Our bodies are built to withstand a certain number of stressors and maintain homeostasis, but if there are enough factors being thrown at us simultaneously, eventually we develop pathology.
It is part of the modern condition to have many competing demands on our attention at any given time. This rise of technology has meant that most of us carry a small computer with us at all times that is connected to the internet and ensures that we are always reachable. For working people, technology has frequently led to a blurred line between work and home life, especially now that people are working from home during the pandemic. Furthermore, most adults are juggling multiple demands on their attention whether they be financial stressors, family, politics, etc.
This is exhausting! When there are this many distractions running in the background, a person’s ability to focus, pay attention, and remember new information can be impacted and is stressful.
Other causes of poor memory or focus are more biological: poor sleep is a huge culprit, as is poor nutrition, blood sugar swings, overgrowth of certain microbes in the gut, or ingestion of certain substances (medications, alcohol, recreational drugs). Our bodies are built to withstand a certain number of stressors and maintain homeostasis, but if there are enough factors being thrown at us simultaneously, eventually we develop pathology.
Since the coronavirus lockdown began in March of 2020, we have seen a huge increase in the number of patients complaining about problems with their ability to focus and remember. Several patients have reported a new inability to read for pleasure despite being huge readers in the past. This is a sign that there are too many stressors occurring simultaneously affecting their focus. At Journey to Wellness, in addition to a full review of every system from head to toe, we work with our patients to ferret out their individual stressors in all aspects of their life.
We find that most cancer patients have had a major stressor with 5 years of their diagnosis. This means the cancer was already there, but the body was taking care of it until the stressor reduced the immune function. We can’t control what is happening in the wider world, but we can control how much media we consume, what foods and substances we put into our bodies, and how much sleep we get. Additionally, it is important to be using stress management tools. These can include exercising, music, and meditation (to name a few). Taking a whole-patient approach to health and healing is what sets naturopathic medicine apart from other branches of medicine.
If you find you are struggling with your memory, your ability to focus and your stress level, you may benefit from working with Dr. Bye to identify and treat the cause(s). Given the state of the world right now, it is even more important to be proactive about fostering wellness. If you are interested in making an appointment, please call Journey to Wellness, and make an appointment with Dr. Cynthia Bye in Vancouver, WA today.
Cynthia Bye, ND, FABNO
Board Certified in Naturopathic Oncology