If you have hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s you have likely already experienced in many different ways how they affect your brain and cognitive function.
Are you frequently losing everyday items like your keys or gloves or just cannot remember where you put your cell phone or an umbrella?
Then you know what I mean… but losing your brain is so scary…
Poor memory, depression, brain fog, fatigue, low self-esteem, inability to find the right words, loss of balance, absence of motivation and forgetfulness are some major thyroid related symptoms that are concerning for many hypothyroid patients.
In fact, one of the most overlooked consequences of untreated and under treated Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism is accelerated brain degeneration. With time symptoms worsen creating stress, worry and putting strength on a patient.
The truth is that cognitive hypothyroid symptoms are all signs of an early brain degeneration that can potentially progress to more serious brain conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in the future.
Many studies confirm that both clinical hyper- and hypothyroidism can be a cause of reversible dementia. Screening for a thyroid disease has become a standard procedure for the routine evaluation of patients with suspected dementia and often the normalization of thyroid function could result in significant improvements of cognitive function.
However, more recent studies found that a thyroid dysfunction even within the clinically ‘normal’ range can be an increased risk of irreversible dementia.
Furthermore, researches discovered that both low and high TSH levels were associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in women but not in men. In particular, women with TSH lower than 1.0 mU/L and TSH higher than 2.1mU/L were at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
There are at least
5 Well-Researched Hashimoto’s Disease Related Factors That Contribute To Brain Degeneration
- Lack of thyroid hormones deprives your brain of energy and nourishment it needs for normal function
- Thyroid antibodies can attack not only the thyroid gland but also bind to brain tissue and accelerate brain degeneration
- Gluten sensitivity and celiac disease that are so common in Hashimoto’s patients often affect the brain and result in brain disorders
- Even euthyroid Hashimoto’s can result in brain related symptoms and conditions such as fatigue, brain fog and depression
- Your gut affects your brain health. Both hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s further disturb the gut flora, promote SIBO, dysbiosis and inflammation in the digestive tract which in turn have a degenerative effect on the brain
What Do These Research Findings Mean For You As A Thyroid Patient?
1. Having your TSH within normal reference range doesn’t guarantee Alzheimer’s prevention especially if you are a woman.
Make sure that you are getting your thyroid function tested regularly and your TSH level is in a “safe” range for Alzheimer’s prevention between 1.0 and 2.1mU/L. Please note that this TSH range is different from the normal reference range that is currently at 0.3 and 3.0 and many doctors and labs are still using the old outdated range between 0.5 and 5.0mU/L.
As you may see, the lower and the upper boundary of TSH at 1.0 and 2.1mU/L respectively are both far away from the normal reference range. This means that having your thyroid levels within a normal reference range doesn’t always protect you from the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
This is a very important point to understand because it clearly demonstrates that your goal should be an optimal thyroid treatment instead of just bringing your numbers into the normal reference range or worse choosing a “watch and wait” approach when it comes to subclinical hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s.
2. Even euthyroid Hashimoto’s disease is a risk factor for brain degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease.
This means that you have to look beyond thyroid medication when it comes to autoimmune hypothyroidism. Consider balancing your immune system, identifying and removing autoimmune triggers and looking into your diet and digestion to support your brain health.
3. Health researches from The University of Florida discovered a simple early detection test for Alzheimer’s disease that you can do at home.
This test is a much faster and cheaper method to help determine early brain deterioration than other current methods. Please take 2 minutes of your time to watch this short video below about how to do this test and make this test yourself.
If your test results indicate first signs of Alzheimer’s disease please don’t delay getting an optimal thyroid treatment because it can save your memory, your brain and slow the Alzheimer’s progression.
4. Your best strategy in prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and brain degeneration is to get an optimal hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s treatment.
Alzheimer’s disease begins destroying the brain gradually and it can take between 10 and 20 years until the symptoms advance to the point when a diagnosis can be made. Many symptoms are overlapping with ageing, thyroid disease, many other health condition, are often ignored or just mistaken for something else. Remember that by the time Alzheimer’s is diagnosed it already has destroyed your brain and nerve cells and created irreversible damage.
If you are taking thyroid medication but still continue to suffer from fatigue, depression, loss of motivation and other typical symptoms of brain degeneration it can be the warning sign that your hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s treatment are not optimal and need adjustment.
Please don’t ignore or dismiss them because you still can reverse brain degeneration by aiming for an optimal thyroid treatment and prevent development of Alzheimer’s disease in the future.
An optimal thyroid treatment and a timely prevention are the key.
P.S. You can learn about an optimal hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s treatment here
P.P.S. Do you like what you read and want to get more? Subscribe to our Thyroid News and get FREE eCourse Hypothyroidism Diet Guide
1. Thyroid function and Alzheimer’s disease. J Azheimer’s Dis. 2009;16(3):503-7.
2. Thyroid Function and the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease: The Framingham Study. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jul 28; 168(14): 1514–1520.
3. Reversible dementia in hypothyroidism. Nervenarzt. 2000 Jul;71(7):588-90.