You Are Stressed Or Anxious
Hello! That would be the woman doing 700 things at the same time, or someone who has a lot of long-term external pressures, such as financial trouble or a loved one whos not well. When you have too many balls in the air or are burning the candle at both ends, cortisol levels run high, says Dr. Petersen. This stress hormone that keeps you revved and ready also affects the hippocampus and other parts of the brain that are involved in memory. Similarly, anxietypersistent worry about something that may or may not happen in the futurefeels like stress to your body, and so has the same effect on your brain. When your anxiety level is high, you cant focus on anything and your attention is going to be impairedits going to feel like you have a memory disorder because you cant concentrate on anything, says Dr. Faubion.
Dementia Doesn’t Always Mean Alzheimer’s
Dementia is any memory loss or thinking problem caused by changes in your brain. Alzheimer’s is just one type. Your memory also can be harmed by many other health issues, such as a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or a buildup of fluid on your brain.
If you notice symptoms that have you concerned, see a doctor right away. They’ll give you a thorough exam that may include taking a sample of your blood for testing, brain imaging, and neurological testing to figure out what’s going on with your health and get you help.
What Are Treatment Options
Because the symptoms of hypothyroidism are often nonspecific and easily missed, and brain fog is often attributed to aging, stress, menopause, or some other cause, people with thyroid issues often go under the radar. Patients can only get a diagnosis of underactive thyroid by having a doctor look at symptoms in their totality and carry out the necessary tests..
Treatment starts with an appointment with your physician for a thorough checkup and to determine whether you have hypothyroidism. Your doctor should take your medical history, examine your thyroid, and order a complete thyroid blood test panel, advises Shomon. If your doctor diagnoses you with hypothyroidism, treatment with a prescription thyroid drug may quickly and easily resolve your brain fog.
If you are already being treated for hypothyroidism but still have brain fog, you may need more aggressive thyroid treatment. Shomon suggests talking to your doctor about increasing your thyroid medication or adding a medication like Cytomel to your standard levothyroxine treatment. You may need to switch to a natural desiccated thyroid drug like Armour or Nature-thyroid to resolve your brain fog, she says.
If you think you have brain fog from medication , talk to your doctor about alternatives.
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Tips To Improve Your Memory
Hypothyroidism thats treated properly shouldnt cause persistent brain fog or memory concerns. But anyone can experience issues with memory or concentration from time to time. These strategies can help:
Take your medication. The best thing you can do for your memory is to get your thyroid hormone back to a healthy level, and that means taking your medication regularly and correctly and going back to your doctor for follow-up appointments to be sure youre taking the right dosage, Zonszein says. The American Thyroid Association says its best to take your thyroid hormone on an empty stomach at the same time every day, and to not stop taking it without first talking to your doctor.
Get out of the house, and get moving. Staying active has an important effect on the brain, so keep up with your hobbies and social activities, along with exercise. Physical activity is associated with a better working brain, according to the National Institute on Aging , which says that exercise has been found to stimulate your brains ability to maintain old network connections and make new ones. A study published in July 2019 in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society found that immediately following moderate exercise, participants showed a significant increase in memory.
Get a good nights sleep. The deep sleep you get from a good night’s slumber helps keep your brain functioning well, Zonszein says. If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, try these tips:
What Does It Feel Like
Are you still wondering, What does brain fog feel like?
Imagine calling your child by the wrong name, forgetting your phone number or ZIP code, or realizing you have no idea where you are going while driving, says Shomon. These frightening memory lapses are common in people with thyroid problems. Thyroid patients call it brain fog, and doctors call it cognitive impairment either way, its an all-too-common thyroid symptom.
Underactive thyroid brain fog feels similar to hypoglycemia, says Sears. Its marked by confusion, an inability to concentrate, and a decreased focus on performing simple tasks.
Brain fog makes navigating life extremely frustrating and understanding common situations impossible. For some patients, it is so severe that they are unable to participate in everyday conversation. Its important to get medical advice if you think you have hypothyroidism and start thyroid brain fog treatment as soon as possible.
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How Do You Get Rid Of Brain Fog In Hypothyroidism
There are several factors to consider, but well look at a few that should be addressed and some tips on ditching the fog for good.Inflammation. Low Thyroid Levels. Vitamin Deficiency. Heal your gut. Thyroid medication. Vitamin supplementation. Eat healthy saturated fats. Exercise the fog away.More items
The Lowdown On Thyroid Slowdown
Hypothyroidism can cause a host of health problems. Fortunately, an underactive thyroid can be easily diagnosed and treated.
Midlife can bring subtle changes in our skin, hair, energy, weight, and even mental outlook. Before writing them off as products of aging, it’s a good idea to make sure they’re not the result of an underactive thyroid.
