Brain Fog.: Hello again everyone and thank you... - Thyroid UK

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Brain Fog.

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Hello again everyone and thank you for being such a fantastic forum of people to be able to talk to.

I find myself suffering more and more on a daily basis with brain fog and I am finding it very scary. I do suffer from Hypothyroidism and I am taking 125mcg Levothyroxine daily.

I find myself nearly every time I try to hold a conversation forgetting what i am talking about and I am very very worried and I am worried people are starting to notice. Does anyone else suffer from this ??.

I am 50 yrs old and been Hypo for 2 yrs plus.

Thank you for all replies.

48 Replies

Do you have any blood test results to share - perhaps your T3 is low.

Have you had B12 tested ? - also Ferritin - Folate - VitD. All need to be optimal for thyroid hormones to work well in the body. B12 needs to be over 500 to prevent cognitive decline ...

Do you have Hashimotos ? Are you on any other meds ?

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Hidden in reply to Marz

Thank you.

Yes, I've been there too coming from post TT Graves, but it got better. Couldn't say exactly what did the trick, but the main factors could be:

- switching to a T4+T3 combo and consequently achieving better FT3 levels (though FT4 level I've found to be equally important and TSH now it's really low)

- getting the antibodies really low via TT

-testing and supplementing vits and minerals, mainly Bs (B6 and B12) and D3

- supplementing conversion enablers like Selenium and Zinc

- lifestyle changes, introducing regular physical activity, better sleep, meditation and self-awarness.

Like Marz said it, would be a great idea to start monitoring your thyroid test results and exapand them to vits and minerals. Could be a starting point to asess the efficiency of your treatment.

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Hidden in reply to Caesard

Thank you.

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My memory was terrible a while back andnow have B12 jabs weekly to help. Low B12 and poorly treated hypothyroidism can cause poor memory but it is reversable and known as sudo dementia (it can look like dementia). Low B12 is common in thyroid patients. You are legally entitled to a copy of your notes/ blood results so if you can get a copy of your latest we would be able to help you more.

Do you have other hypothryoid symptoms and what is your pulse?

Caesard profile image
Caesard in reply to Hidden

Resting BPM and core temps are relevant. When i was struggling, my early morning temperature, before meds, was barely reaching 36 C

Catseyes235 profile image
Catseyes235 in reply to Caesard

Hello . .could you tell me a bit more about core temp? I just invested in a thermometer as kept feeling hot and sweaty but temp is under 'normal thanks

Caesard profile image
Caesard in reply to Catseyes235

Please check the thread below for further details and feel free to come back with other questions, I'm glad to help.

Otherwise yes, it may happen to overheat and have low core temps. Timing of temps reading is also relevant, I usually check it just before the next hormone dose.

healthunlocked.com/thyroidu...

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

Thank you.

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Hidden in reply to Hidden

Hello,

Thank you for reply.

I am sorry I do not know my core temp.

Will find this information out and will get back to you.

Thanks again.

Yes, I sympathise as I am finding the same. I have only been having Levo for about 3 months, and am only on 50mcg so I was rather hoping that this fog would go when I have reached the right level. I have asked for vitamin tests, as recommended on this forum, for my next bloods, Wednesday, but I don't know if they will do them yet. If you get this sorted please post again as to what you did. Good luck!

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Hidden in reply to jankei

Thank you.

Owleyes profile image
Owleyes in reply to jankei

I’m on 75 and 50 Levo altetnate days. On my 3rd month now. I asked for for the same you asked for but they wouldn’t do them. I’m having mine done from a site recommended on here. I also have gone on the Keto diet. Do I feel better or what!

It’s hard to get your tummy round.

found a great app to help. One good thing I don’t feel hungry and I’ve lost a few pounds. Xx

hello yes I suffer quite badly from this iam on 200mcg levo and when I say sorry brain fog when I lose the thread of conversation they think iam daft for thinking brain fog is a real thing iam going for repeat bloods tomorrow and iam going to ask for print out of result on here as I fell there is more info on here than at gp ifeel its best too keep telling people its because of thyroid problem the more you tell them they may listen and help by picking up thread of conversation for you with no big deal good luck

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Hidden in reply to makemepainfree

Thank you.

Yes I did but big improvement once T3 added in.

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Hidden in reply to Summer64

Thank you.

Please post your blood test results with the ranges for people to answer correctly.

TSH, T4, FT3, Vitamin D, Folate, B12, Ferritin, plus antibodies. The blood test needs to be taken first thing on an empty stomach. Leave of Levo for 20/24 hours before test.

If you do this things could become better for you, I have looked up your previous post but no results so far.

