Memory Loss – Your Experiences?: Hi all, just... - Thyroid UK

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Memory Loss – Your Experiences?


Hi all, just wondering, out of interest, if anyone suffers from memory loss and if so, what's your experience of it? I feel this is an issue that has been affecting me recently, although it's hard to quantify or to be objective about it. (ie Do I feel it's got worse because it has got worse, or because I've been looking out for instances of it happening?) I'm 45 next month, so presumably too young for age to be a significant factor?

I notice it most often as a huge and obvious gap in my recollection – it'll be a major detail I've forgotten, one I know I should know, and highlighted by the fact that I'm perfectly clear on minor related details that might more understandably be forgotten.

As a (trite and trivial) example, I was doing an online picture quiz yesterday, and couldn't for the life of me remember Wesley Snipes's name. I'd done the rest of the quiz quickly and easily and recognised his face, but his name just wouldn't come to me. As I tried to think of it, I could remember films he'd been in, the fact he'd been in trouble over tax, the name of the fairly old and obscure film the photo of him was taken from and his character name from that film. Also his character name in a 20-year-old film I've seen perhaps twice (but not for at least 10 years) but his real name wouldn't come to me. Eventually it did (this will often happen as soon as I switch off and distract myself with something else, so I wonder if there's an adrenal/stress factor?) so the knowledge was in there somewhere, I just had trouble accessing it.

No urgent reason for asking, just wondering if this kind of thing sounds familiar to anyone else on here?

42 Replies

Yes it happens to me too. I am sure it's connected to our thyroid gland. Maybe the artificial replacement isn't as good as mother nature's. It's not pleasant though.


Yes it's the same with me-glad I'm not the only one! I am now able to study again with Open University- which is thanks to armour thyroid. However I always choose courses without an exam, because i don't feel confident about remembering information adequately to churn out in an exam. I always forget what is going on in films as well! it means I can happily see a film twice!

Moggy1 in reply to Hidden

I LOVE the OU - did my degree with them and am hoping for a lottery win so I can do a Masters - when my memory eventually saunters back. :-)

Hidden in reply to Moggy1

It's great! All those years when I couldn't study are behind me and I've got a new lease of life with OU! Hope you'll be able to do your masters eventually.

Zephyrbear in reply to Hidden

I've actually gone back to university at the age of 58 after being given a T3/T4 combo by my endo and am now at the end of my 2nd year studying for a BA (Hons) History and Creative Writing and although I've managed to do modules that didn't actually have exams, this year I am due to sit an exam on the Renaissance and I am cacking myself at the prospect... I have no problem with writing the essays and doing the presentations, or even doing the revision. But I do have a problem with 'suddenly losing information that's up there but refuses to come out to play'... That aside, I am having a ball being a student again!!!

Hidden in reply to Zephyrbear

I'm 59 and feel I'm making up for all the lost years. I failed at university when I was 19, because guess what...I was ill.I didn't know why i ended up in the uni health centre with exhaustion and bronchitis, when everyone else was running around doing fine! Took years to be diagnosed.

I'm so glad to hear you have finished your second year at university.I hope the information does come out when you do your exam! I may take creative writing as a module, but I'm doing music in September.

frazzleju in reply to Zephyrbear

At 45 I'm a rather mature student at university too, studying English Lit and History - I have been struggling all through the first year but at least now I know why! I have an exam in ten days and am not feeling very confident - I just can't recall info when needed! I thought it was my age. Good luck with your exam - hopefully we'll both be ok x

I've always had the weirdest memory – when I was a kid, I used to freak my dad out by remembering random innocuous lines from films, but when it comes to remembering anything useful – nuh-huh! :-)

Marz in reply to Taffhamster that sounds familiar ! How is your B12 ?.....not a miracle cure but may just help.

Taffhamster in reply to Marz

It's on my tests to get list! Just out of interest, if you supplement, what do you use? (PM me if you can't post here.) I did try a sublingual spray a while back but found the flavour so sickly I had to give up on it. (I have candida so I try to avoid sweet things as it's harder to resist cravings even with no-calorie versions!)

Marz in reply to Taffhamster

...Jarrow Formulas - Methyl B-12 - 1000mcg. I take one in the morning and one in the evening. I struggle to improve my reading as I do not have a terminal ileum where B12 is absorbed. Am doing my best ! You cannot overdose as it's water soluble. I use BigVits as a company....and sometimes Amazon - depending on prices !

If you have a problem with sugars it may be worth trying the B12 patches - again Amazon. Slightly more expensive but may be the solution for you !

Good Luck.........

