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Hypothyroidism and mental illness


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Posted

I've been progressing through treatment with a psychiatrist, at last, after many years of problems and have had increasing success as medication has been applied. It now seems, though, there may be hypothyroidism at play (Hashimoto). Reading up on this form of the condition, it seems to present with many symptoms associated with mental illness. I'm wondering, if this is possibly the source of much or all of my symptoms, why have the medications prescribed by my psychiatrist been particularly effective? (at least in some key areas)

While I'm here, has anyone else had a similar experience?

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Posted (edited)

Thyroid problems can mimic various MI symptoms. A good psychiatrist will order a physical workup with Complete Metabolic Panel with TSH, as part of intake with new patients in order to rule out physical causes.

For anyone takeing AP's or AAP's or Lithium these tests should probably be done annually, since the meds can have effects on the liver and other systems. Lithium always runs a risk of thyroid interactions (noting of course that people with Bipolar Disorder have a 30% chance of thyroid problems regardless of medication per Kay Jamison text).

I've been on Synthroid since a month after starting Lithium and it has help me tremendously. My pre-lithium TSH check was good, but I swear I was having low thyroid symptoms for several months prior anyhow.

The good thing is that most thryoid problems are pretty straightforward once diagnosed, and treatments are well tolerated and effective. I'm not well read on Hashimoto's though.

best, a.m.

Edited by AirMarshall

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Posted

I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis and one of the first things I notice when my thyroid is out of whack is that my depression and panic attacks worsen. It has taken a few years to get to the point where I realize it may be my thyroid instead of just my regular depression. I usually have blood tests every 6 months so we can catch any variations quickly, but with Hashimoto's disease your thyroid levels change fast. Good luck.

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Posted

I moved this to the hormones and glands forum.

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Posted

I have Graves disease, which is another autoimmune thyroid condition. I had my only hypomanic-like episode when I was extremely hyperthyroid from the Graves.

My current doc tells me I also had/have Hashimotos as well based on my antibody tests. I say had because I my thyroid was removed about 2 years ago. So the highs and lows can't affect me like they once did. I have suffered from hypothyroidism since my thyroid was removed, and that precipitated one horrible depressive episode. I didn't even realize I was depressed until it got very bad because I thought it was all attributable to my thyroid.

For me, this has not been so easy to manage. I had to go through several different thyroid meds before I found one that worked for me. I still get my thyroid levels checked monthly/bimonthly when I see my doc for adjustments to my thyroid meds.

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Posted

I found out I had hypothyroidism from a routine blood test in 2010, before lithium.

It took a long time for me to find the right dose of levothyroxine but I just had a test and it is in the normal range on 0.1 mg levothyroxine. It is probably no coincidence that I am also feeling not depressed any more. I still need ADs but I don't doubt my thyroid is involved in my depression too.

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Posted

i have graves disease or had i had my thyroid killed bye radiation now im hypothroid . Ihave to take synthroid daily .

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Posted

It's really strange to me how frequently they co-exist, but they do seem to...so it could be that your symptoms were responsive to psych meds because you have a mental illness and that you'll respond to thyroid meds b/c your thyroid is out of whack. That was the case for me and it seems like many others.

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Posted

I took syntroid. But I stopped taking it when I stopped taking my mental meds.. My thyroild has started working normal again.. I am not sure how long I can stay off the mental meds though..

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Posted

olohian, that's interesting.

I had low thyroid levels and since having corrected (mostly) my MH issues, I now no longer (at least not right now) need the thyroid med either.

A little different than what you are saying, but I'm continually fascinated by how interconnected all this stuff is.

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Posted

I have another hormone problem and that one mimics MI issues (for sure) The bad part is that its possible (Not always!) to have both problems.

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Posted

I had my first panic attack when my hashimotos kicked in. Before that I was just anxiety ridden. Never had a full blown panic attack. A few wks later my routine bloodworm showed borderline TSH, and I came back positive for hashimotos a week after tat. I have had recurring MDD since my teenage years, and haven't had an episode for years, until I got sick and had to begin the regulating adventure. With my thyroid levels regulated, I noticed instantly that something was different in my brain than it had ever been before. My memory, attention, anxiety, and depression symptoms are different than I've ever experienced in my life. Now that I know that cytomel is sometimes rxed for depression, I get it. Cytomel changes your dopamine and norepinephrine levels. T3 is an instant metabolism boost. Very stimulant like. I now realize that everything I've learned about my mental health, and what treats my brain chemistry well or not, has completely changed. Between a different metabolism, and new medications changing everything about my body, I'm a whole mother animal now. It's a chicken or the egg type question, so all I know is I'm very different than I was per Hashimotos.

