Issue #247 October 20, 2014
Welcome to KnowYourThyroid.
Today, I am going to talk about a symptom of hypothyroidism that I struggle with. It’s depression. It can vary from being a little blue to full scale ” I just want to stay in bed and not talk to anyone, do anything, and wishing the world would go away.” The good news is when I changed my thyroid medication to Armour Thyroid, my depression symptoms were eased. I still have blue days but life is so much better.
The Connection Between Depression and Thyroid Disease
Thyroid Patient Advocate, Thyroid Coach, Thyroid Ezine Publisher
Are you suffering from depression? Did you know that depression is a symptom of hypothyroidism? Studies show that hypothyroidism may affect as many as 20% of the people with depression. Hypothyroidism is a condition when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. The amount of thyroid hormone your body produces can greatly affect your personality including mimicking the symptoms of depression.
Problems with depression and thyroid disease have existed for years. The term myxedema madness was introduced in 1949. Myxedema refers to low thyroid function. So the term myxedema madness indicated that people with low thyroid function were mad. If you are hypothyroid, you probably agree with that term.
Hypothyroidism can create a list of symptoms that will make you feel as if you are crazy.
-Memory Loss-you forget errands you need to run or items at the grocery store
-General Loss of Interest-you just don’t care, about anything
-Inability to Concentrate-everything you do takes longer than it used to
-Withdrawal from friends and family-not wanting to spend time with anyone
-Slow movement and thought-commonly referred to as Brain Fog
-Loss of Interest in Sex-you just have no desire
-Depression-you feel sad for no reason
All of these symptoms do, in fact, make you feel as if you are losing your mind. The good news is that these symptoms can be corrected.
Studies by mental health experts state that as many as 40% of clinically hypothyroid patients have significant depression.
Also, according to the Thyroid Society, “most patients with hypothyroidism have some degree of associated depression, ranging from mild to severe. 10%-15% of the patients with a diagnosis of depression may have thyroid hormone deficiency.”
People with depression should be tested for a thyroid disorder. Several studies have been done and are continuing to be done connecting depression and thyroid disease. All forms of depression can be linked to either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, however it is more commonly found with hypothyroidism. Many with hypothyroidism have some degree of associated depression, ranging from mild to severe.
If you have depression and untreated thyroid disease, starting thyroid hormone therapy may help with your depression.
First, your doctor needs to determine if you have hypothyroidism, if you are hypothyroid and on depression medication, then your doctor needs to determine if the antidepressant treatment is causing the hypothyroidism, or if the depression is caused by hypothyroidism.
Many doctors believe that thyroid hormone replacement can help with the treatment of depression. However, thyroid hormone medication alone taken by someone who doesn’t have a thyroid condition will not lessen the depression, but when given together with antidepressants, they many see improvements in their mental health.
Some people will still suffer from depression that requires further treatment. Medication, herbal and vitamin therapy, and exercise all may help with easing depression symptoms.
For those who are suffering from either thyroid disease, depression or both, there are treatments available. Talk with your healthcare provider to set up a treatment plan to get your health back on track. Different treatments work for different people, so do not get discouraged if the first course of treatment does not relieve your symptoms. Also, keep in mind you might have to get a new health care provider, simply because many doctors will not try different medications, regardless of your symptoms, if your lab work results are in the normal range when testing for thyroid hormone.
Regaining your health is a challenge. Just remember, it takes hard work and a willingness to find the right treatment for you. And when you do find the right treatment, you can love life again. How awesome is that!
About Corri Peterson.
I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease in 2003. After treatment with Radio Active Iodine, I went from being hyperthyroid to hypothyroid and have had all the symptoms of hypothyroidism including weight gain, irritability, sleep problems and depression. I share information on thyroid disease, treatment options, medication news and how to live the best life possible while dealing with hypothyroidism on my site: KnowYourThyroid.com. Be sure to sign up for my free report on thyroid testing, it explains why so many still suffer with untreated thyroid disease.
Be sure to get my free report: Understanding Your Thyroid, The Basics. My report will explain why you may still be suffering with low thyroid symptoms due to varying test standards. You can get the report here: