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Mary Shomon

Brain Fog and Hypothyroidism: One Woman's Story

By June 27, 2004

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A reader, Amy shares her story about brain fog and hypothyroidism....

Since being diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I have experienced a few very disturbing episodes of "brain fog". I was noticing that my short term memory was getting significantly worse over about a two month period. The other symptoms are bad enough, but I absolutely cannot abide my brain going on the blink. I mentioned it to my doctor and he ran my blood. Thyroid numbers were in "normal" range. The memory problems continued and got worse; including a real difficulty concentrating.

One day at lunch I realized that I just could not focus on what the person with me was saying. I could not even figure out how to respond to her when she spoke to me. I heard what she was saying but could not concentrate on how to respond. I FREAKED! In a total panic I got back to work and immediately called my doctor. I was sure that something dramatic was wrong...tumor....alien implantation...what the heck was going on? After a doctor ordered CAT scan (nothing wrong there) and a lot of web surfing I came across some references to anemia in hypothyroid patients and some symptoms of anemia similar to what I was experiencing.So....

I asked Dr. if he had run a red blood cell count on me. Of course the answer was "NO"....so I asked politely...If he would please run a CBC. Sure enough....my numbers were "slightly" low. After a week of prescription iron, taken at the opposite end of the day from my thyroid meds, it was like a light switch was flipped. My brain snapped back on and my short term memory and concentration problems were gone.

Now if I feel a real slip in my memory/concentration I get a CBC and pop the iron. For me, a "little low" equals big problems. I could not have survived and finally thrived without sites and info such as yours. Educate yourself folks and know your body. It makes a world of difference.

Thanks for lending an ear.

Sincerely,

Amy
Comments
August 19, 2006 at 2:11 pm
(1) laurie says:

boy does this sound like me, what kind of iron do you take? is it prescription only?

January 14, 2007 at 3:21 pm
(2) CARL says:

can you please tell me how much iron you took per day, and was it only prescribable?

Regards,
Carl

August 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm
(3) Sherry Palmer says:

Can I take an iron supplement? It all sounds right on.

March 27, 2007 at 3:30 pm
(4) sharon says:

Hi, I want some of what you are on, it’s like reading about myself, but all I get off my gp is I have serious mental health issues, I don’t know what to do please help, I want someone to listen to me for a change.
Regards
Sharon

September 7, 2011 at 8:32 pm
(5) paul says:

hi, same thing happend to me, go see an endocryonlogist

May 4, 2007 at 3:45 am
(6) katrina says:

This sound like my prolem. I’m extremely worried at the moment that my brain fog cannot be reversed. It has been progressive for eight years. Can you tell me more about the iron supplement you take?

August 19, 2007 at 1:36 pm
(7) Newell Heywood says:

After 18 yeqrs of brain fog a doctor finally cured it with a presciption of hormones, thyroid (T3) being on of them. I take 2 time release caps twice a day to get:
T3=12.5 mcg (liothyronine)
cortisol=11 mg
testosterone=50mg
DHEA=37.5mg and
pregnenalone=100mg
These are compounded at a pharmacy
FINALLY!: Newell

April 25, 2011 at 11:44 pm
(8) Beege says:

Da– Newell, where did you find such a THOROUGH endocrinologist ?? That sounds great !! Really happy for you.

September 3, 2011 at 3:53 pm
(9) Jean Wright says:

Hi
are you still on these meds and are you able to say where to get them from?
thanks
Jean

March 4, 2008 at 2:26 pm
(10) JP says:

This sounds exactly like me. I had a total thyroidectomy in 2002. I didn’t notice the change right away but over the years, my cognitive function has lessened. A year or so ago, my CBC reflected chronic anemia and my GP put me on iron supplements. It upset my tsh levels and I stopped taking the iron supplement. My endochronologist told me before taking iron supplements again, my GP should consult with him. It wasn’t until recently that I had another CBC with the same results for anemia and then I came across your article and thought perhaps, this could be key. I also read articles about the T3 levels in patients with thyroid disorders might be key. I have a high profile job where I need to be able to think on my feet and right now I feel vulnerable. I need help!

May 30, 2008 at 12:47 am
(11) grace says:

Iron gives me constipation but glad it’s working for you
I have the fog at the moment,it’s like aphasia, can’t think of words
or put sentences together,
it’s very difficult..
wondering what else could help if TSH and all levels are ok.
thanks

June 4, 2008 at 9:22 pm
(12) Tiffany says:

For the past 5 years I have thought that there was something really wrong with me. Doctors would look at me wierd when I would try to explain my “episodes” of not being able to understand what someone was saying to me, and then if I tried to respond all that came out was non-sense. I am going to talk to my doctor about what you said – you might have changed my life for the better! You don’t know how many times I have cried in frustration. I am an extremely smart person, I have several college degrees and a great job – only to have moments of what felt like I was trapped in 20 – 45 second bouts of stupidity. Thank you for the help!

August 27, 2008 at 3:55 pm
(13) kim says:

I, too, have hypothyroidism and to top it off, ADD issues too. Two things to also consider. Have doctor do T-Cell count and NOT JUST blood test. I did this and doc found I was PROFOUNDLY undermedicated. Doc has since quintupled my meds (over five months) and getting another T-Cell checkup tomorrow. Secondly, REAL thyroid, as opposed to synthetic, works better. You WILL likely have to fight your doc on the change, but oh my what a difference in my energy level!!

Last of all, educate YOURSELF about your condition. Most doctors, unless they are specialized in your condition, know about as much as you do about it. No offense meant or intended.

KT

February 3, 2009 at 1:15 am
(14) karla says:

have i got a cure for you.
i was the same way just really figured it out after a drug store full of suppliments.
try natures bounty multi enzyme formula only took an hour to make me clear as a bell, i almost cried

February 6, 2009 at 3:43 pm
(15) woldemar says:

How long do the episodes of fog last? I have these for days sometimes. reality like i know it is distorted then. and all of the sudden it’s gone.. sometimes after a night of hard liquor as well. I think our symptomes in some cases lead to alcoholism..

