you know i have heard of a condition called "alice in wonderland" or something like that. you could try researching that.
Actually the term used here is Brain Fog. I am really effected by that. It was unbearable when I was on Synthroid - but now that I have a different thryoid med - it is much better for me.
Still have it - but I cover it up the the "blonde" thing quite often.
There is no medical terminology that I know of - and some doctors do not even talk about it being thyroid related.
It is from not being regulated yet on meds to balance your thyroid.
I would defintely try another thyroid med on a trial basis with a Dr you like and trust. If this all started early in life and early in life (relatively speaking) you were DX'd with Hashi's it wouldn't surprise me if it is thyroid med and/or hormone related ??? That, is, of course speaking as a thyroid patient and not a Doc as I do not have any degrees.
I get that awful "word retrieval" problem simply from being on too much synthroid YET MY TSH IS CONSIDERED NORMAL!!!!!! I made them make note in the chart bcz it happened in middle of sentence, etc. and could not think of the word I wanted to use .. learned to cover it up but then the adrenelin would flow and I would realize I was messed up and this was not right and then my Synthroid got lowered from 100 to 88mcgs and it all but went away within a week!!!!!! My TSH was 0.667 and now I am fine at 1.3
What are your labs?
I want to welcome you to the board and hope you stick around and keep us posted as you help others,
Cheryl (Thy Ca 1/07)
Hi. Thanks for the ideas. I should have explained a bit better, but this problem began as the random, brief episodes when I was 12- and this was before I had ever been diagnosed with any thyroid problem. I wasn't on any meds of any kind. Then it became a permanent feeling when I was 16, and still not on meds and before I was ever diagnosed with a thyroid problem. So, it can't be a side effect of any medication.
My labs that I had 2 weeks ago came back with everything (kidney function, liver function, glucose, etc...) all normal; T3 and T4 were both within normal range (T4 at 0.63 (normal is 0.61-1.76) and T3 at 136 (normal range is 85-205). But, my TSH level was 11.68 (normal is 0.35-5.50). So, then with the normal looking MRI, it seems like the only thing out of the norm' is my TSH level.
But, even when I am on my synthroid/levothyroxine (I've been on either/or for 2 years), and my TSH levels are normal, this brain fog does not clear up. So, to me this brain fog problem is not related to my thyroid levels. The neuro' will see me again on Monday, but it sounds like his answer will just to be to recommend for me to go on migraine meds (I have constant mild headaches, and he seems fixated on the headaches and completely uninterested in my actual complaint, which is the brain fog).
I know that the pituitary gland controls TSH levels, and therefore my husband (medical researcher) wonders whether this is a pituitary problem, seeing as we already know that my pituitary gland is releasing too much thyroid stimulating hormone. What other hormones might my pituitary gland be releasing too much/too little of? There's nothing "structural" that showed up on the MRI, but it's something that the neuro' is suggesting I talk to my endo' about.
I go back on my synthroid tomorrow, so my TSH levels should start to be normal again. I'm only on .025mg, which is the lowest dose, so there shouldn't be any side effects. I'm looking forward to all my 'other' symptoms (chest tightness, shortness of breath, fatigue, lack of appetite, etc...) being resolved by the synthroid within the next few weeks.
I will go have a check around about the Alice in Wonderland thing, though. That sounds about right. Thanks.
Ask your doctor to test the health of your parathyroid glands. I'm going in on Thursday and I have brain fog and fatigue ( I had silent thyroiditis before ). I've also had a bout of vertigo, and the way I feel now is sort of how I felt right before I got my vertigo. Just tired and feeling like I need to sleep all the time. You can find information on the parathyroid at: http://parathyroid.com I hope you feel better soon.
Do you have a low blood pressure?
Your FT4 is still very low. You are nowhere near optimal range for a thyroid patient. I would ask Dr. for dosage increase. You should be in the upper 50% of the range not the basement. My fT4 was 1.1 and my dr just increase my dosage because I was still having symptoms.
