Brain Freeze – am I getting Alzheimers?


Brain Freeze – am I getting Alzheimers?

Are you  forgetting why you just walked from the kitchen to the living room.

If you’re over the age of 40 and forgetting why you just walked from the kitchen to the living room.  Most likely there’s no need to go for an Alzheimers’ test or a brain scan—it’s a normal part of aging, especially when you’re stressed—but it may be time to learn how to meditate  and time management techniques.

The culprit in brain freeze is cortisol, a hormone released by the adrenal glands in response to stress. Chronic stress which defines most people over 40, can contribute to brain fog, but add to that a more extreme stressor such as the death of a loved one; an accident or serious illness in the family; job loss; moving, or divorce, and memory can really take a dive. Anesthesia during surgery and prescription drugs such as prednisone, sleeping pills, statins and anti-anxiety drugs can also interfere with memory. Performers and public speakers often take the blood pressure drug propranolol an hour or two before an event, which effectively blocks stage fright, but can also cause dizziness, lightheadedness and yes, memory loss.

Cortisol rise quickly in an emergency situation. Chronically high cortisol can cause irritability, inability to focus, a dysfunctional immune system and increased appetite because of elevated insulin levels.  At some point the adrenals become worn out and the resulting low cortisol levels cause chronic fatigue.

Chronically high cortisol can present with symptoms of low thyroid or progesterone and test normal for them. Low progesterone can cause oestrogen dominance, which can cause foggy thinking, memory loss and thyroid dysfunction. Thyroid dysfunction can cause brain fog which makes it challenging to retrieve memories.

When cortisol levels go down, memory quickly returns. Meditation is one of the best ways to manage stress.  The best meditation techniques can be done anytime, anywhere, and teach you to gently redirect your mind and be in the present moment. The anytime, anywhere part is important—trying to find a quiet place to sit or lie down with closed eyes in the middle of the day can be stressful!

Simply getting organized and if there are too many things on the list for that day, prioritize and choose the ones that really need to get done now.  If you struggle with this get professional help.

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