Thyroid Brain Fog --- Causes and Top 7
Natural Remedies
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January 11, 2017

By Ariadne Weinberg,  Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of Registered
Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and other members of our Editorial

If you have a chronic issue with concentrating, you may just
think you’re spacey. Like it’s part of your inherent
personality that will always go with you. Or, if you constantly
forget things, you might reason, “It’s just that I’m getting
old” or “I’m stressed; it must be that.”

However, before you resign yourself to your condition, think
of your thyroid. It’s a butterfly-shaped gland located in your
neck, responsible for your metabolism, as well as heart, rate,
breathing, body temperature, and much more. With the use
of iodine, your thyroid makes two essential compounds
called  "Triiodothyronine" (T3) and "Thyroxine" (T4).

It is important that The T3 and T4 levels be balanced.

If they aren’t,  the imbalance can result in an underactive
thyroid, "hypothyroidism",  or an overactive thyroid,

Hypothyroidism results in slow pulse, fatigue, sensitivity to
cold, weight gain, and confusion and
Hyperthyroidism often causes sensitivity to high
temperatures, moodiness and/or irritability, and

According to a 2008 report by M.E. Bégin at the Sherbrooke
Geriatrics Institute in Quebec, there is a continuum where
cognitive dysfunction results from increased or decreased
concentration of thyroid function.

Put more simply, both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism
can make mental processing more difficult. The 2008 report
by Dr. Bégin affirmed that clinical and subclinical
hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism in middle-aged and
elderly adults is associated with decreased cognitive function,
memory, visuospatial organization, attention, and reaction

In the case of hypothyroidism, cognition will deteriorate at
any age because low output of thyroid hormones prevents
the brain from adequately sustaining the glucose-consuming
processes needed for neurotransmission, memory, and high
brain function.

Over 27 million Americans are estimated to suffer from
thyroid disease and about 13 million of them are calculated to
be undiagnosed. Whether you are American or not, if you’ve
been diagnosed with thyroid disease or your symptoms point
to it, you’ll want some tips on how to manage better when
your brain fogs up. Read on to find some natural ways to live
with an unbalanced thyroid.

Up Your Iodine Levels

As we read above, iodine is a key level in managing thyroid

If your iodine level is too low or normal but your particular
condition requires more, try to fix it.

Mark Vanderpump from the department of endocrinology at
the Royal Free London NHS Foundation trust in London, U.K.
estimates that at least one third of the population is iodine
deficient, generally in developing countries.

That would also explain the high projected number of people
with thyroid diseases. However, Vanderpump adds, even
people in the U.K. have iodine intake issues.

If you’re a mom who has thyroid or iodine deficiency
problems, you’ll want to be especially careful. Lack of iodine
in pregnancy has been correlated with cognitive outcomes
for the children, which affect intelligence quotient and
reading ability.

So, where can you get iodine? The most obvious answer is
salt. However, this thyroid-balancing substance can also be
found in: kelp, cranberries, organic yogurt, organic
strawberries, raw, organic cheese, and organic potatoes.

Munch on Omega-3 Foods  

Experts at the University of Maryland Medical Center highly
recommend omega-3 foods for thyroid disease. They reduce
inflammation and enhance immunity, making a big difference
for the smooth functioning of the gland.

Doctors cite fish oil as the best source of omega-3 acids for
thyroid disease, and recommend taking 1-4 grams of it per
day. However, if you are vegetarian or vegan, walnuts and
flax seeds are also good options.

A couple things to note: If you are regularly eating fish, it’s
better to buy it wild-caught and not farm-fed, in order to
avoid mercury content. Additionally, regardless of what
omega-3 food you are chowing down on, ask a doctor’s
advice about if it is okay to eat if you are taking a blood
thinning device or have a bleeding disease.

Take Herbs

You’ll need to ask your health practitioner and/or an
herbalist which ones are best for you, but herbs are an easy
way to balance out thyroid hormone naturally.

Functional medicine physician and thyroid specialist Dr.
Nikolas Hedberg from Asheville, North Carolina, recommends
us some common ones for both hypothyroidism and

If you have an
underactive thyroid, hypothyroidism, try:
Ashwagandha (also known as Indian ginseng), Schisandra
berry, stinging nettles, and bladderwrack.  

As always, you should check with your doctor before you
take any herbal supplements, especially if you are taking
other medications. Schizandra berries, for example, have not
been identified as toxic in any scientific studies but they may
interfere with or enhance the potency of certain liver

If you experience an
overactive thyroid, hyperthyroidism, see
if bugle weed and lemon-balm make things better. Hedberg
affirms that alcohol-based tinctures are quite effective, but
you can also take these herbs in capsule form. Sometimes
you can make a mix of different ingredients for best results.
Ask your doc.  

Do Acupuncture

There have been several cases of acupuncture balancing out
thyroid levels.

In a 2011 study by KE Luzina, female patients with myalgia
and arthralgias experienced elevated levels of thyroid-
stimulating hormone.

The acupuncture therapy included corporal and auricular
acupuncture needles going into the scalp and wrist zone, as
well as into the thyroid projection gland zones in the skin. 20
out of the 27 women completed 2 therapeutic courses
consisting of these procedures, with a 3-4 month interval
between them.

At the end of the treatment, the thyroid hormone fell down
to normal physiological values. This, amongst other studies,
have led scientists to the conclusion that acupuncture has
potential for improving subclinical hypothyroidism and

You Are Selenium

Forget titanium. “Shoot me down, but I won’t fall, I am
selenium!” If your thyroid gland is causing your brain to fog
up, go to selenium. Along with iodine, it’s one of the
substances whose intake will improve thyroid pathologies,
according to A. Drutel from the Department of Endocrinology
and Metabolic Diseases in the Hôpital du Cluzeau in Cedex,

You can get your selenium from many foods, including:
sunflower seeds, crimini mushrooms, brazil nuts, tuna, and
rye grain.

Heal Your Gut to Heal Your Brain Fog

Austin-based and Institute of Functional Medicine graduated
Dr. Amy E. Meyers reminds us that gut health and thyroid
issues are intimately connected. A leaky gut can attack the
thyroid so much that it can even lead to autoimmune thyroid
disease, like Hashimoto's.

When a leaky gut occurs, it allows particles to pass through
that shouldn’t. Gluten and casein are two particular elements
that will attack the thyroid after they get through your gut,
and leave you feeling foggy. It’s best to avoid them. To
support a healthy thyroid and avoid a leaky gut, many
people, including Meyers, recommend a bone broth.

Go the *bleep* to Sleep

A common side effect of thyroid disorder is having a hard
time sleeping.

So many people just say, “Forget it; I won’t sleep anyway”
and don’t pay attention to their slumbering patterns.
However, not sleeping right can further throw your hormone
and thyroid levels out of whack.

The symptoms of
insomnia may also mirror symptoms you
already have, so even if your thyroid condition is improving,
it might not feel that way. Jen Wittman, holistic health expert
and blogger at Thyroid Loving Care, suggests a couple of
options to get better zzzzs: She says to establish a stable
sleeping/waking up schedule, avoid substances that
interrupt sleep, such as caffeine and alcohol, and go to sleep
before midnight.


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Schisandra berries may help to
restore thyroid balance.