Memory loss?

Let’s talk complications of short-term memory loss/executive functioning and long term type 1. I think I’m experiencing this and have started doing research on the co-morbidity of ADHD and type 1.

The consensus is that poorer treatment outcomes as a child can lead to adult-onset adhd or short circuiting in memory and executive functioning.

Something I’ve experienced frequently lately is not completing diabetes tasks. Like the calibration alarm will sound. I’ll go test, but fail to do the button pushing to get my pump to accept the test fast enough. Or remember that I should take insulin and then immediately forget and not do it 10 minutes before the meal, but after it ends.

Also my sensitivity to conflict and my ability to and appropriately respond to criticism is lacking more than it ever has before.

I’ve mentioned this to my endocrinologist and they brush it off. And of course a counselor and GP can treat from the mental health side, but they don’t want to try to understand the connection either.

Anyone experienced this or had a good experience in getting a wholistic assessment of both? I’m at a loss, but it’s making good management of diabetes harder…


You’re not alone @laceyma. For the past 2 1/2 years I’ve experienced significant loss of cognitive function, as well as memory loss.

I experienced what I thought was a stroke or TIA 30 months ago and since then my physical as well as mental health has declined.

Confusion and memory loss are my biggest concerns. I’ll infuse a dose with my pump and less than 10 seconds later I’ll not be able to remember how much I took (only that I took some), Oral meds are a bigger problem. In a few seconds I’ll not remember if I’d taken something or not.

I’m convinced I have alzheimer’s but have tested negative twice.


It started with me as well in my late 60’s. My endo also said don’t worry about it and that everyone is a bit forgetful. Technologies have helped me a lot as I can look back on my CGM and since I am on MDI can scroll through my pen history to see what dose of Humalog I used for same or similar meal. What bothers me the most is when I find myself repeatedly asking the same question or nearly same question to a staff member several times over a period of a week or two because I don’t remember the answer. I can sense their annoyance.

It is even worse in other countries such as China where they will not repeat answer because they think you are playing some sort of game with them.

This is also why my endo pushes me hard to keep my A1C at least at 6.1 which is hard for me to do as I tend to come in lower and then she lectures me that whenever I hit low blood sugar I am potentially burning up some brain cells. Not sure there is really cause and effect, but that is her opinion.

So yes, I am sure many of us have experienced your syndrome to a certain extent and we share your pain.


With me it’s normal old age. I, too, have to refer to my pump memory to figure out if I have bolused for a meal. I also have trouble coming up with words. But I am now 78, working on 79. Frankly, I think I am doing exceptionally well for my age.


I think Lyrica has messed up my STM big time. I’ve been on it for over 4 years and there is no way I can manage w/o it. I have to take it 3x a day and if I miss my afternoon pill by more than about 1-2 hours, I start getting the super annoying PN symptoms.

Since PN is a complication of diabetes and that forces me to take Lyrica, I’d say my memory is messed up because of diabetes. :slight_smile:


After living with type 1 for 60 yrs and having had very poor control when urine testing, I think I am doing extremely well. I haven’t really noticed a decline yet at 68. At least nothing that isn’t age appropriate . On a low fat plant based diet, I seem to be doing better than ever. Once in a great while I will forget if I have injected, but not often enough for me to consider it odd.

Except for heart stents which I received 9 yrs ago, for at least 5 reasons that I can think of, I haven’t had much of anything since I achieved tight control once the first glucose monitors hit the market. No neuropathies. I have been very, very fortunate.


I will say this: my mom believes there were signs of adhd inattentive type in my childhood. I would hyperfocus on reading. I forgot assignments and permission slips frequently, couldn’t pay attention in subjects I didn’t like, interrupted a lot, made mistakes frequently. All the signs were there in the 80s and 90s, but at that time they only diagnosed people (mostly young boys)if they were extremely hyperactive.


You know how much work is involved, from the patient side, to manage diabetes. We have a very quantitative illness with lots of good data and easy diagnosis.

Now, imagine conditions of the brain, for which there are much fewer easy answers, fewer hard and fast treatments, and very time consuming and precarious diagnosis. Plus, increased stigma and likelihood that symptoms are simply “blown off,” by care providers as ‘in your head.’

Do you have any plans/wishes regarding long term care in older age? This is something we should all discuss with the people around us because any one of us could have a stroke at any time, even if there is nothing else is immediately wrong.

If I were worried, I would talk to a specialist, but prepare to wait to get in. You may be entering the most under-resourced part of the medical system. Depending on what is wrong with you, formal diagnosis may or may not be possible. If its ADHA, then I think your in relatively good shape for treatment options. I’m sure that you know about the connection between diabetes and Alzheimers. Diagnosis may or may not be important.

My recommendation is to focus on the practical things. Do you feel able to adapt to these new challenges? What strategies do you have in place? Maybe you are just starting to think about it and brainstorm ideas? I would give up on trying to get any ‘holistic assessment.’ (except in your own head…go ahead and speculate there.) Frankly, I think you have a hard enough road just to get an valuable assessment of whats going on now, independent of diabetes. - Epileptic, diabetic

P.S. My old Doc always speculated that running too low could impair brain function down the line. Take everything with a grain of salt, though. They don’t really know. My take is that its most likely an effect of less adequate circulation. Exercise can help - something to get blood flowing.

