You walk into the kitchen only to realize you have no idea why you’re there, forget the name of someone you just met, start driving only to realize you forgot how to get to where it is that you’re going. Such lapses are usually attributed to an overload of information, but from time to time, other things hinder your ability to remember. Here are the 13 most common causes of memory lapses.
1. Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Similarly to iron, B12 aids in the creation of red blood cells, reduces lethargy and the risk of anemia, and improves vital memory processes. A recent study found that Vitamin B12 deficiency may result in erratic memory.
The research found that B12 works as a protective layer for myelin – the substance that coats our nerves. When there isn’t enough B12 in your system, the layer is not thick enough and gets damaged. This damage slows down nerve impulses, which can also lead to memory lapses.
B12 deficiency can be caused by old age – the older we get, our stomach secretes less acid, making it harder for our bodies to absorb nutrients from food. Another cause can be unhealthy diet choices, Anemia, and Crohn’s disease. B12 is most common in fish, meat, and dairy, so consult your doctor about the best source of B12 for you.
2. High Blood Pressure
If you’re under 45 and tend to be “forgetful”, you may want to test your blood pressure. In a research conducted at the University of Alabama, it was found that people who have higher blood pressure tend to suffer from memetic lapses, as well as a decrease in cognitive skills, when compared to people with normal blood pressure.
High blood pressure damages the inner walls of the arteries, causing them to tear and form scar tissue, which hardens the arteries. Harder arteries allow less blood to travel through them, reducing the amount needed for the brain to function properly, and may lead to memory problems.
The good news is that a healthy diet, physical exercise and weight loss can help reduce the risk of such arterial hardening.
If you’re tired, gaining weight, feeling depressed and your memory is on the fritz, you may be suffering from hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism often occurs slowly and gradually, lowering the levels of the hormone thyroxine (T4), which has a critical role in our body’s energy production. Low T4 causes a slower metabolism and slower cognitive functions, causing lapses in memory.
Common causes of hypothyroidism can be autoimmune diseases such as Hashimoto’s, where the body attacks itself. Alternatively, viral infections and even abuse of antibiotics may also induce hypothyroidism.