One of the common things that many people with thyroid disease experience is brain fog. Between the lack of concentration, the memory issues, the feeling like you are walking around in a mental haze that most of us with thyroid issues get, it can make you feel like you have ADD or are just losing your mind. You are not losing your mind, I promise!
Brain fog coming and going when it pleases has caused some major changes in my life. I keep notes on everything, on my phone, my computer, a notepad by my desk, I write everything down and sometimes multiple places. I have no idea when one of these episodes are going to hit me. Doing this has saved me from forgetting doctors appointments, forgetting to pick up my husband, forgetting to take my medicines and many other things. It doesn’t always help me remember names, or how to do simple tasks when I get hit with random moments of fogginess. If you are like me, it can make you feel about 100 years old and like someone with extreme ADD as well. Here you are going along like normal and then all the sudden you can’t pay attention to save your life and people are looking at you like you are either the stupidest or rudest person ever. Personally I just try to go for looking slightly rude when this happens as I hate looking stupid. *grin*
Sometimes it’s subtle, you will be feeling fine and walking into a room and all the sudden you realize you forgot what you went in the room for. We all do that, right? Well, with brain fog and thyroid issues it’s a little more serious and more often than normal people experience. Sometimes it’s simply like forgetting why we walking into a room, or walking into something in a room because you forgot it is there. Sometimes it’s more serious such as not remembering how we got to some place that we are currently, or not remembering driving to a place. Then on really bad days, we forget how to do simple tasks we have done all our lives, like how to unlock your door, or dress yourself, or your name even, leaving blanks in the memory entirely. Those are more scary. When it gets bad like that, I will often be very cautious about driving anywhere and only go where I absolutely have to go. Usually bad brain fog episodes mean my thyroid levels are seriously off, so for me, it’s a good signal to go get my thyroid levels checked.
At times they can be frustrating and a bit funny. Sometimes I will call something by the wrong name, to hilarious results. Or call a person by the wrong name, or pick up the wrong thing to bring with me. Once I unlocked my car door, pushed the trunk unlock button (with the car door unlocked) and then my keys dropped into the trunk. I am in total panic mode thinking I was stuck there, until I remembered; the car door is still open and I can still push the button, open the trunk and get my keys out.
I have been known to put food in the oven, and go to check on it in half an hour and realize I never turned on the oven. Sometimes I will refer to the cats as the dogs. Why my brain does this when my thyroid levels are off, I have no idea. I will call my mother and not remember why I called her, or call my friend when I meant to call someone else. This affects everything and everyone in my life. My husband has gotten used to translating what I am saying when I substitute the wrong words after a decade of being around me.
It’s important to make sure you have a good support system around you, both good people who will try to help you when your brain just doesn’t work properly, and other systems, such as keeping notes, reminders on your calender or anything that helps you remember and keep on track for when the dreaded brain fog hits you. It’s also important to remember after it passes to laugh at yourself, making it less scary and having less negative impact on you.
Here is a nice scholarly article that explains how thyroid hormones affect the brain and the mind. The information that has been discovered linking thyroid hormones to brain function has been phenomenal in the last few years. Unfortunately many physicians are not keeping up with this information, so when you go to your doctor to complain about brain fog, they will think you are just depressed. When what the reality of a thyroid disease person really is, you need to regulate the thyroid hormones properly to their optimum levels and then there will be less mental issues to contend with.
So, feel free to leave a comment. What is your funniest or scariest experience with brain fog? Has it caused you to limit your activities at times?