Can low thyroid cause depression

The Link between Thyroid Function and Depression

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Are Thyroid Conditions and Depression Linked?

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the front of your throat that secretes hormones. These hormones regulate your metabolism, energy levels, and other vital functions in your body.

More than 12 percent of Americans will develop a thyroid condition in their lifetime. But as many as 60 percent of those who have a thyroid condition aren’t aware of it.

Thyroid disease has some symptoms in common with certain mental health conditions. This is especially true for depression and anxiety. Sometimes thyroid conditions are misdiagnosed as these mental health conditions. This can leave you with symptoms that may improve but a disease that still needs to be treated.

Let’s take a closer look at the links among thyroid conditions, depression, and anxiety.

Researchers have known for a long time that people who have thyroid conditions are more likely to experience depression and vice versa. But with the rising diagnosis rates of anxiety and depression, there’s an urgency to revisit the issue.

Hyperthyroidism is a condition characterized by an overactive thyroid. A review of the literature estimates that up to 60 percent of people who have hyperthyroidism also have clinical anxiety. Depression occurs in up to 69 percent of people diagnosed with hyperthyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism is connected in particular to mood disorders and bipolar depression. But the research is conflicting as to how strong this connection is. One 2007 study revealed that thyroiditis is likely connected to having a genetic predisposition of bipolar disorder.

On top of that, lithium can aggravate or trigger hyperthyroidism. It’s a prevalent treatment for bipolar depression.

Hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by a “sluggish” or underactive thyroid. It’s linked specifically to depression in some literature. The deficiency of thyroid hormones in your central nervous system can cause fatigue, weight gain, and a lack of energy. These are all symptoms of clinical depression.

If you have hyperthyroidism, your symptoms may have a lot in common with clinical anxiety and bipolar depression. These symptoms include:

  • insomnia
  • anxiety
  • elevated heart rate
  • high blood pressure
  • mood swings
  • irritability

Hypothyroidism symptoms, on the other hand, have a lot in common with clinical depression and what doctors call “cognitive dysfunction.” This is memory loss and difficulty organizing your thoughts. These symptoms include:

  • bloating
  • weight gain
  • memory loss
  • difficulty processing information
  • fatigue

The overlap in thyroid conditions and mood disorders can result in a misdiagnosis. And if you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health condition but have an underlying thyroid condition, too, your doctors might miss it.

Sometimes a blood panel that’s testing your thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) can miss a thyroid condition. The T3 and T4 hormone levels are specific indicators that can reveal a thyroid condition that other blood tests overlook.

Hormone supplementation for a thyroid condition can be related to depression. Thyroid hormone replacement aims to bring your body back to its normal hormone levels if you have hypothyroidism. But this kind of treatment can interfere with medications for depression.

Medication for depression can be what’s decreasing or impacting your thyroid function. There’s a long list of medications that can have this effect. Lithium, a popular treatment for bipolar depression, can trigger symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

If you’re having symptoms of depression, you may be wondering if there is a connection to your thyroid. Even if your TSH levels have tested as normal, it’s possible that there’s more to the story of how your thyroid is functioning.

You can bring up the possibility of a thyroid condition to your general practitioner, family doctor, or a mental health professional. Ask specifically for the T3 and T4 hormone level screening to see if those levels are where they should be.

What you should never do is discontinue medication for a mental health condition without speaking to a physician.

If you’re looking for alternative treatments and new ways to address your depression, make a plan with your doctor to gradually switch dosages of your medication or incorporate supplements into your routine.

Depression, fatigue, overweight? Check your thyroid.

The thyroid gland is a very small organ located in our throat area, under the larynx. Normally, it weighs no more than 20 grams, consists of two lobes and an isthmus. The thyroid gland synthesizes thyroid hormones; T3 - triiodothyronine, T4 - thyroxine and calciotonin (parathyroid hormone) - regulating calcium levels.

The first two hormones are responsible for the physical, mental state of the body, seriously affect the immune system, stimulating the production of T-cells. With the most active participation of these hormones, almost all metabolic processes in the body are performed, a constant body temperature is maintained, and energy is produced. Will an orchestra play without a conductor? nine0003

It will probably be, but we won't hear a beautiful, well-coordinated melody. So it is with the thyroid gland, it regulates all the endocrine glands, affects the metabolism, determines our well-being on a global scale, so to speak. Accordingly, if the conductor (our thyroid gland) is ill, can hardly stand on his feet and impulsively pulls his arms, the symphony will not work. Here it will not be up to the game, if only to somehow survive. And the body, exhausted and unbalanced, endures ... until the first serious illness, until the first weakness ...

