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Avatar universal

"Spaced-out" feeling for years, getting much worse!!

Hoping someone can help...for several years I've been experiencing a "spaced-out" feeling.  I remember even having trouble with it as teenager.  It's not that I'm dizzy, per se, but more detached.  I'm able to function but I feel mentally foggy, socially awkward, and as though my sense are overwhelmed.  It's incredibly frustrating!  I just want to feel normal!
In June, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism which I thought was the cause for this feeling.  While on medication, I did feel better but now my levels are considered "normal," my meds have been reduced, and the doctor cannot explain why I would still be feeling this way.  He refuses to put me back on the higher level of medication, citing that doing so would create hypothyrodism and I understand this problem.  In the meantime, however, I'm back to racking my brain about what could be causing this "spaced-out" feeling.  
I've been on birth control for years and haven't seemed to have problem with it, so I don't think that's the cause.  I thought about Lyme disease because several years ago, I had a peculiar rash which I never had tested, but then again...I've experienced this feeling when I was younger, long before I had the rash.  The feeling has just continued to get worse and now, I'm lucky to have one day without it!!  
Perhaps it's a problem with my eustachain tubes in my ears, since I've had problems with those for 20 years and no ENT has been able to help with them.  I've heard having this dsyfunction can make you feel somewhat foggy.  
I don't know...I'm at a complete loss and it's starting to really affect my life.  Every day, I want to cry because I just want to feel normal!  Anyone have any suggestions??

Thanks, J
11 Responses
Avatar universal
P.S.  I used to have anxiety but I haven't had many issues with it in several years and also....?
1756321 tn?1547098925
I call it space cadet syndrome lol but officially it's called cognitive dysfunction or brain fog. A "normal" lab result does not mean you will feel normal. Before 1973, there was no TSH test and doctors treated patients based on symptoms.

Causes of brain fog include:

* Deficiency states: The brain requires many nutrients, including protein, high-quality fats and starches, many vitamins and two dozen or more minerals.  Among the most important nutrients are calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, iodine, L-glutamine, L-taurine, choline, thiamine, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, other B-complex vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin D.

* Excessive levels of other trace elements such as iron, manganese, chromium, calcium, magnesium

* Copper imbalance

* Vegetarian diets are high in copper and low in zinc, a mineral that balances copper  

* Insomnia / sleep deprivation

* Sleep apnea

* Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

* Candidiasis

* Fibromyalgia

* Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

* Viral and other infections  - epstein barr, lyme disease, hepatitis, cytomegalovirus, trichina worms or cysts from consuming pig products, fish tapeworm eggs and other parasitic organisms, toxic bacteria from root canals and cavitations

* Heavy metal toxicity - mercury, aluminum, cadmium, lead or other metals

* Reduced blood flow to the brain due to circulatory problems

* Blood sugar issues such as hypoglycemia or diabetes

* MSG

* Nutrasweet (also labeled as Equal, Canderel, Spoonful, aspartame, aspartic acid, neotame or phenylalanine) -  found in over 5000 products including prescription medication, vitamins, toothpaste, breath mints, diet products

* Problems with the endocrine system. The endocrine system includes the pituitary gland, thyroid, parathyroids, adrenal glands, pancreas, ovaries (in women) and testes (in men). Conditions include hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, hyperparathyroidism (causes high blood calcium levels).

* Allergies and food intolerances such as gluten and lactose

* Drinking too little water or the wrong type of water  
            
* Leaky gut syndrome  

* Constipation / bowel toxicity

* Menopause

* Stress

* Depression

* Mental or emotional conflicts, unresolved traumas or other psychological causes

* Sick building syndrome (fumes from new carpets, paints, insulation, chipboard, wood treatments, pesticides, carbon monoxide, poor ventilation)

* Pregnancy

* Chemotherapy and certain medications

* Electrical fields

* Reduced oxygen to the brain

* Chiropractic subluxations  

* Other illnesses such as a brain tumour, epilepsy, meningitis or encephalitis

* Brain injury

* Vision problems

* Dyslexia and autism

* Emotional conditions such as neuroses, paranoia or mental fixations

* Too much sweating during exercise

* Poor circulation to the brain due to low blood pressure or arteriosclerosis

* Kidney problems
Avatar universal
Thanks Red Star.  Those are all causes and yet, I'm still not sure which one, or combintation of them, is to blame for my mental fog.  I just want this awful feeling to go away but most days, I have it..grr.
Avatar universal
An interesting tidbit I've noticed.  These episodes, while they can happen in the evening, generally happen in the morning or afternoon and get better as the day progresses so I  guess that's something to think about also.  Perhaps if I take my birth conttrol in the morning with the thyroid medication or perhaps change them to take both at night..?
Avatar universal
Or maybe it's caffeine, which I have almost every morning though not always....I don't know...all the possibilities!!!
Avatar universal
Hello, I also am experiencing these symptoms and have been for 8 years now.  I don't have any answers for anyone and I wish I could say it gets easier but it hasn't for me.

Up until a year and a half ago the spaced out / always drunk feeling was really my only symptom.  I was then hit with several other equally and more disturbing symptoms.

