Louise Hallinan

How to help your memory now and avoid future memory problems

How to help your memory now and avoid future memory problems

It is possible to help your memory now to avoid memory problems in the future. There are a lot of causes of memory problems, some we can do something about, others we need to be aware of.

I met up with my good friend Margaret the other day for a cup of tea and catchup.  It was great to see her again and we were discussing how our various other friends were getting along.

She told me that she had recently noticed some of her friends had started to become forgetful in one way or another.  One of her friends, Sarah, had a fall in her own home. It was just a little fall, but serious enough to result in a broken hip. Now she is in hospital after having hip surgery. Margaret told me that when she went to visit Sarah in hospital, she did not recognise her at all.  It appeared that her memory had been affected somehow by her hip surgery.  Had it been the anaesthetics that were used during surgery?  She is only 69 years old.

Margaret noticed another one of her friends, Olive, was also getting very forgetful. On one occasion, Olive was driving home from an afternoon of shopping and had got lost driving back to her own home. Olive has been living in the same house for 20 years. Extremely distressed she called her daughter who had located where her mother was and picked her up in her own car and drove her home.

If memory problems are ignored or dismissed, they do get worse and over a long period of time, I believe they may lead to early Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Alzheimer’s disease or dementia used to be an older person’s disease, but now it is striking those aged under 65 years – younger onset dementia is affecting some even in their 30’s and 40’s.

Lifestyle and health conditions

I believe one of the many reasons why this is happening is due our modern lifestyle. The foods we eat are heavily processed, with many additives, colouring, preservatives, flavouring and extra sugar and salt added. When it comes to drinks, a lot of people do not drink much water at all. Their preferred drinks are usually sugary soft drinks or artificially sweetened ‘diet’ drinks and packaged juices. This type of eating habit together with a lack of exercise due to sitting at the computer or watching television for hours is definitely going to have adverse effects on your brain health.

There are also many health conditions that are causes of memory problems. Each one of us has a unique set of health conditions and/or weaknesses. When you experience any signs or symptoms, they are signals from your body to let you know that something is not quite right and you should do something about it. When these health symptoms are ignored, they don’t go away, they usually get worse over time.

Our health is vitally important. Good health is one thing that we take for granted until we get sick. Then all we want to do is get better again, as quick as possible.

Your signs and symptoms

Now that you understand that both your lifestyle and various health conditions are causes of memory problems, you can start to take preventive action. The solution for you is to really pay attention to the signs and symptoms you are experiencing.  Your body will let you know. Are you getting heart palpitations? Do you get dizzy? Do you have an upset stomach after eating a particular food? Do you get tightness in your neck when you are stressed? Do you get breathless walking up a hill? These and many more, are clues to help you to pay attention and do something about it and not to ignore these signs and symptoms.

7 helpful tips

Here are 7 tips to help you to look after your memory and brain health:

  1. Be more aware of any signs or symptoms that you are experiencing – these are important clues from your body.
  2. Sit down and write a list of all the signs and symptoms that you have noticed.
  3. Which of these signs and symptoms have been around the longest?
  4. Which of these have worsened over time?
  5. Do something about these symptoms. Visit your doctor or health professional for their advice and assistance to resolve these.
  6. Check out your pantry and look at the ingredients list on the packaged foods and drinks. If you see (950), (951), (621) or Fructose, then avoid those products as these ingredients are harming your brain health.
  7. Have short breaks when at the computer or watching television and go for a walk. Your memory and your brain health depend on you – so start today!

Louise Hallinan is an international award-winning author of Smart Brain, Healthy Brain, a natural medicine practitioner and founder of the Smart Brain Health Centre which specialises in helping Baby Boomers and Generation X mothers avoid the risk of dementia.