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Can Thyroid Issues Cause Depression And Anxiety

Types Of Thyroid Imbalances

Thyroid Imbalances Can Cause Mental Problems : Depression, Anxiety. Better Treatment is Available.

There are a number of different conditions that affect the thyroid, but two of the most common problems are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

  • Hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid, happens when the body does not produce enough thyroid hormones. It tends to affect women more frequently than men. It can occur at any age, but it also tends to be more common in adults over the age of 60.
  • Hyperthyroidism, also known as an overactive thyroid, happens when the body produces too much thyroid hormone. Many people who have an overactive thyroid experience some type of anxiety symptoms. However, research also suggests that depression is also very common, affecting as many as 69% of people with hyperthyroidism.

Other types of thyroid disorders and problems include Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease, goiter, and thyroid nodules.

If You Are Suffering From Weight Gain Fatigue Hair Loss And More Click Here To Schedule A Consultation So We Can Find Out Where Youve Been Where You Want To Get To And How We Can Help You Get There

I know exactly where you are because Ive been there myselfI remember being so tired that I could barely function. I gained 30 pounds out of nowhere and had a severe case of brain fog. I also started to get severe anxiety and panic attacks. I was driven and motivateduntil I wasnt. I didnt know what was happening to me. All I wanted was to get my life back

Finally, I learned about functional medicine and found a practitioner that I hoped could help me. They ran specialized tests that were far different than I had ever had before. When I got the results back, it turned out I had candida, parasites, high cortisol, the Epstein Bar Virus and many food intolerances. I also had an issue with my thyroid that no one found before because they were using the conventional medicine lab ranges which are way too broad.which I now know is one of the leading causes of hypothyroid misdiagnosis.

I went through treatment of all of these things and it completely changed my life.; I immediately lost the 30 pounds I had gained plus more, I had a lot more energy, and my brain fog was gone. I felt amazing and knew that I wanted to help people find the underlying causes of their symptoms and disease.

How To Treat Thyroid Anxiety

Whenever you have an anxiety disorder caused by something physical, treating the underlying physical problem is most important – especially because some people can easily treat their thyroid problem through supplementation or very basic medicines. If you treat the underlying problem, you’ll be able to manage your anxiety better. In fact, treating the physical ailment may alleviate you of your anxiety all together.

But, never underestimate the effectiveness of mental health treatments as well. Your brain is an amazing tool. If a physical ailment, such as thyroid problems, are causing you to have anxiety, you can address the anxiety symptoms with traditional mental health treatments. While you’ll still need to treat the underlying physical issue, anxiety treatment options can still be effective – at least for managing the anxiety.

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Inflammation Can Also Play A Role In Mental Health

Another possible culprit? Inflammation, according to Dr. Kelly Bay, DC, CNS, CDN. Dr. Bay says that autoimmune reactions against the thyroid and abnormal thyroid hormones could increase inflammation throughout the body, which could then lead to cognitive and emotional health issues as well.

We know this, she says, because markers of increased inflammation, particularly brain inflammation, are common among those diagnosed with major depressive disorder, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. For this reason, some doctors prescribe anti-inflammatory treatments for patients with depression.

Linking Hypothyroidism With Depression

Thyroid and Depression and Anxiety

To help your doctor figure out if your depression is because of hypothyroidism, they should test you for thyroid disorders. Blood tests can confirm them if they show low levels of a thyroid hormone called thyroxine and a high level of one called thyroid-stimulating hormone .

Studies show that if you have both hypothyroidism and depression, thyroid-replacement medications may work better than antidepressants. They boost levels of two major thyroid hormones: triiodothyronine and thyroxin . When thyroid pills lower TSH levels, you may start feeling better.

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Association Of Depression With Postpartum Thyroid Disease

The association of postpartum depression with postpartum thyroiditis or with positive thyroid antibodies is still not well defined. Early studies noted a minor association between thyroid dysfunction and postnatal depression . More recently, a higher frequency of mild to moderate depression was observed in postpartum female subjects with positive antithyroid antibodies regardless of thyroid function . However, an attempt to decrease the incidence of postpartum depression in thyroid antibody positive women with daily administration of thyroxine for 18 weeks postpartum was unsuccessful .

The Hidden Cost Of Misdiagnosis

The impact of hypothyroidism on womens lives is often dramatic and sometimes devastating, with fatigue and poor concentration, for example, impacting career and financial success, and also affecting personal relationships.

Because the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism weight gain, depression, anxiety, brain fog, sleep problems, and fatigue are also among those that are the most likely to be chalked up by doctors to just stress or even depression. Many women are offered anti-depressants as a solution to their problems.

Women can go for years without a proper diagnosis, leaving many blaming themselves, feeling like theyre doing something wrong or arent doing enough to have more energy and feel better.

Women are driving themselves crazy dieting but cant lose weight, beating themselves up for not being happier people, and suffering from the grief of fertility problems and miscarriages all because of a problem for which theres easy detection and treatment.

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So If Your Physician Therapist Or Psychiatrist

a) failed to check your thyroid function with the correct lab tests

b) failedto understand that those thyroid-related lab results are about WHERE they fall in any range, not just falling anywhere.

c) failed to correctly check your adrenal function with a 24 hour adrenal saliva test, NOT BLOOD

d) failedto understand that those saliva cortisol results are about WHERE they fall in any range, not just falling anywhere.

e) and instead prescribed his or her favorite band-aid psychotrophic medicationthen you are left with medications that can include unneeded fluoride, that can clash with your other meds, that can make your hypothyroid worse, or can leave you with classic side effectsbesides the cost.


