids, sleep 7-8 hours a night and cant help forgetting things all the time. From the research i have been doing i am pretty sure its not short term memory.

I have been forgetting meetings (even when I write them down), can't recall anyone news name, meeting new people, asking my husband questions, leaving my purse at a coffee shop (that sucked :), not withdrawing from a graduate class (now my college wants to charge me $900 bucks), calling my best friends back...

I have been to the doctor a lot this summer because i was really tyred and achey this summer so he took all of my blood work everything turned out fine.

I don't think my memory has gotten worse since the summer I just have forgotten bigger things recently (wallet and class)..

I was thinking about taking some supplements, any suggestions on where I should go or anything else I should do?

Please help!

Thanks,
Missing my wallet in NY

February 25, 2010 - 3:34pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I'm only 21 and I can't remember whether or not my roommate said "Hi" to me. Then, I text him and he's like yeah I have been home since before you got here. I also have been having a lot of headaches lately. I don't have any children either. I am just a college student who's taking on 16 credits and working part-time.

October 19, 2009 - 8:30pm
Diane Porter (reply to Anonymous)

Hi, Anon,

At 21, you shouldn't be affected by this! But with 16 college credits, the homework involved, your part-time job and any social life at all, you may be sleep-deprived and a little nutrition-deprived. You are busy, going from place to place, keeping up with assignments and friends and work schedules.

But I might ask, also, if you have ever been tested for ADD? Attention Deficit Disorder? Only because we (I have ADD) can be very forgetful at times, since our mind is already busy doing 100 other things. We are so prone to distraction that a "typical" thing like someone saying "hi" to us can just go by the wayside pretty quickly.

How is your diet? Do you get enough lean protein? Fruits and veggies?

Do you get any regular exercise?

And do you get enough sleep?

October 21, 2009 - 8:12am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Hi Susan, in regards to your silver fillings, depending on how old they are, many times the mercury vapors are released at night time and re-absorbed into the brain. The American Dental Association is divided on this issue so make sure to contact a dentist that has been trained in holistic dentistry and knows how to measure the vapor emissions. My blood mercury levels dropped by 50% as soon as my silver fillings were removed and so did the short term memory symptoms.

January 11, 2009 - 8:33pm
Kelley Howard

Dear Island Girl:

I was in my early 40's when I started to notice the same type of short term memory problems which was combined with anxiety attacks, I truly thought I was loosing my mind. After a year and a half I figured out my body was lacking the proper amount of testosterone. I started to use a little compounded testosterone crease once a day and my mind is as sharp as when I was in my 20's and 30's and I have not had any anxiety attacks. Women can start to experience pre menopausal symptoms as early as their late 30's. I suggest you find a good doctor to get a complete blood work up to check your hormone levels to start. We have lots of information on this site about getting your hormone levels checked. When I started on the testosterone cream it was as it some one turned on a light, I started feeling like my old self again. There are some great books on this topic as well. If you would like more information on this, Susanc can get some links to you for more information on this subject if you are interested. Much Success, Kelley

January 11, 2009 - 10:41am
Island Girl

Hi Susan,
Didn't do so great on the memory test. I did great on the first two but then tanked after that. Thanks for all the information you've provided great resources. I have had my thyroid and sugar tested and both are normal. I do have issues with sleep and could do better on my B12 intake. I'm keeping track of all my symptoms for my doctors visit.

Hi Anonymous, Mercury poisoning?! I don't eat a lot of fish, I'm not an artist or dentist and work place is great. However, I do have a few silver fillings in my mouth. Something to look into and consider as well. I'll make sure to mention this to my doctor as well.

Again thanks to both of you for your comments and information.

~Island Girl

January 11, 2009 - 8:57am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I had the same problem in my late thirties, it turned out to be mercury poisoning. Have a specialized doctor (i.e. environmental health or preventive health provider) request mercury levels in your blood and urine. Do you eat a lot of fish? Where do you work in terms of your working space? Are you an artist? Dentist? Do you have too many silver feelings in your mouth?

January 10, 2009 - 2:36pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

Island Girl -

I'd mention it to your doctor the next time you have a visit. If this is happening every day, I would put a call in now. Better safe than sorry. If it's one of those frustrating things that happens a couple of times a week, you might be able to hold off till your next scheduled annual.

