Many people with thyroid conditions experience problems with both their memory and concentration. This seems to be more prominent with those who have hypothyroidism, but it can also affect people with hyperthyroidism as well. In fact, many of the people with hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease I consult with have memory and concentration problems. This frequently is due to an imbalance in thyroid hormone, but it can be due to imbalances in other hormones as well, as I will discuss shortly. Sometimes the problems people have with memory and concentration are worse than other symptoms they might be experiencing.
This is yet another reason why it’s necessary to fully evaluate the person, rather than just give them medication. When someone with a thyroid condition who is experiencing “brain fog” sees an endocrinologist, the most likely outcome will be the person walking away with either a new prescription drug, or a change in dosage of the medication they are currently taking for their thyroid condition. Just as is the case with everything else, most medical doctors don’t fully evaluate the patient, as they simply attribute the symptoms to the malfunctioning thyroid gland, and use medication as the “solution”
4 Things You Can Do To Correct Memory & Concentration Problems
As you might have guessed, following a natural thyroid treatment protocol will frequently correct the symptoms of “brain fog”. So while I definitely recommend consulting with a competent natural endocrine doctor to restore your health back to normal, rather than just manage the symptoms, I’m going to discuss four factors which can help with any memory and concentration problems you are experiencing. The first two are lifestyle factors that I have spoken about many times in the past, while the last two consist of the patient taking supplements or natural hormones (as a last resort) to help with their condition.
Brain Fog Factor #1: Eat well. Eating certain foods can definitely affect one’s mental state, contributing to symptoms associated with “brain fog”. Many times this can be due to something you are eating in which you are allergic to. While you might not have a severe reaction to such foods, it can affect you in other ways. This is one reason that part of any natural thyroid treatment protocol I recommend consists of eliminating all of the refined foods and sugars for at least a period of 21 to 30 days, and replacing these with whole foods. During this time you should also avoid any dairy products, and try to eat mainly organic meats, fruits, and vegetables (or at least use a natural rinse for the fruits and vegetables to remove the pesticides). You of course want to also drink plenty of purified water as well.
Just changing your eating habits really can do wonders for your overall health. And by eliminating any foods you are allergic to you will mostly likely notice an improvement in your memory and concentration. Sometimes the changes can be quite dramatic.
Brain Fog Factor #2: Get more sleep. Not getting sufficient sleep can also affect your memory and concentration. Of course many people with thyroid conditions have problems obtaining sufficient sleep, even when they try to go to bed early. If this is the case then you will need to focus on other areas of your health first, and then eventually you should be able to sleep better. But if you’re in the habit of intentionally staying up late and then waking up early, then this not only will affect your memory and concentration, but your overall health as well.
Brain Fog Factor #3: Take herbs. There are certain herbs that can help with memory and concentration. These of course aren’t permanent cures, but they can be used until the natural treatment protocol kicks in (assuming you plan on following such a protocol). Some of these herbs are beneficial even for those people who don’t have severe memory and concentration problems. Let’s take a look at three specific herbs that can help with memory and concentration:
Ginkgo: This is probably my favorite herb when it comes to helping with memory and concentration. In fact, even though I don’t have memory or concentration problems, I do use this herb on a regular basis to help me focus better.
Bacopa. This is yet another herb that can help with “brain fog”, as taking it should help you think clearer, and it also provides memory support.
Korean Ginseng. This herb is used primarily for increased energy and stamina, but it also can help to improve mental clarity as well. This herb actually has numerous functions, as it can also help to improve immunity.
Of course the quality of these herbs are important, which is why you don’t want to just buy them randomly at a health food store or online, as you should make sure they are of high quality. And as always, you should take these supplements under the guidance of a holistic doctor.
Brain Fog Factor #4: Bioidentical hormones might be necessary. This is usually a last resort to correct a hormonal imbalance that is leading to memory and concentration problems. Sometimes if the problem is severe then using natural hormones might be the first option, although usually a natural thyroid treatment protocol will correct a hormone imbalance without the person needing to take any hormones. I’m not talking about thyroid hormone here, although of course some people do need to take synthetic or natural thyroid hormone daily. But an imbalance in the sex hormones (progesterone, testosterone, estrogen, etc.) can lead to memory and concentration problems.
One of the more common conditions I’ve discussed in the past is Estrogen Dominance, which can be due to either an excess of estrogen, or more commonly a deficiency in progesterone. This condition can lead to many different symptoms, including memory and concentration problems. Once again, this condition can usually be corrected without having to take bioidentical hormones. Besides this condition, an imbalance in the other sex hormones can also lead to issues with memory and concentration. As a result, sometimes it is necessary to obtain a male or female hormone panel. This will allow the holistic doctor to evaluate the sex hormones, to see if there is an imbalance that needs to be corrected.
In summary, many people with thyroid conditions have memory and concentration problems. Most of these people can be helped by incorporating one or more of the above factors. While the first two you can do on your own, if you plan on taking any herbs or natural hormones, then it’s best to do so under the guidance of an expert.
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