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How To Maintain A Healthy Gut
Digestive issues like bloating, constipation, or gas can be resolved or improved with simple lifestyle changes
Finding a doctor that not only specializes in thyroid conditions, but one that will order a full set of labs is crucially important to find the correct medication and dose for your body. Ideally, your doctor will also work alongside a nutritionist to ensure that you are following a proper diet for your condition.â
Paloma Health only treats patients with hypothyroidism. Unlike traditional healthcare, where patients only check in with their endocrinologist or GP a couple times a year, our team of board-certified physicians and registered nutritionists provide around-the-clock, personalized care.â
All our doctors authorized full thyroid labs tests to measure Free T3, Free T4, and TPO antibodies, in addition to the standard TSH. â
The Thyroid Is A Small Gland But It Helps Coordinate Many Of Your Body’s Activities From Metabolism And Weight To Hair Thickness And Sweating
Maybe you’ve heard people say, “I’m tired because I have a thyroid problem.” Or, “I see an endocrinologist because I have thyroid issues.” But how much do you really know about your thyroid?
The thyroid is a small gland that is butterfly shaped and located at the base of the neck, just below the Adam’s apple. It’s part of the endocrine system, which helps coordinate many of your body’s activities. The gland makes hormones that regulate your metabolism. But when it’s not working right, your body can be affected in various ways.
You don’t produce enough hormone. Hypothyroidism is also known as Hashimoto’s disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It is most common in middle-aged women, but Hashimoto’s disease can happen at any age. Here, your immune system mistakenly attacks and slowly destroys the thyroid gland and its ability to make hormones. Treatment may include taking daily medication and monitoring the dosage to ensure you’re taking the right amount. Your doctor may pass on medication and take a wait-and-see-approach.
You produce too much hormone. Hyperthyroidism is also known as Graves’ disease. This autoimmune disorder happens when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the thyroid gland. It’s hereditary and is most common in women ages 20 to 30. Some treatments include radioactive iodine therapy , prescription antithyroid medications , beta blockers or surgery to remove all or part of your thyroid.
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Signs Your Feet Are Warning You About A Thyroid Problem
Snuggled in a fluffy white bathrobe in an upscale spa, I was waiting to have my feet pampered with a deluxe pedicure as the basin was filling with warm, fragrant water.
Your feet are extremely dry with thick, hardened skin on your heels that have deep cracks. I see feet like this in women with sickness, the woman remarked, a little too loudly, inspecting my feet at close range.
What type of sickness? I whispered, feeling very embarrassed as people in the crowded spa turned to gawk at my feet.
You should see your doctor about your feet.
This woman giving me a pedicure could see as plain as day the signs of a serious health condition right there in my feet, but it would take 10 more years to finally receive my formal diagnosis: severe hypothyroidism.
Vitamin B12 And Hypothyroidism
Before we move on, if you see a term or phrase that you dont really understand, check out our frequency asked questions series found on Common Thyroid Questions and Answers.
OK, back to the topic.
Many hypothyroid patients are deficient in some vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12.
One study enrolled 116 hypothyroid patients who were evaluated for signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Scientists discovered that 46 or 39.6% participants had low levels of this micronutrient.
The prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency was equal in both men and women.
Based on the discovery that about 40% of hypothyroid patients are deficient in this vitamin, scientists emphasized the importance of screening people with hypothyroidism for vitamin B12 levels. Replacement of vitamin B12 leads to improvement of symptoms patients experience.
In addition, evidence shows that pernicious anemia affects hypothyroid patients 20 times more frequently than other people. Pernicious anemia is a condition that occurs when the body doesnt absorb sufficient amount of cobalamin.
This form of anemia is called pernicious due to the fact it was considered a deadly disease back in time. The primary reason why pernicious anemia was deadly in the past was due to the lack of adequate treatment.
Nowadays, it is possible to treat and manage this condition with vitamin B12 injections and supplements.
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Vitamin B12 Brief Overview
Lets start with a simple overview to get to know this vitamin a little bit better.
Vitamin B12, whose formal name is Cobalamin, is just one of eight B complex vitamins.
Generally, B complex vitamins help the body convert carbohydrates into glucose or fuel for energy.
These vitamins also help the body use proteins and fats. As you are already aware, all vitamins from B complex are vital for overall health and wellbeing.
Vitamin B12 is water-soluble. Basically, the vitamin dissolves in water and then travels through the bloodstream in order to deliver its health benefits.
This micronutrient is particularly important for maintaining nerve cells health and functioning. Vitamin B12 also participates in production of genetic material i.e. DNA and RNA.
Together with vitamin B9 , vitamin B12 works to improve efficacy and functioning of iron and to produce red blood cells.
Functioning of the brain and nervous system and metabolism of every cell in your body require sufficient levels of vitamin B12.
While your body produces millions of red blood cells every minute, they cannot function adequately or multiply without this vitamin. Since cobalamin has a significant influence on our entire body, does it also play a role in thyroid health?
Distinguishing Between Types Of Dementia
For physicians and families intent on pinning down a diagnosis, one major complicating factor is the existence of so many kinds of dementia. More than 50 conditions can mimic or cause dementia.