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Hidden in reply to Bunnyjean

Thank you.

You will probably find, like me and many others, that you need to add T3. My doctor raised T4 (thyroxine) levels until my TSH was below 0.05 (a level that made him panic) and I still had brain fog. My endo added some T3 and the brain fog started to clear. Some of us have problems converting T4 to enough T3. There is lots of help and support here. Finding a doctor or endo who understands T3 is the main problem. It is also very expensive. Some of us get a prescription from endo or doctor for T3 and buy it from Germany or Europe. It costs £30 per 100 tablets in Europe but £1,000 per 100 tablets in UK. Doctors/endos are much more helpful toward T3 if NHS is not paying for it (and you can see why at that price).

As everyone has said, the starting point is to get your results up so we can see what is happening. Also check it’s not other things like vitamins or adrenal problems.

Stick at it and keep your spirits up. It can be fixed. It takes time and needs the right steps to get there. Each of us is different, so it takes time to work out what you need and will get you well.

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Hidden in reply to T3sortedme

Thank you.

I have found that taking EQUAZEN which is omega3 and 6 has helped my mind clear quite a bit. I get it from Amazon.

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Hidden in reply to Sylvia22

Thank you.

Hello. I have had hypothyroidism for a long time and initially didn’t experience brain fog however, the last ten years it became slowly worse, the last two years have been awful. I have had memory challenges, using the wrong words ie that table is nice when I would mean to say that chair is nice - this happened continuously, and in addition I started to stutter and incorrectly pronounce words. It became so bad I retreated socially and developed anxiety. GP said theyrois levels okay and I is depression! I also felt my brain and mind was, as the label states, in a fog and very spaced out.

Other hypo symptoms were getting worse too. I started to look into to thyroxine, as that was the only constant med I took over the years, and my research lead me to this site - thank god! After lots of reading I started to add a bit of T3 to my thyroxine - a little relief but most symptoms still present and severe!

Finally had enough and dropped the thyroxine completed approx 4/5 weeks ago, added super strength B12, D3, Iron, selenium and strong multivitamins and upped the T3 to 50mcg (25 am & 25 pm).. I can tell you honestly I feel better than I have done in years! Brainfog has cleared by about 60% - I am thinking quicker and the spaced out fog feeling has mostly gone. I am not stuttering and my words are correct! Still have to think find my words sometimes but at least they are the correct words haha!

My other symptoms have improved slightly ie hair loss has slowed, weight - not as bloated but still a way to go re losing weight. My skin (on face) looks brighter and I don’t have joint and muscle pain anymore. More energy too so have now started to excercise a bit more too.

I am not saying T3 is a miracle cure but it seems to be working for me and had significantly reduced the fog which was the most important thing for me. Do you research and use this and stopthethyroidmadness website for support and guidance - both are so valuable x

I wish you luck with your journey xx

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Hidden in reply to Tiredtash

Thank you so much for the advice. Really appreciated. X

Hi LittleMunchkin, (love the name)

Could very well be related to underactive thyroid. I hate to say it as well the brain fog, can be related to menopause as well.

However, it would do no harm in getting all your bloods done, including ferritin and folate levels. B12, Vitamin D deficiency and anaemia do walk hand in hand with thyroid conditions.

Sometimes I find it hard to talk, especially if I am tired or stressed, normally happens late afternoon or night time. I am also terrible with forgetting people's names, very embarrassing. Good with anniversaries and birthdays, but not names. I have also forgotten words, but they do come back, but not straight away. Very frustrating.

If you are prescribed supplements do not take them with your thyroid meds, as the thyroid meds do not absorb well with iron or vitamin D supplements. Leave at least four hours in between meds.

Hope all goes well and let us know how you get on.

Take care :)

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Hidden in reply to JOLLYDOLLY

Thank you for your reply.

Greatly appreciated. X

Hi Little Munchkin, we have all had moments when our brain can suddenly freeze, for instance I was talking to my husband about a trip he had to take abroad and for a second or two I totally forgot what I was saying - sleepless night, stress build up, the fact he was going away on business plus flying from bristol airport with Ryanair who had cancelled a lot of flights. Everything turned out fine. Please consider if you could be stressed about something, lack of sleep and not eating properly can really affect how we think and feel and have a negative effect on the body. Having said that if you really are worried about your memory a quick trip to the doctor might be an idea, just talking to someone might help. Good luck.

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Hidden in reply to JanW

Thank you for your reassuring words. X

When I first came on this site, about seven years ago, I could see it was very relevant to my situation which was very similar to yours. At that time my brain fog was so bad that I could only copy and paste anything that looked as though it may be relevant to me into a Word document. I would then print off that document and very slowly read it at my own pace a little at a time.

After visits to Dr Peatfield, I've come on in leaps and bounds. I wasnt converting the thyroxin I was taking into a usable format and had to take T3 instead. This may or may not be the case with you but I wish you the best of luck in your journey and I feel sure you will be able to work it out.

Raali profile image
Raali in reply to mstp

Hi there! I am experiencing the same thing how much t3 are you taking? I want to feel normal again. This brain fog is a horrible symptom!

mstp profile image
mstp in reply to Raali

I am currently taking 75 mcg T3. This may not apply to you though. Everyone is different when it comes to T3 and it is necessary to start off very slowly and work up assessing your symptoms as you go. Introducing T3 is very very difficult because you have to be so aware and when you are taking too much you have to reduce the dose very slowly. It isnt like any other medication and you are unlikely to feel normal again until you have worked out what dose you need. I suppose what I am saying is that it isnt a quick fix. Good luck.

Raali profile image
Raali in reply to mstp

Hi there! Thanks for your reply. Are you splitting the dose or taking the whole in one go?

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Hello,

Thank you for taking time to reply along with everyone else which I really appreciate.

I am still trying to come to terms with this Hypothyroidism thing and just seeking reassurance from other sufferers of this condition that this kind thing ( brain fog ) can occur.

I really do not mean to offend by my lack of information.

Sorry for any upset I may have caused.

Marz profile image
Marz in reply to Hidden

Thank you for your reply. You have not upset me at all - I was concerned enough to return to your post after several hours to see how the conversation had progressed and hoping there was a little more information.

Brain fog can be linked to so many things - which is why I asked about your T3 levels and B12. If they are low in range then it could help the brain fog if levels were optimal.

The T4/Levo you are taking needs to convert into the active thyroid hormone T3. The brain has more receptors for T3 than any other part of the body - so being low in the range can be a problem. It seems from reading here for seven years that many members who have suffered with brain fog feel better when they have good thyroid levels and vitamins and minerals. Sadly it can all take time. I too suffered at the beginning of my journey before all the ingredients were in place having learnt so much from others here.

I was only trying to help and hopefully you will soon feel stronger.

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Hidden in reply to Marz

Thank you again for taking time to reply.

I find it all confusing,

all the ins and outs of my condition and feel overwhelmed.

I also take a lot of other medication for Mental Health conditions i.e. Personality disorder.They are as follows

Depakote ( valproic acid )

Sertraline

Thiamine

Olanzapine

Mebeverine

Antihistamine along with my Levothyroxine.

Just the sheer volume of medication everyday I find grad to deal with and it does get too much.

Thank you again Marz.

Marz profile image
Marz in reply to Hidden

It must be really difficult to manage your meds along with the Levo. Some of them I do not know about so will have to read up and learn 😊 Is it possible the combination of your medication is causing the brain fog - ? - just a thought ...

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Hidden in reply to Marz

It could well be the different medications causing the problem but just find the whole lot difficult to deal with.

I just feel the Hypothyroidism was the last thing I needed but tell myself that I have it so deal with it.

I used to think when my sister-in-law mentioned how she felt being Hypo that it couldn't possibly be as bad as she said, but boy did I find out how difficult it can be.

Thanks again Marz.

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to Hidden

Have you never considered that you were hypo long, long before you were actually diagnosed as such? It is so very difficult to get diagnosed. Thyroid is the last thing doctors consider and will treat every symptom as a separate disease, and prescribe a mountain of drugs, and it will never occur to them that all these 'diseases' have the same common cause. That's the way it usually is. And, it could be that if your hypo was adequately treated, you would not need all these other medications. We see that so often on here.

Of course you are confused by it all - most of us cope because we've been doing it for a long time, and have read almost all there is to read to understand our condition. But, everyone has to start somewhere. And you have the advantage of having found this power-house of information early on in your journey. Some people go for twenty, thirty years before they find us. So, make the most of it! Give us all the details and ask as many questions as you like. That's what we're here for. Our one desire is to make people well again. But, just saying, 'oh yes! I have the same as you!' may be comforting, but it won't get rid of the symptoms. We need to dig deeper for that. And that's why we ask so many annoying questions! You'd be surprised how one little thing that you think insignificant turns out to be the most significant clue to why you're not improving. Fix that, and you're well on the way to a better you! :)

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Hidden in reply to greygoose

Greygoose thank you for replying.

I never actually looked at it that way but what you say makes sense.

The only thing I worry about is coming off the Depakote ( Valproic Acid ) which is used to treat my Personality Disorder. That drug was prescribed by a Psychiatrist along with the Sertraline ( Antidepressant ), Just wary of the suicidal ideation thoughts reoccurring.