March 15, 2009 at 2:58 am
(16) Watch and Wait says:

since having a fine needle biopsy of thyroid two months ago, I have struggled with daily episodes of brain fog. Shortly after the biopsy, I had memory problems, and still have balance problems. I will investigate iron. Of course, GP doesn’t consider any of my symptoms b/c TSH in “normal range” – a technique used by doctors to avoid having to work on anyone not critically ill.

April 28, 2009 at 4:07 am
(17) Chris says:

I’m wondering if anyone has had a similar experience to me. I started having short episodes of feeling “detached” from what was going on around me when I was 9 or 10 years old. Gradually, these episodes progressed until it became a permanent state that I have lived with for more than 30 years. I have tried many doctors and neurologists, alternative medicines and treatments and had countless tests but no real diagnosis has been made, other than abnormally low blood pressure and more recently depression, which I believe is more a side effect of having lived with this awful condition for so long. Now that I have been searching the Net and reading about hypothyroidism, I am hoping that maybe I have found an answer to being able to lead a more rewarding and engaging life after all these years and I will ask my doctor to do more thorough thyroid tests. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

May 7, 2009 at 1:52 am
(18) brett steffey says:

Chris- Yes. I have experienced that, I move in and out of it- but I never feel totally alert. I can deal with other people sometimes and sometimes I cannot. I found the upside of involuntary detachment was some great observational skills. The downside is im aware I’m sleepwalking and there are usually bizzare walls up for no reason. Memory is shot and cognition is nice to see when it happens. Glad to meet ya. I’ll race you to good health~ :)

June 3, 2009 at 10:30 pm
(19) Stephanie says:

God, it’s comforting to read these posts; I’m not the only one! It’s so bizarre not to have access to articulate words and clear thinking like I used to. I’m on T3 and dhea and progesterone, but I’m still gaining weight. I decided to bite the bullet and go completely raw/vegan for a month to see if that would help. I can’t tell you how depressing it is to eat nothing but vegetables for a month and gain 3 pounds. I want my figure back!!!!! Thanks for sharing your experiences, my friends. It helps.

June 20, 2009 at 3:16 pm
(20) Chiara says:

Hi,

I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one suffering with this deabilitating brain fog. The first time I got it was when I was about 21, miraculously cleared after 6yrs just out of the blue and well have lived a normal life up until now. Recently went to a doctor who advised me that I have an underactive thyroid and started treating me with homeopathic treatment for about 6 weeks. Funny enough I didn’t have this brain fog when I went to see him, but am completedly spaced out now, can’t think straight, can’t focus and life has once again become miserable. I can only think that it is thyroid related and that something has triggered it. Btw who knows what “normal” thyroid levels should be? I have an elevated TSH with low T3 and T4.

August 13, 2011 at 11:26 pm
(21) GINGERSNAP says:

Probably Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease of the thyroid. Elevated TSH means your pituitary gland is “yelling” at your thyroid to produce hormone. Low T4 means it is producing as much as it can. The autoimmune process destroys part of the gland and it cannot function at normal levels. (There is an inverse relationship between TSH level and T4 level.)

September 1, 2009 at 5:56 am
(22) Karen says:

Are these brain fog happens when driving? It happens to me sometimes at the very begining of the Hypothyroid symptoms, then it got worst. I have to take Lorazepam (Ativan) an hour before I drive in order to get rid of the “brain fog”. Have anyone of you encounter these driving problems too? I’ve pull off the freeway enourmous times and this is really a big problem for me… :(

October 12, 2010 at 2:47 am
(23) Chloe says:

Hi Karen: I take Ativan occasionally. Ativan is an anti-anxiety drug – a depressant that impairs cognitive function. I’m confused how it could help you drive. I would consider NOT taking it before you drive or you may cause an accident and hurt yourself/others.

September 1, 2009 at 8:47 am
(24) Borg says:

I usually wake up feeling quite clear and good.
I do my 1,5 75mg synthroid tablet in the morning (total 112,5mg), go to work. Sometimes feeling good for a long time, but usually the brain fog arrives at one stage. World seems blurred, like if you get dizzy from going round and round, and then eyes cannot focus, with the balance still intact.
And ALWAYS when i drive home after work, I am feeling tired, yawning like it was 2′o clock in the morning. I have tried to take half a pill of 75 mg synthroid during the day, still don’t know if that helps.

Can someone please comment on my high TSH, and quite normal other levels? I am now on Levaxin, (Synthroid)
Normal range: TSH =(0,4-4.4)
FreeT3 = (3,1-6,3)
FreeT4 = (12-22)

(Date TSH FreeT3 FreeT4 Medication)
(sep08 25 3,9 13 None)
(oct08 30 3,6 11 None)
(jan09 10 4,0 17 50mg SynT)
(jan09 12 4,4 18 50mg SynT)
(feb09 7,8 4,1 17 75mg SynT)
(apr09 8,4 4,3 17 75mg SynT)
(may09 6,6 18 3,5 75mg SynT)
(jul09 5,5 N/A N/A 112mg SynT)

I cannot understand why TSH was so high when I first discovered this in september 2008, with normal T3 and T4 levels.
I am usually a athletic and funny male, 37 years old,all I want is to find myself again, I’m sick of this shit, I wonder if it has to do with a marriage where I have to argue every day, all ideas are welcome. I am considering switching to NatureThroid or Armour.

October 1, 2009 at 11:44 pm
(25) neha says:

I had muscle cramps and a doctor put me on pain killers,following that IO had low b.p,and was put on multi vitamins and de anxit…only to make the situation worse…..Thereafter I became weaker…in pain and started having memory loss and brain fog…heightened anger too…was put on sleeping pills.

