Hypothyroid Issues: Fatigue and Poor Memory

Updated on February 27, 2008
R.K. asks from Reno, NV
23 answers

I have been hypothyroid since high school, and have been on medication. In the last few months after recovering from having my third child, I have had increased fatigue, can't lose any weight, dry skin, cold all the time . . . My dr checked my T4 ans free TSH and found my medication is too strong and decreased the dose. I am expecting to feel even more fatigue. It is so bad that I fall asleep as soon as I get home from work and my memory is really getting bad.

Has anyone run into this before, and what has helped you?

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So What Happened?

Thank you for all the responses--I think I have enough ideas about what to talk to my doctor. I am also going to get copies of my labwork and have my uncle who is a physician review it and make a recommendation as to which endocrinologist I should go see for a second opinion. I am gong to try to make more time in my day for exercising so I can exercise all week and not just on the weekend. I am also going to try to schedule my days and responsibilities better so I have some down time once in a while, as well as more time to spend with my husband. Thanks again for all the great ideas!

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N.A.

answers from Las Vegas on

One thing I would recommend is reading the book "The China Study" if you have time. I had some major health problems last year, and this book has opened my eyes on many health-related problems, including weight gain. The author is T. Colin Campbell, PhD. Also, I was never in better shape than when I had two small children and a double stroller. Even if you just stroll with the baby, try to get out and walk around the neighborhood as much as you can; it's great exercise.

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C.N.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

Dear R.,

Well, you need to talk to the doctor about this one too. Do you realize how much pressure and stress you are under just getting through the day, taking care of all of those responsibilities? I think that you need a mother's helper - hire one. that is if you can. or slow down somehow, I think that your body is taking good care of you by making you rest. You may not feel the fatigue now that your thyroid dosage is changed.

Good luck, C. N.

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M.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.: I had fatigue and weight gain and was sure it was thyroid as it ran in my family and I had read articles on the symptoms. I was always told my bloodwork was normal and it wasn't the problem. I had a full body scan and a thyroid abnormality was found. I ended up having it removed and there was a tiny cancer that was luckily encapsuled. I was successfully treated and feel much better. I don't want to scare you and it may be entirely unrelated to anything you have but it wouldn't hurt to get an ultrasound of your thyroid or a body scan. I was 53 when this happened.

All the best. Mary

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L.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R. -
I too have hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's) and have over the years become very well versed in the ways of the thyroid. It is essential that your doctor looks at the ratio between your Free T4 and your T3 levels. In chronic hypothyroid patients, the TSH level becomes over time, very innacurate and not a good judge of your condition. If you are feeling hypo, like you describe, you probably need either a higher dose or a different medication. After years of suffering my doctor finally changed my medication brand and the results were amazing. If your doctor is not willing to discuss this with you, I would consider getting a new one as left untreated, being hypothyroid can result in grave illness or death.

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K.V.

answers from Los Angeles on

Boy I have been dealing with this since childhood.--I think part of the problem right no is being pregnamt and those hormones are kind of interfering with the thyroid problem. You have all the classic symptoms of the thyroid problem I just make adjustments by dressing warmer at home using lotion for my skin and I have to make notes to remind myself to do stuff. keep in touch with your doc and make notes about your symptoms

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B.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Let me start by saying I can totally empathize and Western medicine does not address this issue in the proper manner. With my first son not only did I have that extreme fatigue but I had depression and anxiety so bad I started to wean him at 8 months in preparation to go on meds. Luckily I found my endocrinologist in the meantime, and never went on Prozac. Just one week on thyroid and adrenal meds and all my symptoms vanished and for the first time in my life I could lose weight like a normal person. The medication I take is custom compounded (mean each pill is made by hand) and the dose is specific to me. Also, the thyroid med has a time release agent so I get thyroid 24 hours a day. No commercial meds (not even Armour thyroid) has this.

