When Its Time To See A Doctor
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If youre not sure if loss of memory warrants a doctor visit, consider:
- Does your memory loss disrupt daily activities?
- How often do the lapses occur?
- Whats being forgottendetails of a conversation, or the conversation in its entirety?
- Are there signs of confusion ?
- Is the memory loss getting worse?
If someone is having trouble remembering the day of the weeknot the date, but Monday, Tuesday, Wednesdaythats concerning, says Dr. Karlawish. Other concerning signs are repetitive questions: They get an answer, then several minutes later, they ask the same question. Or they repeat a story: something about a recent event, but then 20 minutes later, they tell you the same story.
Its not unusual for people to deny theyre having memory problems or to downplay the issue, but a prompt diagnosis is important.
Arrive at some reasonable, common understanding that you ought to get it looked into, says Dr. Karlawish. They dont have to agree on everything youve seen, and you dont have to make it a confrontation. Just get to the point where you can agree that Gee, it would be good to get this checked out. Then, the key is to go with them to the appointment.
You dont need to find a specialist for an initial consultation. Instead, look close to home.
Medications That Can Cause Memory Loss
Some medications are the ultimate Catch-22: While they may ward off disease and help you function, they can also lead to harmful side effects.
Drugs that may cause memory loss and confusion include:
As you age, you may be more vulnerable to these negative side effects, notes Dr. Bonner-Jackson. Talk to your healthcare provider if you notice any new brain fog or confusion. If your medication is to blame, there are many alternatives out there. We can switch your medication to avoid these effects.
Can Thyroid Problems Cause Mental Confusion
There is a lot of confusion about whether or not thyroid problems can cause mental confusion. The answer appears to be that it depends on the individual. For some people, thyroid problems can cause mental confusion, while for others it does not appear to be a factor. If you are experiencing mental confusion and you think it may be due to a thyroid problem, it is important to speak with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis.
Thyroid gland is located in the neck just below the Adams apple and is the smallest gland in the body. Hormones and metabolisms are carried out by the bodys endocrine system. When the thyroid is not working properly, it can cause cognitive and memory issues. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor. Your doctor can test your thyroid levels and adjust your medication based on the results. A dementia evaluation may also be required. Thyroid problems can be detected and treated before they become a problem, allowing you to live a longer, healthier life.
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Hypothyroidism And Memory Loss Causes
Hypothyroidism is one of the most prevalent causes of memory loss. A person with hypothyroidism may experience forgetfulness, mental confusion, and more as a result of the imbalance in their thyroid hormones. Read on to learn more about how it works, the signs to look for, and what you can do if you are experiencing these symptoms yourself.
Its not just the elderly who experience memory loss. New research reveals that people of all ages can suffer from it, and one major cause is hypothyroidism. Read on to learn more about this condition, how it affects your memory, and what you can do if you are experiencing these symptoms yourself.
Studies show that around 20 million Americans suffer from hypothyroidism. However, the actual number may be higher due to undiagnosed cases. As one of the most common causes of memory loss, this condition can affect anyone at any time in their lives.
How Hypothyroidism Affects Memory
As mentioned above, while weakened memory and cognitive abilities are a symptom of hypothyroidism it is not entirely clear how this actually happens. Many theories exist, and its safe to say a number of new ones will emerge in the future. According to Rivas and his paper mentioned above altered hippocampal neurogenesis that is observed in hypothyroid adults could contribute to behavioral and cognitive deficits linked with this condition.
Weakened memory due to hypothyroidism could be down to impairment in LTP in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. On the flip side, the scientists who worked on this research reported that T4 replacement corrects this impairment and thereby has the potential to improve the memory of a hypothyroid patient or prevent it from weakening.
Thyroid hormones are involved in the maturation of the cholinergic system which takes part in learning and memory. As a result, some of hypothyroidisms effects on memory could also be down to impairment in the cholinergic system too, according to Smith et al. Cholinergic system relies on the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which has a number of roles including encoding and retrieval of memories. Therefore, it comes as no wonder why impairment of cholinergic system due to thyroid inactivity could also lead to problems with memory.
