2 Big Reasons You’re Struggling with Memory
By William Lovett, M.D.
Sometimes it can creep up when you’re not expecting it. You forget someone’s name, where you placed your glasses, or what you were doing in the living room. As the months go by, it slowly gets progressively worse, leaving you wondering what happened. At first, you cover it up or deny it, saying you’re just “getting older” and hoping no one will notice. But your memory difficulties are real.
Memory naturally declines as we age, but there are many contributing factors, including:
- Low thyroid levels
- Lack of hormones
- Head trauma (received recently or earlier in life)
- Lack of sleep
- Diseases (including Parkinson’s Disease, Multi-Infarct Dementia, and Alzheimer’s)
- Eating processed foods that are high in sugar or have pesticides in them
- Lack of certain vitamins, supplements, or co-enzymes
- Taking certain medications that are known to cause Dementia (like Statin drugs)
While some things like trauma or Multi-Infarct Dementia are hard to prevent, other things can be corrected to help reverse or slow down memory loss. The two biggest issues we can correct are low thyroid functioning and low hormone levels.
Low thyroid functioning
Hypothyroidism – an underactive thyroid gland – can negatively impact your memory and ability to concentrate because the thyroid isn’t producing enough hormones to keep your metabolism and energy at appropriate levels. This also occurs in your brain, creating the “brain fog” so many people complain about during and after menopause and andropause.
The problem with western medicine is that it focuses on the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH); if this is in the “normal range”, you are considered normal and the family physician or specialist stops moving forward. But my question to my patients and to other physicians is this: does the gas getting to your engine tell you how well your engine is running and how much horsepower it produces? Of course not! The same is true of TSH. When TSH (gas) hits your thyroid (engine), it causes your thyroid to produce two other hormones as metabolism occurs: Free T3 (~90% active thyroid) and Free T4 (~10% of active thyroid).
Unfortunately, most western physicians measure TSH instead of Free T3. And, to make matters worse, most laboratories that do measure the free T3 hormone consider the “normal” range to be between 2.0 – 4.4. But that is a large range that could still leave you feeling bad with memory issues. That’s where we come in; we optimize your levels to the higher end of the range to prevent memory loss. Additionally, you will feel better overall, because you now have enough thyroid saturation in all cells of your body. This will give you more energy and decrease the brain frog you experience.
Low hormone levels
Low Pregnenolone, Estrogen, Progesterone, and/or Testosterone are also associated with memory loss. As a general rule, I recommend all women in the peri-menopausal or menopausal stages (including those with both ovaries removed) and all men in andropause (ages 40-52) to have their hormone levels checked.
Similar to the thyroid test, western physicians were taught in medical school to treat the patient and not the number, but somehow they forget what they learned in school and start treating you based on the numbers from a lab instead of your symptoms. Labs are only supposed to confirm what the physician feels is the clinical diagnosis.
Additionally, physicians who do treat hormonal imbalances often use synthetic hormones which are increasingly dangerous. Here at Your Wellness Center, we only use Bio-Identical Natural Hormones (those that are chemically-identical to the naturally-occurring hormones in your body).
In sum, there are many things that can impact your memory as you age, however, there are steps you can take to prevent and slow down any future damage done by low thyroid functioning and low hormone levels. We offer hypothyroidism treatment, as well as bio-identical hormones that have the same chemical structure, behaviors, and interactions as those naturally-occurring in your body.
How do I get started?
Almost all middle age and older patients that come to us have memory loss and/or memory fog as a main complaint in addition to other issues. If you are noticing your memory starting to slip, it’s important to take action now! The longer you wait, the more damage there could be and the harder it will be to correct. To get started, please fill out our online consultation form. We’ll review the information and contact you to get your consultation started. From there, we will work to optimize your thyroid and/or hormone levels and getting you back to feeling better, living better, and looking better!