Alzheimers disease is by far the most common intractable condition. But other causes of irreversible dementia include blood vessel diseasevascular dementia), other degenerative disorders , slow-growing brain tumors, or infections of the central nervous system .
In some types of dementia, treatment will improve mental functioning, and in a small percentage, the dementia is completely reversible if treatment begins before permanent brain damage occurs. Thats why it is important to report to a doctor any signs of dementia as early as possible.
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Sympathetic Nervous System Activation
During the hypothyroid state, the sympathetic nervous system will activate in order to attempt to maintain homeostasis. The SNS is meant as a short term solution to a short term stressor. Activation, both short term and long term have effects on blood pressure.
When the SNS is in good condition it will elevate the blood pressure in an attempt to keep blood flowing to the extremities. When the stressor is extinguished, the parasympathetic nervous system brings the body back to homeostasis.
Meanwhile, the hypothyroid state causes the SNS to stay activated. The blood vessels in the extremities constrict due to low T3, further contributing to the hypertension present but the fact this is SNS driven can be missed because the usual symptom of tachycardia is absent in the hypothyroid patient.
If the thyroid is not treated or is undertreated, the SNS can keep trying to make up the difference, resulting in adrenal insufficiency. This is a low blood pressure state often accompanied with fainting and almost always decreased renal function. Without treatment it is fatal.
What Are Early Warning Signs Of Thyroid Problems
Your thyroid is a small gland that produces hormones. Under some circumstances, this gland may begin to produce too many thyroid hormones. This issue is called hyperthyroidism. In contrast, this gland will produce an insufficient amount of hormones if you develop hypothyroidism. There are several early warning signs that may indicate that you have developed one of these thyroid issues.
If you are experiencing these problems, you should schedule a thyroid test at our office in Louisville. After we diagnose your problem, we can recommend medications and other treatments that will relieve your symptoms and enhance your health.
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Its Not Necessarily Alzheimers
More than 50 conditions can cause or mimic the symptoms of dementia, and a small percentage of dementias are reversible. Two common examples are dementia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency or an underactive thyroid . Getting the right diagnosis is important so that you know what options you have, because symptoms subside when the underlying problem is treated.
Quality Of Life And Fatigue
Many clinic patients complain of poor quality of life and fatigue, which are often associated with psychiatric co-morbidity, and which prompt a screening TSH measurement. If the TSH level is mildly elevated, the patient and provider assume the mild hypothyroidism has caused the symptoms. However, these symptoms often do not resolve with L-T4 treatment, raising the question of whether they were due to the thyroid abnormality in the first place.
Recent studies have demonstrated that a mildly elevated TSH level is not intrinsically associated with poor quality of life or fatigue, but that self-knowledge of a thyroid condition is associated with decrements in these measures, regardless of the TSH level:
A population-based survey in the Netherlands measured the intensity of fatigue in almost 6000 subjects aged 1898 years . The prevalence of fatigue in euthyroid subjects with no known thyroid disease was 34%, and was similar in overt or subclinical hypothyroid subjects . In subjects with known thyroid disorders, the rate of fatigue increased to 50%, and was independent of the TSH level.
A separate population-based study in the Netherlands administered the SF-36, a widely used validated quality of life scale, to over 9000 subjects aged 1890 years, who were unaware of their thyroid status . SF-36 scores were indistinguishable between subjects with elevated versus normal TSH levels.
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Tingling Numb Pins And Needles Sensation In Feet
Paresthesia can present in hypothyroidism. Researchers explain that the axonal myelin sheath, the insulating layer around nerves, begins to degenerate without sufficient thyroid hormone, and regeneration of damaged nerves also slows. Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Sjögrens syndrome, pernicious anemia, arthritis, and Type 1 diabetes can all present with paresthesia. I would guess that the majority of Hashimotos thyroiditis and Graves disease patients that follow Hypothyroid Mom have multiple autoimmune diseases.
Can Pregnancy Cause Me To Develop Thyroid Issues
You may develop an illness called postpartum thyroiditis after you give birth. During the next 12 months, you might experience weight loss, develop an increased sensitivity to heat, and suffer from other health issues. The symptoms of postpartum thyroiditis may resemble the health issues that are associated with hyperthyroidism.
Unfortunately, some healthcare providers may misdiagnose this problem. For example, your healthcare provider might believe that a postpartum mood disorder is causing you to experience these negative symptoms. If you receive a misdiagnosis and do not treat your postpartum thyroiditis, you might develop other health issues. If you are experiencing symptoms of this illness, you should visit our office in Louisville for thyroid testing.
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Hypothyroidism And Health Risks
Several studies have linked hypothyroidism to an increased prevalence of certain conditions. Note, however, that just because hypothyroidism is associated with a disease, it doesnt necessarily mean that everyone with hypothyroidism will actually develop the disease! Many different genetic and environmental factors can influence the risk.