Link for Memory Loss in general

Link for diabetes & Alzheimers

type 2’s: An Overview of Diabetes


I was convinced I had early-onset Alzheimer’s. My test was negative. Then, I saw a documentary where a research scientist at Harvard found 9 out of 10 brain tissue samples of deceased individuals with Alzheimer’s had the Lyme bacteria present deep in the brain tissue. Lyme tests are notoriously inaccurate. I’d suggest only seeing a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor (LLMD) and be evaluated. They’re mostly cash pay, expensive, and hard to find, but it’s worth looking into if you find yourself experiencing un-explainable memory problems.


I started experiencing memory problems and intense deja vu bout 20 years ago. The deja vu episodes were precursors to absence seizures which in the end turned out to be partial complex epilepsy. He speculated the epilepsy was the result of low blood sugar episodes the past 25 years, although he had no proof.

As to my memory, he ran multiple brain scans and my memory performance was evaluated. He determined the problem wasn’t organic deterioration of brain tissue, but impaired ability to concentrate. I have a hard time committing what’s happening around me to memory. He thought that too could be a result of chronic low blood sugar but again had no way of proving it. My blood sugar control has improved since then because of my awareness of the issue and advances in diabetes technology. The good news is a repeat test 15 years later revealed no further deterioration. Over the years I’ve found ways to compensate, but it’s still a challenge.

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I’m only 62, but I haven’t noticed a loss of memory. I’m young yet but I still really enjoy competitive word games and puzzles etc. Up until 2 years ago memory played an integral part in helping my customers, plus inventory and ordering for my store. I do not have the patience I used to, but that went with menopause years ago. I’m considered in good health. I too am on a plant based diet and firmly believe in the benefits of all those nutrients in fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and whole grains.


Hi @laceyma. To me, the scenarios you described sound a lot more like burnout, fatigue, or just general forgetfulness. If your problems are only related to “memory loss” in regards to your diabetes management then surely it’s not likely to be a serious issue. If your memory loss or forgetfulness is affecting other areas of your life then maybe it’s worth looking into. Best of luck


@Paytone, “He thought that too could be a result of chronic low blood sugar but again had no way of proving it.” Have you ever had a Doc tell you that low BG could precipitate a seizure? My last Doc kinda thought that, but she wasn’t sure.

" * Between seizures : Some people with epilepsy may have unusual electrical activity in the brain between seizures. This can affect attention and memory function" (Source) I have unusual electrical activity all the time. They can read it on the EEG within a couple minutes. Mine is lower left lobe (probably best defined as partial complex). I tend to attribute memory issues, difficulty doing arithmetic, and difficulty remembering numbers to epilepsy, not diabetes. I don’t take meds, so that’s not a factor, for me.

I never thought about intense deja vu as a result seizure activity. But, I have had some really intense deja vu experiences accompanied by some minor low BG this year. I just attributed it to low BG. Maybe your right. Never thought about it before.

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I play word games also and do quite well (over 7000 games and have won 82% of them against people from all over). Yet my short term memory is terrible. And that makes math much harder for me than a scrabble-like word game.

I remember you do word games, I’m the one that loves boggle with friends. My short term memory and math is fine. I like to practice with the grocery list. (as long as it’s under 8-10 items, I want to be able to glance at it and go)

I want to preface it with, I’ve always had a very good memory, I’ve been accused of having too good of a memory that never forgets lol…(my employees and hubby for one!)

Back when I was in high school I memorized an entire deck of cards. The suit and value for all the cards. I amazed myself as I never felt I had a great memory. I’d be lucky to remember 3 cards now.


Not sure it’s relevant to this thread, but low BG does definitely cause seizures in some. I’m proof. I have had several low BG induced Grand Mal seizures that have been very identifiable.


For sure people can have hypoglycemic seizures. How low do you think you were? Anybody get a reading? I’m wondering about higher incidence of epileptic seizure at, say, a BG = 65. As far as I know, the juries still out on that, but maybe not. I don’t keep up on the brain stuff as much as I should…probably no one even knows, so I dont bother to research it.

I’ve never had a seizure, but saw 2 girls in my cabin experience them at Camp O’Leary (at Camp Classen, the diabetes session.) I think there were approximately 8-10 girls in each cabin over 10 days in 1991 & 92. One was a big one.

So based on my very limited sample pool…either 10% or some people get hypoglycemic seizures. :laughing: The seizing isn’t funny…but my sample size is.

The paramedics have recorded my bg as low as 19, and as high as 54.

When they happen for me, I usually get tunnel vision then seize. Occasionally I will remember small bits of what happened, but not anything continuous. The severity of the seizure seems to somehow determine how long I am unconscious for. Waking up is the worst part…The confusion, the Swiss cheese tongue, the new sutures, and the overall feeling of being in a major auto accident. Waking up is also the best part… I get to experience another day.