Thyroid Problems and Mental Health
An individual visits their doctor and complains about anxiety and depression symptoms, emotional mood swings and lack of focus, then leaves with an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety prescription medication. This is the most common scenario that an hypothyroid individual may experience.
The following article has been written by a friend of mine (who would like to remain anonymous) however they would like me to share their findings with you…
Mental health problems such as anxiety and depression can be caused by so many things, including related thyroid problems. Some peoples mental health problems are caused by low free T3 levels or adrenal insufficiency. This is very common to individuals who are taking Levothyroxine, Eltoxine, Synthroid and some other T-4 only drugs.
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Thyroid Hormones Affect Brain Chemistry
According to Dr. Ridha Arem, who authored the book titled “The Thyroid Solution: A Mind Body Program for Beating Depression”, a lot of experts are now taking into consideration the major role that thyroid hormones play in a person’s brain chemistry. Any imbalance in the thyroid hormone can have profound effects in a person’s behavior and emotions.
- The thyroxine or better known as storage hormone or T4, and T3 or triiodothyronine, which is the converted and active hormone, are not only crucial for metabolic endocrine health.
- These thyroid hormones are also important for the immune system and nervous system.
- These systems also serve as key players for regulating moods, memory, emotions and ability to concentrate.
- In addition, T3 also acts as a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating norepinephrine, GABA and serotonin levels which are also crucial for staving off any symptoms of anxiety.
Thus, not having the right amount of T3 can lead neurotransmitter abnormalities that will most likely result to problems in mood, energy levels and depression.
When Thyroid Problems Masquerade as Anxiety Symptoms
Dr. Barry Durant-Peatfield, who wrote the book “Your Thyroid and How to Keep it Healthy” revealed that the brain cells need more T3 receptors for it to function at its best. This explains why a thyroid hormone imbalance can also lead to symptoms of depression such as fatigue, weight gain, low mood and concentration problems.
Unfortunately, many of these symptoms are usually ignored or viewed solely as symptoms of anxiety disorder. One reason for this is that many people who are diagnosed with anxiety disorder were not advised to undergo thyroid testing. Add to that the fact that normal thyroid testing results may also come out to be deceiving.
In turn, many people’s thyroid problems remain undiagnosed and not treated properly.
The Link between Hypothyroidism and Depression
Experts claim that there is enough evidence to prove the significant link between depression and hypothyroidism. Studies also suggest that those people who are suffering from depression have higher rates of thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism, compared with the general population. Research also shows that those who have sub-clinical hypothyroidism are more vulnerable to the symptoms of depression than those people who do not have thyroid problems.
Dr. Gary S. Ross, author of the book titled “Depression and Your Thyroid: What You Need to Know”, believes that every person diagnosed with depression should undergo thyroid testing. Although some cases of depression cannot benefit from thyroid treatment, this does not eliminate the importance of thorough testing for the possibility of having thyroid dysfunction which must also be done apart from the usual initial screening tests.
This is to ensure that proper thyroid treatment will be included as part of the treatment plan for depression.
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I would love to know your thoughts or experiences. Many people do not know the difference between stress, anxiety and depression, let alone understanding other problems that may arise. Do you have anxiety and depression symptoms or/and a thyroid problem? Please talk me in the comments below.