I am 23 years old and was then diagnosed rightly with hypothyroidism….have been thyronorm 50 for 30 days now but theres fatigue and brain fog…sometimes I lose confidence feeling as if what if this lasts forever…I had just completed my MBA and topped my class,got a new job and now this…..it feels miserable that I had to suffer owing to so much misdiagnoses.

Though docs say get busy,i prefer to relax and get my energy levels and sharp mental abilities back.I have a life ahead…..

Does brain fog cure on its own in a few months time?

October 4, 2009 at 11:25 pm
(26) Angela says:

Wow, this brain fog thing is REAL! I’ve suffered with this for 19 years. 5 yrs ago, a doc finally tested my thyroid, and put me on synthroid (50 mcg). Most docs tried to tell me I was “depressed,” and put me on prozac, effexor, wellbutrin, etc! Nothing helped. Unfortunately, although the Synthroid helped me lose the weight I had suddenly gained, my brain fog persists, and seems to worsen. I’m 44 now. I just had a brain MRI, and am awaiting the results. My current doc also said that my TSH is “normal,” so she’s not concerned about my thyroid. Well, when I get my MRI results from her (hopefully it’s NORMAL!), I’m going to really push her for more thyroid testing and experimenting with thyroid medications, synthetic and natural. I never thought about the fact that 1) T3 should be tested, and 2) even though my levels are ‘in range,’ this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re normal for ME, if I’m still not feeling well. I’m going to really press her for action, even if it means demanding a referral to an endocrinologist. I can’t live with this brain fog much longer…!!! Thanks for letting me vent!! :)

December 3, 2009 at 5:06 pm
(27) barbara says:

making an appointment with an endocrinologist is KEY!!! PCP will look at the lab values and if they are not “X” off as high/low- the answer is
“you are within normal limits”. this happened to me but i knew something was wrong. i was a serious runner competing in races and mini-triathalons. during my runs i would be tripping over my feet (which had not occurred in the past), my pace was about 1-minute/mile off from the usual- and to boot i was gaining weight. in additon – i scheduled my work and down time to make sure i had my 12-14-hours of sleep.
i share this because if i stuck with my PCP’s results and not seen an endocrinologist i would never have been treated.
i was right on the cusp – still “within normal limits” – but my endocrinologist put me on synthroid and it helped a ton!!!
if anyone has any information on vitamens (iron, etc) or neutraceuticals – i would like to hear.

December 20, 2009 at 12:11 am
(28) Denise says:

I was born without the use of my thyroid. I have had trouble off and on all my life with feeling not well when my levels were off then feeling pretty good when they were ok. After I had my son, at age 24 I started to feel lousy most of the time and had to use every ounce of energy to take care of him. I said forget the major housework.( washing down walls, ect) and decided I had to make my baby my priority. I had another baby at 28, my daughter. After her birth, I felt more tired and decided it was time to call it quits on having any more children. I wanted to spare my energy for the two precious children I alreay had. My children aer 21 and 14 now and I am still having trouble with fatigue, brain fog, ( I called to ask the endrocrinologist if they could send me another paper so I could get my tests ( lost the first two papers) She said ” we didn’t send the second one, you picked it up last week”.. I was astounded as I had no recollection of having been there at all. I have had significant weight gain, swollen joints, higher then normal Cerebral spinal pressure ( found through a spinal tap), fibermyalgia, I also now have mitral valve regurgitation, insomnia, brain fog, headaches ( severe burning sensation in the back of my head) hypertension, osteoporosis and arthritis. as of May 2009 my TSH was .0.6 ( normal range is 0.34 to 2.5) I finally started asking my pcp for all my test results. I now keep them in a folder. I found out that my test results have been off for a long time. I kept telling my dr that I feel as though I’m shutting down. I also have low cortisol. He kept touting depression. I told him if I’m depressed it was due to my levels jumping all around. I finally went to a endocronologist. She changed my synthroid up to 112. mc and sent me to a neurologist. He started me on B-12 shots. It helps some but I still get tired very easy. I have been off work for 6 months. I’m not even sure if I can go back to the same job as I can’t even remember how to do it. It is very frustrating. I can deal with the pain, just not being able to remember or totally drawing a blank is very disheartening. I do photography, I also went to school to be a phlebotomist. It seems no matter where I work, I don’t have the stamina to keep up. I hope there is an answer out ther to help a person regain their memoery. or is it gone forever?

October 6, 2011 at 12:36 am
(29) Joy says:

Precious Denise, you have symptoms of Lyme Disease and please research to find an LLMD aka Lyme Literate Medical Doctor who will help you. They are versed in it incredibly and will not further frustrate you with otherwise medical “loopholes” and making you go through so much testing without accuracy and proper diagnosis. Your children love and need you. You’re a great Mom. Press on for an expert physician.

April 16, 2010 at 2:41 pm
(30) amy perez says:

Yes, can you please elaborate how much iron intake and the specifics.. was it every day, every other day, etc… My mental ability to focus has gotten worse yet my levels and cbc are always withing range.

May 19, 2010 at 4:10 am
(31) carolyn says:

I found the discussion on brain fog encouraging because when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in Aug 2008 I felt like I must be the only one who feels like that. I am at 112mcgs but have changed at least 4 times in the past 20 months. So it seems like TSH fluctuates alot. I don’t have the dizziness/fuzziness as much since I increased my caffeine intake. you might not want to arbitrarily just start taking iron supplements though. I suggest reading the relationship between hemochromatosis and hypothyroidism. I recently had a MRI and have extensive mineralization in the basal ganglia. my neurological prognosis is not good.

May 23, 2010 at 1:29 pm
(32) Fiona says:

My 7yr old daughter was born without a thyroid gland, she just got her IQ testing done and wow, she has NO memory at all. normal range is 100, she scored a 65! She knows something one day and the next its like she has no clue what you are talking about! I have always said she is in a fog, now i know why! I want to help her, but dont exactly know what to do, her endo just says its normal! I WANT TOT HELP HER!! any advise?

