Brain fog is a real problem. I know there are supplements for clarity, but I can't find them. Does anyone know how I can get 'clear' again? The problems with concentration aren't as scary as this brain fog.
Hi again. I had my daughter tested last Sept. for symptoms similar to what you've been feeling. ( by a nutritionist. Doctors don't do these tests very often, Organic acids, urine amino acids, IgG and IgE antibody, G.I. Function Profile). The tests showed she had a significant intestinal yeast overgrowth, and low levels of iron, leading to ammonia toxicity, causing her brain fog.
Based on her tests, it was recommended she take a supplement of arginine (an amino acid) and magnesium, to clear the brain fog, and go on an anti-yeast diet, along with other SPECIFIC supplements, such as B6, zinc, a chelated form of iron, L- glutamine, probiotics, digestive enzymes and an immunoglobulin supplement powder. (I love this nutritionist, but she's expensive!) These are just some of her supplements, again, based on her specific test results.
Anyway, my daughter's brain fog cleared after a few days, and all of her symptoms are gone, except she is still too thin, can't put on weight (the anti-carbs diet isn't helping this, of course!), and she still has cold hands and feet, but it takes time to bring up the iron level. Also, she is a typical stressed out college student who stays up too late and doesn't get enough sleep.
Interestingly, her 8 am cortisol was high, (28.4), and her total T4 was also high. (12/mcg/DL)
Naturally, I would want to recommend you see a nutritionist, one who knows what to test for. In spite of the expense, I love having these tests in hand to refer to, to answer some of my questions and to show doctors, who for some reason don't value these tests.
My daughter is doing SO much better!
Yes !! I got one from my local health food store and yes it works , its called Adrenal Support Capsules by Soloray but there are other makes, they are not too expensive either ,I have been taking them for about 2 months now and still feel good, they took about 3 days to kick in and I had brain fog and every other kind of fog you can think of, all gone, they lifted my mood completly . Hope you try them and you have the same effect I got.
I would NOT be taking DHEA without treating cortisol levels. When the pituitary senses low levels of cortisol and/or DHEA, it puts out ACTH which tells the adrenals to get to work. If you have low functioning adrenals, with a resulting low level of cortisol, adding DHEA is going to completely shut down your ACTH production.
If you have Hashi's disease, (autoimmune thyroid dysfunction) there's a good chance that you have polyglandular autoimmune syndrome, (PAS occur when the immune system attacks the endocrine glands and cripples hormone production.) but it's really difficult to test for - best to just treat the symptoms of low thyroid and low adrenal output.
As for the brain fog -- Besides staying away from refined foods and exercising regularly, I found that Omega 3 is essential.
Sherta - Good point about DHEA. DHEA is a hormone, and like other hormones, if it's out of balance, even a little, it can cause strong symptoms.
Testing hormone levels should always be done, before taking a supplemental hormone of any kind, and under the supervision of a professional.
I am talking about Adrenal support capsules not the DHEA ones, I am not certain if you have to speak to a Doctor about every vitamin or supplement you take but however if you are concerned it would be a good thing, as said in my last post, Your question was about supplements and I was giving you the input as I had found my experience to be, I googled it for information before I took them and did my own research ..
Have you had your thyroid levels -- TSH, Free T3, Free T4 – checked? T3 will hold on to the recpectors in the brain for as long as it can and it’s the last to go in low thyroid impairment. People used to be thrown in a phys ward and determined crazy. Now there are numerous studies that show that T3 therapy helps even patients with no thyroid deficiency who have depression. Another thing to keep in mind is that fluoride and other toxins can and will deplete iodine that is needed for efficient thyroid function. Also, food intolerances can cause significant brain FOG, in addition to stripping the body of needed nutrients. GMO in processed oils can cause much harm including mega brain irregularities.
I can tell you that worse brain fog I had from Candida infection I had or probably still have but it is getting better. You can find test or questionnaire for this and treatment bc it is very toxic infection and can cause hormonal imbalances like adrenals and other.
Hi Sherta. I'm interested in what you said about T3. My Endo started me on 10mg of T3 in a morning and T4 in the evening for Hashis disease. After taking the T3 for a few days, my head started to go funny and I got very depressed. It lasted a few weeks and my Endo then increased it to 20mg. My head got better and the depressed feelings went away and I started to sleep better but felt terrible in a morning with huge dark circles and heaviness. I have stopped the T3 now and my head has gone funny again and I feel depressed. I know this is only temporary but what hell is it doing to my brain? It is all scary stuff to me. Is it linked to my adrenal glands?