I suppose a consultation with consultant would help.

Thank you for all the help. X

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to Hidden

Well, wait until you're thyroid levels are optimal before you think of coming off anything. It's almost certain that your 'personality disorder' is due to your low thyroid. Having low T3 completely changes your personality.

The fact that it was prescribed by a psychiatrist doesn't actually mean you have a personality disorder - horrible thing to say about anyone, anyway. Remember that psychiatrist are continually trying to justify their existence!

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Hidden in reply to greygoose

Greygoose thank you for replying.

I will make sure all levels are optimal before doing anything.

I really appreciate your advice.

Take care. X

greygoose profile image
greygoose in reply to Hidden

You're welcome. Let us know when you get some results. But, don't forget the ranges. :)

SlowDragon profile image
SlowDragonAdministrator in reply to Hidden

Mebeverine is I believe for irritable bowel

Well with hypothyroidism, the most common cause is autoimmune thyroid disease also called Hashimoto's

Hashimoto's often causes gut issues, as a result low vitamins and very often gluten intolerance

Brain fog can be low B vitamins and/or gluten and/or low thyroid hormones

So the first step is to get find out your most recent test results and get tested any that haven't been done.

do you have any actual blood test results? if not will need to get hold of copies. You are legally entitled to printed copies of your blood test results

UK GP practices are supposed to offer online access for blood test results. Ring and ask if this is available and apply to do so if possible, if it is you may need enhanced access to see blood results.

In reality many GP surgeries do not have blood test results online yet

Alternatively ring receptionist and request printed copies of results. Allow couple of days and then go and pick up. They can no longer charge for printing out, rules changed after May 25th 2018

For full Thyroid evaluation you need TSH, FT4, TT4, FT3 plus TPO and TG thyroid antibodies and also very important to test vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12

Ask GP to run vitamin tests if not been done

Private tests are available. Thousands on here forced to do this as NHS often refuses to test FT3 or antibodies or vitamins

thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

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 ideally be done as early as possible in morning and fasting. When on Levothyroxine, don't take in the 24 hours prior to test, delay and take straight after test. This gives highest TSH, lowest FT4 and most consistent results. (Patient to patient tip, GP will be unaware)

If antibodies are high this is Hashimoto's, (also known by medics here in UK more commonly as autoimmune thyroid disease).

About 90% of all hypothyroidism in Uk is due to Hashimoto's. Low vitamins are especially common with Hashimoto's. Food intolerances are very common too, especially gluten. So it's important to get TPO and TG thyroid antibodies tested at least once .

Hashimoto's affects the gut and leads to low stomach acid and then low vitamin levels. Low vitamin levels affect Thyroid hormone working

Poor gut function can lead leaky gut (literally holes in gut wall) this can cause food intolerances. Most common by far is gluten.

According to Izabella Wentz the Thyroid Pharmacist approx 5% with Hashimoto's are coeliac, but over 80% find gluten free diet helps significantly. Either due to direct gluten intolerance (no test available) or due to leaky gut and gluten causing molecular mimicry (see Amy Myers link)

Changing to a strictly gluten free diet may help reduce symptoms, help gut heal and slowly lower TPO antibodies

Ideally ask GP for coeliac blood test first

amymyersmd.com/2017/02/3-im...

chriskresser.com/the-gluten...

thyroidpharmacist.com/artic...

scdlifestyle.com/2014/08/th...

drknews.com/changing-your-d...

thyroidpharmacist.com/artic...

Come back with new post once you have results and ranges

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to SlowDragon

Thank you for the list of websites. Will check these out.

Thanks again.

A series of comments have been removed.

I am familiar with most of the drugs you are taking and any one of these meds can cause brain fog. The combination of all the drugs you are taking on top of the thyroid condition can be disasterous. It took me almost a year to wean off the psychotropic medications and the process was extremely difficult as the withdrawal made all my symptoms worse for many months. However, I was convinced that I could not make any significant progress in my thyroid condition until I was drug free so I persevered. After I was off all the medications I started my diet, I brought up all my nutritional levels up by supplementation and am now in the process of eliminating my levothyroxine and using T3 only as my T3 has always been extremely low. A year later after much trial and error my energy is starting to return and low and behold all the depression, so called personality disorder and brain fog has gone away. I firmly believe that all the years of prescribed drug use was what eventually flared up my condition. In most autoimmune conditions your own education, intuition and persistence are the only hope of saving yourself. Do not depend on the doctors other than to convince them you need the thyroid medications you are seeking.

Initially I took them in a split dose but I find it works much better for me to take the whole dose in one go.

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