Hello and welcome to the second last blog of the year!! I suppose many of you have thought that you wouldn’t get here, after this crazy year that we are all experiencing.
During this time, some of you may have been experiencing these things due to isolation from COVID and its impact on your home/work or, because you have entered perimenopause/menopause.
In this blog, I hope to bring some understanding to what some of the reasons are as to why you may be feeling anxious and, how this can have an impact on memory and brain function. Sometimes it is hard to say which came first, anxiety or forgetfulness as one affects the other. And, there as so many contributing factors that can trigger anxiety and forgetfulness which I will try to give you a brief overview of. Otherwise, this will become an essay!
What is anxiety?
Anxiety (or stress) is a normal part of your biological function, as this is what gets you motivated to do things. It becomes a problem when this function goes into overdrive, which places stress on your body and brain.
Anxiety is caused by your brain being over excited. That is, your brain cells are permanently ‘switched on’, due to over production of glutamate; having no time to rest and be relaxed due to reduced glutamine levels. Or from lack of sleep, due to low levels of dopamine.
This can be due to the prolonged stress that you have been experiencing. Or it can be due to –
- Histamine intolerance
- Iron deficiency
- B12 deficiency
- Hormone imbalance
- Folate deficiency
- Lack of sleep
- Food allergies
- Work/home imbalance
- Too much pressure from work
- Poor gut health
How does stress fit in?
Stress, as discussed in other blogs, raises your levels of Cortisol putting a strain on your adrenal gland and your whole body – keeping you in the Fight or Flight mode!
When you enter this mode, your body puts many normal biological activities on hold which it considers to be a low priority, such as –
- digestion of food
- absorption of nutrients
- intestinal function
And it over stimulates other functions, which your body considers as a priority, such as –
- making more glucose
- your brain more alert
- heart rate increases
This then leads you to enter a vicious cycle, as the stress causes anxiety and, the anxiety feeds your stress! Then stress and anxiety begin to affect other areas of your health.
If you have any concerns, please see your doctor. I am also here to support you in any way that you need.