Jane that sounds like a cool idea to be honest, i've had this brain fog for years, it's annoying, I too am looking for a solution as the Doctors appear, what we're doing now looking up anwsers on the computer is all the doc does & for an easy life will offer you anti depressents....but good ole doc's not there when people take there own lives...
Out with the doc as my last appointment to the doctors he spent the whole time argueing with his boss infront of me & I felt a little embarrested...he offered me the surgery councilling as the last lady i had was nuts & she was the guy I live with's Councillor & I didn't really get anywhere as she took his side...that's as bad as this gets but when the letter came through cause you have to ring up for the appointment I learned he had given me the same lady!
They are all abit queer where i live & it's making brain fogged....I would really love any advice cause I would love to multiply in friends & do something with my life...Adrenal Support Capsules sounds like an excellent solution....thanks i will try it as I am sick of being told off by docs for not doing anti depessents! So up yours to Doctors!!! ;o)
Good for you, I am taking the Adrenal support Capsules and they made me feel so much better in a few days of taking them, I felt"Normal" again, I too have not had many good experiences from the Medical profession and do all my own research now.
I tried the Adrenal Caps. Unfortunately, my experience wasn't good.
They made me very, very anxious. I also became very, very warm (increase in blood pressure due to licorice root in the capsules??).
I was only taking one capsule instead of the recommended two.
My system is very sensitive and I react to very low doses of almost everything (either a good reaction or a bad reaction).
I am going to a holistic doctor tomorrow. I hope this person can clear up my head. I've been taking Vitamin C and B5 and B-stress vitamins, etc for about a week. No change in the slow-thinking or brain fog.
Have you been tested for Addison’s disease --serum Cortisol, ACTH, ACTH Stim testing?
What thyroid tests were run? I was diagnosed with AIHT (autoimmune Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) by my children’s pediatrician in 2000. The only thyroid test that was done prior to that was TSH and it was optimal according to the many doctors I had seen -- at 1.6. (I went through many antidepressant offers but politely refused them all.) However, I now know that the TSH worshipping doctors are biased and uninformed since TSH is variable, including people with autoimmune thyroid disease. There are a number of things that affect TSH, so you also need Free T3 and Free T4 tests to see how the thyroid is actually functioning. Also, the most prominent thyroid disorder is autoimmune, both Hashimotos and Graves. In fact, most people think Diabetes is the number one AI disease, but that not true just look at the numbers.
Thyroid impairment and depressed Adrenal symptoms are very similar and much of the time when one is deficient the other is too. Cortisol is a primary Adrenal hormone that is elevated under stress and depressed when the Adrenal gland is exhausted. Cortisol can alter TSH and therefore T4 and T3. Treating the thyroid will NOT make the underlying Adrenal condition, if it exists, better and may make the situation MUCH worse –And vise versa. So it's quite important to test and treat both the Thyroid and Adrenals simultaneously. See: http://www.drrind.com/article.asp
When patients were given T3 in place of antidepressants most recovered on T3 alone. Also, I caution people that some AD contain fluoride a toxic poison that Hitler gave to the Jews in Nazi concentration camps to kill them and later given to people with overactive thyroids to slow their thyroids down. So an AD could well be causing additional problems to one’s health.
It is well documented in the medical literature that Hashimoto's Thyroiditis or Hypothyroidism can be the cause of a vast variety of behavioral and psychiatric symptoms. So it is alarming that very rarely is thyroid function thoroughly checked i.e. thyroid peroxidase (TPOab) and thyroglobulin (TGab) antithyroid antibodies, Free T4 and Free T3 before a physician or psychiatrist dispenses potentially brain-damaging psychotropic drugs.
A review of Internet thyroid forums' posts easily reveals that many hypothyroid patients were initially prescribed anti-depressants and/or other psychotropic medications by their physicians when they complained of low thyroid psychiatric symptoms such as depression or anxiety or mood swings. More alarming is to learn that there are Hashimoto's patients who have even undergone electric shock therapy before their thyroid disease was discovered and properly treated.
Dr. Ridha Arem, in his book, “The Thyroid Solution: A Mind Body Program for Beating Depression and Regaining Your Emotional and Physical Health,” says:
“Scientists now consider thyroid hormone one of the major "players" in brain chemistry disorders. And as with any brain chemical disorder, until treated correctly, thyroid hormone imbalance has serious effects on the patient's emotions and behavior.”
