We continue this month with our series on why your brain might not be functioning the way you feel it should.
Hypothyroidism, or an underfunctioning thyroid gland (commonly called low thyroid), is often overlooked by doctors as a cause of poor memory. It’s neglected because many physicians rely solely on a not-very-good blood test to confirm or reject a diagnosis of low thyroid.
Sensitivity to certain foods or to food additives/preservatives are less common causes of brain fog, but certainly possible. So is hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.
Like low thyroid, prescription medication is an often missed cause of memory problems.
The eight-pound Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR), which describes all prescription drugs in meticulous detail, is basically a compendium of side effects.
Depression is the result of low levels of the stress-buffering brain chemical serotonin trying, but failing, to protect you against assaults of unchecked stress.
The same holds true for similar disorders, like anxiety, fatigue, and fibromyalgia.
Serotonin is one of the brain’s neurotransmitters–molecules that allow brain cells to talk to each other. Sad to report that serotonin levels either decline or become less efficient with age. This is because estrogen, in its own inevitable decline, is linked to serotonin like the front car of a two-car roller coaster.
During the years of the menopause transition–before and during actual menopause–the hormones estrogen and progesterone begin an inexorable decline.
Maybe there’s nothing wrong with your brain at all. Maybe it’s a human version of computer overload.
Stop and reflect on the amount of information our parents or grandparents dealt with every day and compare it to the volume of 24/7 info-tainment most of us are exposed to today.