I know a lot about this subject, so feel free to email me if you want to discuss more ([email protected]____.com). The likelihood is that you have Wilson's Thyroid Syndrome, which is a condition where reverse T3 (a useless hormone) is blocking the receptor sites to real T3. As a result, your body is producing less T3, even if you have adequate amounts of T4 in your body. It's the free T3 and reverse T3 numbers that matter, and most doctors do not test for this. In addition, as many others have mentioned, 80% of people with hypothyroid also have adrenal gland issues.

I would read the following:
http://www.wilsonsthyroidsyndrome.org
http://www.adrenalfatigue.org

My endocrinologist is in Torrance. He's amazing and addresses all these issues. Although there is a 5-month waiting list to get into him. You could see one of his associates. Here is his Web site: http://www.hormoneandlongevitycenter.com/ He also has a lot of information on his site.

Best of luck finding a solution. I know how hard it is to get through the day when you are that tired.
B.

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J.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

I take adrenal support and my fatigue is GONE - working with 2 kids and another one on the way. Seriously, try 1 each morning and see how you feel. It's not a drug, so give it a week...but I this is the one I take.

http://www.worldlifesupplements.com/products_main.html

Also, get your water intake up. Once you are 5% dehyrdated, your brain function (and other functions) decrease and this is WAY before you get thirsty. I'm 200+ pounds with this pregnancy and I usually drink about a gallon a day when I'm not pregnant.

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K.T.

answers from Los Angeles on

sister, are you serious? With everything you do, I would guess you are burnt out! Give yourself a break! I am the mom of 4- 10,8,6 and 4, divorced, and work part time. I have slow thyroid and also try to exercise. I am a zombie sometimes, and my 'drug' is tv. That helps me mellow out.
I don't think it's the thyroid, although you can let your Dr. know how you're feeling, but, I think your feeling spent is reasonable. Your symtoms are that of someone with high stress. There's always so much to do, I know.
take care of yourself.
K.

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J.B.

answers from Las Vegas on

Have you had your adrenal glands tested? And what about your hormones? I have hypoadrena and hypothyroidism and my body is not producing testosterone or progesterone. I felt like CRAP before I started on bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. My fatigue was so bad I couldn't take a shower without having to take a nap after. My adrenal glands were shot. My nurse practitioner did a full female panel lab on me and found all these things out. The thyroid and adrenals are all part of the hormone system and it could be very likely that you have too much estrogen. For the thyroid I use a natural product called "Raw Thyroid" I just order it online. (I use only natural docs and medications) My body temp was impossible to keep up before I started taking the raw thyroid. Holy cow I was shocked that one supplement could stop my chronic low body temp. My temp stayed between 96.2 and 96.8. My skin felt like thousands of tiny needles were poking it and I had to take burning hot baths throughout the day just to feel comfortable. SLeep was impossible without a bath first. After a burning hot bath I would have to sleep with thermal pajamas underneath flannel pajamas and socks and gloves. I would be happy to talk to you and answer any other questions you might have. you can email me at [email protected]____.com. I learned for myself that living in a life of being abused and traumatized repeatedly helped shut down my system like that. Oh and my memory is so bad I tell all my loved ones that if I ever get alzheimers I'm going to "accidentally" overdose and they are never to revive me! My daughter nicknamed me "the forgetful mom". It's highly depressing to be 31 and have no short term memory.

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P.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.,

My name is P. and I feel for you!

Have you considered a natural balancing cream?
I know it can help alleviate some symptoms, look up this site:
www.letsgetupandgo.ws
to leran more ...

There are two creams available one for menstruating women, for you.
And another one for women in menopause, like me or have had a hysterectomy.

I had hot flahses, migraines and night sweats and my symptoms disappeared after a few weeks of applying this cream to different parts of my body.

It's all natural,no artificial anything, no dys, fillers or fragrances.

Thanks for listening and get in touch with me if you like to know more.