Taffhamster in reply to Marz

Thanks, Marz, that's really helpful. Take care and I hope things keep ticking over for you as well as can be expected. x

Marz in reply to Taffhamster

...thanks. Just have toothache and a chesty cough ! Nothing to do with my thyroid - well I haven't checked my tooth against the Dental Chart that indicates which tooth reflexes on which part of the body ! I saw it once in a book my Shirley McLaine !! Probably a better diagnostic tool than the TSH !!


Taffhamster in reply to Marz

You're not wrong there! Although slicing a random apple in half and counting the pips is probably a better diagnostic tool than TSH! ;-) x

I have the same problem. I have an under active thyroid, newly diagnosed. I go upstairs and stand there like a tube thinking ? Why am up here. Can't remember names, directions and I seem to have blank moments when I'm trying to recall things ! Hope it improves. ! Doh lol

Taffhamster in reply to 123happy

I love the phrase "stand there like a tube"! (And know exactly what you mean by it!)

123happy in reply to Taffhamster

I have my own business, this doesn't help, but my clients are lovely and text to remind me they are coming ! I'm goosed if I don't write everything down on my kitchen calendar. Lol.

Oh yes! And it's one of the most frustrating of all the myriad symptoms, along with poor concentration. When I was diagnosed in February, my body kind of downed tools and said "You've been coping with, and ignoring, symptoms for long enough. Time to give in to it all" and my memory - which historically was always very good (especially with names, telephone numbers, birthdays, and trivia!) disolved into sloppy porridge. Last week I went into the kitchen to make sandwiches and struggled to remember what food and utensils I needed to get out to make them. A couple of days before, I couldn't remember how to spell "won't" (and I've always been really good at spelling - even if my typing leaves a lot to be desired). I was talking to my mum yesterday and answered a question she asked, then less than two minutes later had to ask her what she'd asked me and what I'd replied. I'm normally an avid reader but can't concentrate properly to read books. Magazines are great - the day after I've read through them I can't remember what I've read so get to do it all again! Makes them a lot more value for money.

Needless to say, I'm off sick from work at the moment - I'd be as much use as a chocolate teapot to my colleagues if I was there (assuming I could stay awake at my desk). I think I'd find it kind of embarrassing too as I'm well known for being a very well organised control freak with a diploma in systematic nagging. Now, I'd struggle to remember how to get from the car park to my office let alone supervising what everyone else is doing along with getting on with my own work. . .

Onwards and upwards!

Taffhamster in reply to Moggy1

That's what's been scaring me. I work in publishing so I have to be good at the spelling side of things, and I've always loved quizzes, etc. But when a gaping hole opens up in my knowledge, even if it's temporary, it throws me. Can also sympathise re. concentration – I have days when I'm "head down, bum up" and focused, and others when I'm reading the words but they're going in one eye and out the other (as it were!)

Years ago, before i was diagnosed with Hashi's, I used to have frequent conversations with my mum - who never did get diagnosed, though visibly hypo - that went something like this :

mum : I saw that film yesterday.

me : which film?

mum : you know, the one your dad liked.

me : he liked lots of films, which one?

mum : the one with that actor in it.

me : which actor?

mum : the one you like?

me : ?

mum : he was in that film... what was it called?

me : don't know;

mum : he's married to that woman - what's her name - who does that programme on the telly.

me : which programme?

mum : the one where they go to different countries and... they went to that place you like the other day, where was it?

me : oh yes, I know the one, what's it called? Where they have the camels... what's her name?

mum : whose name?

me : that woman.

mum : what woman?

me : the one that... umm... does that thing...

mum : I don't know... What're you talking about?

And then we couldn't remember why we'd started the conversation in the first place. Now, it's beginning to happen with my brother... Sigh.

Hugs, Grey

And I thought my granddad and his constant "Wossnames" were bad! My mum, exasperated, once asked him (sarkily) "Which Wossname do you mean, then? Wossname or Wossname?"

His answer (delivered completely straight): "Oh, you know. WOSSNAME Wossname."

lol :)

MaSet in reply to Taffhamster


123happy in reply to greygoose

O M G your living my life in a paralell universe ! Have I spelt that right ? Can't remember how ! Doh hate having this brain fog. ! Lol

Taffhamster in reply to 123happy

I can imagine us all getting together en masse – probably something like a goldfish bowl! :-) I've got a friend who's also hypo and we're like Laurel and Hardy when we get together. "What time/date did we say?" "Dunno." "I thought you wrote it down." "No, YOU wrote it down." "Ah yes, I did." "So what does it say?" "Dunno, forgot to bring it." (Repeat ad nauseam.)