Hi again. Okay, I looked into the parathyroid page. It seems that the one big indicator of parathyroid disease is the elevated (even just slightly) blood calcium levels. I can report that as of 2 weeks ago, my blood calcium level was within the normal range, (I have the test results in front of me, I wanted a printed copy for myself!) So, it would seem that it isn't my parathyroid. But, that was a really interesting suggestion, seeing as I've never heard anybody ever mention a parathyroid.
My blood pressure is always nice and normal, too. Even during my 3 pregnancies, my blood pressure was always really good. That's the crazy thing- everything always looks so nice and normal, and I look like a healthy young mom to everyone.
The only thing that has ever turned up abnormal is my stupid thyroid. This is most likely an inherited condition for me, because my father had a thyroid tumor removed when he was 16 (in the year 1949!). I didn't know about any of this until after ~I~ was diagnosed 2 years ago. Interestingly, my father is the only other person I've ever known who had these constant mild-severe headaches and the permanent brain fog, too. He died at the age of 71 about 3.5 years ago now, but in his life they were never able to give him any answers. He had the whole array of symptoms for thyroid problems, but was not being treated for his thyroid. So, I don't know whether his thyroid was good or bad after his tumor surgery.
I was only "accidentally" discovered to have Hashimoto's because I finally insisted on haivng a complete physical, and I specifically asked them to test my thyroid function. I had just seen 2 news reports about how common thyroid problems are, and they listed the common symtpoms, and I just went "Check, check, check" to everything they listed. Of a possilbe 20 symptoms, I had 14. But, because they are such random and seemingly unrelated things, I never connected the dots, and doctors always looked and me and thought I seemed fine, so they never even checked my thyroid function. So, even though I'm "not that bad" as the doctors say, my symptoms are pretty bad and I can tell just by my symptoms what my levels will be, and how they are flucuating. At least I know what to recognize now, and I've taken control of things.
So, I'll ask my endo' when I see him next about any other things that he might be able to check for.
Thanks for these ideas. It is giving me some direction in where I search.
As TDCRose said, you need to get your Free T4 into the upper half of the range.
Yout TSH should be around 1.0 give or take a little. The reason it is high is because you need more hormones. It is not a pituitary problem. It is a lab range problem.
A Free T4 of .63 is like starvation. You need to be in the upper half of the range to feel good. I don't know why the lower half is even there. My TSH was 102.3 once, and my Free T4 was still within range. It's ridiculous.
TSH ranges are just as bad, only in reverse. The upper half of the range should be chopped off and thrown away. Anything above 2.8 is BAD. Saying it isn't is ludicrous, yet the lab range often says 5.0 is still good enough.
Talk to your Endo about getting your Free T4 higher, like 1.3 or so. You will feel much better after a few months.
I'm in tears.....I have the exact same symptoms and I cant stand it anymore. I'm so tired of being in space, dizzy, slow, unable to focus, difficulty talking, writing etc. It seems like it's getting worse/occuring more often. I'm not sure where you're located, I'm in Canada. My problem is that I have a doctor that I don't respect and find it difficult to talk to. In Canada it's impossible to find a new doctor so I've been living with this problem for quite sometime because my doctor doesn't think anything is wrong.
I've tried many holistic therapies, vitamins, eating organic but nothing helps.
I AM DESPERATE. ANYONE PLEASE HELP. Some days I don't want to continue anymore.
Do you take any medication for your thyroid?
As far as I know, my thyroid is okay. All the symptoms stated are the same though. I live in a "dream state" or a constant 'drunk'.
My doctor is reluctant to share my file with me....from what I understand (in Canada) this is not out of the norm. I've tried getting a new doctor but it is impossible. My only chances are moving to a new area, which I'm contiplating seriously.
I want my life back.
Anyone, any insight????
Please, any feedback is grateful.