May 23, 2010 at 6:36 pm
(33) cms says:

I am hypothyrodic and taking naturethroid with good effect. Memory and thought process keep improving. Several years ago I had a physician try a technique which required me to take my temperature every hour. I can say that my normal temperature before taking naturethryoid was around 96.5. On a good and usually active day I might reach 97.5. I noticed a good correlation between temperature and energy and cognition. I got in the habit of taking a hot shower in the morning and staying in until my temperature reached 98.6. I have done this for several years now. I can say from how I react as my body heats up- I should not be allowed to operate machinery below 97.3 , above 97.3 can put one foot in front of the other and respond reasonably to other people thought it is an effort. Above 98.4 I am alive and feel good, have little memory problem and my thought processes are good. Interesting discussion of symptoms http://www.mall-net.com/mcs/coldbody.html#Scale
Since being properly treated my temperature is up and goes to normal very quickly in the morning.

June 27, 2010 at 12:29 am
(34) Judy says:

I’m reading everyone’s comments and I too have started having brain fog. I went to my endo and he told me my tsh levels were good and when I told him about my brain fog he said because my levels were good my problem is neurological and wants me to visit a neurologist! I developed hypothyroidism after a stupid dermatologist radiated my face for acne in the mid-70′s. The dangers of doing that were well known in the 60′s! In any event most endocrinologists as Mary Shomon has said, just look at tsh levels and nothing more. Do yourself a favor a buy her book, “Living Well with Hypothyroidism.” She recommends doctors, by state, who treat hypothyoidism beyond what a traditional endocrinoligist will do. In other words, the doctors recommended by Mary look at all your symptoms and treat them. I’m going to one she has recommended in Virginia. Brain fog is a very real thing; I’m very upset my endo, who btw is listed as a “top doctor” isn’t linking my brain fog to my hypothyroidism!

July 2, 2010 at 3:04 pm
(35) Barbara says:

I am 51y.o. and found out 3 years ago that I have Hashimoto’s. At that time, I had 2 discs in my neck repaired and the surgeon saw a nodule on my thyroid and took a biopsy. Thank goodness! My regular doctor started me on Synthroid right away. Told me I had probably had this for a very long time. I found Mary Shomon’s pages and had really educated myself. My first visit with the Doc to check my levels I asked him about trying Cytomel cause the only symptom that was relieved was I had stopped gaining weight. (Before the Synthroid, I had gained 40 pounds in 3 1/2 months. A few times in my life I had gained 30 – 40 pounds in a very short time and was always told by my then doctors that I was just over eating.) My Doc said “sure, let’s give it a shot.” He started me on 12.5 mcg’s. OMG, what a difference it made right away. My skin felt better, wasn’t as dry and course, my hair stopped falling out in clumps, but the biggest thing was my head felt better. Like someone opened the door halfway and let some light in. I felt that the door could be opened more so the next appointment I told him this and asked if he would raise the Cytomel amount and he said yes. Raised it up to 25 mcg’s and Lo and behold, the door was opened all the way. Hooray!!! Since I was a little girl, I was told that the feeling in my head was sinus congestion and was told to take Sudafed! Of course that never helped. So at the age of 48, the brain fog lifted. Whew! I have not had it since. I still cannot remember any time during the earlier part of my life that I felt this way. Maybe if just one of my previous doctors would have gone one step further with routine blood tests, they always said my TSH was normal, maybe…, well then I wouldn’t have responded to this thread. Thank you all for listening. Getting this out here was very theraputic.

July 3, 2010 at 3:27 pm
(36) Peggy says:

I’m a 60 yr old woman who has had the majority of my thyroid removed when I was 19 yr old. My Dr refuse to give me thyroid medication after my surgery. I kept asking for some help but didn’t receive any from him. When I was 25 yrs old my obstetrician scripted me with Armour thyroid. From then on until I relocated to another state I did well, weight controlled and no brain fog. My new Dr would not script me for the Armour thyroid and told me it was all in my head. I finally found a GP DO Dr who did scriopt me again with Armour thyroid. Unfortunately this Dr was in an accident in December, 2009 and will not be back to practice for at least 18 months. I ran out of my meds in Jan 2010. The substitue Dr would not give me another RX. I have not been able to find another Dr to script me for my meds. I called the Armour Thyroid company to ask for a Dr that would script me for the meds. I was told that even if I found a DR that would script me I couldn’t get it. For whatever reason the company doesn’t have a supply to meet the demands. So no meds since Jan 2010, gaining weight, HUGE brain fog, hair falling out and the Drs I’ve seen tell me it’s in my head. Is anybody else having problems getting Armour Thyroid?
I’m in Arizona.
Any response would be appreciated. Thank any and all that are reading this post. There are a lot of posts and I read all of them. I will try the Nature’s Bounty Enzyme Formula and see if that helps!

July 5, 2010 at 1:50 am
(37) monarh59 says:

Wow! Everybody sounds like me. It finally took me in 2009 to figure out this brain fog & LOW concentration thing. I felt something was wrong with me but couldn’t put my finger on it.
Of course the TSH in “within” range: 3.150
T3 (direct): 100, HMM!!??
T4: 1.25 first times since 2004 I have had energy. It was in the 3 range previously!

I have switched to taking the 50 mcg levothyroxine at bedtime so this is the reason the T4 got better and I feel a ton of energy, no longer just existing, Yippee!

One day in winter I went to turn on the heater, when I got there, I did’nt know how to turn it on — I had to ask my brother how to turn it on. This was the light bulb that went off that something was wrong with me so the new P A is trying to figure it out.
The P A is running all sorts of tests. Had an MRI done — it came back normal. Supposedly she did a CBC but there is nothing associated to the Iron.

Now, she wants me to go for an EEG, HMM!!

The previous Dr wanted to immediatley put me on an
anti-depressant medication WITHOUT running any tests!!
Im still looking for a solution to this problem. It is keeping me from graduating from college.

