Oh, Man, Where Did I Leave My Glasses? Or, The Case of Middle-Age Memory Loss

This post is part of a continuing series on Writing Our Next Chapter Together.    Get comfy now in your favorite spot. Pour that glass of wine, cup of tea or coffee, whatever soothes you, and relax while you read.

Memory loss in mid-life is commonplace. It’s also annoying, frustrating and makes us feel OLD. What it isn’t, is a symptom of the bigger fear of disappearing into our own little world, never to return. The Fear of Alzheimer’s…duhn, duh, duhn, duhn. 

The difference? Forgetting to lock the door when you leave the house–forgetting where you live. Forgetting where you left your glasses–forgetting you wear glasses. Forgetting to put on your lipstick before company arrives–forgetting who your guests are. Clear?

So, you ask, is there any way to prevent or improve memory loss?

Funny you should ask! I happen to have 3 reasons memory loss happens and what medical studies show can prevent loss or improve your memory.

1.  Age-related changes in brain function – Some degree of memory lapse is due to normal aging. Some people will experience more, and some less than others. It is no longer believed that significant memory loss is automatically associated with old age. It was once believed that brain cells, or neurons, did not regenerate once they died. Modern research found that new neurons and new connections between neurons can grow well into old age.

2. Lack of sufficient use – Doctors believe that brain cells are like muscles, the more they are used, the stronger they are and the better they function. It always comes back to that old adage…”Use it, or lose it.” 

3. Health problems – Studies have found that the presence of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes results in a greater loss of memory. Obesity plays a part, also. Diabetics, the obese, and some healthy people metabolize sugar more slowly than others, and the longer glucose remains in the bloodstream instead of being metabolized into body tissues, the less fuel the brain has to store memories.

Be aware that stress, depression, and insomnia can also adversely affect memory.

What can you do to improve your memory or prevent memory loss? 

Though-provoking activities, reading and learning can ‘exercise’ your brain and improve it’s ability to store information. Beyond using your brain power, you should also:

* Eat a healthy diet and exercise                                                                                                      

* Lower your cholesterol, reduce your blood pressure, manage your diabetes

I know what you’re thinking – these are the answers you hear for all of your problems. You’re right, and the doctors who advise us are right. The nutrients in healthy foods nourish all of our organs, including the brain. Exercise makes the blood flow throughout your body, including to your brain. Managing your other health issues protects our organs from damage, including your brain. Adopting a healthier lifestyle will improve the function of all of your parts.

Admittedly, some memories are best forgotten. Live a clean and healthy life anyway, for those memories will be the sweetest.

What’s your funniest story about being forgetful?

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6 thoughts on “Oh, Man, Where Did I Leave My Glasses? Or, The Case of Middle-Age Memory Loss

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  5. I have a terrible memory built in to my genetics (since I was a kid my mother has always told me I need a secretary), which means instead of simply keeping my memory up to par, I’ve fashioned much of my life around keeping myself surrounded by reminders. I don’t think there’s a single time I leave the house without going back to my room to get something I forgot. So, on my way out the door, I mentally review everything I might need for the day, fully expecting to drop my purse in the car and turn around!

    It works 95% of the time, and keeps me in a positive attitude!

    This is a lovely article; I’m going to keep tabs on for when (rather than if) my memory skills start to go downhill.

    • Valerie, you have no idea how happy you just made a group of Baby Boomers! If a young woman like you relies on lists and other reminders, maybe it’s not just our age! Thanks for coming by!

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