Here’s the symptoms I’ve been experiencing over the last several years:

• Feeling spaced out all the time, brain fog, mental clarity off, eyes feel unfocused/dazed
This has been the worst of my symptoms over the years and it’s there 24/7… some days are better than others, but it’s always noticeable. This is especially worse when in busy visual environments, and under fluorescent lighting.

• Unable to Concentrate
I have a hard time concentrating or focusing on things. This is especially troublesome when talking to people, I often hear what they are saying but my concentration isn’t there so I don’t comprehend or remember most of the conversation.

• Fatigue / Always yawning
• Chronic Sinus/Nasal Stuffiness/Ear Fullness
• Dizzy, wooziness, off balance feeling
• Severe Eye Floaters
• Tinnitus
• After Images / Images get burned into my eyes
• Mild Visual Snow/Static on certain backgrounds
• Near constant eye/ear/temple pain
• Headaches the start at the base of my skull
• Muscle Twitching, Weakness and Aches

If anyone has any ideas or shares similar symptoms I would like to hear from you.  Please send me a private message so we can discuss.
Avatar universal
Ok I have have the same symptoms......and was wondering if it's any thing I can do or tell my dr to check for?
1756321 tn?1547098925
Some of your symptoms are listed under a condition called Chiari Malformation.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Chiari-Malformation/Unofficial-Symptoms-List-/show/1192372
681148 tn?1437665191
Consider trying a gluten free diet.  Gluten is a common culprit for causing these symptoms in people.  Gluten intolerance is a lot more common than many doctors are willing to accept.  They only look at things from the perspective of someone having Celiac.  This is a very narrow-minded approach to the problem, because gluten intolerance is the main issue behind many problems:  Auto-immune illnesses, eczema, migraines, IBS, chronic depression, ADHD, autism, Fibromyalgia, other severe mental illnesses and even cancer.  And, these are the illnesses besides Celiac that gluten intolerance can cause.  That spacey feeling is often called brain fog.  Gluten intolerance definitely causes this in many people.  

My family has been hit with several of the illnesses I mentioned above.  Gluten intolerance most definitely exasperates these conditions.  Most of us didn't know gluten intolerance was the issue until some damage was done.  My brother and his family all have gluten intolerance issues, plus my nephew has a confirmed diagnosis of Celiac.  My brother will get severe brain fog and depression if he eats gluten.  So will my niece.  It also affects the bipolar that he didn't know he had until it started causing him problems.  The bipolar was making him seem like he had ADHD as an adult.

Just so you know, it is common for lactose or casein intolerance to go hand-in-hand with gluten intolerance.  Casein in a protein in milk that very often cross reacts in people who have gluten intolerance, particularly people with Celiac.

Also, if you look up Tyramine Intolerance, which affects people who get migraines and/or IBS, you will find out that gluten intolerance is a part of Tyramine Intolerance.

Again, gluten intolerance doesn't necessarily mean Celiac.  And, it is a lot more common than many conventional doctors are willing to admit.  I'm fortunate, especially being a low-income person who has to go to one of the clinics where a lot of low-income people go to, that the conventional doctors in the clinic I go to are willing to be open minded towards integrative medicine.  

Testing for gluten intolerance isn't all that straight forward if all the doctors are willing to do is use the blood test for Celiac.  Many Celiacs and others test negative for the gluten antibodies.  This does not mean that they don't have gluten intolerance.  Any doctor who relies solely on this blood test and doesn't listen to his/her patients about being gluten intolerant should be fired.  Fortunately, the main doctor I see at this clinic has seen the visible signs I do get if I eat gluten.  So, she has seen the difference in the eczema.  Eczema is a life long condition.  I will always have it, because it is still auto-immune.  So long as I do what I can to prevent flare ups, such as staying away from the external irritants that are more obviously known and the internal (food and drink) that are less obviously known, most people have no idea that I have eczema.

I also have a lot less brain fog staying away from gluten and casein, which is the original reason for this post.  It is worth investigating and trying a gluten free and casein free diet.

You can find all sorts of gluten free recipes online.  There are also many baked goods that are gluten free that are available in stores.  You are certainly nutritionally better off learning to bake things yourself and cook things for yourself that are gluten free, instead of only relying on expensive products from the grocery stores.  Many foods you find in the produce aisles and the meat department are naturally gluten free.  If you find you are also Tyramine Intolerant, stay away from eggs.  They are a nasty and common culprit for migraines and IBS and will make you miserable.  They are fine for you if you are not Tyramine Intolerant.  The other other natural food to watch out for with Tyramine Intolerance is spinach.  It's too bad, because organic spinach is a favorite of mine, but it does definitely make me sick.  Other foods that cause Tyramine Intolerance are more obvious and you will find out what those are when you do your research.  So, no, there is no "ick" factor with raw eggs grossing me out.  There never was, but someone once suggested that.  Eggs can be a healthy part of the diet, unless they cause problems for you.  Just like spinach is a healthy food, but it is a problem if you have Tyramine Intolerance.

I'm very sure many here may be experiencing gluten intolerance and just aren't aware of it.
681148 tn?1437665191
By the way, my information only augments what Red Star has already talked about.  There is no one right answer, as she has already mentioned.  However, I do know that gluten intolerance and/or Tyramine Intolerance can aggravate all the conditions that she has also mentioned.
Avatar universal
A related discussion, It's been a while was started.
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