If you find it difficult to find the right word, remember a phone number, and perform routine tasks that take an unusually long time, you should definitely make an appointment with a doctor. Yes, all of this can be a signal of a neurological disorder, but if you are 40 or slightly older, then memory problems are more likely to indicate other diseases.
The lower the level of hemoglobin in the blood, the less oxygen the brain receives and, accordingly, the more difficult it is for it to cope with its tasks. If you have been diagnosed with anemia for a long time, be sure to monitor your hemoglobin level and take action if it falls (and memory impairment and cognitive decline are a red flag for you, warning that it’s time for another check). If you have not suffered from anemia before, take a general blood test and pay attention to your hemoglobin level: if it is below 120 g / l, you need to make an appointment with a doctor.
Any inflammation inevitably causes intoxication – poisoning. And the stronger it is, the greater the negative load on the brain, the more difficult it is for it to cope with tasks. Anyone who has ever had the flu or a severe ARVI remembers this feeling when the convolutions seem to barely move, and any tasks that were previously solved almost by themselves now require almost supernatural efforts. Take a general blood test, pay attention to the indicators of leukocytes and ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate): if they are high, most likely, an inflammatory process occurs in the body, and it’s time to see a doctor.
Diseases of the thyroid gland
The two most common diseases of the thyroid gland, hypo-, and hyperthyroidism, are equally bad for our memory. With hypothyroidism, when the thyroid gland produces less specific hormones than our body needs, the metabolism slows down, and we ourselves experience a state resembling depression, which is accompanied, among other things, by a weakening of memory. If too many hormones are produced (hyperthyroidism), our nervous system is constantly in a state of overstrain, nerve cells are depleted, memory and cognitive abilities decrease. Make an appointment with an endocrinologist, check the condition of the thyroid gland, and get tested for the appropriate hormones – in any case, this should be done once a year, especially in those regions where there is a deficiency of iodine and sunlight.
Hypertension and hypotension
Both high (from 130/90 millimeters of mercury and above) and low (less than 110/70 millimeters of mercury) blood pressure badly affects memory and the ability to concentrate and process information. With increased pressure, the vessels become narrow and cannot provide sufficient blood supply to the brain, and with low pressure, the blood pressure in the arteries and vessels is too weak to deliver enough oxygen to the brain. Control your blood pressure, especially if you are over 40 years old – this is one of the most important indicators of our health.
The main source of energy for nerve cells is glucose. With diabetes, there is a lot of it in the blood, however, due to increased insulin tolerance, the “fuel” cannot penetrate the cell, and our brain is forced to exist on a starvation diet. If you feel unusually impaired memory, as well as weakness, constant thirst, and an unusually frequent need to visit the toilet, do not delay, check your blood glucose level. Diabetes mellitus is very serious (and it is also one of the diseases that seriously increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease).
Up to 10 percent of our weight comes from the so-called exchangeable volume of fluid. If we do not replenish daily the water that we lose during sleep, physical activity, or simply metabolic processes, our body literally suffocates from thirst. Can our brain function normally in this state? The question is rhetorical. Have a glass of water, please. Right now.