6 Common Causes of Memory Loss

blood sugar levels

Forgetting why you went into a room or where your put your keys is quite common and can occur even in young people. However, once you start forgetting things too frequently, it is time to start exploring whether you might have memory issues. The cause of your memory issues may be obvious but, in many cases, it is not. In this article, we will look at the most common causes of memory loss so you can tell whether your memory loss is caused by or is an indicator of something more serious.

Poor Sleep

Adults should sleep an average of 7 to 9 hours every night. However, we live very busy lives and this can lead to some of us not getting enough sleep. Poor or inadequate sleep is one of the most common reasons for short-term memory loss. If you do not remedy this, poor sleep can have an even larger impact on your memory where you find yourself forgetting large chunks of your life.

If you have difficulty sleeping, try following a regular sleep schedule, get a better mattress, ensure your bedroom is decorated for sleep, and use a light-blocking sleep mask and curtains. You can also try to relax before bed by meditating listening to calming music, taking a relaxing shower, or using a white noise machine.


Recent research has shown that, in addition to all the other effects of obesity you may be familiar with, it also causes memory issues. Fitness reduces obesity and can have an impact on our memory in other ways. Brain-derived-neurotrophic-factor (BDNF) is produced when we exercise and it has a massive effect on our memories.

This factor also shows in lower amounts in people who are depressed than those who are not, and in those with Alzheimer’s. Increasing the intensity and frequency of your workouts can lead to significant memory improvements over about three months according to recent research.

Vitamin Deficiency

Nutritional deficiencies can have an impact on several areas and present as ailments like scurvy. New research has shown that vitamins also have a huge effect on our memories, with the effects of a vitamin deficiency ranging from mild to severe memory loss.

Vitamindeficiencies that lead to memory loss include vitamins A, B12, C, D, and folic acid. If you have any memory issues stemming from vitamin deficiencies, do talk to your doctor before increasing your vitamin intake.


An obvious explanation for memory loss is Alzheimer’s and related dementias. The memory loss caused by these dementias can present as difficulty remembering names, places, people, or even recent events. While not all seniors have or will have dementia, the risk of developing it increases as we get older.

The good news is that there are tests available that can tell if you are at risk of developing dementia so you can take steps to slow it down. Dementia is a progressive disease and although it does not have any cure, there are various steps that you can take to ensure your loved one lives a comfortable life. These include having a doctor prescribe medications, ensuring they have people who care about them around them, and considering assisted living. Many assisted living facilities have special services for seniors suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s. Facilities like McKnight place, a senior living St Louis MO facility, have memory care services for seniors in addition to all other care services they offer.

Brain Tumors

Brain tumors can present as dementia and this is why some of them can be misdiagnosed, especially where there are no other symptoms or someone presents with very mild additional symptoms. As a tumor grows, it kills the cells surrounding it and this results in memory loss. The tumor’s location is often the biggest determinant of the extent of memory loss.

Chemotherapy used to treat certain tumors and cancers can also cause memory loss, although the link between cancer and memory loss has not been studied as extensively as it should be.


One of the reasons why diabetes is so devastating is that it affects multiple organs and parts of the body. Diabetes can be made worse by both hypo- and hyperglycemia and there is clinical proof that diabetes does have a huge impact on memory.

If you suspect that your memory issues are being caused by treated or untreated diabetes, it is always a good idea to reach out to your doctor to have it treated. It is also important to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels to ensure they stay within range so that hypo- or hyperglycemia does not cause further memory issues.

Losing your memories and forgetting things can be devastated. It is always a good idea to see a doctor so they can get to the root of the problem. While you may not be able to get your memory back in most cases, the interventions made might help you keep more of your memories.