While 30 million throats in the United States are estimated to suffer from some form of thyroid disorder or the other, nearly half of that number are undiagnosed and suffering unknowingly.
Many of you should know what is the thyroid gland, considering the huge spread of thyroid related problems in the country. But for those who don’t, thyroid is a mass of tissue, shaped like a butterfly, situated just below the Adam’s Apple and wrapped around the wind pipe in your neck. Though small in size, it controls your metabolism, i.e. the energy supply, and how your body should function and how you should feel.
Fact : Women crossing 35 years of age have greater risk of acquiring a thyroid disease.
Since the function of thyroid depends on other tissues, viz. hypothalamus in the brain and pituitary gland, any dysfunction in these parts of the body should cause thyroid issues.
What is thyroid brain fog?
As explained above, thyroid controls the major part of your bodily functions, including neurological. So lesser the hormones produced by thyroid, greater will be the ill-effect on your mental health, which brings us to the connection between hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid and brain fog.
- Unable to concentrate
- Sluggish mental reactions
- Compromised self-esteem
- Unable to connect details
Most doctors would use the term “critical mood deterioration” to describe the mental foggy state when dealing with a thyroid problem. But there’s also “temporary fog” which could be a symptom of other serious health issues such as adrenal failure, not just thyroid problems. Having said that, even stress and improper sleep can trigger the fogginess in your brain.
Fact : Approximately 5% of hypothyroidism patients have neurological signs which are vastly underestimated by the practicing physicians.
How difficult is it to identify thyroid symptoms?
The symptoms of any thyroid problem are notoriously perplexing to diagnose and treat favorably. Besides, the broad spectrum of symptoms, some of which thrive in silence, makes the treatment increasingly challenging. Hypothyroidism is one of the underrated thyroid problems that is widely misunderstood as part of the “normal” aging process or anxiety or depression. Symptomatic individuals are even recommended to take help from psychiatrists who prescribe psychotherapy and antidepressants as treatment options.
Nonetheless, if you experience any of these signs, you can ask your doctor to have a thorough diagnosis done for any chances of thyroid disorder.
- Loss of libido or sex drive
- Unexplained muscle or extremities pain
- Sweat rashes or moist skin in hyperthyroidism; dry skin and brittle nails in hypothyroidism
- Frequent bowel movements or diarrhea in hyperthyroidism; constipation in hypothyroidism
- Constant sweating in hyperthyroidism; low body temperature in hypothyroidism
- Anxiety and tension in hyperthyroidism; loss of interest and initiative in hypothyroidism
- Weight loss in hyperthyroidism; weight gain in hypothyroidism
Getting your thyroid back to normal
The key here is early diagnosis, which makes it extremely important to choose a doctor who takes into consideration all the aspects of thyroid disorder, including minor symptoms.
A simple thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test should eliminate all the doubts instead of burying them in silence. Additionally, a physical exam should help to confirm whether or not your thyroid is behaving normal.If your thyroid reports reveal that you have a problem, you don’t need to get disappointed or worried. Exercise has proved to be quite effective; besides, you can normalize your thyroid functioning by eating the right foods. Thyroid disorders could be lifelong, however, they are definitely manageable through timely diagnosis and accurate treatment.