Everyone experiences loss of memory and concentration at some time or another. It can be worrying, although it doesn’t have to be. With short term memory loss, symptoms are often fleeting.
Poor memory often goes hand in hand with loss of focus and concentration. Symptoms of both overlap.
If certain symptoms seem to occur more frequently, knowing what causes bad memory and poor focus can point to effective prevention and treatment.
Fortunately, ancient medicines for brain health have been known for thousands of years. Modern scientific research now reveals the best of them.
The Most Serious Signs of Bad Memory
Let’s take a look at the signs of poor brain function that should concern you most. The short list below represents the most important symptoms to pay attention to.
- You have a hard time following plots in movies, TV programs, or books
- You’ve been told that you frequently repeat yourself
- You have memory lapses that can be frightening – e.g., forgetting whether you left the stove on or water running after leaving home
- You get lost even on familiar routes or when close to home
- You frequently misplace things (the key is frequently)
- You buy groceries or other goods, forgetting that you already have plenty of them at home
- You have a hard time keeping up with everyday tasks such as paying bills or cooking
- Your efforts to use lists, reminder notes, calendars, etc., are no longer helpful
- Your personality has changed, becoming impatient, quiet, or withdrawn
- You occasionally forget to eat or don’t remember whether you have eaten
- You worry that you are losing the ability to take care of yourself
- You get angry or defensive when others point out your memory lapses
- You feel challenged by ordinary choices such as what to wear for the day
- People close to you seem to be taking over simple tasks for you
- Daily life is starting to overwhelm you
You may have noticed some of these yourself. Either that, or friends or family have called your attention to them. A study in the journal Brain found that people around you can be even better at detecting early signs of potentially serious memory problems than expensive, high-tech clinical tests (2010).
The above symptoms are the most common signs of abnormal forgetfulness. Do not ignore them, especially if they worsen.
Adopting a Brain-Healthy Lifestyle
Ideally, finding out what causes poor memory would seem to be a good starting point for learning how to reverse it. Unfortunately, according to the online symptom checker at RightDiagnosis.com, there are 386 underlying health conditions that can cause forgetfulness.
The list includes a vast array of health conditions, including: AIDS, fibromyalgia, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease, stroke, thyroid disorders, Parkinson’s, West Nile virus, and tuberculosis.
In addition, in his book, Are Your Prescriptions Killing You?, Dr. Armon B. Neel, Jr., reveals that drug interactions are behind as many as 75% of dementia cases. Cholesterol-lowering drugs and sleeping pills are two of the biggest dangers to mental health.
Over-the-counter remedies can also cause memory problems. The most common offenders are treatments for allergies, coughs and colds, skin rashes, headaches, insomnia and pain.
A wide variety of medications that cause memory loss share a common effect. They block the formation of a crucial brain chemical called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter for learning and memory.
Adopting a brain-healthy lifestyle, therefore, would include consulting with your doctor about minimizing the effects of your health challenges, including reevaluating the prescription and over-the-counter medications that you might be taking.
You can also improve your memory and focus by getting enough quality sleep, eating a brain-healthy diet, and reducing daily stress. Each of these strategies comprises a separate topic that is big enough by itself to warrant a separate book. Indeed, many books are already available about them.
Revving Up Your Brain
Brain health, like all other parts of your body, depends on good nutrition. As mentioned above, consuming a ‘brain-healthy’ diet is important for mental health.
Good brain nutrition, of course, includes supplementing your food with all-natural nutraceuticals that specifically boost your brain power.
As also mentioned above, learning and memory depend on acetylcholine. Poor focus and bad memory, symptoms of which develop over time, occur gradually as acetylcholine levels drop.
Acetylcholine is one of many factors that make your brain work well.
A logical step toward revving up your brain, therefore, entails boosting the formation and activity of acetylcholine, other brain neurotransmitters, and a variety of additional substances that your brain depends on for optimal health.
This is where ancient medicine meets modern science, for your benefit. Folk medicines from herbs known to improve memory and mental acuity comprise a long list. Modern science has narrowed that list down with studies that reveal the most powerful among them.
Any such list must include the following brain-boosting supplements:
- Bacopa monnieri (2013)
- Ginseng (2013)
- Ginkgo biloba (2017)
- Medicinal mushrooms (e.g., Lion’s mane, reishi, snow fungus; 2007, 2015)
Whatever strategies you adopt for a brain-healthy lifestyle certainly will be enhanced by supplementing with these herbs and mushrooms.