Patients as young as 35 report that they secretly fear they are getting early onset dementia due to brain fog, forgetfulness, losing words midsentence, and struggling to find descriptive words.
The main concerns we see in our clinic are:
- Brain fog
Today I have some exciting news on this field of study, and will highlight to you why it is essential that you get your thyroid into optimal ranges as part of a preventative approach to a healthy, brilliantly functioning brain.
What we call Alzheimer’s disease is actually a protective response to a wide variety of insults to the brain. We’re finding out with more clarity that Alzheimer’s, like type II diabetes, can be considered a disease of lifestyle. This means that lifestyle choices we make throughout our lives contribute to our risk of developing the disease.
A growing body of research and clinical experience suggests Alzheimer’s be prevented and even reversed – the earlier treatment begins the better the outcome.
Dr. Dale Bredesen has been a pioneer in the growing understanding of Alzheimer’s as a disease with clear driving causative factors. And while genetics certainly do play a role, their contribution is not nearly as significant as once believed.
The main causative factors are categorised into 3 broad sections:
- Inflammatory causes ~ caused by chronic inflammation.
- Toxin overload ~ caused by exposure to environmental toxins.
- Atrophic ~ caused by inadequate hormones.
Important risk factors
Poor diet, lack of sleep, a sedentary lifestyle, and other factors in our control, can all increase the risk to develop type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or both.
Is forgetfulness a sign or a symptom?
Symptoms of mild dementia sometimes develop when thyroid levels are abnormal, but fortunately, they generally appear to resolve with treatment.
Cognitive symptoms in people with hypothyroidism include memory problems and difficulty concentrating. Research has shown that verbal memory, in particular, may be affected by hypothyroidism. Another study found decreased hippocampal volume in adults with untreated hypothyroidism.
Small changes in executive functioning have also been noted in under-treated hypothyroidism. Executive functioning can include abilities such as planning, impulse control and decision making. It’s important to note, however, that larger changes in executive functioning are likely not related to hypothyroidism and thus should be reported to your physician.
The thyroid brain link
Hypothyroidism may cause deterioration of cognitive ability because thyroid hormone is needed to help regulate the brain glucose-consuming processes for neurotransmission, memory, and other higher functions. The brain becomes increasingly susceptible to thyroid dysfunction in the seventh decade of life.
Since there is no cure, prevention is the key. While early stages may be reversed, once things have advanced, it is much harder to get back and effectively restore what you have lost.
If you are showing signs of decline, speak with your doctor or book a FREE 15 minute consultation with a Lucy Rose naturopath to discuss your concerns.
Having a sub-optimal thyroid doubles your risk of Alzheimer’s, so start now.