What helps with memory loss: Chemo brain treatment

Does Chemo brain ever go away?

Though chemo brain is a widely used term, the causes of concentration and memory problems during and after cancer treatment are not well-understood, leading to no known cure or treatment.

However, there are some simple techniques that can help you to learn how to cope with the symptoms. In most cases, cancer-related memory problems are temporary, but each patient is different. Some may take a year or more after treatment to feel normal again. The following contains simple techniques to help you when you have trouble concentrating and remembering. 

Natural treatment for chemo brain

1. Avoid Distractions
When you need to focus, try this in an uncluttered, peaceful environment. This can help you stay focused for longer periods of time.

2. Organise your environment
Keep things in familiar places so it’s easier to remember where they are.

3. Train yourself to focus
If you keep misplacing items, take extra time to think about or picture what you’re doing every time you put something down. Or try saying it out loud to yourself, “I’m putting my phone on my dresser.” Then look at it again, and repeat. Hearing cues may give your memory an extra boost.

4. Listen to music
Music can boost the brain’s production of the hormone dopamine. This increased dopamine production helps relieve feelings of anxiety and depression, which causes chemo brain. 

5. Do something practical
When feeling stress try getting out of your head and into your senses which can bring you back to the here and now. This can be as simple as sucking on a sweet or popping bubble wrap, or maybe try arts and crafts.

6. Play with a pet
Bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness.

7. Use a detailed daily planner, notebooks, reminder notes, or your smartphone
Keeping everything in one place makes it easier to find the reminders you may need, keep track of appointments and schedules, to-do lists, important dates ect. Try sticking notes around the house to help remind you. Never be afraid to ask family and friends for help, we all need help at some point!

What are the symptoms of chemo brain?

Symptoms from cognitive changes can be frustrating and debilitating, especially when cancer and cancer treatment can lead to other side effects. This can include, anaemia, depression, sleep problems and anxiety, which may worsen memory problems. With time, you'll find ways to adapt so that concentration will become easier and memory problems may fade. Until then, know that this is a common problem that's likely to improve with time. Controlling these side effects below may make it easier to cope during cancer treatment.

1.  Anaemia 
Eat iron rich foods and food containing vitamin C. You can enhance your body's absorption of iron by drinking citrus juice or eating other foods rich in vitamin C at the same time that you eat high-iron foods.

2. Sleep Problems
Increase bright light during the day to help keep your circadian rhythm healthy and take shorter naps during the day. Check out out power nap blog for more info. Or try relaxation techniques before bed have been shown to improve sleep quality and is another common technique used to treat insomnia. 

3. Fatigue 
Healthy eating, keeping hydrated and exercise are great ways to reduce fatigue or check out our blog - Herbal teas to boost energy 

4.  Stress
The following will lower stress levels. Take a walk to your favourite place, yoga, deep breathing and Aromatherapy.  

For more help read our blog -  'Nutrition Tips for Cognitive Changes'

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