Holtorf Medical Group
One of the most common causes of brain fog is thyroid dysfunction. The thyroid has a great influence over neurological function and therefore the occurrence of mental haziness. Unfortunately, a large percentage of people suffer from thyroid dysfunction without even knowing it.
Learning how the thyroid is connected to neurological function and employing effective methods of restoring thyroid and brain activity can help eliminate brain fog.
The thyroid is a small gland located in the neck that has impressive influence over nearly every aspect of health. Perhaps the most important role of the thyroid is regulating metabolic function. If the thyroid is not functioning properly, the body’s energy level can fluctuate resulting in slowing or hastening of cellular activity. In the case of hypothyroidism, or decreased thyroid function, the entire body begins to slow down.
The brain relies on a steady supply of thyroid hormone to function properly and if this supply is disrupted the brain begins to malfunction.
Thyroid-related mental dysfunction can lead to symptoms such as:
Difficulty thinking clearly
Lost desire to socialize
Inability to synthesize information
Slowed reaction time
Difficulty recognizing details
Thyroid-induced brain fog is described in the medical community as critical mood deterioration. In severe cases of thyroid dysfunction, patients may even reach a point where engaging in everyday conversation becomes difficult.
Sadly, the symptoms of thyroid-related neurological dysfunction are frequently overlooked or misappropriated. This causes many patients to suffer unnecessarily for extended periods due to improper treatment. Many practitioners turn to prescription psychotropic drugs and therapies that do not improve thyroid activity and may actually increase symptom severity in the long term. If neurological dysfunction such as brain fog and depression are caused by thyroid dysfunction, the only effective way to alleviate them is through properly supporting and healing the thyroid.
There are many activities and practices that support both thyroid and brain activity. The following sections highlight easily implemented and practical methods of boosting mental wellness and thyroid function.
1) Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Sleep is essential for the health of many bodily systems, specifically the thyroid and the brain. Supporting these systems through improved sleep can be done in a variety of ways.
Avoid consuming certain substances such as caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine, which impede sleep and promote intermittent or disrupted sleep. Using electronics before bed can also reduce sleep quality. Try to avoid computers and phones while in bed because they trigger brain activity and trick the body into thinking it should be awake.
Optimally, an individual gets at least 8 hours of sleep every night. To do so, it is best to establish a specific sleep schedule and maintain it consistently. This helps the body naturally wind down and prepare for sleep at about the same time every night making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. It can be difficult to follow a strict sleep regiment but doing so helps combat stress, poor memory, depression, slowed reflexes, and brain fog.
2) Support Gut Health
Supporting the gut helps keep the brain supplied with the nutrients it needs to keep working at its best. Utilizing a probiotic can help restore and maintain healthy gut function, thereby keeping supply lines open to the brain. Probiotics do this by combatting dysbiosis, or bacterial imbalances, that can contribute to widespread dysfunction including thyroidal and neurological disruption. We suggest HoltraCeuticals’ Ultrabiotics.
Reducing intake of inflammatory foods such as refined sugars, processed foods, gluten, and coffee can also support gut health by relieving intestinal stress. Additionally, consuming soothing and nutrient-rich foods further supports gut health. Bone broth is an excellent place to start as it contains a wealth of beneficial vitamins and minerals and actively soothes the lining of the digestive tract. This helps combat food sensitivities and allergies that can contribute to neurological issues.
3) Reduce Stress
Stress is a major contributor to thyroid dysfunction and promotes the occurrence of brain fog. Therefore, it is highly beneficial to reduce stress and implement stress management techniques.
Regularly engaging in calming activities such as praying, meditation, reading, journaling, and gardening can help relieve stress levels throughout the day. Scheduling time for enjoyable activities and passion projects can also be beneficial. Engaging in activities such as these prompts the release of dopamine, which is the primary pleasure hormone. The benefits of this chemical include sensations of excitement, happiness, and motivation, which all help reduce the impact of stress on the brain. Eliminating stress and improving dopamine levels helps burn off brain fog and improves neurological function.
4) Exercise Safely
Many people know that exercising is an important part of keeping the body physically fit and healthy. However, regular physical activity also has a positive impact on neurological function and the elimination of brain fog.
Increased blood flow and greater oxygenation occur when engaging in aerobic activity. This is essential for brain health. Exercise also bolsters neurological function by supporting brain growth, memory, concentration, and decision-making skills. Furthermore, exercise helps relieve stress, which reduces the risk of thyroid dysfunction and subsequent brain fog.
Exercise also promotes healthy hormonal activity such as the release of endorphins (the feel-good hormone) and protective gene production. One of these powerful genes, Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), is stimulated through exercise. This protective agent supports neuron development and sustainability. BDNF also prevents neuron damage caused by stress, environmental toxins, and even physiological damage. Protecting the brain and its development in this manner is an excellent way to fend off brain fog.
The thyroid is an essential part of health and has an impressive influence over neurological activity. Supporting thyroid activity promotes numerous bodily functions and may eliminate persistent brain fog. You can combat brain fog by taking charge of your health and supporting your thyroid through simple lifestyle changes. Implementing the practices mentioned in this article can help improve thyroid and neurological function, which aids in eliminating mental haziness and helps clear the way for a brighter healthier future.
To learn even more about thyroid function and proper thyroid support, read our Thyroid 101 e-book!
Holtorf Medical GroupThe Holtorf Medical Group specializes in optimizing quality of life and being medical detectives to uncover the underlying cause of symptoms, rather than just prescribing medications to cover-up the symptoms. We are experts in natural, prescription bioidentical hormone replacement and optimization, complex endocrine dysfunction, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and Lyme disease. We’ve dedicated our practice to providing you the best in evidenced-based, integrative medicine that’s not only safe and effective, but provides measurable results.