July 7, 2010 at 8:12 pm
(38) Stephanie says:

I’ve read all the comments and my head is spinning. I dont remember life without hypothyroid. I am a 42 yr old female and I was dx with it when I was 11 yrs old or so. My mom was concerned about a lump on my neck. I was able to cup the palm of my hand around it. My Dr must have been heaven sent…dx, Goiter/hypothyroidism! It seemed like it was something new and they wanted to use me in a study. So my dr visits became frequent. I was placed on synthroid 100mcg. I continued tx until I was 15 as we moved and none of the new drs agreed with my dx. I continued through life; puberty, child birth twice (both difficult), depression, memory loss, chronic fatigue, and 2-3 menstral cycles per yr and that didn’t even seem to worry any of my drs, most tried to put me on hormone meds. Which I didn’t tolerate well. I was untreated for over 20 yrs and I had adopted the idea that it was all in my head. Finally after a intense physical with a new pcp, she found my tsh very high and that I had a double goiter. She tried different mcg’s and generic brands with no effect, then switched me to synthroid 100mcg as it has worked for me initially. Within a couple of months I had more energy, lost a lot of weight, thinking was easy and I began monthly menstral cycles. I hated the last part but I felt great. I now pay attention to how I feel and can tell when I am going downhill.
I resently became sick (the usual thyroid symptoms but more intense) I didnt have the energy to stay up. I would get out of bed, sit on the couch and slowly slump down until I was laying down, I could only stay awake for 20-30 minutes at a time and sleep for 4-6 hours in between. I missed a week of work (unusual). so I went to the dr and had more lab tests. They found that my iron was high and I was dx with hemochromatosis. We shed iron through bodily functions, for females this includes our monthly cycles. I think I became toxic because I spent yrs skipping cycles. There is a conection between hemochromatosis and thyroid disease, but I think this is being researched. Keep checking your iron levels, and dont increase your iron on assumption that your iron is low. make sure you really do need it. if you do need it you can increase your absorption by increasing your vit c and folic acid intake.
Living with these two illnesses can really wipe me out and I have to learn to manage both of them for the rest of my life because neither one can be cured, only managed. We have to know our bodies and if we feel like something is wrong, demand a lab work up. A word I dont like to hear from my dr is “boarderline”! If you hear that word consider retesting. Iron can be toxic! be careful

September 12, 2010 at 11:43 pm
(39) Lily says:

This sounds exactly like me. I am 24 My brain fog began in episodes then started happening a couple of days a week but now I feel like I am in a unescapable state of fogginess. An episode would begin with someone talking to me and I would get dizzy and really confused, felt kind of faint and had no idea what they had said to me or how to respond. I thought it might be anxiety attacks at first but the brain fog has continued and my difficulty concentrating and remembering has gotten worse. I now seem to be in a constant state of fogginess. I am tired a lot of the time and often give in to sleeping in the hope that things will be better when I wake up. I haven’t been to a doctor yet but have an appointment next week. I am so glad I found this blog. It has given me the vocabulary to express what I am experiencing.

October 19, 2010 at 12:44 am
(40) Debbie says:

WOW!
Went to an endro dr today and was soooo discouraged. Told him about my brain fog and he told me that I needed to get to a neurologist. He told me that my brain fog had nothing to do with my thyroid. ERRRRRR!
I then went to the weight problem and how tired I have been and he said “we don’t go by how you feel, we look at the numbers” Only the TSH is all he looks at. Wasted good money and my time. We only have 4 endro drs. in this town and that leaves me with not much help.

December 1, 2010 at 8:13 pm
(41) chanda says:

Hi, I’ve been battling with hypothyroidism, knowingly, for about 8 months. My levels were regulated over the summer and by late July, i felt amazing. Recently, for the past 2 months, I’ve been suffering with brain fog, short term memory loss, concentration and attention issues. Last week, I had some blood work done to check my levels and everything was fine, so the doctor put me on Methylprednisolone 4mg and ordered an MRI. was wondering if anyone else was given the same thing.

April 19, 2011 at 11:54 am
(42) sheila says:

I am experiencing brain fog and I feel like I am going crazy. I was driving and couldn’t remember if I was going the right direction. I finally do focus, but I cant concentrate fast enough to figure things out. thanks for the article.

April 20, 2011 at 1:19 am
(43) Joanna says:

I am so comforted to know there are others out there that have just expressed the brain fog i have been feeling. I have never been able to put those confused, lost, puzzled and quit scary feeling into words to my doctor. My doctor has only been looking at my TSH levels and when i ask for more test, i get denied! I recently got a appt with a new doc so im crossing my fingers. the brain fogs suck so bad, i feel hopeless! Does anyone else feel extra tire, or swollen, or any other symptoms more intense on days with precipitation?

April 25, 2011 at 11:40 pm
(44) Beege says:

Amy,

You are great. What a terrific explanation of what thyroid patients go through. Though my Grave’s disease was severe (so severe the lab stopped counting and put “over 5 !!!!!” whichever test it was when I was finally diagnosed), I am SO convinced thyroid disease is more common than anyone realizes, especially during the important years of a student’s education. If it goes on unrecognized for those years, think of the unmeasurable loss of human potential !! I believe adolescents should be tested just as we do eye tests for young children when they start reading. (This might/would also cut down on poor judgement during those years….:o)

What you described is not just “brain fog”. Let’s face the frightening truth. That’s a delicate term for interference of COGNITION. THAT is scary and has life altering effects if unable to be corrected FAST.

Thanks for taking the time to write out you experience. I’m sure it will help countless people.

April 26, 2011 at 10:04 am
(45) ritu saxena says:

so..dear.. it means dat I too could cop with my short term

memory loss…its just like u r telling my story…
THANKS Amy

April 26, 2011 at 10:15 am
(46) ritu saxena says:

it like more people than I thought a selling in the same boat of
hypothyroidism n memory loss… now I am bit assure dat i can b treated n will be same person again. I am taking 50mcg of thyronorm from last two years n its only from last two three months dat i becoming insane coz of anxiety n loss of memory

May 1, 2011 at 4:44 am
(47) Valerie Miles says:

I am having these symptoms also and must admit I find them very frightening.iI will get my iron levels checked.. Wonder how many of us there are out there that have this. !!!

