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I'm sorry if this has already been talked about but I couldn't find anything when searching the forum.. so its kinda already proving my theory.

When I first started Lithium I wasn't doing good at all.. actually saying I was not doing good would be an understatement.(started it when I was 22, I'm 25 now)

My (newly acquired) pdoc told me she thinks I should start taking Lithium But that if I started taking it, it would cause me to have kidney/liver (can't remember which) damage by the time I was 30 and it was up to me if I wanted to take it But many people who are bipolar end up killing themselves without taking a mood stabilizer.

(she never mentioned anything else I could take in place of lithium)

So what the hell did she think I was going to say? I was suicidal and what not.... so ummm yea I said, "I want to take it, I just want to be better." I didn't really know much at all about mood stabilizers or even bipolar then... I was to sick for even the thought to cross my mind about looking it up.

I never questioned the "fact" that I would end up with organ damage by the age of 30 if I kept taking it... so I have been thinking about telling her I didn't want it anymore, even though it really helps.. Who wants organ damage right?

I just read the topic on here where it was asked if lithium is safe... no one mentioned anything about this so called organ damage you get in less than 10 years from taking lithium..

So did my pdoc just pull this out of her ass?????? I mean how can a medication be approved for regular long term use so widely and for so many years by the FDA if its going to cause you organ damage???

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Lithium can cause kidney damage, but it usually doesn't. It's certainly not the short time frame kind of certainty your pdoc suggests. Have you been getting regular bloodwork done on lithium? That should tell you if there's any semblance of cause for realistic concern. If it's working, and it sounds like it is, I'd say you shouldn't stop it because of a hypothetical, relatively rare, side effect.

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I get the blood tests done for lithium about once every 6 months (or sooner if I'm having a problem). They have always been either normal or showing that I need a bit of an increase on the dose.

Thanks for replying SashaSue, the way my pdoc made it sound was that I WOULD get it by the time I'm 30 no if ands or buts about it.

I know they test for the lithium level in your blood, and they also check my thyroid level some times with it... does that cover knowing any signs of possible kidney damage? Should there be another test I request when getting it done? Just to be safe...

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They are probably checking the lithium level, thyroid function, and various indicators of renal (kidney) function. That would be very, very standard.

Your psychiatrist may have been trying to make a point as part of the required informed consent; it might have been kind of an overshoot in this case. Did you talk to her about it?

Your liver has naught to fear from lithium.

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Actually I have a script for bloodwork here.. (lost it, got a new one, then found it, lol)

Can someone tell me if any of this is for kidney function.. or if not what the other thing are? I no speakie doctor talk, lol.

Lithium level




I haven't talked to my pdoc about it yet... didn't know there was anything to talk about other than me not taking it anymore, before today.

Thanks guys.... I was really scared that I had to stop taking it!!!

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