Before you panic, there’s some good news: “The vast majority of people who are healthy will not have a degenerative neurological condition causing short-term memory loss,” says Dr Lyden. But dementia or Alzheimer’s is a possibility in some groups. If you’re over 60 and have risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity, then you may be more prone to problems and need to be evaluated, he says.
If you lead a healthy lifestyle, eat right, exercise, and go easy on alcohol and other substances that can harm memory, yet you still feel like your memory if failing, talk to your doctor about your medications – prescription and over-the-counter, advises Dr Lyden. Cholesterol drugs, painkillers, high blood pressure pills and sleeping pills are among the drugs that can trigger memory issues.
When you have an underactive thyroid, everything in your body runs slower. Your digestion will slow and you can become constipated; cell growth slows and can lead to hair loss; your metabolism becomes sluggish, triggering weight gain. And you may be plagued by muddied thinking or forgetfulness. Often, medication to restore thyroid hormones can help alleviate symptoms and help you feel better all over.