Five Tips on How to Improve Your Memory

Pamela Cannaday by Pamela Cannaday | Licensed since 2011

This article was updated on: 09/15/2018

According to the National Institute on Aging, forgetfulness can be a normal part of aging. The brain changes with age. While some memory problems may be a sign of a serious condition like Alzheimer’s disease, other types of memory problems may be improved by taking steps to assure your physical and mental health.

How to improve your memory tip 1: check your thyroid

The thyroid is a gland in the throat, according to the Mayo Clinic. Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, is a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain hormones. Hypothyroidism is more common in women, especially women over age 60. Hypothyroidism can result in forgetfulness and other thinking problems. Hypothyroidism is diagnosed with a blood test and treated with the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine. Taking synthetic thyroid hormones may help you improve your memory.

How to improve your memory tip 2: take Vitamin B-12

Vitamin B-12 helps maintain healthy nerve cells, according to the Mayo Clinic. A vitamin B-12 deficiency is common in older adults and may cause memory problems. Foods such as beef liver, shellfish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and other dairy foods are rich in vitamin B-12 according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. You can also get supplemental B-12 from almost all multivitamins, a prescription form of B-12 given by injection or nasal gel, or sublingual tablet that dissolves in the mouth.

How to improve your memory tip 3: seek treatment for alcoholism

According to the Mayo Clinic, chronic alcoholism can impair mental abilities. Alcohol can also lead to memory loss by interacting with medications. According to the National Institute of Health, heavy or at risk drinking for men is more than 4 drinks a day or more 14 drinks per week. Heavy or at risk drinking for women is considered more than 3 drinks per a day or 7 per week. If you are concerned that you may have alcohol use disorder, see a health care provider for an evaluation.

How to improve your memory tip 4: watch your medications

Certain medications or combinations of medications can cause forgetfulness or confusion, according to the Mayo Clinic. Ask your doctor about the cognitive side effects of any medications you may be taking.

How to improve your memory tip 5: manage stress and anxiety

According to the Mayo Clinic, emotional disorders such as stress, anxiety and depression can cause forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating. According to the National Institute of Health, anxiety disorders are a generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both. Stress management techniques and medication can help people with anxiety disorders calm themselves, according to NIH.

If you want to improve your memory, you may also try challenging your brain. According to the American Psychological Association, learning a new language or playing a new musical instrument may help prevent memory problems or the development of dementia or Alzheimer’s.

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