May 22, 2011 at 1:31 pm
(48) Sophiee says:

Feeling the exact same folks! First went to the Dr with this head fuzziness, not really feeling like im in my own body kinda thing! Even writing stuff like this is very hard to focus on. I’m 18, studying as a nurse at university and its sooo hard to keep going! :( They checked my thyroid levels and they were underactive, I was diagnosed with hashimotos thyroiditis and put on 25mcg of thyroxine. Ive been taking this for 6 weeks now, originally i felt slightly better but now I feel like im back to how i felt at the beginning. The docs checked my thyroid levels again and over a telephone consultation i was told i was within the ‘normal range’ however i believe everyones ‘normal range’ is different. If you dont feel yourself push them to raise your dose, you might as well try and see how you feel! I’m going back to the docs soon and shall hopefully get my dosed up to 50mcg.. as for now i just have to get up and live each day as best as I can. As for the iron levels i wonder if this is also affecting me.. she told me mines were borderline, maybe this is what i need! But anyway keep going everyone, stay strong. We’ll get through this together!!

June 29, 2011 at 6:33 pm
(49) Louise says:

Living in Holland. My English is not very good. I experience the same symptoms as all you folks.

I have hashimoto. I am on Euthyrox and Cytomel. Beside it AD en sleepingpills.

I have problems with weightgain and sleeping but the main issue is the cognitive side. I can’t drive a car anymore because i can’t figure out quickly enough what the situation is. It takes a long time for me to concentrate upon any task, ik looks like ADD. I even ask myself if maybe i should try Ritalin. Doctors don’t understand because my bloodlevels are ok. Besides nobody understands what I mean when i say that i regularly can’t follow a simple conservation. That I feel desorientaded etc. The brainfog is terrible. I can’t do my work properly and my boss thinks i am stupid and lazy.

I feel well when i am on vacation simply because cognitive energy is not necessary.

So everybody out there you are not alone. I need my brains, i will try the iron but if you have another solution please share. I feel desperate.

September 1, 2011 at 4:58 pm
(50) jack b says:

I am so happy I am not alone on this. Ive been experiencing this fog since freshman year in high school and it has messed up both my social life and my academics. Ive been to the neurologist and prescribed all sorts of ADD meds, yet they did nothing. Im only 18 and doctors and my family don’t seem to notice how much it is ruining my life. I’ll drive somewhere and completely forget everything about the ride and its impossible to hold a conversation when in strong fogs. I cant even make direct eye contact without feeling weird. I would do anything to get out of this fog. Its ruining my life

September 9, 2011 at 10:23 am
(51) Simon Boundy says:

So.. after feeling lousy for months, putting my tiredness down to 2 and 4 year old children, I went to the doctor explaining how terrible I feel most of the time especially the ‘brain-fog’ factor. My visit came on the back of a bad attack of Gout of which i’m an occasional sufferer (although this attack went on and on!) and I was keen to discuss getting a health base-line done before embarking on a new regime to lose weight (about 60lbs) and get fit. (I also have high-ish blood pressure which I’m controlling since July 2011 with a low dose of medication).
So, the blood test results are in today – looks like I have Hypothyroidism – particularly as my cholesterol has spiked too.
So, while this is not great news, in another way it’s potentially a relief if my symptoms can be alleviated.
Just need to do repeat test in a few weeks to confirm – but it all makes sense.
I have a job that requires significant concentration – and right now i’m just not functioning adequately
Hope this is the start of the end of brain fog!.

Good luck everyone.
Male / 45 / UK

December 17, 2011 at 6:37 am
(52) Liz Saunders says:

What a relief. I’m sorry for the problems every one has but its comforting to know I’m not alone. I have been thinking that I have dementia. I am experiencing brain fog. I also get the feeling that I cannot speak although this has never happened. I will be more assertive with my G.P.

March 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm
(53) Jim says:

Hi All

Diagnosed with Hashimotos 6 months ago – Cracking up with the brain fog. Cannot do my job – unable to interpret and grasp information, finding it IMPOSSIBLE to structure / write reports. Anxiety through the roof and depressed.

I am on 150mg of levothyroxine, now going to try 2 grain of Nature throid.

I feel for those who are also suffering – any advice you can offer would be most welcome

March 3, 2012 at 7:29 am
(54) ATHOY says:

ohh… same things are happening to me… my brain is not working!!! I have always made a brilliant result and im the university topper… but now my brain is not working properly due to this hypothyroidsm… i cant even concentrate in my studies.. cant think about science for a long time and so on.. I also have a vertigo. MY T3 T4 TSH levels are NORMAL… I’m also taking iron tablets but no improvement at all… pls give me some suggestion

May 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm
(55) Esme says:

I have all symptoms of hypothyroidism and some of hyperthyroidism, in other words Hashimoto’s. Fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, nausea with some bad chills that keep me from getting warm no matter what I do. I have been off gluten and all other grains for about a good month now. And avoiding many foods that cause inflammation in the body. I am following a treatment under the guidance of a chiropractic neurologist. The treatment consist of detoxing the body and supplementing it with the right stuff to get me back to a functional state. I am taking many supplements from Apex Energetics and some Vitamin B and D, potassium, magnesium and at the same time trying to still repair my gut so that all these good things my body needs can be absorbed properly. I have seen some improvement, obviously not as much as I want to see. But I understand that it may take a while before it all kicks in and
my body gets back to normal.