P. Breakstone
###-###-####

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M.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.! The founder of our company is a world-renowned scientist who dedicated his life in preserving health and wellness. He began his career in disease diagnostics and shifted his concentration in developing nutrient soups that later made into pill form. Consequently, this made a big impact within his family and decided to mass produce it into a line of nutritionals. It's worth checking them out. Our Essentials can be found in the Physician's Desk Reference. The line of supplements include CoQuinone (for energy: ATP production) and Gingko (for memory). Feel free to research the products and take them to your physician. My website is: www.globalsynergy.usana.com. My children also take USANIMALS. It's number one according to the comparative guide to children's nutritional supplements.

I read that you wish to lose weight. We have macro-optimizers, a line of nutritional meals, that are worth trying. They are low glycemic and I recommend the RESET to reset your metabolism before you begin a diet. My husband did the reset and lost about 8 pounds during the fiber-cleanse (5 days). He said that the shakes and bars satisfied the hunger and felt better after the cleanse. The RESET kit comes with a DVD containing advice from USANA's scientists and a recommended work-out regimen you can do a few minutes a day incorporated into your busy schedule.

Here's to a more healthy YOU! Take care and good luck on your decision!

God bless.

M., mother of 3 and 5 yr old boys.

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H.G.

answers from San Diego on

Unfortunately I have the same problem and haven't figured out anything to do for it. I have 2 children, 14 & 11, and I have had the low thyroid since I had my 11 year old. Same symptoms so if anyone can give us some advice, that would be great!

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A.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Have you tried kelp? It helps to activate your Thyroid.

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B.S.

answers from Reno on

I have hashimotos disease. It is a thyroid condition, but can make your levels vary and do strange things. It is normal for your dosing and such to change during and after pregnancy, but check and ask your doctor about this disease. It requires further testing, more than just TSH levels!

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hashimotos-disease/DS00567

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A.N.

answers from San Diego on

Just a little empathy here. I know how it is and I have the same - it sucks. I do recommend gentle yoga and not to let exercise out of your routine... Good luck!

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S.H.

answers from Las Vegas on

I am a "domestic engineer" aka "stay at home mom" of 4 great kids. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about 5 years ago when my 3rd child was about a year old. I was running and training for a 5K and gained about 30+ pounds while training. It was completely backwards and I didn't know what was going on. Finally I went to the doctor and they discovered that it was my thyroid and put me on levothyroxine. I didn't notice a huge change and got pregnant within a month or so after going on the medication. I was larger than I wanted to be at that point and was concerned about being pregnant with all the extra weight and also with my body feeling so out of balance. My hair had been falling out (which wasn't too terrible because I am told by everyone I meet that I have the hair of 10 people and I feel fortunate that I can afford to lose some, but I still didn't like losing it) and I was freezing a lot to the point that I hurt and no amount of blankets would help, I was exhausted and lacked energy all the time, feeling forgetful, and getting headaches, my periods were completely off schedule, not to mention that I just felt down and anxious a lot. I had been on the medication for about 4 1/2 years when I found someone who helps with all sorts of things in a natural way. He has a masters degree in herbology. I went on the program he suggested and my hair is hardly falling out anymore, I don't get cold spells anymore, and I feel all around better. He told me that the medications the doctors give are just a bandade for the problem and that what he could do for me was to actually heal the thyroid so that I didn't need to be on anything eventually. He said it could be healed within a few months or less. There are other things he recommends as soon as I go get checked to see what my levels are. Once I am told that my levels are where they should be then I can go on a maintenance program for a little while. For right now on the program I drink about a quart (sometimes more) of an herbal tea mixture daily that I put together myself with loose tea (very basic herbs), I take kelp capsules daily, and I rub a tincture on my thyroid a few times a day.
One thing I learned is that you can jump on a mini tramp each day (a bigger one would do the same thing) and that stimulates the thyroid to activity. You can also rub quickly in an upward motion over your thyroid to help stimulate it too. I am so grateful for knowledge from other avenues besides the typical medical doctors. I know there is a time and place for medical doctors, but the same goes for herbologists and other types of health care. I am grateful for all of them in various times of need!
I hope this helps! If you have questions let me know. I am new at this whole thing, in fact this is my first time on here so I don't know how to get replies (if you have one) back, but I will just look on here for a response I guess! :) Good luck with everything.

