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Thyroid UK
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Underactive thryoid and memory problems


I think I have an underactive thyroid and have booked an appointment with the gp. My question is, if its been affecting your long term memory, will treatment recover those memories?

I have always had awful recall. Friends and family will be reminiscing about old times and all it does is vaguely ring a bell, at best. We took a family trip to disney florida when i was 6, can barely remember it. While with my ex, I'd tell him a story that happened to me, for him to say I'd already told it weeks or months previously. Lately it has really bothered me so I started trying to work out why my memory is so bad. One thing I discovered is that It could be due to hypothyroidism - which my mum had suggested for my weight issues a couple years ago.

This would make sense, as a young active child and teen with a pretty healthy diet, I was always over weight and am worse now. My periods have always caused me issues. I have problems with energy and lethargy. The list goes on..

I guess i just want to know if those memories i want to remember will come back with treatment or if they're gone. Anyone who's experienced something similar?

9 Replies

You need to be tested - TSH - FT4 - FT3 & ANTI TPO - ANTI TG. Also B12 - Folate - Ferritin - VitD should be tested. If your GP will not do all the tests - go to the main website of Thyroid UK and click onto About Testing. There are companies sending out testing kits to your home. Well used by members here.


Low B12 can be the cause of memory issues and more.

When you have results start a new post for more people to comment.

Recovery is different for everyone ...


Thanks for the reply, of course I realise everyone is different, I was just hoping for someone to shed some light on the subject. Thanks for all the tips on what to test! I'd have been clueless!

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I shall give you a list of clinical symptoms. I think there must be thousands of people undiagnosed and with disabling symptoms but never given a blood test in case they're low in thyroid hormones. Our heart and brain needs the most.

Marz has given good advice.


Blood tests for thyroid hormones have to be at the very earliest, fasting (you can drink water) and if taking thyroid hormones you'd allow a gap of 24 hours between last dose and test.

The advice above gives the best possible outcome as TSH varies throughout the day and may mean GP wont diagnose. Before blood tests were introduced we were given a trial of NDT due to symptoms alone. If we felt better we were diagnosed and continued on NDT for life.

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Thanks for the link. My appointment is at 10.50am, is that early enough? Ive made note from the advice above about what to ask for in my appointment, but will check the link you sent.


Personally I have the earliest available which is around 8.30 to 9 a.m. This is an excerpt:

Practice Implications

That there is a circadian rhythm to thyroid hormones is not surprising as the hormonal milieu is associated with diurnal rhythms. Thirty-five years ago, fluctuating TSH levels were demonstrated and found to be at their highest in the middle of the night.1 Current research suggests that TSH serum levels peak at between 2 am and 4 am and decrease to their lowest levels at between 4 pm and 8 pm. 2 Thus, the lower afternoon TSH levels found in the current abstract are consistent with previous research. Interestingly, the current abstract also found that higher morning TSH levels were associated with greater variability later in the day. The study’s authors also found that FT3, but not FT4, had a positive correlation with the TSH variability. The question they pose is whether a tighter range of TSH (0.4–2.5 mU/L) would be more sensitive in diagnosing hypothyroid patients whom would otherwise be missed using the current reference range (0.4–4.0 mU/L).


Re the last sentence suggesting a range between 0.4-2.5mU/L would enable more people to be diagnosed. Whereas in UK it has to reach 10.


Do you have Hashimoto's diagnosed by high antibodies

Gluten intolerance is extremely common and can significantly affect brain function.

You also sound under medicated. Dose should be increased in 25mcg steps until TSH is around one and FT4 towards top of range and FT3 at least half way in range.

Low FT3 can affect brain function too

For full evaluation you ideally need TSH, FT4, FT3, TT4, TPO and TG antibodies, plus vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12 tested

See if you can get full thyroid and vitamin testing from GP. Unlikely to get FT3

Private tests are available


Vitamindtest.org.uk - £28 postal kit

Medichecks Thyroid plus ultra vitamin or Blue Horizon Thyroid plus eleven are the most popular choice. DIY finger prick test or option to pay extra for private blood draw. Both companies often have money off offers.

All thyroid tests should be done as early as possible in morning and fasting and don't take Levo in the 24 hours prior to test, delay and take straight after. This gives highest TSH, lowest FT4 and most consistent results

Post results if you have them

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Thanks for the reply. I havent been diagnosed with anything, and am not on any medication. Ive got an appointment in the new year with my gp and hoping to get tested. Thank you for all the tips! Will post about any results :)

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Speaking personally, I don't think you ever do recover lost memories. I can remember quite a few things that happened when I was a small child. I can remember the birth of my brother, when I was four, and a few things before that, even, and I've never lost those memories. But, I don't remember very much from when my kids were small. They're always saying 'do you remember when...' and, no, I don't remember. And, I've never recovered those memories. Sorry to disappoint you.

As to short-term memory, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't! The worst is with taking my pills! Not the T3, I remember that easily. But, vitamins and minerals : did I take them or did I not? Often I mean to take them, but never do - I completely forget! I always mean to fill up my pill box, to make it easier, but never remember to do it! lol Funny thing, memory. It plays you a lot of tricks!

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Thank you very much for replying! I have always had difficulty remembering my childhood. We went to disney in florida when I was 6 and I cannot remember a thing! Even stuff thats happened in the last couple of years, I struggle with. I cant say I've noticed any problems with my short term memory though.

Thanks again for sharing your experience :)


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