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About The Thyroid And Its Diseases
The thyroid is an endocrine gland located in the neck that controls metabolism, growth, and development in the body, from the brain and the heart to the skin, liver, kidneys, bones, and more.
There are two main thyroid diseases: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland is underactive, while hyperthyroidism is the opposite.
Both can be caused by autoimmune diseases, iodine deficiency, nodules, tumors, medical treatments, or inflammation, among other factors.
Infections Of The Brain Or Its Lining
Infections like HIV, tuberculosis and herpes can cause memory problems. HIV puts the function of nerve cells at risk by infecting the cells that protect and support them. The virus can also trigger inflammation that can damage the brain and cause forgetfulness. With tuberculosis, memory loss can be a complaint. However, prompt treatment can resolve these problems. Meanwhile, herpes simplex virus can cause a rare neurological disorder called herpes simplex encephalitis. This inflammation of the brain can lead to memory loss. Antiviral drugs may help if treatment is started right away.
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Is Paranoia A Symptom Of Thyroid Disease
There is no definitive answer to this question as paranoia can be caused by a number of factors, including psychological conditions, medications, and underlying health problems. However, some research has suggested that thyroid disease may be a potential cause of paranoia, particularly in those who are experiencing symptoms of hypothyroidism. If you are experiencing paranoia and suspect that your thyroid may be to blame, it is important to speak with a doctor to rule out other potential causes and to discuss treatment options.
Resistance To Thyroid Hormone
Resistance to thyroid hormone is a condition in which TSH levels remain high despite having normal to high thyroid hormone levels. The condition is due to mutations in the thyroid hormone receptors .
It doesnt typically show brain fog symptoms, but people with this condition often have ADHD or an IQ below average. Thyroid replacement therapy may reverse the symptoms .
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Thyroid Problems Linked To Increased Risk Of Dementia
- American Academy of Neurology
- Older people with hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid, may be at increased risk of developing dementia, according to a new study. The risk of developing dementia was even higher for people whose thyroid condition required thyroid hormone replacement medication.
Older people with hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid, may be at increased risk of developing dementia, according to a study published in the July 6, 2022, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The risk of developing dementia was even higher for people whose thyroid condition required thyroid hormone replacement medication.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough thyroid hormones. This can slow metabolism. Symptoms include feeling tired, weight gain and sensitivity to cold.
“In some cases, thyroid disorders have been associated with dementia symptoms that can be reversible with treatment,” said study author Chien-Hsiang Weng, MD, MPH, of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. “While more studies are needed to confirm these findings, people should be aware of thyroid problems as a possible risk factor for dementia and therapies that could prevent or slow irreversible cognitive decline.”
A total of 102 people had hypothyroidism and 133 had hyperthyroidism.
The researchers found no link between hyperthyroidism and dementia.
How Does Hypothyroidism Cause Memory Loss
Hypothyroidism affects your memory because it causes the pituitary gland to release more TSH. This stimulates the production of thyroid hormones which are needed by every cell in your body including those responsible for memory. The problem is that these levels can fluctuate over time due to stress or changes in diet and lifestyle habits like exercise regimen and sleep patterns so its important not only to monitor them regularly but also make adjustments accordingly this way youll always know whats going on with how they impact each other!
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Pattern Points To Risk Of Cognive Decline With Low Tsh
Following analysis of the DNPR data, a strong association was reported with dementia. Individuals with hyperthyroidism were 13% more likely to develop dementia compared with the reference group = 1.13, 95% confidence interval = 1.07-1.19). The hazard ratios for cohorts with Graves’ disease and goiter was similar at 1.13 and 1.18, respectively.
In breaking out the numbers for dementia into Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia, the data revealed a greater risk in both dementias. Compared to the reference group, patients with hyperthyroidism had a 21% greater probability of Alzheimers disease. Vascular dementia, too, was elevated with a 28% increased probability .
