Hashimotos Thyroiditis - Brain Fog
I don't know about you, but some days my Hashimotos Thyroiditis prevents my brain from functioning! As you read down this page, you will discover that I have found that there is a pattern at times.
Have you found a pattern in the times of the month (or year) that you have the worst brain fog?
Have you ever thought that thinking would be thought of as an unthinkable thought? Those with Thyroiditis think this a lot! Actually, sometimes we can't even think this thought because our thinker is all thought out!
But seriously, it is incredibly frustrating to go through brain fog (for me it comes in cycles) that causes me to feel detached from the intelligence that I know I have. This is very humbling. It goes something like this... you're talking to somebody in a simple conversation but you can't think of the words that would normally fly off your tongue...simple words, simple thoughts! For example: someone says, "how's the weather", and I say, "well, it's ..... what the word?, um... it is kind of .... um... well, I guess it's.... do you know what I'm trying to say?" and they say, "hot?" and I say, "oh yes! You got it! I'm glad you were able to figure it out!". This is a terrible feeling. The other person just can't figure out why you are acting so dense! In fact, you can't even figure out why you are suffering for simple words!
What is brain fog anyway? I've heard this expression ever since shortly after I was diagnosed. I have my own hunches. At this point, I must remind the reader that I am a sufferer, not a doctor. But, sufferers have one thing over doctors; they know how you feel because they experience similar symptoms. Many times a doctor has no idea what you are going through, even with their best intentions. That is why I have had much more help by talking to others who are fighting the same battle as I am. I'll talk more about this later. But back to the brain fog issue. If there are patterns to when your brain fog appears, it may provide invaluable hints to what is causing it. For me, it took me years to realize that there was a pattern. I am now adamantly against the suggestion that diseases and conditions always just "happen" to a person. I wish I had believed this earlier in life.
After keeping a food journal for a while now, I can pinpoint certain foods that tend to move me into a brain fog period. These are usually foods I have identified as allergic foods, or foods that cause inflammation for my body. Sugar is one of the biggest culprits but white flour isn't far behind. If I have severe symptoms, fasting or eating only simple foods like soups or vegetable broth tends to speed the healing process. Other giant contributors to brain fog for me include sleep loss, sleep pattern disruptions and stress. After much research, I am determined that brain fog has many triggers. Some are not controllable but many, many are!
Once you determine if there is a pattern to your brain fog, there emerges hope and power to overcome much of it. For example, I am embarrassed to say that it took me many years to realize the connection between my "late nights" and brain fog. I was concentrating so much on my diet, even researching that subject late into the evenings, that I was completely oblivious to the fact that the lack of sleep (or sleep pattern) was contributing at times much more to my symptoms.
Sometimes stress piques episodes of brain fog - I notice this as a delayed response. It seems that my adrenaline spikes during these times and I think I'm doing fine, only to experience lengths of symptoms days, sometimes weeks, later. I talk about this "cycle" of spiked antibodies on my website. This is where controlling brain fog really gets difficult. Stress is one of those areas most of us have big trouble limiting. Everything from a serious illness or death in the family to periods of anger and frustration in relationships, all contribute to the bouts of stress we must face. This is a good time to have your support group by your side. I've been through these tough situations with my forum throughout the last 4 years. They are the only ones who understand what symptoms I will likely face due to the current stress. They are there for me when I get hit with my symptoms, and there for me when working out a plan to overcome them.
If you suffer from brain fog associated with Hashimotos Thyroiditis, consider journaling the areas mentioned in this article. It might sound like a lot of work, but I have found that even one month out of your life, if it can greatly improve your symptoms over time, is worth every entry! I only did it once rigidly a few years ago. I was able to identify more than brain fog triggers. I found what I now stay away from in my diet - MSG, preservatives, etc. which now eliminate what used to be regular bouts with migraines. I now only suffer from headaches when I've consumed the foods I have identified.
That translates into having power over your symptoms! This is good news. This also prevents you from having to choose over-the-counter or prescription drugs which have their own side effects. Of course, there are always herbal remedies prepared specifically for Thyroiditis!
Next time you think you are thinking without good thought, think thoughtfully of recording a journal for sleep patterns, food and stress. I haven't even mentioned the seasonal factor. That is also an important thought! May you find answers to your personal healing and consider joining my forum (at my website ) for support from other sufferers. Together, we can make a difference!