Seema: Hi, Neetu. What happened? You look so lost off-late. Is everything okay with you?
Neetu: I don’t know man. My head feels so heavy and I’m tired all the time. I am unable to focus. It’s as if a thick fog is coming over every detail of thought. I can’t read, I can’t work properly and I am not even able to sleep on time because of racing thoughts.
Seema: OMG! Why didn’t you say anything before? Since when have you been feeling this way?
Neetu: For about two weeks on and off. It began exactly after my doctor changed my thyroid medicine doses.
Seema: Well, there’s a clue. Maybe you should have your thyroid tests done again and visit the doctor for a dose adjustment. I have read that hypothyroidism and incorrect doses of meds can make you feel this way.
Neetu: Really? Such a simple solution to such a big problem weighing on my mind?! Wow! I must book a test today. Thank you so much, dear.
Can Hypothyroidism Cause Brain Fog?
If Neetu’s symptoms seem even vaguely similar to what you are experiencing right now, then it is certainly time for you to get your thyroid tests done as well.
Most recent research shows that hormonal imbalances caused by thyroid dysfunction can affect brain function directly. If you find the correct treatment for your thyroid then brain fog will dissipate automatically.
What Is Brain Fog?
Brain fog is a multi-symptom condition. Brain fog may be a sign of (untreated) hypothyroidism but it can also be associated with other illnesses and medications.
So, if you are experiencing brain fog, you must first consider your medical history and the medications you are taking in addition to levothyroxine. Since most of us are unable to understand drug interactions, deficiency diseases, and the aftermath of several treatments, speaking to a functional medicine doctor always helps.
The only way to permanently get rid of brain fog is to address the root cause.
Here are some signs that may indicate that you are suffering from brain fog from hypothyroidism –
- Lack of energy
- Inability to focus
- Reduced ability to think and analyze problems at hand
- Excessive worrying or anxiety
- Excessive sleepiness
However, unlike the brain fog or overthinking and anxiety caused by mental health disorders, these symptoms are fleeting. They come and go unpredictably. Sometimes, they depend on when the person is taking their thyroid medication. The person can feel perfectly energetic and fine within a couple of hours of taking their meds, but feel the energy and focus fading once the effect begins to wear off.
How are Brain Fog and Thyroid Related?
Since it is a multisymptom and multi-factor condition, there is no ONE particular cause of brain fog.
- Prior treatments (antidepressants, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy)
- Existing undiagnosed conditions (Hashimoto's thyroiditis)
- Incorrect doses of thyroid meds
Most women with Hashimoto's thyroiditis experience these symptoms especially when they are not receiving proper treatment for their condition.
How To Get Rid Of Brain Fog from Hypothyroidism?
We know how scary it can be to experience brain fog. It may feel like losing control of your thoughts and decision-making abilities. It affects every aspect of a person's life negatively.
So, here are a few small changes our doctors recommend to help you feel better –
- Get plenty of quality rest
- Include daily exercise in your routine
- Make dietary changes – exclude dairy, gluten, and allergens from your food.
Speak to your doc for a dose adjustment of levothyroxine immediately
Who Experiences Brain Fog from Hypothyroidism?
Anyone who has hypothyroidism can experience brain fog. Hypothyroidism and brain fog are intricately related.
Many women have reported feeling lethargic, dizzy, and unable to make decisions even before their diagnosis. However, most of these women tested positive for Hashimoto's thyroiditis.
There is a direct link between Hashimoto's hypothyroidism and brain fog. Younger women are more likely to experience symptoms of brain fog as compared to older women. The primary reason is older women have enough time to rest and reset their routines according to the demands of their bodies.