It's not just sex hormones that affect how you look and feel. Among the most influential are also the hormones produced by the thyroid gland.

Too low thyroid activity and you feel like an amoeba. Yes, hypothyroidism makes you feel like you just want to lie on the couch with a bag of chips all day. Everything works slower, including your heart, intestines, and your brain. A general drop in brain activity in hypothyroidism leads to depression, cognitive impairment, anxiety, and mental fog. nine0003

The thyroid gland controls the production of many neurotransmitters. Among them are serotonin, dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine. An underactive thyroid can lead to a compensatory increase in adrenaline (produced by the adrenal glands), which makes you feel constantly tense, as well as cortisol, another stress hormone. Thus, you feel tired, tense and stressed at the same time.

Experts conservatively estimate that one third of all depression is directly related to thyroid imbalance. More than 80% of people with mild hypothyroidism have poor memory. nine0003

Symptoms of underactive thyroid gland:

  • Feeling chilly
  • Weight gain
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Dry, thinning hair or lack of hair, especially on the eyebrows, where one third of the hairline is often missing
  • Dry skin
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Thin, broken or peeling nails
  • Irregular menses
  • Endometriosis
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Severe menopause

Even if your thyroid is slightly underactive, you may still have symptoms of what is known as subclinical hypothyroidism. If you are chronically fatigued, overweight, dry skin, dizzy, depressed, constantly cold, and if your body temperature is consistently below 36.6 degrees, then you may have an underactive thyroid gland. nine0003

An overactive thyroid causes hyperthyroidism. In this state, everything in the body is working too fast, including the heart, intestines, and digestion, as if you are rushing forward at crazy speed. A person feels nervous and nervous, as after large doses of caffeine. If you suffer from insomnia, anxiety, irritability, chaotic thinking, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, weight loss despite an increased appetite, unreasonable fever, then you may have an overactive thyroid gland. In extreme cases, other characteristic signs appear: goiter (an outgrowth on the thyroid gland), significant weight loss, bulging eyes. nine0003

What does the thyroid gland suffer from?

The thyroid gland is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the lower part of the neck. When the doctor runs his hands along the base of the throat, he checks for an obvious enlargement of your thyroid gland. But without a blood test, it is impossible to say exactly what is happening there. And it may take some time to optimize the thyroid gland.

The main thyroid-related hormones - TSH, T3, T4 - must be balanced. Tens of millions of people around the world (5-25% of the world's population) are thought to have thyroid problems. In their book Thyroid Mental Power, Richard and Carily Shames write that “Over the past 40 years, we have witnessed a significant increase in the number of synthetic chemicals that lead to hormonal disorders. These substances penetrate our air, food and water... the most sensitive human tissue turned out to be the thyroid gland.” nine0003

Most thyroid problems are autoimmune, where the body attacks itself. This may be due to environmental toxins present in the body or an allergy to the food we eat or something in the air we breathe. It is suspected that the recent dramatic increase in hypothyroidism may be due to the fact that the toxins we ingest interfere with the peripheral conversion of T4 to T3.

Thyroid depressant factors:

  • Too much stress and cortisol
  • Selenium deficiency
  • Protein deficiency, excess sugar
  • Chronic diseases
  • Liver or kidney disorders
  • Cadmium, mercury, lead poisoning
  • Herbicides, pesticides
  • Birth control pills, excessive estrogen production

Problems with the thyroid gland - after the birth of a child.

Thyroid problems can occur at any time in a woman's life. But a particularly vulnerable period is the birth of a child. During pregnancy, the immune system relaxes somewhat so that immune cells and antibodies do not reject the placenta, with which the baby feeds. This is why many women with thyroid problems believe that pregnancy is the best state of their lives. nine0003

However, nine months later, the situation changes. The baby is born, the placenta is gone, and the immune system functions that were shut down to prevent early placental rejection are now turning on dramatically. It is well known that thyroid disorders usually return within 6 months after childbirth. According to researchers from Charles University in Prague, in 35% of women who have antibodies to their own thyroid gland, 2 years after the birth of a child, the thyroid gland begins to malfunction again. nine0003

Having a thyroid problem when you're struggling to cope with a 2 year old is a disaster. Studies indicate that about 70% of women who suffer from hypothyroidism in the postpartum period become careless and make more mistakes when caring for their children.