Im the same but with anxiety added to it! I really noticed it when I was walking around college a few months back. It was almost like I was dragging my body... My eyes just wanted to close and I would have slpet if I sat down. It felt like the '3pm slump' but to me it was the 'all day slump'. Then I started to notice that when i spoke I couldn't get the words out, and if I did they wouldn't sound right. I went into slow motion. Everything around me sloooowed down. Do you ever notice that mid sentence you forget what you were going to say???? It always happens to me and I feel like a pure fool then.. Happen in a presentation I was giving in college, I just looked so stupid.. Im now on meds for hypothyroidism. My levels were being monitored over the past few months but no-one ever told me how bad I would feel when I got the symptoms....ANXIETY is the worst!!!!! Keep checking your levels they could be going out of whack!
Most of my brain fog symptoms went away once I start taking the natural form of thyroid medication - Armour. I was taking Levothyroxine before and now I combine Armour with Shyntroid and it's better. I do not really know if it is because the medication or because my THS has a normal value.
I'm sorry to hear about the symptoms and grief you're both going through with the brain fog, and maybe thyroid problems. It's not something any of us want to have in common. But, we do, and at least we can talk about it together and not feel crazy or alone.
The only connection for myself that I can possibly make is that these brain fog symptoms began right at the time when I began going through puberty. I am very convinced that this is a hormonal/chemical-imbalance, which has not been detected in the normal range of blood tests I've had so far. It makes sense, because the brain fog symptoms would come over me like a wave the first few years, out of nowhere and for no reason, and then "wash away" and disappear almost like a fresh breeze had blown through my head after about 5-10 minutes.
Then, when I was 16.5 years old the brain fog came and never lifted. But, I know I am prone to stress, and that really anyone's body will have endocrine and chemical reactions to stressors in their lives. At the time when this brain fog became permanent, I was being made to move across America (from New Hampshire to California) with my family, and being made to leave my boyfriend of over a year, and all my friends and my school, and start a new life. That was incredibly stressful, and I'm sure my stress hormones were extremely high, and affecting my mind.
So, to me, and knowing my own family history of a tendency towards anxiety problems, depression, hormonal problems and some chemical imbalances, and chronic stress, I think this can be the only answer to what I am experiencing. My Hashimoto's hypothyroidism, where my low thyroid function is being caused by an attack of antibodies from my own immune system), along with the stress and the onset of puberty (and the hormonal fluctuations my body is subjected to as a female), I think was "the perfect storm" that came together and made this brain fog. Maybe my brain chemistry just will never be right again, because of the effects these hormonal, stress and chemical "attacks" it went through, and probably continues to go through.
Maybe part of my brain is altered and not as active or functional as it used to be, (which could only be seen in real time on a FMRI- functional MRI, which watches your brain activity and shows changes in brain function, either compared to 'normal' brains, or when faced with outside stimuli. They use these when researching the differences in brains of autistic people, the criminally insane, the affects of drugs etc... Essentially anyone whose brain seems to be functioning in a way that is not considered 'normal'.) The neurologist I saw did mention that this was the only other brain test left, but that it's only for research and experimental purposes, and it's hard to find any researchers/doctors who would be willing to do one. So far, it seems that no researchers or doctors are looking into "brain fog" as a primary complaint, instead only as a peripheral symptom of other disorders and diseases.
I would be ~enitrely~ willing to sign a petition and join a campaign of other "brain fog" sufferers, to come together as a community with this common debilitating and chronic ailment, to fight for recognition of what we are suffering and to insist that researchers and doctors take it seriously and put some time and money into research to understand the cause(s) and to find a treatment or cure. There should be "Walk Against Brain Fog" days in major cities around the world to raise money, foundations started to raise awareness and money for research and publicity, etc....
Is there anyone out there with public relations, finance, political, website, and/or marketing experience who would know anything about starting such a foundation or grass roots movement? It's time. I've got a molecular biology/immunology researcher for a husband, so I've at least got ties to the research community, and directly to the N.I.H. through him. He used to work for the N.I.H. directly, and is still funded through them, and he knows people (who also know people...)
If there can be people fighting for a cure for AIDS, breast cancer, autism, poverty, hunger and so many other things, it's high time there was also a strong, vocal and active group of people fighting for answers and a cure for Brain Fog.