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R.J.

answers from San Diego on

Hi R.,

Your skin is dry because you're not getting enough water and dehydration can easily cause fatigue as well as many other health problems. I personally don't think high protein diets are healthy, the important thing is to be in balance and not go to extremes to force a result.
Try to avoid all processed foods, foods with chemical additives and dehydrating beverages (coffee, iced tea, soda, etc.) Stay away from white sugar (immune depressant) white flour and table salt (use sea salt or dulse instead)
Dulse, kelp or any other seaweed is vital to start including in the diet because it is high in iodine which supports the thyroid.

Start taking blue-green algae, this is what UC Berkeley says about it:
Prevents cancer and heart disease and boosts immunity. Treats or cures a host of ailments, including asthma, allergies, anxiety, depression, fatigue, hypoglycemia, digestive problems, and attention deficit disorder. Helps with weight loss, improves memory and mental ability, "detoxifies" the body.
http://www.wellnessletter.com/html/ds/dsBlueGreenAlgae.php

Remember, no one was ever found to be deficient in a drug, only vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. So those are the things that your body needs. Not drugs. Find your cure in your food. Nature provides us with all that we need.

If you want some recipes to help your thyroid, contact me.

Remember to treat yourself with gentleness and compassion!

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E.Q.

answers from Los Angeles on

I don't know much about Hypothyroid, but seems to me that since you are dieting, you should diet thru a program that is supervised by a physician. Also, what supplements are you taking for your cholesterol? Aside from watching your diet, you still should be taking vitamin supplements, especially since you are dieting.

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K.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

you're kidding right? Why would you feel fatigued? Quit trying to do it all.

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H.J.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.,
I had Graves Disease and had a near total thyroidectomy between my first and second babies. After my third I experienced the symptoms you describe and they also said that my levels were too high and reduced my dosage. I take an herbal supplement called Juice Plus+ and when I was feeling so fatigued, I increased that to double and sometimes triple the amount, which really seemed to help. And, exercise is SO important in restoring energy and mental clarity. Cutting out as much sugar as possible (sometimes you just have to have some chocolate) and increasing consumption of omega 3's like adding flaxseed to things seemed to help too. I hope this helps somewhat and that you are restored to health quickly!