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Posted

I was crazy long before thyroid issues were detected. This includes being on lithium several different times. So, we are all blaming the lithium. I'm fighting not going back on synthroid because it made me vomit too much and did nothing helpful.

db

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Posted

I was crazy long before thyroid issues were detected. This includes being on lithium several different times. So, we are all blaming the lithium. I'm fighting not going back on synthroid because it made me vomit too much and did nothing helpful.

db

Is there another thyroid medication that could help?

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Posted

I was crazy long before thyroid issues were detected. This includes being on lithium several different times. So, we are all blaming the lithium. I'm fighting not going back on synthroid because it made me vomit too much and did nothing helpful.

db

Is there another thyroid medication that could help?

I take Armour thyroid, which is made from pig thyroid, rather than Synthroid, which is synthetic. If you had a bad reaction to Synthroid, you might ask your doctor about Armour. Another option is Cytomel, which is aso synthetic, but also has a different hormone than Synthroid and agrees with some people better.

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Posted

I was crazy long before thyroid issues were detected. This includes being on lithium several different times. So, we are all blaming the lithium. I'm fighting not going back on synthroid because it made me vomit too much and did nothing helpful.

db

You could try taking it at a different time. Contrary to common belief it doesn't have to be taken first thing in the morning. I take mine at night it absorbs better because peristalsis is slower at night. I don't worry so much about the empty stomach thing because your dose is based on your levels anyways so as long as your doing the same thing every day

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Posted

I take mine at night also.

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Posted

I have hypothyroidism and bipolar. I believe they are separate medical issues and I don't believe one caused the other. Recently, my TSH has been going up, up and up. I keep getting my Levothyroxine raised every 6 weeks for the last 4 months. Before that, my levels were stable for 2 years. My bipolar was also pretty stable during that time, but I'm starting to find myself more depressed lately. The bipolar and hypothyroid probably aggravate each other.

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Posted

snugglepuss, according to my pdoc and many studies, hypothyroidism and MI are directly related. In fact low thyroid can actually mimic MI. Some people have actually been misdiagnosed as MI when it was indeed just thyroid issues.

I just started on T3 (not sure the medical name for it) recently and I feel TONS better. My TSH levels were within normal range but my pdoc wanted to see higher/lower levels (I don't remember which, sometimes I don't pay close enough attention at my appts).

Of course you are entitled to your opinion as to if the two are related in your circumstance, but if you are interested there is plenty of information out there if you choose to research it.

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Posted

snugglepuss, according to my pdoc and many studies, hypothyroidism and MI are directly related. In fact low thyroid can actually mimic MI. Some people have actually been misdiagnosed as MI when it was indeed just thyroid issues.

I just started on T3 (not sure the medical name for it) recently and I feel TONS better. My TSH levels were within normal range but my pdoc wanted to see higher/lower levels (I don't remember which, sometimes I don't pay close enough attention at my appts).

Of course you are entitled to your opinion as to if the two are related in your circumstance, but if you are interested there is plenty of information out there if you choose to research it.

^ THIS

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Posted

I wouldn't get to optimistic or anything.

I thought maybe my thyroid would be the key to my health, but it's not.

I was able to completely correct my levels with hormones, and I still had all the problems I did before.

Lately I haven't been taking my hormones...

idk why, they're free and i have them

you're making me think i should start taking them again

because at least then i'd feel a little bit better.

i know that getting hypothyroidism treated CAN really give you more energy

make you feel much better

lighten some of your depression

etc

i hope you're one of the lucky ones who really does just have a glandular problem

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Posted

Guys my heart has been dropping for like 7 yr's A pastor said it was the conviction of the Holy spirit but as I did some research I looked and found that some ppl have had feelings like I'm describing. It's not your normal fast heart rate rather it is like the feeling when your about to get in a car wreck and your heart drops.....I have had so much depression and I have had so many mood swings that it's hard to keep up with all this. I am under so much stress which could be the klonopin withdrawal but, my interest is more leading me to this since I have had this symptom for 7 yr's and I know the tests like blood test are supposed to find it but, also that it can be missed and I have only had about 15 blood tests since 05 and most of them where on full stomachs and not fasting. So I'm calling my MD tommorrow and seeing if this is something they can look into. Also I know I have voices so I will probaly have to be on some meds but this could be the answer I have been looking for.

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Posted

You don't have to fast for a thyroid blood test.  Also, thyroid issues don't cause voices.  If you just stopped Klonopin. that could explain your anxiety.  But if you think it might be thyroid related, you can always call your doctor and ask for a thyroid pannel. 

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