Results were similar for people with a goiter, in which the investigators reported a 41% increased probability of Alzheimers disease occurring, and a 43% greater risk of vascular dementia . While not analyzed statistically, goiter-based hyperthyroidism appeared to have an increased probability of developing dementia than those with Graves disease in this Danish population.
How Are Thyroid And Memory Loss Connected
Hypothyroidism – underproduction of thyroid hormones – has been scientifically studied and proven to cause difficulty concentrating in addition to short-term memory loss.2
Throughout life, thyroid hormones are essential for cerebral function and maturation, also regulating neural development in the central nervous system .
As such, when the thyroid gland is underactive, there is a slowdown in brain and bodily functions causing symptoms that include fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, constipation, cold intolerance, memory problems, decreased attentiveness, and more.
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Foods That Can Help Improve Memory
- Omega-three fatty acids that are present in fish oil supplements improve cognitive function and memory.
- Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy brain function and is present in foods like beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products.
- Gingko Biloba is a natural herb that improves memory and cognitive function.
- Antioxidants like vitamins C and E can help protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals.
Hypothyroidism Treatment And Memory
Hypothyroidism is usually managed with levothyroxine which makes up for the lower T4 levels in the body. The treatment has a goal to balance hormones and thereby manage symptoms associated with hypothyroidism. It turns out, and levothyroxine can help patients avoid problems with memory and other cognitive abilities.
Miller et al. carried out a study to assess the effects of thyroid replacement therapy on cognitive function in patients suffering from untreated hypothyroidism. After three months of treatment, hypothyroid patients experienced a significant verbal memory retrieval.
Scientists concluded that specific memory retrieval deficits linked with hypothyroidism could resolve after treatment with levothyroxine.
Alzoubi et al. also had similar findings their study discovered that treatment with levothyroxine is able to reverse hypothyroidism-induced impairment of hippocampus-dependent cognition. At the same time, levothyroxine treatment can improve LTP by restoring levels of signaling molecules important for these processes.
As you can see, studies have confirmed the benefits of levothyroxine for improvement of memory and cognitive abilities in hypothyroid patients. This only emphasizes the importance of proactive attitude and sticking to the doctor-recommended treatment.
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Thyroid Brain Fog And Overcoming Memory Loss When You Have Hashimotos Hypothyroidism
Do you have Thyroid Brain Fog? Do you identify yourself as a forgetful person? Are you commonly searching for lost keys, household items, searching for that right word that you cant seem to recall? This could be due to Thyroid Brain Fog. The most common thyroid disease is Hashimotos hypothyroidism, and its inhibition of some brain activity, especially when poorly managed can cause Thyroid Brain Fog.
Signs of brain degeneration or tissue atrophy often begin with memory impairment. People dealing with Hashimotos hypothyroidism and Gravess Disease in particular need to take notice of this, as brain health and thyroid function are tightly linked.
Forgetfulness isnt necessarily due to age
The simply physiology is: when a section of the brain begins to lose its function, it is reflected in symptoms associated with that area. For example, depression, decreased coordination, memory loss, difficulty with balancing, loss of math ability are all symptoms that can be tied to certain parts of the brain.
At either side of your brain are whats known as temporal lobes. These areas direct hearing, memory, speech, smell and emotional responses.
The hippocampus lies within each temporal lobe, and is important for sense of direction, learning and memory, the circadian rhythm and spatial orientation. If these sections begin to degenerate, brain diseases such as Alzheimers become likely.
What is brain degeneration?
Neurodegeneration associated with Hashimotos
When To See Your Healthcare Provider
If you have thyroid symptoms, visit your healthcare provider. To find out what’s going on, they may:
- Give you a physical exam
- Ask questions about your medical history
- Ask for details about your symptoms
- Give you a blood test to check your thyroid levels
- Order imaging tests, such as a thyroid scan or ultrasound
In most cases, thyroid conditions can be effectively treated.
Thyroid Disease Doctor Discussion Guide
Get our printable guide for your next doctor’s appointment to help you ask the right questions.
