Memory loss often comes with aging. Illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia affect older people who may have family members or relatives who suffered from these diseases. Nutritional deficiency; drug and alcohol abuse; tobacco; illnesses, like stroke and hypertension; head trauma; and some medicines can also cause memory loss.
Alzheimer’s disease, one of the most baffling causes of memory loss, can strike even at a younger age. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized with a progressive loss of brain cells. A patient experiences a slow decline in memory, thinking and reasoning skills.
Dr. Edwin Bien, an integrative medicine doctor, said to Radyo Klinika, that when a patient begins to forget simple things or tasks, or is having difficulty in solving simple numeric problems, like balancing the check book, is getting confused with his location, and is having difficulty in his vision and speech, and is losing coordination, then he is manifesting the early signs of memory loss.
Nutritional deficiency can be a cause. Bien said that prolonged deficiency in vitamin B12 and other B vitamins can cause irreversible neurological damages. Some experts say that too much fat in the diet can eventually be harmful to the brain cells, as well.
One of the most controversial causes of memory loss or brain cell damage is the aluminium. There hasn’t been a conclusive study yet on the effects of aluminium to the brain of a person. “But some people who died and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease showed increased levels of aluminium in their brains compared to other people who died without having Alzheimer’s when they were still living,” said Bien.
Aluminium is everywhere. It is in our cooking utensils (aluminium pots and pans, and other cooking tools), building materials, antiperspirants, toothpaste, astringent, antacids and even in our water.
“This is the reason why we have to change our cooking utensils to glass, or clay pots or stainless steel, and check our toothpaste and antiperspirants for the aluminium content. We have to limit our intake of aluminium so that this won’t affect our brain cells,” explained Bien.
One of the sources of aluminium is the antacid. Antacids, which has aluminium hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide, are used to relieve the pain of acid indigestion, bum stomach and heartburn.
“Because antacids are nonprescription medicines, people with stomach acid problems pop them like candies. Antacid overdose won’t only cause problems in the absorption of zinc and other minerals in the body, but its aluminium content can also destroy the brain cells and, eventually, cause memory loss, which is irreversible,” warned Bien.
Bien added that memory loss can also be prevented, especially in older people, if they will continue to be active and live a happy life.
“Reading, playing chess and other mind games, making friends or socializing, being active in community work and having a pet can enhance, and improve, the memory of older people,” advised Bien.
“Don’t lock them [older people] up. They must go outside, breathe some fresh air and exercise. And they need someone to talk to so that their neurons will continue on producing natural chemicals which can improve their brain function.”
Bien is a Family Medicine doctor who also practices alternative medicine. He sees patients at Le Bien Wellness in Cubao, Paranaque and Antipolo. Text him at 0999.414.5144.
Radyo Klinika is a recipient of the 2016 KBP Golden Dove Awards for Best Radio Magazine Program. It airs every Tuesday to Friday, 7 to 8 p.m. on DWIZ 882 KHZ AM and on Facebook Page: DWIZ 882. For interview requests, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at the Facebook Page: Radyo Klinika.
Image credits: Designua | Dreamstime.com