Just wanted to add to all the input, that you should also insist that the doc check your free T3 levels. Sometimes the body does not convert 4t to T3 very well. Free T3 is the most active component, which largely regulates metabolism. For someone who is hypo t, the best result is usually obtained by moving the free T3 level into the upper third of its range, and getting TSH into the low end of its range. Sometimes this cannot be accomplished with a T4 only type of med. Sometimes it takes a T4/T3 type such as Armour thyroid.
If you want to get an idea of your current thyroid state, try checking your normal temperature several times a day and for several days and compare the average to the optimal of 98.6. If you fall sig. below 98.6, that is a good indication of low metabolism/low thyroid, suggesting you need more of the right kind of meds.
Here is a good link on temp.
From all the research Iv been doing and all the questions Iv asked etc I know that brain fog comes with being hypoT. The thing that annoys me so much is people (unless their going through it themselves) don't understand how it effects us. Iv never felt so 'not me' in all my life. Its almost like Im a different person. I remember having a conversation with some friends and it took me 3 attempts to say what I wanted becuase I couldn't get the words out... Needless to say I just gave up and stayed quiet...The worst is when they laught thoght... No point explaining it to them is what I keep thinking.... Pity theres isn't more awarness about it becuse it would hwlp alot!!!!
Hi my name is Kylie and I have been going living in a state of "brain fog" for as long as I can remember. I was recently diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and I see a psychologist, but even being on anxiety meds has never gotten me feeling "alive." I have tried explaining to my psychologist the brain fog and how I never feel like I am actually performing the actions I'm doing, but I can never quite find the words to describe what I am going through. I can't believe I found this discussion, I just typed in brain fog to google to try and find some answers and I stumbled upon this forum....funny how that happens. I never knew other people suffered from this. I just want to feel aware again. Has anyone gotten any new information?
Thanks for the suggestion, gimel, about getting my freeT3 level checked. I don't believe my endocrinologist has been monitoring that. Maybe twice, on a complete blood work up, they've checked my total T3, but never my free T3. And, the rest of the usual quarterly blood work is only monitoring my TSH and free T4. And, now that I check around on the Internet, I see many, many other patients with hypothyroidism who also suffer from brain fog who have had their free T3 checked, and then been put on either Cytomel or Armour Thyroid. And, at least with the patients who went on Cytomel, their brain fog symptoms completely cleared up, and so did their fatigue, within about 7 days.
So, I've called my endocrinologist's office, and asked whether they've ever checked my free T3 (I do not believe they ever have), and asked that if they haven't, that they start checking it now, because I said "a friend" suggested that the unresolved symptoms I'm still experiencing, even after 2.5 years of being treated with Synthroid, maybe actually be due to low T3 levels.
So, that's what I'd ask if you might do as well, Kylie408. Have you ever had your thryroid function tested? Even if you have had it tested in the past, you may want to go again to your family doctor and ask for a full physical, asking very specifically that they test your TSH, free T4 and free T3 levels, because you want to know whether your thyroid is functioning properly, and only by having all 3 of those levels monitored can any doctor have a full picture of your thryoid function.
Anxiety is one of the main symptoms related to thyroid disorder. So are insomnia, shaking hands, heart palpitations, chest tightness, trouble breathing, hair loss, weight loss/gain, depression, fatigue, brain fog, irritability, extremely heavy or very light menstrual periods, miscarriages and/or infertility, high cholesterol, rapid pulse, sensitivity to heat or cold, frequent headaches & muscle & joint aches, and sometimes nausea and dizziness. Because those symptoms individually can seem like so many other things (and are so often just chalked up to plain old 'depression') doctors very often will never even think to consider them together and to check your thyroid function.