Ask yourself-

How is your diet, in particular you intake of vitamin B12?
B12 can be found in liver, wild salmon and eating organic eggs, chicken and cheese can give you a good supply. Raw cow's milk is another source.

How much sleep are you getting?
Most adults need an average of 7-8 hours of sleep every night. If you are getting less than that, it's very common to suffer memory loss as well as anxiety.

Have you had your thyroid checked?
A less than optimal thyroid can cause memory loss. Have your levels checked - it starts with a simple blood test.

Is your blood sugar normal?
If not, again this can trigger problems with memory

In the meantime, there are ways to improve memory. Crosswords, Sudoku and puzzles help with memory, as do board games. Taking some night classes in a subject you enjoy or find challenging keeps your brain working, as does physical exercise and an active and busy social life. Read and learn about a subject you don't know much about, in order to exercise your brain.

And here is a list of foods (from Manage Your Life Now) known to be good for memory:

1. Green leafy vegetables, spinach, cabbage, lettuce
2. Broccoli and cauliflower
3. Fruit juice, fruit
4. Various kinds of berries, pomegranates
5. Nuts
6. Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel
7. Olive oil and other vegetable oils

(www.manageyourlifenow.com)

And again, if you are worried that this may be something more than fatigue or general, run-of-the-mill forgetfulness, put a call into your doctor.

I hope this helps!

January 10, 2009 - 12:23pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

I am a believer that yes, it could be definitely tied to hormones (I think we vastly under estimate the power of hormones in our bodies and how they affect so much of our bodies and brains).

Some of what you are talking about would seem like short-term memory loss (knowing something and then forgetting it within 30 seconds) some seems more long term. I also think what you are experiencing is fairly normal. I'm in my late 30s too and have run upstairs purposely for something many times and by the time I get to the top, I can't remember why I'm there. It's frustrating and I have to go back down and stand where I stood before to try to remember. For me, much of it is due to fatigue.

I'm going to look into it more for you and tell you my findings by the end of the day.

Did you take that short term test? How did you fare?

January 10, 2009 - 8:14am
Island Girl

Wow..Susan thanks for your quick response!

I'm in my late 30's and to me short-term memory loss is: having to write everything down because I can't remember what I need to do. Walking into the next room and forget why I was going there. Calling my husband and forgetting why I called him. Looking at something in front of me and can't remember what it's called (example book, car, oven etc.).

I have a feeling it's tied to hormones because I have also been feeling tired all the time. Is there a connection?

January 10, 2009 - 8:06am
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

Hi Island Girl

Thanks for your question. Firstly question - how old are you? It does matter in terms of any kind of memory loss.

Also, what do you consider short term memory loss? Most people think it means a few days or weeks but it's actually defined as being more mathematical. Most people can remember the first seven letters or numbers for something, for example, without needing it repeated. For example, if someone tells you their phone number; 555-2358, you can write it down straight away after hearing it, without needing it said again. You more than likely couldn't do this the next day. But that would not be considered a short-term memory issue. Short term memory really is short!

Short term memory loss is common in younger people in their 20 and 30s for many reasons. One is that our brain actually starts losing cells by the time we're in our 20s! How depressing is that?!

There are also some reasons why someone in their 20s and 30s would forget something that was told to them a few seconds before. One is having children. Having babies means sleep deprivation and it's pretty constant for several years. Someone who has two or three children in close succession can expect to be lacking in sleep for many years without a break (this I know!) and can very much cause short term memory loss. Someone can ask you something and you literally can't process what they mean and need it repeated again. Or you hang up the phone and cannot remember the street number that someone gave you several seconds before.

There are then different reasons as we get older.

Are you thinking more long-term memory loss, perhaps? Like you left a book somewhere a few days ago and then have no idea where it is? Or did someone tell you to meet them at a certain place and the next day you can't remember where? This is not short-term memory. Short term memory means being able to recall something said or done several seconds ago, not longer.

Fill us in just a little bit more, on the type of memory loss you are talking about and we'll help you more!

In the meantime, take this short-term memory test here:

http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/stm0.html

January 10, 2009 - 7:58am
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