“Once the important thyroid hormones, T3 and T4, are released into your bloodstream, they enter cells of organs and play an important role in regulating major functions in the body. Adequate amounts of thyroid hormone are also required throughout your life if your brain is to function normally. Most of your cognitive abilities -- such as concentration, memory, and attention span -- as well as mood and emotions depend on normal thyroid hormone levels. Mounting evidence suggest that T3, the most potent form of thyroid hormone, is a bona fide brain chemical. It is found in the junction of nerve (synapse) cells that allow these cells to communicate with one another. This thyroid hormone also regulates the levels and actions of serotonin, noradrenalin, and GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid), now accepted as the main chemical transmitters implicated in both depression and some anxiety disorders. Maintaining normal serotonin and noradrenalin levels in the brain depends to a great extent on whether the correct amount of T3 is available. Extensive animal and human research has led scientists to conclude that serotonin levels in the brain decrease if T3 is not delivered in the right amount. Also, a deficit of T3 in the brain is likely to result in noradrenalin’s working inefficiently as a chemical transmitter, and noradrenalin deficiency or inefficiency is, in some people, the chemical reason for depression.”
"...thyroid patients, particularly those with hypothyroidism, want peace and quite. They feel the need to withdraw from activity and noise. They have a low tolerance for sound. In essence, they wish to insulate themselves in a surrealistic world of tranquility." "Patients may become withdrawn from friends, and they do not want to talk or go out with people. They may lose all interest in doing things with their partners... Hypothyroid patients want to be left alone. They just want to sleep and withdraw from those around them. In some cases, they realize the people around them are doing the best they can, but they still want to maintain their isolation."
Another thing to keep in mind is that T3 is fast acting. It only stays in the body for 8 hours or so unlike T4, which stays in the body for 8 days. You sound like multi-dosing with T3 and addressing and replenishing your Adrenals would be a good start.
All these posts have been so helpful. Thank you all!
A few days ago, the brain fog seemed to have a couple of 'holes' punched in it. I'm a bit more clear. One step forward...hopefully no steps back. I've spent the last 3 weeks trying to eat fresh foods (I'm a processed foods junkie--I hate to cook), and taking some supplements. I had to stop the multivitamin and B-stress vitamins--they were making me jittery. I started a huge dosage of fish oil and acidophilous a few days ago as well.
I can't say exactly what has eased the fog a bit,but I'm not complaining.
I've read for many years my very light depression (more like melancholy) could be thyroid related, but doctors have always dismissed me. I'm on a small dose of anti-depressant, smaller than the amount prescribed, because I just hate synthetic medicine.
I think I've found a holistic (functional medicine) doctor who can help me. She says the light depression could be related to my thyroid (finally, a professional has said this to me! I could have jumped for joy!). She believes I have severe adrenal fatigue and possibly Hashimoto's (due to high antibody levels from a prior blood test), and possibly hypoglycemia. She's testing me for all kinds of things, 23 tests in all, including Free T3 (I have a current Free T4 lab result), Reverse T3,vitamin and metal levels, a bunch of different antibodies. She has a negative opinion of most endos because she feels they don't check what they should. She said anyone's thyroid tests resultscan be in the normal range, but what if the T4 isn't being converted into T3 (something like that---remember, I'm in a brain fog here)? And lots of other reasons why she feels endos for some reason 'just don't get it.' She (and I) aren't saying there aren't any great endos out there, but from my experience and what I've read online, it sure is difficult to find an endo who will listen to the symptoms and not just read the test results.
To Sherta: I can't find the "ACTH" on the blood test order, though. I don't know what this test is for?
I know about drrind.com's website and have found it so informative.
I'll also be looking for Dr. Arem's book. Thanks so much for this!
I also did a home saliva and urine test that gets mailed out and is supposed to check cortisol levels over the entire day, and and the things like serotonin, norepenephrine, etc. That test will take 3 weeks to get the results.
I think I may have stumbled onto someone who finally understands me and believes me when I say I've had a low libido all my adult life (other drs. would say to get a new boyfriend or just dismiss me out of hand), the cold hands, feet, and nose, etc.. She thinks a lot of what I've experienced all these years could be related to my thyroid. I think she does want to treat the adrenal fatigue first, though. When I told her if I take a multi-vitamin after 4PM I can't get to sleep until midnight or after, she immediately said, "Oh, that's because of the B vitamins--the energy vitamins--you must be really sensitive to meds and supplements." She was non-plussed and very matter-of-fact about it. It feels so good to have that.
I'm currently on a huge dose of fish oil and a probiotic acidophilous/bifidis supplement.
I'm thankful the brain fog has lifted a bit. It gives me hope.
Thanks again, everyone, for all your informative, caring posts.
The ACTH test is usually done after a serum cortisol test result is low. ACTH -- is short for adrenocorticotropin -- its produced by the pituitary gland. Its main function is the regulation of cortisol. When deficient production by the adrenal gland occurs you can become cortisol deficient causing Addison’s disease. Over production of cortisol can lead to Cushing’s disease.
