lack of concentration
Martina Feichter studied biology with an elective in pharmacy in Innsbruck and also delved into the world of medicinal plants. From there it wasn’t far to other medical topics that still captivate them today. She trained as a journalist at the Axel Springer Academy in Hamburg and has worked for NetDoktor since 2007 – first as an editor and since 2012 as a freelance author.
lack of concentration every person has from time to time. You can no longer manage to concentrate on something any longer. The lack of concentration can have a variety of causes. Lack of sleep, stress, malnutrition, reduced blood flow to the brain, depressed mood or poisoning can cause concentration problems. Here you can read everything important about common causes and treatment options in the case of a lack of concentration.
Weak concentration: description
Weakness of concentration or impaired concentration means a person’s reduced ability to deal with a certain task over a longer period of time. Those affected can easily be distracted by external stimuli and their thoughts wander quickly.
A lack of concentration can be temporary and harmless in nature, for example when lack of sleep and movement or stress are the triggers. However, poor concentration can also be a sign of serious illnesses. These include, for example, Alzheimer’s, kidney weakness and an underactive thyroid.
Lack of concentration: causes and possible diseases
Possible causes of poor concentration include:
- Mental overload: Professional and / or private demands, severe stress and time pressure up to burnout are possible causes of concentration disorders.
- Lack of sleep / sleep disorders: Who – for whatever reason – sleeps too little has to struggle with lack of concentration during the day.
- Malnutrition and malnutrition: The brain needs enough carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and water to work optimally. An irregular or insufficient supply of carbohydrates, for example, causes fluctuations in blood sugar. These can lead to a drop in performance and poor concentration. A lack of other nutrients such as B vitamins, iron or magnesium can also cause poor concentration.
- Lack of exercise: A lack of physical activity can trigger a lack of concentration.
- Alcohol withdrawal syndrome: Concentration disorders as well as motor and inner restlessness are common symptoms when the drug alcohol is withdrawn.
- Circulatory disorders in the brain: A lack of concentration can also occur if the brain is not properly supplied with blood, i.e. if it is not adequately supplied with oxygen and nutrients. A common reason for such poor blood flow to the brain is “calcification” (arteriosclerosis) of brain vessels.
- Dementia: Dementia diseases such as Alzheimer’s are associated, among other things, with memory, orientation and concentration disorders.
- Attention deficit disorder without (ADD) or with hyperactivity (ADHD): Not only children but also adults can suffer from ADD or ADHD. Among other things, the disease is associated with impaired concentration.
- Low blood pressure (hypotension): Concentration disorders are typical symptoms of hypotension, as are poor performance, tiredness, palpitations and cold hands and feet.
- Chemotherapy for cancer can cause thinking and concentration problems as a side effect. Doctors speak of the "chemobrain".
- Other diseases and health disorders: Weakness of concentration can occur as an accompanying symptom of various diseases and health disorders, such as hypothyroidism, kidney weakness, depression, anorexia and hypoglycaemia (hyperglycaemia)
Lack of concentration in children
The possible causes of concentration disorders in children are basically the same as in adults. Often, an overload in school and family or a too tight, over-full planning of leisure time without sufficient breaks is to blame for the lack of concentration.
- Mental stress: Lack of sleep, stress and emotional imbalance are also possible causes of poor concentration in children. Stressful experiences that a child cannot easily put away have a negative impact on concentration.
- Physical causes: Physical causes can also be behind children’s concentration disorders, for example imbalances in the hormone or mineral balance, lack of exercise, flu, pneumonia, bruising, intolerance (e.g. to certain foods or chemicals) and environmental toxins.
- Lack of muscle tension: Even insufficient muscle tension can cause a concentration problem. For example, if a child has to constantly strive to sit upright at school, there is not enough energy left to concentrate on the lessons.
- ADHD: If the lack of concentration is accompanied by impulsivity and hyperactivity, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) can be behind this. Attention deficit disorder without hyperactivity (ADD) is less common, but it can also cause poor concentration.
Diseases with this symptom
Find out here about the diseases in which the symptom can occur:
Lack of concentration: when should you see a doctor?
If you find the lack of concentration extremely uncomfortable or even threatening, you should see a doctor. The same applies if the concentration disorders occur suddenly, cannot be explained (e.g. due to an unusually high amount of stress) or worsen.
A frequent and inexplicable lack of concentration in children should also be clarified by a doctor.
Lack of concentration: what the doctor does?
The doctor will first talk to the patient in detail about his medical history (medical history). A physical examination and possibly other examination methods can help to clarify an organic cause for the lack of concentration.
For example, the doctor can perform blood tests (for example, if iron deficiency, kidney weakness or hypothyroidism is suspected) or blood pressure measurements (if hypotension is suspected) or imaging techniques (if arteriosclerosis or dementia is suspected).
If there is a basic disease behind the concentration disorder, it must be treated. This usually improves the ability to concentrate.
These examinations help to find out the causes of the complaints:
Weak concentration: You can do that yourself
The following general tips can help with concentration disorders – in children and adults:
- Eat a balanced and varied diet to provide your brain with all the necessary nutrients. This prevents poor concentration due to malnutrition.
- Drink about two liters of fluid a day. The best are water, mineral water and (unsweetened) tea. A "thirsty" brain cannot work optimally, which favors a lack of concentration.
- Avoid too much caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and sedatives and stimulants.
- Treat yourself to regular breaks so that your body and mind can regenerate – especially when stress and overload are the cause of poor concentration. For example, walks in the fresh air are recommended.
- Make sure you get enough sleep to eliminate concentration problems or to prevent them from occurring in the first place. It is best to go to sleep at the same time and get up at the same time in the morning if possible. If you suffer from nervous sleep problems or are unable to switch off in the evening, relaxation methods such as autogenic training, yoga or progressive muscle relaxation can help.
- Limit media consumption (TV, computer, etc.) and excessive sound (stereo, headphones, etc.). If the brain is flooded with too many external stimuli, it becomes increasingly difficult to concentrate.
- You can increase your concentration with an ear massage: For this, the ear cups are vigorously massaged with your fingertips for one minute. Then stroke the ear cups towards the earlobes.
- Special breathing exercises can eliminate concentration problems. They are suitable for both children and adults. The following exercise to improve concentration and reduce stress should be carried out several times a day: Sit straight and place your feet on the floor next to each other.
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