It was only after I self-diagnosed (after seeing a news report about women's increased likelihood of having a thyroid disorder and hearing them list all the possible symptoms) that I booked a complete physical with my doctor, and insisted that they check my thyroid function, (as well as for Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthtritis and a full check up with a cardiologist for my cardiac symptoms). And, sure enough, there it was, plain as day. My thryroid was completely out of whack- sometimes way too high, and then passing through a normal phase and going way too low. Before this, every single doctor (and even some still) say that I've just got depression, and they literally go and get depression meds' from a cupboard and tell me to just take these. I've been sent home by at least 3-4 doctors will a bag full of depression meds when I explained these symptoms. And, only once did I ever take a pill. My 2nd son was 2 months old, and the OB/GYN diagnosed me with postpartum depression (it wasn't, it was actually my thyroid going too high that caused the severe insomnia and anxiety). She never even thought to check my thyroid before prescribing the meds. And, I took one that night. An hour later, my husband had to take me to the ER because I was having an acute anxiety attack, because the Zoloft was making my existing insomnia and anxiety much worse. So, in short, doctors get it wrong all the time, and prescribing anxiety and depression meds is just their last resort when they can't think of anything else to tell you. I've refused to believe that my symptoms are all in my head, and I've refused to believe it was just "depression". Depression and anxiety have real, physical causes. They are symptoms, not necessarily a diagnosis. I do experience true depression when my thryoid function is too low, and I do experience true anxiety attacks when the function is too high. But, the answer for me is getting my thryoid function under control. That's what cures my depression or anxiety.
What I have is called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, which is an auto-immune disorder where my own body is producing anti-bodies to attack my thyroid as if it's a foreign invader in my body. I now am on daily medication to make up for the hormone my sick thyroid is not producing, and I see an endocrinologist about every 2-3 months to keep a watch on how I'm doing. And, hopefully, very soon I'll get my free T3 level checked and might be on the road to a new medication to cure the fatigue and brain fog.
I've also read that brain fog can be caused by some other things: a diet high in soy; by food allergies; consumption of the sugar substitute aspartame (in many diet sodas and in some fake sugar packets). I do have "food chemical sensitivities", so I have to avoid artificial flavorings (especially MSG!), artificial preservatives, artificial colorings and some foods like peanuts, orange juice, grapes/raisins, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, and cured meats (ham, sausages, pepperoni, etc...). Essentially, I cannot eat processed foods. But, even when I was on the very strictest elimination diet when I was seeing a dietitian who specialized in food chemical sensitivities, my brain fog and fatigue symptoms never changed. The severe symptoms related to the food sensitivities can be controlled through my diet, but none of the symptoms that ended up being due to my autoimmune thyroid disorder are helped through diet control.
So, for myself, my last and most hopeful "shot" at getting my brain fog & fatigue symptoms diagnosed and treated is if they are part of my existing thyroid disorder.
You just have to be persistent, and sometimes meet the right people, or see the right news report, and do some research of your own on the Internet to really get to the bottom of the symptoms, and to start asking firmly for doctors to check you for these things. I hope things turn out well for you. I'd be interested to hear what your doctor finds in your blood results after your complete physical. =)
Here is the link to a Google book (that you can get in the library or bookshop, too). I've read parts of it, and I am just amazed and encouraged and think that this could really help a lot of people who are struggling to find causes for their brain fog symtpoms. It did a great job explaining the possible thyroid hormone imbalances as a potential cause:
It's called "Brain Fog" by Binyamin Rothstein D.O.
I completely stumbled across these posts by accident and am so glad that I did. I have been wondering what is wrong with me because for weeks now, I feel as though I have been in this "brain fog".. it is the strangest feeling I've ever had. I was diagnosed with anxiety just earlier this month and put on Xanax (.25mg) to help with it. I was told that due to the stressful year I had plus losing my job 2 weeks before Christmas is what started the anxiety. All I know is one minute I was fine and then shortly after the holidays, I had severe dizziness and was told I had stress induced vertigo. Once this went away, I was left with the "brain fog" and it isn't going away. My doctor keeps telling me to rest and take it easy and I have been doing this but I cannot even resume normal activities. I can no longer read a book because I lost my ability to focus; if I try to clean my house, I can only do a couple of things because I start to feel slightly motion sick. I am in no physical pain but do not feel like myself. I am going to see my doctor next week and am requesting to have all these thyroid tests done in addition to my hormone levels because I wonder if any of this has to do with being on a new birth control pill?