Thyroid problems are one of the main causes of postpartum depression and anxiety. According to one study, 80-90% of cases of postpartum depression are associated with thyroid disorders. And without effective treatment, it is impossible to recover. nine0003

The post-pregnancy period is not the only vulnerable period in this regard. It has been estimated that one in four postmenopausal women has a thyroid imbalance.

How to check the thyroid gland?

You can check your thyroid gland with a blood test. Do not settle for TSH (pituitary thyroid stimulating hormone) analysis alone. Its levels may be normal even when you have undiagnosed thyroid problems.

Insist that the doctor check the following:

  • TSH (According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, values ​​above 3.0 are abnormal and need further testing)
  • Free T3 (active)
  • Free T4 (inactive)

Thyroid antibodies: thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO Ab) and thyroglobulin antibodies (TG Ab).

Liver function test. The fact is that 95% of T4 is activated in the liver, so the condition of the liver should be taken into account. nine0003

Ferritin level. Ferritin transports active T3 into cells. It should be above 90.

These tests may be helpful, but you still need to be diagnosed by a doctor. If you have thyroid problems, they can be effectively treated with a range of medications. Your doctor should regularly check your thyroid hormone levels to make sure you are not taking too much or too little of your medication.

Sad image What disease can cause depression and how to avoid it:

According to WHO, about 300 million cases of depression have been identified among the entire population of the planet, while it is noted that women suffer from it many times more often. It is worth emphasizing that this disease has a seasonality, and it is during the autumn period that the likelihood of falling into depression increases., with the support of Berlin-Chemie/A. Menarini, talks about one of the reasons why this disorder occurs - and how to deal with it.

Failure occurs in everyone's life. Bad weather, interpersonal conflicts, problems at work, and more can make a person feel overwhelmed and overwhelmed, but being overwhelmed by domestic problems rarely lasts long. If the “bad period” is observed for a sufficiently long time, then the presence of depression in a person cannot be ruled out. But it can be one of the symptoms of another disease. nine0003

There are different types of depression:

- reactive depression. Occurs under the influence of psychotraumatic factors on a person;
- endogenous depression. Its source is unknown, but most likely it is a violation of the biochemical mechanisms of the brain;
- somatogenic depression. It is observed when a person has any underlying disease.

An example of such a pathological condition of the body that can lead to the formation of somatogenic depression is hypothyroidism, lack of thyroid hormones. nine0003

Hypothyroidism is a worldwide disease that is several times more common in women than in men.

Depression and thyroid gland

Due to the fact that thyroid hormones regulate the basic metabolism of the body, their deficiency can lead to disruption of all systems, including disorders in the sphere of emotions. There may be a sharp change in mood, a feeling of melancholy and sadness, up to panic and severe depressive states.

Hypothyroidism has been confirmed to cause depression, but the exact cause is not yet fully understood. There are various theories in this regard: the speed of blood flow in the vessels of the brain slows down, carbohydrate metabolism is disturbed, the work of neurotransmitters changes. All this indicates that the nervous system is very susceptible to a lack of thyroid hormones. nine0003

Causes of hypothyroidism

Most often, changes in the functioning of the thyroid gland are observed in the presence of autoimmune thyroiditis - an inflammatory disease of the thyroid gland. With the development of this condition, the cells of the immune system perceive the thyroid tissue as foreign and begin to "attack" it. As a result, its work is disrupted and the production of hormones decreases.

During pregnancy, a woman's body experiences hormonal "spikes" that can lead to thyroid damage, hypothyroidism, and a lack of thyroid hormones. Conducted surgical interventions on the thyroid gland can also be the reasons for the decrease in hormone production. nine0003

What to do if depression persists

When treating depression, it is first necessary to find out its source: whether it is a consequence of some other disease, that is, whether it is somatogenic depression. Statistically, most of all somatogenic depressions are caused by hypofunction of the thyroid gland. It is logical that the possibility of this condition must be excluded in the first place. To confirm hypothyroidism, you need only one study - a blood test for the content of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).

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