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J.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.: I have a sister (R.) who lives in Tenn. : )I miss her tooo. It's funny,,I've never really looked at myself,as being experienced,but I continue,to read more and more from young women,that seem to be going through alot of the same life experiences that I have.So, I'm compeled to respond. I'm not a professional,and I certainly won't claim to know it all,but hopefully My honesty,and experiences in life wether it be direct or sometimes,sarcastic,will help a few here.I happened to have my thyroid removed, about 20 years ago.I take a thyroid replacement every day,and will for the rest of my life.As my body has changed,so has my dosage of thyroid.I must admit, that Since having it removed, I have not had any pregnancies. I had both my sons prior to that. I do know, how your body reacts, when your thyroid is off.I certainly can sympathize,and understand what your going through.I might add,that of my six other siblings,four of us have thyroid problems,and My oldest son now takes medication for an over active thyroid. Aparently,They are discovering,some connections,to thyroid decease. My sister was asked by her Dr,if her mother or father had Rumathoid Arthritis? She asked? "Whats that got to do with my thyroid? Well It just so happens, that My father and his Mother both had severe arthritis. They had the hammer toes and crippling hands,and suffered a great deal.Thank God that us seven didn't inherit that.I have been in your position many a time, where my hands and skin are just chapped dry,and I would come home from work and fall asleep on the sofa sitting up!Yes and i would get forgetful to! Thats from being fatigued.My cholesterol has also gone up and they have me on a statin, which I don't like being on.If I was you,I would have them retest my thyroid somewhere else. It doesnt sound right to me. When I found out I was on to much thyroid,I was losing weight,because the Dr said that to much thyroid sped my metabalizum up. Thus the explanation for the weight loss. I am e-mailing you a little info I found.on diet. I was 40 pounds over weight at one time, and went to a diet specialtist.She told me,not to go on a diet,dont deprive myself of anything, because eventually, thats exactly how you feel (deprived) and you go off!She told me the best way to lose weight is (shock your body) into believing your going to starve it! She said, we all get into a mode. An easy, regular, weekly menu for ourselves and family. Monday is taco night, tues. is meat-loaf wednesday is eat out night. The kids have their favs that you prepare and our bodys adapt to that regimin.Now There is nothing wrong with everyone having their favorites and we Mothers pride ourselves in our ( special Recipes),but she said, if all I did, was to switch things around once in a while.Like instead of having tacos on monday, I fixed chicken and rice. instead of the norm on tuesday I came up with a new recipe. She said, my brain would tell my body that i'm attempting to starve it of what its grown accustomed to. lol I thought she was nuts! I lost My FOURTY POUNDS! lol No kidding. The high protein diet doesn't sound like a good thing for you, especially since your cholesterol is higher than it should be. I'd read more about that. I truely wish you the very best R.,and if you have any other questions,just e-mail me any time. : )

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T.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

You didn't mention what medication you were taking for hypothyroid; however, did the doctor check your T3 levels? I had a really great doctor that gave me so much information about the hypothyroid condition. Unfortunately, he passed away last year; however, one of the things he told me was that the medications that most people take (synthroid and levoxy . . . something???) are only supplementing one of the thyroid hormones. The medication he put me on (Armour thyroid) supplements both the T3 & T4 hormones. It is also all natural medication (not synthetic compound). The downside is that there are not a whole lot of drs. that either know about this medication or prescribe it (I went to a dr. when we lived in St. Louis and he told me he doesn't write prescriptions for herbal remedies!! It's natural, but still a medication and needs a prescription to get). There is a website at www.armourthyroid.com that may help you also. Up at the top right corner of the site it has a site called "physician locator" click on this and you can find a dr. in your area that is familiar with armour thyroid. It is possible that your thyroid levels are showing normal or even above normal (causing dr. to reduce your medication) if he is only testing for one of the hormones (T4). I wish I could give you the name of a great doctor, but I am still searching (even though the dr. I go to is giving me prescriptions for the Armour thyroid) I still think you need to get a dr that is well informed on the different hormones and how you may need a medication that supplements both T3 & T4 hormones. Let me know if you have any other questions.

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L.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R..

I'm a FULL TIME working Mom as well... I find my memory going up and down too!
In October 2007, My Husband and I "finally" tried a Health Drink called 'Mona-Vie'!! It is Wonderful and I can give you 26 reasons to be on it! One of the biggest reasons is: It Strengthens Memory. There is a long list of deseases that are now associatd with free radicals, none more insidious than those that cause Dementia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease, ect. Good cells die from lack of proper nutrition. Mona-Vie helps the grouping of phytonutrients to help your battle!! Call me and I would be happy to talk to you about, or help you get started on 'Mona-Vie'. We are offering a Special upon signing up: Order 1 case (auto-ship) - We'll ship you a FREE bottle! Order 6 cases (Immediate ship)- We'll ship you a case FREE! Order 12 cases (Immediate Ship) - We'll ship you 2 cases FREE! Call [email protected]____.com's to your health!
This also will help you sleep properly ALL NIGHT (which is something I didn't do for 5 YEARS after my son was born!)
CALL ME! Lynette Ruiz

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