View Full Version : Memory loss: Possible medical issue?
07-11-2005, 02:51 PM
I used to have a frighteningly good memory. I learned quickly, I could recite entire conversations (even insignificant ones) and passages from books word-for-word, and the like.
In the last few years, though, I've noticed I'm not only becoming more and more forgetful about day-to-day stuff, but I'm not remembering random things I don't work at learning any more. I'll forget whole discussions I've had with DH — just completely forget that we discussed a topic at all. I'll forget to do things, even if I've made a special mental note to do so: all of this is completely abnormal for me. At first I was thinking it was just mommy brain (sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, and the like), but it doesn't seem to be getting better even though DS is sleeping through the night and my hormones are starting to return to normal as he breastfeeds less and less. And looking back, I'm not certain it entirely correlates with pregnancy and motherhood (though it may — I'm not certain either way on this one).
This is really starting to bother me. :( DH suggested there may be something medically wrong (he mentioned that low cholesterol can cause memory problems), but I'd like to have something I can try to research first and maybe even try on my own, particularly since I have yet to find a GP I trust in Chicago. (Waiting in part until our insurance changes, though I don't know when that will be.)
Relevant details: I'm 25 (way too young for memory function to be declining, I think) and I'm on Zoloft (can that cause memory troubles?).
Any thoughts on what might be the problem? (If you think it might be mommy brain/overwork, feel free to say that, too; the thought that it might improve naturally once my situation changes a little would cheer me up immensely.)
07-11-2005, 03:30 PM
I do think pregnancy brain is a very real "event" and can continue for months after a woman births. In addition, I think most of us have had those moments where things we were suppose to remember...even easy things, are forgotten and we panic and think about alzheimers. Your DH may be on the right track. Considering medical reasons is always prudent. This is what I would check: Are you getting the appropriate amount of the B vitamins and amino acids? These nutrients are key to maintaining healthy blood and our brains are sheathed (for lack of a better word) in blood. So it stands to reason if your blood is unhealthy, it disrupts nourishment to the brain and its cells. Also, check for high cholesterol. If the blood is full of chloesterol and trigylcerides, it is not healthy.
Neurotransmitters are essential brain chemicals that act as an electrical switch if you will. If the brain does not receive an adequate supply of these or the nutrients to make them, it is acts as a short circuit, which is why our minds go "blank" in mid-sentence perhaps.
And lastly, check for free radical exposure (alcohol, drugs), hypoglycemia, allergies, stress, thyroid disorder and circulatory disorder. If you would feel more comfortable, please message me and I will give you info on herbal and supplementation recommendations to enhance your memory function.
I had a similar complaint a couple of years ago, before I had children though. My doctor ordered bloodwork and it was determined that I have a low functioning thyroid (hypothyroidism). Other common symptons are a general sluggish feeling, constant fatique (even when getting seemingly adequate sleep) and a hard time losing weight.
Just thought I'd throw one possibility out there especially since it's extremely underdiagnosed but it easy to diagnose and treat. HTH!
07-11-2005, 05:18 PM
I'm going through exactly the same thing! Last night I was joking with dh that one good side effect is that programs we tivo are always new to me because I can't remember watching them. Believe me, this is not normal for me either. All my life I've had an excellent memory, especially for spelling. Now I have the hardest time spelling anything. I'm actually really worried about this, but refuse to go to the doctor. I feel like he sees me enough as it is, don't want to take up all his time.
07-11-2005, 07:01 PM
Thyroid disorders are super common in women after having children. Your body goes through all these hormone surges with pregnancy, childbirth and the post-partum period, that it's easy for one thing to get off kilter. It wouldn't hurt to get things checked out and maybe treating the problem, if there is something medical behind it.
Keep us posted!
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Mom to Gabe, 8/03
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07-11-2005, 07:49 PM
I agree. "Brain fog", as it's called, can be a symptom of low thyroid function. Testing your thyroid function only requires a simple blood test so it wouldn't hurt to check it out. When my thyroid levels were off again PP I was scatterbrained and found it harder to focus and concentrate. It's better now that I'm back to normal levels but I still think there is some mommy brain in me - I also used to have a photographic memory, etc., but that seems to have gone by the wayside. Sigh....
07-11-2005, 08:03 PM
It's funny I was just thinking the same thing about myself recently. Although I never had a photographic memory lately it has been a lot worse since DD. I guess I'll have to look into a few things.
07-11-2005, 08:05 PM
Add me to the list. I lose track of what i'm saying mid-conversation. Often. I wasn't like this before I was pg.
I had my thyroid tested pre pregnancy but maybe I should get a repeat. Thanks for the reminder (it was normal before). I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) which can be tied to insulin resistance in many women. Brain fog is also symptom of IR. I never tested positive for insulin resistance but there aren't any perfect tests for it, so perhaps it is that and breastfeeding.
07-12-2005, 03:52 AM
Not to discount a medical issue if there is one, but your story sounds a lor like mine. I too am 25, Toby is 2 and I went from pre-baby having a memory that was remarkably sharp(could recall, word for word, page for page, pages from text books as I took exams, questions on exams I took years ago, entire conversations, 100s of phone numbers etc) to about 1 year later being the person who forgets my glasses are on my head. It was embarrassing. Happily my memory seems to be recovering. My doctor said that the sleed adjustment can be a big factor with new parents. I would consult a doctor but be fairly sure you will bounce back from it!
07-12-2005, 04:32 PM
Thanks for the reassurance, Katie, and thanks for the suggestions on what to investigate, everyone else. DH has suggested I find out what insurance plans are accepted by the doctor I'd like to see (several recommendations for the same doctor from different sources), and we can get onto one of those plans, and I can go and check things out. I'll keep you all posted if I do find anything out.
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