Worried about my memory

I getting quite concerned about my memory or lack of it!

I am on Levo now 75mcgs and 100mcgs alternative days. Last bloods in June - TSH 2.2 (0.5 - 5.5), T4 16 (10 - 22). Overall I've not been feeling bad at all. I still need more sleep than anyone else in my family, but not feeling so terribly tired as when I was untreated.

What really concerns me is my memory. I have great difficulty with recall. I have great difficulty in making connections between things if you know what I mean. Sometimes it feels I have to wait for the cogs to turn. I get a likely panicky to be honest. I don't seem to know things that I should. I feel pretty stupid often.

I am 50 and my periods have become pretty close together, so I guess menopausal and I realise this could be some of the problem.

Does anyone else have these problems even when everything else seems OK?


11 Replies

  • There is room to move in your blood tests, although I expect your GP has said you are fine. Your T4 could be higher and TSH lower. Perhaps ask to see your GP, explaining the recall and memory problem and telling him/her you understand that this can be a symptom of being under medicated. Ask for a trial of taking 100 every day, to see if it improves things. Your TSH does not need to be in the middle of the reference range, although some GP's imagine this is what we should be striving for. There is a book by Dr Toft, available in chemists or Amazon. He is well respected by GP's and believes some people need to have a much lower TSH to feel well. Take it with you and show the relevant section. Hope it works! x

  • Thank you Hennerton.

  • Hi Memory problems common with any hormone treatment, heart too. Once the treatment correct for you, it will be fine.

    Best wishes,


  • Thank you.

  • I agree with Hennerton that your dose looks like it needs to be increased. Many people find that they need their TSH to be below 1 and their T4 at the top of the range in order to feel well because they are only taking T4 and no T3 (the active form of the hormone). T3 is very important for cognitive function so a higher T4 may be required for your body to make that amount of T3.

    It is also important to look at serum iron, ferritin, folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. If you can get these tested, let us know the results as there may be room for improvement there too. Deficiencies in any of those could be affecting how well you are converting the levo but also directly affect memory and concentration because you can become more tired than usual.

    Even though it is quite likely this is down to your thyroid not being adequately treated yet, or perhaps vitamin/mineral deficiencies, it is important to keep an eye on this problem.

    Just a quick question; are you on statins or betablockers? The reason I ask is because many hypothyroid patients develop high cholesterol and high blood pressure if they are not on a high enough dose of thyroxine and statins and betablockers can affect your memory and general feeling of wellbeing. My mum has had terrible memory issues and poor general cognitive function after brain radiotherapy and they said this was the cause, however she stopped taking her statins (because of her memory being so bad, she forgot!) and she started feeling much better.

    Anyway, bottom line is you may well benefit from and increase in thyroxine and get those vitamins and minerals checked too :)

    I hope that helps

    Carolyn x

  • Thank you Carolyn. I'm going to make an appointment tomorrow to ask for bloods to be checked and also ask for the vitamin checks. I already take B12, selenium and Vit D3. I've never had my T3 checked and when I asked the practice nurse taking my blood if my surgery ever checked this she had never heard of it. Not promising. The doctor who diagnosed me has now left the practice and therefore I will see a new doctor. Could be interesting. I wonder if it is better to see one of the old more experienced doctors there or one of the new younger breed. Any thoughts on that? PS I don't take statins or betablockers. No other medication at all.

  • I have had older doctors that were very good and some that were awful! The same with younger doctors. A doctor that listens rather than making assumptions or trying to get you out the door is probably going to be a better bet. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to whether doctors will be good thyroid doctors or not. Hopefully the new one you see will listen and look into increasing your dose of seeing if there is another problem that can be resolved.

    Carolyn x

  • I often struggle with memory issues! I can't recall nouns or names often which is common anyway but just seems a bit worse with thyroid issues. More difficult for me is that I have poor short term memory. I can;t remember what I was just doing. If my alarm goes to remind me to take the tablet and I delay taking it for 30 seconds, I will forget completely. If I am doing something and am distracted I completely lose what it was that I was doing. Again, others experience it but it seems worse with thyroid issues. I don't have brain fog any more as my treatment is working. (I am male, aged 59, on T3 (20mcg/20mcg/10mcg daily. T4 did not work for me but T3 made a big difference.) Not sure if that helps but you are not the only one out there!!

  • I can identify with this so much. Feels like the opposite of multi-tasking really doesn't it! Can only manage one thing at a time with no guaranteed that that thing will be done properly. The thing is, apart from tiredness and the brain thing, I feel OK compared with how some folk seem to suffer. I no longer get aches and pains, my hair has never fallen out thank goodness and I've always managed to lead a pretty normal life.

  • It sounds like you are getting there in terms of energy. A while back before I went on T3 I struggled to communicate. I could not join a 4 person discussion because I could not follow it. It was 'brain fog'. That has cleared now. This afternoon I was sorting a box of filing into three piles - rubbish, file and action. I kept struggling to remember which pile was which. Even when I did, I would put something on the ring pile! When I carried the three piles out of the room, I put the wrong one in the rubbish bin (soon realised). It is ridiculous but I just have to keep checking myself and maintain a sense of humour rather than getting frustrated it upset about it!

  • ....wondered if you have come across the book by Datis Kharrazian - Why isn't My Brain Working ? - it is an excellent read with so much information. He previously wrote a book about thyroid - Why do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms ? Haven't read the thyroid one but have learnt lots from the brain book ! He deals with the memory/brain fog issues very clearly and the remedies are all natural. He does say it is important to nip things in the bud and not wait for things to go downhill too far. He has a website too - so take a look when you have time ! His speciality is Functional Medicine - getting to the root cause of conditions rather than treating each symptom with a pill. I think there is lots we can do - calming gut inflammation is one - and he says one of the causes of brain issues is gluten......

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