July 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm
(56) Janet says:

Well, it’s good to know i am not alone. . . suffering from brain fog and other symptoms for a few years now. Finally found a Doctor smart enough to test me for Thyroid disorders. Started with a TSH count of 65.5. After four months of treatment with a generic Synthroid, I am almost down to normal range. However, my brain fog continues and seems to worsen. It is so debilitating, making it extremely difficult to go to work and almost impossible to deal with simple things like going to WalMart . . . my Doctor tells me “be patient, be patient”. I just finished reading “The Thyroid Solution”. And have learned that, from letting it go for so long, it may takes months for the brain to normalize AFTER my levels reach normal. It is so discouraging. I appreciate all of your stories and ideas to correct this issue. :)

August 24, 2012 at 5:08 am
(57) cheryl says:

I can’t think. I can’t even concentrate well enough to listen to a recording. I can’t sleep… classic symptoms. I am also anemic and that has improved since starting the meds. I didn’t realize there was any correlation. I am really, really tired and more than a little scared. There are so many symptoms. I appreciate everyone sharing. Thank you all so much.

September 30, 2012 at 1:10 am
(58) christine says:

based on this I am going to get my iron level check. I have not been able to remember things for quite some time now and it has gradually gotten worth even talking to someone I am constantly saying, what did you say again? even worth is when i am going on job interview i cant even remember the question that they ask me . so will get it check and will let you guys know because this is getting more and more embarrassing.

October 1, 2012 at 6:24 am
(59) gurinder singh says:

i was suffering from hyperthyroidism . doctors say difficult to treat so they give me a dose of RADIOACTIVE IODINE .
then changed my problem to hypothyroidism .But even after long treatment the hormone level still the same as it was at the starting of treatment whenever i skipped my daily dose . various problems were also associated with it (swelling of face , stomach problems , memory problems, brain fog ) probably side effect of medication
finally i left medication
one day i while surfing on net studied that metabolism plays a vital role in regulation of thyroid
so i joined health club doing intense workout
finally after one month i was able to get rid of all the hypothyroidism symptoms described above
EVEN I AM ALSO WRITING THIS BLOG TO LET ALL THE PEOPLE LIKE ME TO GET RID OF THIS SUFFERING BY NATURAL WAY
may this could help u out of it

November 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm
(60) Dorla says:

Thanks so much will check it out. I suffer from hypothyroidism and my test is normal. My symptoms include sleeping over 12 hrs. When I read I fall asleep on the first page. I just cannot concentrate. I have short term memory loss and my attention spam is very short. I find it hard to watch movies or even sit in clAss for lectures. I will try the iron pills. Thanks again

November 29, 2012 at 2:54 pm
(61) Corey says:

I am thankful to know I am not alone. I have been dealing with brain fog since I was about 22 and I am 32 now. I have seen several doctors and endocrologist but they insist its just depression. I told them I have taken depression meds before and it doesn’t help but yet the docs still say its depression. I have had hypothyroidism since I was 11 and have taken levothyroxine for the longest time but it was around 22 that it stopped working but didn’t know that was the issue. I have since switched to synthroid for a year and it worked great for the first 3 weeks and then I slipped back into the fog and depression. I have changed doctors and currently I am on Armour but I have yet to see any improvements. Dr says my T3 is at max levels and doesn’t want to increase it anymore but is not opposed to switching to another brand. This is the most miserable I have been since dealing with this brain fog. Anyone have any ideas of what supplements are best or a good doc to see? Any information is welcomed.

December 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm
(62) Jeff Moore says:

I have had brain fog for 15 years. Having read through all these posts, not one has mentioned iodine deficiency. Your specialists have been trained to use expensive drugs rather than give you what your body needs. I have just ordered Lugol’s 2% iodine from Amazon and am eagerly awaiting its delivery. Iodine is absolutely essential for proper thyroid function. From what I’ve been reading, this has fixed the problem of brainfog for many people. The improvements are dramatic in most cases. IODINE, the forgotten medicine. Do your research and don’t leave it to the “specialist”, who is most often just another cog in the massively overgrown U.S. medical industry.

January 23, 2013 at 7:55 pm
(63) Katie says:

I am so thrilled that other people are having the same issues as me!!! My brain fog has gotten so bad that I have a very difficult time typing anything coherent, driving, following directions of any kind, speaking (aka saying what I mean)… jeez, it just happened! I completely forgot what I was trying to say… I also have a really hard time listening to other people talking. I basically am sitting there watching their mouth move, but have no idea what they are saying. I am looking forward to going to a new doctor and getting this straightened out! I have spent too many years going downhill and now just sit at home because I can’t do anything else. I used to have so much potential and now I am afraid to drive anywhere because of this. Best of luck to everyone! Katie

February 2, 2013 at 7:56 am
(64) Marianna says:

PLEASE do yourselves a favor and look up Shaun O’Connor and Depersonalization. He has helped me GREATLY to alleviate my Brain Fog. If it had not been for the book he wrote after his experience with the condition I would still be suffering. He believes it’s only anxiety related, but I think that for thyroid sufferers the anxiety can come with our malfunctioning thyroid levels!!!!

February 24, 2013 at 9:36 am
(65) Courtney says:

The thyroid gland can be healed from adult stem cells. Only thing is that the FDA is preventing people getting healed because they say stem cells are a drug even though they come from your own body. The cost seems to be about $25,000 to go out of the country. The FDA is out of control and obviously wants us to suffer and take lots of drugs. Mean while you can’t use your own stem cells and raw milk that has been drunk since creation, is deadly. The send swat teams to shut down Amish farmers.

March 18, 2013 at 10:08 pm
(66) Erin says:

I forgot my colleague’s name, one whom I’ve worked with for 6 years. :’(

March 22, 2013 at 8:05 am
(67) Cherie says:

Very good to hear as I had been experiencing some of the same symptoms you described. I remembered that I had not being taking my Integra F. I along with my doctor prescribing Deplin has tremendously removed the brain fog and the combination has been effective with all the issues you described.

