#348 Ooops!? Beware of side effects...

Did you know that memory loss is a common side effect of living with chronic pain? In a study performed in 2004, people living with chronic back pain were shown to suffer significantly greater loss of brain cells in the part of the brain dedicated to memory than healthy people. The researchers said it could be because the brain cells were under constant stress and working overtime in people living with chronic pain. I only heard about this research earlier this year, and I've got to say it explains a few things...

Like how I have trouble remembering the simplest things... I need to write everything down and even then stuff slides out of my head like on a non-stick frying pan. I just thought I was getting stupid in my, ehem, not so old age... but no, apparently it's perfectly normal. It would have been relieving if my doctor had told me about this, cause I thought I was losing my marbles there for a while. I have good phases and bad phases with this just like with the pain, and stress is a major contributing factor.

Many people find it depressing to hear about this kind of research, but I see it as an important tool for taking care of my health. The more I know about my condition/s, the more I can adapt and take precautions to minimize their impact. Now I can try memory training, and eat foods or supplements that are supposedly good for my brain. I can make sure to write lists and color code stuff,

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. Like all things, there are exceptions and/or shades of grey. I've been suffering from chronic pain for a few years (although I've improved my lot quite a bit) but I haven't seen any notable changes in my memory. It's thankfully still quite sharp. That said, I'm very meticulous and having a great memory has always been part of my identity. Maybe the value I give to it has overridden any negative factors? Or maybe chronic pain affects different individuals differently in the brain and I've been spared of that effect?