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What Type Of Doctor Do I See For Memory Loss?

The type of doctor you see for memory loss is usually your general practitioner. Your doctor will ask some questions to evaluate if there is or is not a problem.  It’s helpful for a lot of people to have a friend or family member along to offer insight as an observer.

Examples of questions that may be asked include:

  • When did you start noticing memory loss problems?
  • Have you recently been ill?
  • Have you recently started any new medications?
  • Has there been any major life changes recently?
  • How often and how much of over the counter, dietary supplements, and prescription medications do you use?
  • Do you drink, If so how much and how often?
  • Do you find any task problematic?
  • Do you struggle with anxiety, depression, or feel sad?
  • Have you recently injured your head in an accident?

In addition to questions the doctor will likely order tests of your blood and possibly tests that show the condition of your brain.  These can either show or rule out issues that may contribute to memory loss.  In some cases, patients are referred to specialists such as psychiatrists, psychologists, neurologists, or geriatricians.

A Diagnosis Is The Start To Healing

As hard as it is for us to find out that we have any type of health challenge; facing it head on is key.   Whether it’s diabetes or memory loss the sooner we are open to getting tested the sooner we can be treated.  In both cases there are reversible conditions that affect our bodies and minds.  While it’s normal to try to compensate for a lack of memory with post it note to hide memory problems it delays diagnosis and treatment.

Like most things the longer you wait the harder it gets.  The sooner you go and receive testing the more that can be done to reverse or minimize the affects of memory loss.  Some of the benefits to treating memory problems include:

  • Starting memory loss treatments
  • Understand symptoms and learning to manage them
  • Decide on which types of care fit best for the future
  • Choose when home care starts or when to move to assisted living
  • Plan for and handle legal or financial situations

After talking to your doctor about your memory loss he will likely have resources such associations and organizations to help with the symptoms of dementia or memory loss.

Types Of Reversible Memory Loss

There are some fairly common memory loss causes that are reversible.  While a person might exhibit dementia like symptoms, they are not a definitive sign that there is Alzheimer’s.

Some of the reversible causes of memory loss are:

  • Hypothyroidism – When your thyroid isn’t working right it can result in mental cloudiness and forgetting things. It is treatable with inexpensive medications.
  • Alcoholism – While occasional drinking has little affect heavy chronic alcoholism will cause a loss of mental abilities. In addition medications can react to alcohol causing memory loss.
  • Head injuries – If you receive a blow to the head it’s possible to have some memory issues.
  • Medications – There are some medications or combinations of meds that cause memory loss.
  • Emotional disorders – Problems such as anxiety, depression, and stress make it hard to focus and remember.
  • Diseases of the brain – Infections and tumors can also cause symptoms that mirror dementia.

These disorders are reversible and with treatment can restore greater memory function.  Talk with your doctor about these potential conditions to help nail down what’s happening in your life.

Normal Memory Loss vs. Dementia

It’s normal as we age to have some memory loss that doesn’t affect quality of life.  We often can’t remember a name but recall it later.  Or we misplace our keys and find them after some searching.  These are the types of memory challenges most of us face and can be managed with lists and habits such as key hooks.

In contrast dementia includes less manageable memory loss symptoms.  These will include things like using the wrong words for things such as couch and car.  Other symptoms include forgetting common works, asking the same questions over and over, getting lost in familiar places, taking a longer time to follow simple instructions, or changes in behavior and mood without a cause.

Memory Care Communities

We proudly offer Arizona’s best memory care services to provide a safe and comfortable environment to seniors with memory challenges.  To learn more about how you can take advantage of our memory care services in Arizona please give us a call at 480-348-0300.

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