May 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm
(68) Brianna says:

Oh my gosh. I cried when I read this.. I have been having brain fog for 2 years and no knows why, not my psychiatrist, my doctor.. I even had a mri.. and like a half a year ago I got blood work done and my doctor said I may have a thyroid problem.. she wanted to follow up.. but I never made it Ive been trying to get a hold of her to re order it.. but I recently have been late with my period.. and Im not pregnant so I did some research long story short I found this.. Id have to say thank you just thank you Im speechless.. all I wanted was and answer and I think I have finally found it. thank you so much!

June 9, 2013 at 7:58 pm
(69) Terri says:

Thanks for sharing. I am having severe anxiety going through the same symptoms. I will request the same

June 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm
(70) Alli says:

I have been fighting this brain fog for some time now. Some days are worse. I start talking and can’t remember where I am going with the conversation. I am in sales and this is hurting my business. I am scared to death to get in the middle of a sales presentation and just go blank! I find myself repeating myself. I forget appoitments if I don’t put a reminder in my phone. This is scarry. I am going to do the iron and b12 that they mentioned above.Thanks so much

July 19, 2013 at 10:52 pm
(71) lou says:

I had my thyroid removed several years ago. I am near 60 now and feeling this brain fog, especially forgetting names I should easily recall. I agree it is frightening! I hate to spend a lot of money on tests, but after reading these comments, I am willing to do it to find answers.

August 7, 2013 at 9:33 am
(72) Sonia says:

Thanks for describing elaborately the symptoms and cures for hypothyroid. I thought it was a joke when I would call the microwave as dustbin and refrigerator as remote. I cannot write a complete sentence without re reading it. I do not remember people’s names and faces, and I do not remember most of my immediate past. I was diagnosed with hypothyroid in September 2012. I was on thyroxin 125 mcg and since April 2013, I am not on any medication. My endo experimented and in July 2013 my tests showed my Thyroid had shot up to 6.70. He still wants to wait for 3 weeks and watch.
I will b buying iron pills and pop up, hope this helps!!

August 17, 2013 at 10:27 am
(73) Lisa says:

Hmmmm…. I was diagnosed w/ Graves years ago and had the radiation treatment. Now, I am on Synthroid, 112dose. About 4 years ago, I noticed that I was starting to forget things at work. I never used to forget anything! Someone would ask me something and I would have an answer. I would always have a mental follow-up in my head at all times. Now, I have no follow up. I struggle at work to concentrate and remember things. I look at something and go blank. In meetings, people talk and I’m not comprehending. It takes so much effort. Even to write this takes a lot of effort. I have been complaining about this to my doctors for years .. since it started. I really think it has to do with my Thyroid condition. Yet, I cannot convince my endo, my family, etc…. everyone says it is normal. But I know “me” and how I use to be. What should I do and what should I try taking — Iron, Iodine and B-12? Any suggestions?? :-(

October 21, 2013 at 3:47 pm
(74) Hatice Marifet ( ob&gyn) M.D says:

Hypothyroidism and. Memory problems. Are together
After treatment TSH have to be around 1
Menstruel irregulation is related. With. Abnormal thyroid hormon levels
Infertility is result. If thyroid function is not normal

October 22, 2013 at 4:28 pm
(75) HC says:

First thing anyone should do who has commented is look in the mirror, open their mouth and count the number of amalgam/silver fillings they may have. Then question the amount of fish/sushi they eat. If question one is answered yes, then you may have found the source, if both questions then you definitely answered your question. Or maybe you had recent dental work or had the silver replaced with white composite recently. Then start Googling each one of your symptoms with the word mercury, mercury toxicity, mercury poisoning, or amalgam illness. Or Google the results of your blood work that is out of range or even low or high with the word mercury. What you will find will be very eye opening. If it is the case, then you may have finally found a root cause, it will be a long and scary journey of research on your own and detox,but there is light at the end of that tunnel. Otherwise you may always just be treating the symptoms rather than the true cause. If it isn’t mercury then it could be another heavy metal. Last tip, do as much research as you can on your own because chances are the doctor you are seeing either won’t know how to help you or just think you’re way off base or cuckoo. Cheers.

October 27, 2013 at 9:23 pm
(76) Angela says:

This is so true! I had to figure out how to get my eyebrows to grow back all on my own (iodine, selenium, zinc & biotin), because the doctors couldn’t give me any answers. Apparently, since the iodine deficiency caused MAJOR cravings for milk over a long period of time, I became deficient in the other essential minerals for the thyroid because the milk was lowering my stomach acidity!

December 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm
(77) Barb B says:

What a relief to read these comments! I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in September 2012 and put on Levothyroxine 25 mg. I’m having a terrible time, especially with numbers. Like so many of you, I prided myself on my organizational skills, but now I’m so afraid of making a mistake that I find myself keeping quiet. My worst problems seems to be forgetting what someone said to me just minutes before, and keeping times and dates right. Yesterday I showed up at an appointment at 9:00 a.m. even though I had written down 10:30 in my notebook! I waited an hour and a half before my friend showed up, thinking HE was late. My mom had Alzheimers so this has been particularly scarey, but now I can see this is common. I will try the Iron Supplements first and see what happens.
Thank you all!

May 9, 2014 at 11:57 am
(78) Heidi says:

Borg (#24 comment) — this is exactly how I feel! To a “T”! You’re the first person I’ve heard describe it. Did you get answers???

May 17, 2014 at 11:06 am
(79) tara says:

I too experience this with hypothyroidism, scares the crap outta me.

May 21, 2014 at 7:02 am
(80) KimM says:

i was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 2 weeks ago. I have just about every symptom you can have for hypothyroidism but I have developed them all over a period of a few years and it is only because I went to see a new GP and I gave him all my symptoms that he sent me for the necessary test. i need to go back at the end of June to test for Hashimoto’s disease. I have only been on medication now for 2 weeks and my energy levels have started to return. The puffy eyes have gone. The swelling and pain in my joints has gone. It is however quite a relief to read the comments here. At least I know now that not being able to come up with words and being so forgetful could also be related and that I’m not just going out of my mind.

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