Many of us accept the idea that as we age, our cognitive skills and memory decline. It’s a natural part of aging. Or is it? Surely you know someone aged 90 or over who’s as sharp as a tack. Clearly, cognitive decline isn’t as inevitable as we may have thought.

The fact is that our mental faculties are subject to a host of influences, and they can be affected by anything from a bad night’s sleep to lack of vitamin D. They’re also sensitive to hormones.

Thyroid Hormones and “Brain Fog”

The thyroid hormones, T4 (thyroxine) and T3 (triiodothyronine), have a powerful effect on brain function and cognition. Along with other common symptoms of weight gain, low metabolism, and cold intolerance, “brain fog” is a side effect of hypothyroidism, or low thyroid function.

You may have experienced brain fog, even if that’s not what you called it. It’s that feeling of not being able to find the right word, not remembering things you should remember, and not having the mental acuity you’re used to. After a few too many episodes, you may be asking yourself, “Am I going crazy?” or “Am I going senile?” The answer is no.

What’s happening is that your brain isn’t getting the support it needs to function properly. Thyroid hormones are responsible for regulating metabolism in the body, or the conversion of food and oxygen to energy. When thyroid hormones are under produced or underutilized, metabolism slows. (This is also related to why people with hypothyroidism tend to be sensitive to cold, as their slow metabolism often leads to lower core body temperature and a reduced ability to handle cold.) The result: your brain isn’t as “quick” as it once was.

Hypothyroidism is often associated with mood disturbances and cognitive impairment, implying that thyroid hormones are critical for normal brain functioning. In particular, hypothyroidism has been associated with several cognitive deficits, including general intelligence, psychomotor speed, visual-spatial skills and memory. (1)

Could Low Thyroid Function Be to Blame for Your Brain Fog?

Low thyroid function might be the cause of your constant or recurring brain fog. Ask yourself if you have any other symptoms commonly associated with hypothyroidism, including:

Intolerance to cold
Low body temperature
Low blood pressure
Weight gain or inability to lose weight
Mood swings
Depressed mood
Loss of libido
Digestion problems and/or IBS
Loss of the outer third of the eyebrow

If you recognize several symptoms in yourself, you may have hypothyroidism. (If not, other avenues to explore include sleep patterns, diet, and imbalance of the sex hormones including estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.)

Although it’s never desirable to discover you have a disorder or imbalance in the body, I’ve found that many people I see are relieved to know that they are exhibiting symptoms of hypothyroidism, because that means they can do something about it!

This is especially true for people who have gone the conventional medicine route and have been told that they are “fine,” despite their personal experience, because the numbers from a blood test say they are. While I never discourage anyone from getting tests, I do encourage them to pay attention to their symptoms above the results on their report. That’s what I do with the people I treat and I’m happy to say I’ve seen tens of thousands of positive outcomes for people who had lost hope.

Desiccated Thyroid Hormone Replacement Can Lift the Brain Fog

The treatment I, along with my team at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, typically give to people suffering from hypothyroidism is desiccated thyroid hormone, which is bioidentical to what is made by the body. The body can’t tell the difference between the bioidentical thyroid hormones you take and the thyroid hormones you produce yourself. Taking these bioidentical hormones can reverse the symptoms of hypothyroidism, including brain fog, and improve quality of life.

Dr. Hotze explains how hypothyroidism affects your energy, brain function, and other symptoms:

If you want to learn more about thyroid hormone replacement to address your hypothyroidism symptoms, then I encourage you to contact us at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center by calling 281-698-8698 or by visiting our website. We would love to partner with you in taking charge of your health and regaining your mental acuity, memory, and overall wellness.

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1. Verbal Memory Retrieval Deficits Associated With Untreated Hypothyroidism