I had below range morning serum cortisol and high normal ACTH, and then an ACTH stim (stimulation) test was done – this test measures how well the Adrenals respond and produce cortisol and aldosterone and takes about four hours to do. This test ruled out Addison’s and Hypopituitarism and just showed I had fatigued Adrenals. I found after spending gobs of money on numerous doctors that traditional medicine doesn’t recognize nor treat fatigued adrenals. Although these diseases are considered rare, I am glad the tests were done so there is no doubt.
The urine cortisol tests, IMHO, are worthless. Mine came back high and then the unknowledgeable docs said that's not medically possible, so they had me do it again and again. They decided I had a pre-Cushing’s syndrome and put me on Licorice Root and I got worse immediately and stopped it.
Finally after finding a well-informed doc, which took another two years. The saliva tests showed I was at phrase 4 Adrenal Fatigue. At this phrase morning and noon cortisol levels are low while afternoon and night cortisol levels are high. I went on a small dose of HC – Cortef, for almost two years and rebuilt my Adrenals. Then very slowly went off of it. I have been off the Cortef since Oct 2008 and only had to stress dose for a couple weeks after my hubby was in a car wreck.
Glad I could help. Serum means blood. My morning blood (serum) test was "normal" too. It was at the bottom of the range though. If I remember the range is 4-22 and mine was 5. ACTH range is 9-52 and mine was 50. Low cortisol and high ACTH could mean Addison’s, so I did the ACTH Stim test, but it was normal, meaning my adrenals did respond to what the test measures. The test doesn't detect lagging or tired adrenal function. To complicate things I also did a 24 hour urine cortisol test with 10-80 being normal. Mine was 138. This only gives a total value and missed my low morning cortisol level. It doesn't tell what is going on during the 24 hours, just how cortisol is in the urine.
Saliva testing for the adrenals tells how the adrenals do at four points during the day and is a valuable guide for treating the adrenals.
Thanks so much for your comprehensive response. I understand now that T3 directly affects the brain and that is why my head felt so funny when starting and stopping the T3 meds.
One question - you mentioned AD in your post but I am not sure what that is - apologies for being ignorant!
My Endo has now tweaked my meds so I am on T4 75mg and T3 10mg. I started on Nutri Adrenal support and DHEA (the dhea supplement was recommended by my Endo to get rid of my dark circles). I have now started to have anxiety attacks - great - I suffered with these last year when I was soley on T4 and now they have come back......Why on earth can't my body just be normal !!! I am so frustrated.....
By taking the DHEA and not addressing true AF- Adrenal Fatigue, its likely your ACTH function has slowed down cortisol output more and stressing the adrenals further or even shutting them down. You need to give your adrenals time to re-coop. When this happened to me I found a doctor who put me on Cortef (HC or hydrocortisone) in small doses throughout the day. It took over two years to repair mine. (Delta and Isocort didn't help me, my adrenals were in really bad shape.)
The Nutri- Adrenal supplement may help a bit. I use it now to keep my adrenals strong. You may benefit or understand the adrenals better by reading literature by the European doctor, Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield. He STRESSES that one MUST adhere consistently to: a healthier lifestyle to promote a stronger body, with regular exercise, regular meals and the elimination of as much stress as possible; and a full and restful sleep. I found that not even Cortef helped until I did this everyday for weeks. I was so SICK of being sick. It was that or continue to live a dying life.
It was Cortef that gave my adrenals the rest they needed and healed then. I take the Nutri-Adrenal twice a week now to keep my Adrenals strong. I never want to go back or where you are now. I hope you find appropriate help and soon.
what do you do if you can't delete all the stress? that is the million dollar question.
And I have given up on finding a dr to help so I am having to treat it myself. I have seen so many, and they do not believe in it or will not do any kind of test. It is so exhausting dealing with this kind of medical treatment, not to mention, the fatigue that is there from the AF itself.
I am having this same issue, however whenever I get a neck massage I feel better and begin to think more clearly. I was an active college student, however I now have trouble with simple conversations and remembering what I had just done that morning. Days seem to take forever for me because I don't feel well. So...I have been investigating and found this chart which is interesting. I never had these problems until I started getting stressed and getting more back and neck issues. I was also tested for thyroid and they told me I was fine. So.. take a look at this and maybe try a chiropractor or a nice massage to calm your nerves.
all my blood work came back fine too. in order to get to the problem i had to see an endocrinologist. the tests i took were urine and saliva over a 24hour period along with fasting. i dont make enough cortisol and my adrenals were on their way to shut down. see the endocrinologist...u dont want to let it go to long cause addissons or hashimotos could be the result.
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