I just want to figure out exactly what is wrong with me so I can try to get back to my normal self. I almost feel trapped in my own body and don't know how to escape.
If anyone has any other suggestions, I would love to see them.
I would suggest getting your thyroid checked! It causes a lot of problems for a person.. I suffer from hypothyroidism and am having a rough time with anxiety. You described it well, I feel trapped in my body too, and its falling apart! To start with all I had was anxiety then all the physical symptoms started happening! It has effects every aspect of my life, college has suffered big time as I can concentrate and my memory was so bad at the start! Like you, I just woke one morning feeling like this, having horrible thoughts and feeling C*appy!!! It would be best if you get your levels checked. Ask for a TSH, free t3 free t4 and antibodie tests! Just to be on the safe side!
Good luck, Jen.
just thought I would share some of my experience with hypothyroidism and brain fog. I am on levothyroxine, and my TSH levels are now within normal range, but I still experience the brain fog from time to time.
I have found that the only thing that really helps is exercise. And I don't mean just taking a short walk. It has to be high-tempo and last at least half an hour. The harder the better, it has to be so you get really exhausted and sweat. My favourite is a long jogging/run. But it really helps. After a round of exercise I feel like a different person. I can think clearly, I can concentrate for longer periods of time, and my mood is really improved. This improved state lasts for 1 to 2 days after hard exercise. If I haven't exercised for a week or two I get the brain fog symptoms again.
I know it can be difficult to motivate yourself to do this exercise when you are feeling down, but if you just manage to get out and try, I hope you will see that it helps for you too.
I seem to have all of the same symptoms that you guys are experincing. Like some of you, all of my blood test results come back balanced. It seems though we are all looking for the fix. The only thing I didn't see mentioned in any of the posts is that I feel like I have a pressure, which right now is slight. In the past it has kept me from driving. Not because I lost control of motor skills, just because I was a danger to those around me because I was so unaware of my surroundings. I was in great health running 50 miles a week, until I injured my knee. Since then I have been gaining weight, and I have no motivation to do anything. I found running was my escape from the fog, so to speak. I actually appologized to my wife today because we had lunch and I don't think I heard a word she said. I was daydreaming the entire time. I am going to change my eating habits drastically. One person asked me if I consumed large amounts of asparthmine. I said I do. He said, stop it will help. I am starting that today. I don't think (in my mind) any one of the items will fix my problem. I do feel that a heavy concentration of all things might help.
When I explained the condition to my neurologist, I said, Dr. if you could just stick a needle in my head and get the pressure off, it would help so much more. It was my understanding that they can test these pressures by doing a spinal tap. My Dr. said no, there were too many risks involved for the possible benefits. I said ok. My problem ended up being a severe chest infection, coupled with what they believed to be Meningitis (?sp) Topped with, a bad diet, tons of stress (and I mean tons) and a recession affecting my income. I recovered from the seriousness of my condition through anti-biotics (it took 2 months). So I am certain I had something other than just Fogginess.
Now I am seemingly slipping into the abyss again. I don't feel sick this time. I am not stressed. I have never slept well. I have done the sleep studies and was told that I am beyond what there equipment can study. Plus I never act up when I go. I sleep walk, talk, etc. Anyway, just wanted to share my story and my thoughts and see if anyone can relate to any of the pieces of this puzzle so we can assemble it. Something is triggering this.
Incidentally, my wife sent me an article that was describing the power of laughter. I explained to her that one thing that I did notice is that when I am into something that I am really enjoying, I am totally unaware of my condition. Do any of you notice the same thing? At a point I called it selfcentered syndrome.. As long as people kept me happy I was real responsive. I currently have no sex drive, All I want to do is sleep and eat. So the fact that I am responsive to the Happy stimulus, tells me that stress is a part of the key to this door.