- Loss of consciousness
Hypothyroidism can lead to another medical emergency. It’s called myxedema coma.
Myxedema coma is rare. It’s triggered by trauma, infection, cold, and some medications. It causes body temperatures and blood pressure to drop. You may lose consciousness. This condition can cause death.
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Postnatal Hypothyroidism And Brain Development
The examination of the structural and growth properties of the hippocampus in the rats that were exposed to early postnatal thyroid hormone deficiency showed a substantial reduction in the surface of this area, and the regions of CA1 and CA4 were more vulnerable to the devastating effects of early thyroid deficiency . Early postnatal development studies in rats have also shown that the granule cell number in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus decreases in hypothyroid animals, and irreversible neuronal cell death occurs in the hippocampal CA1 area after postnatal hypothyroidism induction. Additionally, CA3 pyramidal cell layer volume was reduced, but cell number in this layer did not decrease . The possible mechanisms involved in brain alterations due to developmental hypothyroidism are presented in Table 1.
Possible mechanisms through which hypothyroidism affects brain development
Hypothyroidism And Health Risks
Several studies have linked hypothyroidism to an increased prevalence of certain conditions. Note, however, that just because hypothyroidism is associated with a disease, it doesnt necessarily mean that everyone with hypothyroidism will actually develop the disease! Many different genetic and environmental factors can influence the risk.
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Symptoms Of An Underactive Thyroid
Many symptoms of an underactive thyroid are the same as those of other conditions, so it can easily be confused for something else.
Symptoms usually develop slowly and you may not realise you have a medical problem for several years.
Common symptoms include:
Elderly people with an underactive thyroid may develop memory problems and depression. Children may experience slower growth and development. Teenagers may start puberty earlier than normal.
If you have any of these symptoms, see a GP and ask to be tested for an underactive thyroid.
Association Between Thyroid Diseases And Ad
Table 2 exhibits the logistic regression results of the analysis of the association between thyroid diseases and AD. Compared with no thyroid disease, all thyroid diseases were significantly associated with AD in multiple logistic regression model 1, which included all the covariates of interest. Among them, hypothyroidism , thyroiditis , and hyperthyroidism were still identified to have significant associations with AD in multiple logistic regression model 2 with each thyroid disease or condition being controlled.
Table 2 Crude and adjusted odds ratios associated with levothyroxine treatment, goiter, hypothyroidism, thyroiditis, and hyperthyroidism in Alzheimers disease patients compared to control participants.
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Other Symptoms Caused By Hypothyroidism
Symptoms of hypothyroidism vary between individuals. The severity of your condition can also impact how your symptoms present. Early symptoms can be weight gain and tiredness. These are common regardless of age or sex.
The most common symptoms include:
- impaired memory
As your thyroid slows, more symptoms gradually appear. This is why hypothyroidism can go undiagnosed for years. If you experience more than one of the above symptoms and suspect you may have a thyroid issue, talk with a doctor or healthcare professional.
Thyroid Problems And Dementia Risk
Research has shown a complex link between thyroid disease and symptoms of dementia.
- One study found that participants with subclinical hyperthyroidism demonstrated a larger cognitive decline over the course of the research and an increased risk of dementia.
- Researchers who examined several studies concluded that subclinical hyperthyroidism could be correlated with a risk of dementia however, they also found that mini-mental state exam scores did not decline any faster with the presence of hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, or normal thyroid functioning.
- A review of 13 different studies found that subclinical hypothyroidism was correlated with increased dementia risk in those who were younger than 75 and in those who had higher TSH levels .
- In a post-mortem study of older adults, hypothyroidism that was treated was not found to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s brain pathology. This doesn’t indicate the actual cognitive functioning of the person, but it does demonstrate that a correlation was not found between actual brain changes of Alzheimer’s and thyroid levels.
- One study found that adequately treated hypothyroidism was not correlated with an increased risk of mild cognitive impairment.
It appears that major cognitive problems are not likely to develop with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. And minor cognitive problems associated with thyroid functioning are often temporary and improve with treatment.
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