Fatigue and Brain Fog: The Thyroid Link

Fatigue and Brain Fog: The Thyroid Link

How well is your brain working for you? Is it like greased lightning, ready to recall without hesitation, remember jokes and names, and help you navigate life seamlessly?

Are you exhausted? Do you have ‘cotton wool’ brain? Would you like to know how to improve your brain function?


Then this article is for you!

Constant fatigue and the feeling of a foggy head are actually the result of structural changes in the brain itself. Plasticity of the signalling sites in the brain reduce, causing atrophy. Other parts of the brain swell.

Stress and fatigue are the symptoms that you feel as a result. 

The brain is a complex and fascinating organ. In order to remedy a brain that isn’t working so well, we first need to look at what could be causing the problem in the first place. Surprising factors that change your brain:



Inflammation is present whenever there is a health concern. However, to really allow the body to heal, we must discover what is driving the inflammation. Most cases of depression are actually a result of inflammation, not low serotonin, as typically believed.

Factors that drive inflammation include; injury, food intolerances, chronic infections, drugs, stress, toxin exposure, sugar and high carb diets, heavy metal toxicity – just to name a few.


Gut microbes 

An imbalance of bacteria in the gut has been linked to fatigue. There are several strains of ‘bad’ organisms found to give you fatigue, pain and a foggy head!

These are: Faecalibacterium, Roseburia, Dorea, Coprococcus, Clostridium, Ruminococcus and Coprobacillus

Imbalances of bacteria in the gut are common, and can occur from anti-biotic use, food poisoning, transient illnesses such gastro, and poor diet.


High Blood Sugar

Our brain uses a lot of glucose for easy energy, but the typical Aussie diet has way too much sugar for us to handle.  A growing body of research suggests that a sugar-heavy diet could increase risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. A 2013 study found that insulin resistance and blood glucose levels — which are hallmarks of diabetes — are linked with a greater risk for developing neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s.


Nutrient deficiency

Not surprising, your brain needs nutrition too! If you have low magnesium, your thinking will be affected. Magnesium helps keep the synaptic nerves supple and plastic, prevents neurogenic inflammation and assists the release of inflammatory cytocines. Magnesium has been proven to maintain mitochondrial structure and function. It reduces excitotoxicity and stimulates GABA – our calming neurotransmitter.

Acetyl L-Carnitine has been shown to improve nerve cell regeneration, brain activity, and protects neurons from exitotoxicity.

Vitamin B12 is vital for methylation, gene expression, and building the myelin sheath around nerves.

Iron deficiency will limit the amount of oxygen delivered to the brain.

Vitamin D plays an important role for preserving cognitive function, particularly as we age. Low vitamin D levels are associated with cognitive issues in the elderly.

Low phosphorus causes brain fog.

Iodine deficiency – We think of iodine as being associated with thyroid function. While this is true, the thyroid only holds 31% of the body’s iodine. In iodine deficiency, the thyroid competes with other body tissue for the available iodine and the other body tissues suffer first. Iodine deficiency causes developmental delay, learning and behavioural disorders, and mental retardation.



Mould can cause atrophy in the caudate nucleus, and could be a contributor to Parkinson’s disease.  It can also cause swelling in the left amygdala and right forebrain. Not all mould is visible to the naked eye. Most of us only consider black mould to be a health hazard, but there are over 100 000 types of mould in the world!



Stress hormone cortisol can actually shrink parts of your brain! It affects the amygdala – the part responsible for emotions and memory – and the pre-frontal cortex –  needed for planning complex cognitive behaviour, personality expression, decision making, and moderating social behaviour. Explains a lot!


Fatty acids

DHA is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid. It’s a fundamental building block of the brain and it’s a critical nutrient for brain cell function. It improves the fluidity of brain cell membranes, supports the growth of the connective structures in the brain, improves the ability to release neurotransmitters and enhances communication between neurons. Fatty fish such as salmon, cod liver oil, and organ meat are high dietary sources of DHA.


Heavy Metals

Heavy metals can accumulate in the brain. If the patient has accumulated metals, such as Mercury, Lead, or non-elemental toxins, and these are added to the Aluminium burden, this is a potent, dangerous combination. The effect of this combination on the healthy brain is severe: it can be seen in young patients who are on the Autistic Spectrum; or in older patients: those destined for dementia, particularly if there is a family history of dementia.


Herbal Medicine to the rescue! We can make personalized liquid herbal extracts fr our patients. Some of the favourite herbs we choose for Thyroid and Brain fog are:

Withania somnifera is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine as an adaptogenic tonic to help assist with the relief of physical and mental exhaustion, particularly when associated with stress.

Bacopa, which may support healthy memory and brain/cognitive

Ginkgo is used in herbal medicine to assist with blood flow to the periphery such as the brain and may therefore assist with memory and brain function/ cognition.

Rhodiola rosea is a well-known adaptogenic herb that has anti-stress and neuroprotective properties and has been shown to enhance mood, cognitive function and memory.

Siberian ginseng has been used in assisting those with mental and emotional problems, as well as a remedy to cope with stress. Nootropic, neuroprotective, neurotrophic, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating properties highlights it as a potential intervention for Alzheimer’s Disease and neurodegenerative disorders where improvement of mental status, memory retention and cerebral circulation are required.

Curcumin from Turmeric protects the brain from oxidative stress, improves memory, and is neuroprotective.


With diseases such as Alzheimer’s becoming one of the most significant global healthcare problems, it is important that we look after our brain.


Holistic treatment to prevent and reverse mild to moderate dementia is now a real thing, but it will take a long time for conventional medicine to start utilizing the protocols.


Because treatment is multi-factorial and complex. Factors that must be addressed include: insulin sensitivity, genetics, diet, inflammation, medications, thyroid function, nutrient status, heavy metal load and environmental toxins. In fact, Alzheimer’s is actually several different diseases, with treatments requiring to be individually formulated in order to be successful.


Don’t wait, start looking after your brain today! Your Lucy Rose Practitioner is there to help if you would like to embark on functional testing to optimise your body systems, an approach which is all a part of having a young brain.


Here’s some tests you can do at home to test your brain function – www.testmybrain.org









An Interpretative Guide for Oligoscan Users – Jon Gamble BA ND ADHom