Thyroid Health and Depression

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For many people who suffer from thyroid disorders, especially undiagnosed ones, depression is common. It can be frustrating when you know something is wrong, but your doctor doesn’t diagnose you because they rely totally on faulty TSH range tests or they diagnose you and only treat you with T4 medications that aren’t working. You visit your physician with complaints of depression, anxiety, poor concentration, mood swings, and BAM…you’re placed on your doctor’s favorite anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, or bi-polar medication.

The problem with this situation is that all the symptoms are probably due to low free T3, the active thyroid hormone, insufficient adrenal function, or a combination of the two.

Depression isn’t the only problem. Low thyroid hormone and under-functioning adrenals can cause emotional and behavioral problems which include fear, mood swings, rage, confusion, dementia, irritability, obsessive/compulsive disorders, paranoid schizophrenia, and mental irregularities.

You should insist that your physician check your thyroid with a test for T3, T4, and antibodies. Also make sure your physician checks your adrenal function. Thyroid hormone irregularities are one of the main causes of brain chemistry disorders. If they aren’t treated, there can be a major effect on your behavior and emotions.

Thyroid hormones play a part in the health of your metabolic endocrine, nervous and immune system. This means they are paramount to health and optimal functioning of your brain. This means they are the key for cognitive function, concentration, memory, mood, attention span, and emotions. A proper uptake of thyroid hormone is imperative for brain cells to function properly.

There are scientists that actually believe that nearly one-half of people diagnosed with depression are due to untreated or undertreated hypothyroidism. Not only low T3 can cause the problem, but low cortisol can as well. It can result in the lack of thyroid hormones to be adequately received from the blood. It causes emotional and behavioral problems. Even though thyroid medication is taken, a patient may avoid leaving home, want peace and quiet, not be able to tolerate stress, hate loud noises, experience rage, mood swings, panic, OCD, phobias, delusions, and even thoughts of suicide.

If you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself for others, they should not be overlooked. Untreated or undertreated hypothyroidism can be dangerous and even deadly if allowed to continue.

If you are taking T4 medications, you should talk to your physician about adding synthetic T3 to your medication. Many physicians and researchers are actually using T3 now as an adjunct to anti-depression medication. Increasing T3 levels can raise serotonin and norepinephrine which are brain neurotransmitters to optimal levels.

Another treatment is to switch to desiccated thyroid. This gives you the whole complement of your thyroid. You receive T4, T3, T2, T1, and calcitonin. Many patients who have undergone this treatment have actually rid themselves of emotional problems and chronic depression.

No one likes to feel the way you feel when your thyroid condition goes undetected or untreated. If you’re tired of feeling badly and are suffering from depression, don’t allow the condition to continue. Talk to your physician and keep talking until they listen. If they don’t, then maybe they’re not the physician for you.