Yes, I have terrible memory loss, which seems to be more short term than long term. I did manage to get through my degree but now it's really bad. It's got to the point where I'm scared when i know I have to talk to anyone with any intelligence because I know I can't remember the most basic of things that I should. I can read the page of a book 5 times and still not remember any of the crucial details. Really not good when I should have technical knowledge for my job and was hoping to start a Masters, for which I'm having to meet Professors as part of my project. :(

Taffhamster in reply to DeniseR

I find it tends to be short term, or (as per my Wesley Snipes story) big, obvious details. I remember plenty of long-term, trivial details! Good luck with your studies – would it be possible for you to talk to your professors about your situation? If allowances can be made for other medical conditions, maybe they'd be sympathetic if you gave them a heads-up about yours? (Possibly one of those easier said than done things, but I don't get the impression that your basic knowledge of intelligence is in question, so it would be a shame if you weren't able to pursue your further education.) x

twinks in reply to Taffhamster

Oooh yes, this is eeekily familiar lol. Simple things I do know like. " put the clothes in ... Hhmmm the white box thing in the kitchen (washing machine).

And classic turn off that grey thing (tv).

I sat in the car and was chatting I went quiet as for the journey I for the life of me could not remember his sisters name now that was frightening.

Mostly its just me being me lol a numpty.

Taffhamster in reply to twinks

Maybe we need to organise some sort of Numpty Pride march. The trouble is, most of us would forget to come and those of us who did would probably get lost along the route! :-)

twinks in reply to Taffhamster

Oh now that sounds a good laugh taff h

Moggy1 in reply to Taffhamster

And I'd have my T-shirt on back to front. . .

Hidden in reply to Taffhamster

wasn't 'Numpty Pride' bread? x

Taffhamster in reply to Hidden

If it wasn't, it ruddy well should be! x :-)

Iv`e always had a very bad short term memory, all my life I`d walk out of shops without my change, & forget people`s names. I think it`s hereditery because my mother was the same. The funny thing is that my long term memory is fantastic, I can remember things people said to me word for word when I was 5 or younger.

I can relate to that!

I lost my ability to recognise people, even people I knew well. It was really embarrassing until I figured out that it was something to do with this thyroid nonsense. Now I just tell people ' I won't recognise you if I see you again. It's nothing personal, I do this to everyone. Please come over and remind me who you are.' That seems to work. Now, if I could train my husband to subtly remind me who people are when we are out, that would be great, but he can't remember anyone's names either!

The scariest thing was forgetting how to drive while I was on the motorway.

The most inconvenient was forgetting which foot to move next to get up the stairs.

I can be fairly useless with names, but I think I always have been. And husband-training is something to file under "Hmm, what could possibly go wrong here?" :-)

Is this why I can't read books anymore? I used to really love reading but I haven't finished a book for about 4 years. I listen to audio books but it isn't the same.

This has made me feel hopeful that if I can get my meds sorted then I might recapture this pleasure.



We should really add these to the symptoms list.

Difficulty remembering nouns, peoples names etc.

Difficulty concentrating to read books, or remembering them (or films)

Difficulty recognising people (especially from a distance!!)

Difficulty remembering instructions - if anyone tells me to do something I have to write it down.

There are others too...

Spacial awareness, new clumsiness

Getting lost although previously great at directions - thank God for Sat Nav

Malapropism - getting words wrong but similar sounding (like offering constipation rather than compensation) yep looked it up, thank God for google!

Spelling - used to be good at spelling too - have they altered how things are spelt like rooves? thank God for spell-checkers

Numbers - thank God for calculators

(I do tend to doubt myself and hence check various devices)

and of course the classic symptom of wittering on then not remembering what you were going on about

J :D

Anyway for some strange reason here's Ernie! (forgot the significance or was it my age?)

Hidden in reply to Hidden

That was another symptom for the list - random association with something no-one else understands - the sudden remembering of a statement of 'only 52' ...

obviously lost the plot! J x

Yes I have been suffering from similar traits. Same kind of thing with knowing who a celeb is but cannot remember their name. Picture of Dawn French, knew was Lenny Henry's missus, Jennifer Saunders comedy partner etc. Could I remember her name nope. Finally popped up 30 mins later. Scary and worrying.

Same kind of issues with short / long term memories. Thought I was going mad and started reading updates on here. Seen my GP and requested I see a endo, though all I've had so far is a increase in Levo to 200mg per day and a further blood test in 3 weeks. Is this the norm ?

It can be really scary – on the one hand I think everyone's prone to it now and again at any age, but when you become conscious of it happening more frequently it is somewhat unnerving. I've never been on Levo (having to take a bit of a DIY approach to meds) but maybe someone else on the forum has an answer to that one.

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