Forgetfulness / Short-Term Memory Failure

What Causes Forgetfulness?

Forgetfulness can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose forgetfulness, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "forgetfulness" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Copper Toxicity
  • Low Estrogens
  • Stress
  • Aspartame/Neotame Side-Effects
  • Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia
  • Lack Of Sleep
  • Male Menopause
  • Sleep Apnea

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
frequent sleep paralysis
slight stiff neck
recent onset nausea
night sweats
severe eyelid twitch
partial aspartame/neotame avoidance
an average-stress lifestyle
cold sores
diffuse bone pain
rapid loss of vision
low energy/stamina
excessive thirst
... and more than 140 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of forgetfulness:
Cause Probability Status
Sleep Apnea 99% Confirm
Low Estrogens 29% Unlikely
Lack Of Sleep 16% Unlikely
Copper Toxicity 3% Ruled out
Chronic Fatigue-Fibromyalgia 0% Ruled out
Stress 0% Ruled out
Aspartame/Neotame Side-Effects 0% Ruled out
Male Menopause 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate unusual mental conditions/symptoms, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Is your short-term memory failing? Examples include forgetting what you were talking about or why you entered a room, or not being able to remember phone numbers before writing them down.
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ No / average / a few times per year
→ Occasionally / moderately
→ Severely - I forget things often and quickly
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either not having short-term memory failure or short-term memory failure, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Alcohol-related Problems

Alcoholics as well as the elderly suffer gradual loss of acetylcholine, a vital neurotransmitter.  The brain compensates for this change by heightening the sensitivity of the receptors carrying memory messages, but because of the acetylcholine shortage, the transmission cannot be completed and short-term recall is poor.


Forgetfulness is a symptom of hypothyroidism.

Cirrhosis of the Liver

A damaged liver cannot remove toxins from the blood, causing them to accumulate in the blood and eventually the brain.  Once there, toxins can dull mental functioning and cause personality changes, coma, or even death.  Signs of toxin buildup in the brain include neglect of personal appearance, unresponsiveness, forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, or changes in sleep habits.

Consequences of Poor Diet

Changing one's diet to include more nutritious and balanced foods can also help with diet related problems such as problems with sleeping.  Lack of sleep in itself can cause memory lapses and cognitive deterioration.  A healthier diet which helps with sleeping problems may therefore have a knock-on effect and also help to improve poor memory.


Temporary forgetfulness is a known symptom of hypoglycemia.

Mercury Toxicity (Amalgam Illness)

Short term memory loss is initially the most common complaint associated with mercury toxicity.

... and also rule out issues such as:
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