There are more than 50 conditions that can cause or mimic symptoms of dementia. Out of these, only a small percentage of dementias are reversible. There are two common reasons why dementia takes place – deficiency of vitamin B12 or an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Therefore, it is very important to get the diagnosis right to determine the exact cause of memory problems and treatment options.
What is the thyroid gland?
The thyroid is a hormone-producing gland located in your neck. The hormone released is responsible for the development and growth in the body. If it does not function well, it can cause a wide range of problems, like hair loss, fast heartbeat, weight loss or gain, extreme fatigue, etc. On an interesting note, both forms of thyroid problems, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, can cause mild symptoms of dementia.
Hypothyroidism is a medical condition when the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. People suffering from hypothyroidism can have symptoms like constipation, itchy skin, weight gain, tiredness, etc.
What is brain fog or memory loss?
It is wrongly assumed by people that brain fog or memory loss is a disease. More specifically, brain fog is a condition that affects cognitive skills and causes a decrease in the memory, which makes it difficult to perform daily routines and activities. It is also known as dementia.
The symptoms of dementia vary from person to person who has at least two of the following problems:
- Inability to focus
- Altered visual perception
- Impairment of language and communication
- Impaired judgment and reasoning
- Memory impairment
The connection between brain and thyroid hormone
Since the brain uses so much energy, people suffering from hypothyroidism tend to feel a decline in their mental sharpness. Focusing becomes harder and leads to a sharp decline in clarity and memory. Low thyroid levels are one of the common causes of short-term memory loss, difficulty in concentrating, depression, brain fog, etc.
Hypothyroidism is also associated with cognitive impairment and mood disturbances, which further implies that the thyroid gland is imperatively important for a normal brain. Hypothyroidism has been associated particularly with many cognitive problems like memory, visual-spatial skills, psychomotor speed, general intelligence, etc.
The effectiveness of hormone therapy for improving mental condition is well known. It has been researched that hypothyroid patients have rated themselves worse when it came to motivation, alertness, thinking, concentration, and functional memory. Hypothyroidism was associated with retrieval decrease from memory. There have also been reports about an association between dementia and TSH elevation.
Studies suggest that hypothyroid patients had an evident impairment of some cognitive functions related to memory. Therefore, these patients were treated with adequate doses of I-thyroxin. This resulted in a significant increase in verbal memory retrieval. Accordingly, it was established that certain memory retrieval deficits associated with hypothyroidism could be solved after the replacement therapy with levothyroxine.
There are also some pieces of evidence that link the endocrine system to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Clinical forms of thyroid problems have been recognized as potentially reversible causes of cognitive impairment, and TSH level testing has become a common standard for evaluating patients that are suspected of dementia.
Things to do if you want to correct concentration and memory problems
Along with following the natural thyroid treatment protocol to correct your brain’s normal functioning, here are some other ways to restore your mental health back to normal:
Eating certain food can have a positive effect on the mental state of the person. Brain fog can sometimes take place when you eat something you are allergic to. Although you might not suffer from severe reactions, it can affect you in other ways. Therefore, one recommended part of a natural thyroid treatment is cutting out all sugars and refined foods for at least a month and eating mainly vegetables, fruits, and organic meat.
Getting more sleep
Not sleeping enough can also affect your concentration and memory. Of course, people suffering from thyroid problems can find difficulty in catching a good night’s sleep. If thyroid problems do not allow you to sleep, it would be a good idea to get other areas of your health checked. But, if you are habituated to staying up late and waking up early, it will affect your concentration, memory, and your overall health.
Certain herbs can help with concentration and memory. These are not permanent cures but can be used until the results of the above procedures kick in. These herbs are beneficial not only for people who suffer from mental problems but for normal people as well. Some herbs that are great for the brain are Ginkgo, Bacopa, and Korean Ginseng.
The many symptoms of hypothyroidism can make its diagnosis and treatment quite challenging, especially since lab reports do not always reflect under activity of the thyroid gland in a significant number of individuals.
If any of your friend or family members are suffering from memory loss, do not jump into the conclusion. You need to get that person to a doctor or physician to get the symptoms diagnosed. It could possibly be a case of hypothyroidism that can be causing these symptoms.