From Janie Bowthorpe: My mother; is a classic example of the tragedy of poor assessment or treatment of thyroid function. After she battled clinical depression and anxiety for years while on Synthroid, she relinquished all control of her health to a doctor who gave her electric shock therapya treatment which only slightly lessened her chronic depression and dulled her memory and especially her intelligence for the rest of her life.; ;;


Thyroid Status In Patients With Depression

The Anxiety Summit How thyroid imbalance can cause anxiety and depression

Several thyroid abnormalities have been associated with mood disorders particularly depression. However, the vast majority of patients with depression do not have biochemical evidence of thyroid dysfunction . When thyroid abnormalities exist, they consist mainly of elevated T4 levels, low T3, elevated rT3, blunted TSH response to TRH, positive antithyroid antibodies, and elevated cerebrospinal fluid TRH concentrations. A state of brain hypothyroidism in the setting of systemic euthyroidism has been suggested. This could result from a defect in the thyroid hormone receptor , or in the thyroid hormone transport and uptake into the brain and neuronal cells . Mice with receptor-mediated hypothyroidism caused by a heterozygous mutation in the THR-1 have shown increased depressive behavior responsive to continuous T3 administration . Furthermore, lower levels of CSF TTR have been reported in patients with depression compared to controls resulting in a state of brain hypothyroidism with, nonetheless, normal peripheral thyroid hormones . Mutations in MCT8 have also been recognized to cause isolated brain hypothyroidism by blocking T3 transport into neurons .

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Neuroimaging In Thyroid And Mood Disorders

A few studies have been performed to assess the changes in cerebral perfusion and metabolism in patients with hypothyroidism particularly those with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or status post-thyroidectomy for thyroid carcinoma.

Some have reported diffuse global hypoperfusion while others demonstrated decreased regional cerebral blood flow . Furthermore, variable findings regarding restoration of blood flow with treatment have been documented. While some demonstrated at least partial normalization of cerebral blood flow others found persistent hypoperfusion with restoration of the euthyroid state .

The inconsistency in the above findings can be accounted for by the variability in the degree of hypothyroidism and the differences in the etiology and duration of the disease in the various studied populations.

Studies assessing cerebral blood flow and metabolism in depression are more numerous. The most widely replicated finding from these studies is hypoperfusion in anterior cortical structures that was reversible after psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy . In addition to frontal hypoperfusion, increased perfusion has been observed in various limbic regions most notably the amygdala .

What Role Do Thyroid Levels Play In Mood Disorders

The interesting thing is that Ive had my thyroid levels checked for eight years now, ever since an endocrinologist spotted a tumor in my pituitary gland. However, not until a comprehensive lab test was done did a doctor suggest treatment for low levels of both T3 and T4 hormones.

According to the American Thyroid Association, more than 12 percent of the American population will develop a thyroid condition. Today an estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease; however, 60 percent are unaware of their condition.

Many of those people will visit their primary care physician or a psychiatrist and report symptoms of depression, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, and fuzzy thinking. They might receive a diagnosis of major depression, general anxiety, or bipolar disorder, and leave the doctors office with prescriptions for antidepressants, mood stabilizers, sedatives, or all three.

The drugs might help some of the symptoms abate, but the underlying illness will remain untreated.

Dana Trentini, a mother of two, was diagnosed with hypothyroidism the year following the birth of her first son in 2006. She was overwhelmed with fatigue. Her pregnancy weight was impossible to lose. Her hair began to fall out. And kidney stones landed her in the emergency room. She was treated by a leading endocrinologist and became pregnant again; however, her thyroid stimulating hormone reached levels far above the recommended reference range for pregnancy, and she miscarried.

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Hyperthyroidism And Psychiatric Issues

Hyperthyroidism is on the other end of the spectrum. This health conditionis usually caused by an overactive thyroid gland. It poses its own set ofchallenges that affects the mental health of the sufferer. Some schools ofthought believe that emotional upheaval can be the culprit or cause behindhyperthyroidism. Still others suggest that a significant emotional disturbanceand/or extreme stress,;may be the;result of undiagnosed, overactive thyroid gland.

The HYPER symptoms:

  • A hyperthyroidism sufferer is likely to experience a higher level of impatienceand irritability. Little things can set them off.
  • An increased sensitivity to noise is another major symptom of an overactivethyroid and can induce erratic behavior.
  • Destructible over-activity is another symptom that psychiatrists orprofessionals should be;on the lookout for.
  • The ability to stay focused also;becomes greatly compromised.
  • There might be an increasing loss of appetite and sleep. The lack of sleepwill end up triggering its own set of complications.
  • Fluctuating depression, which may be interchanged with constant sadness,is another psychological problem that hyperthyroid sufferers can encounter.

Anxiety Symptoms To Watch For

Thyroid Disorders and Treatment

If youve been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, anxiety symptoms to monitor yourself for include:

  • Feeling on edge a lot
  • Muscle tension
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Changes in bowel habits

It is often hard to separate anxiety or panic attacks from the symptoms of thyroid disease and treatment itself, Rosenfeld notes.

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Is Your Thyroid The Cause Of Your Anxiety Depression

If you are living with anxiety or depression, how do you know if your thyroid is the cause? A good first step is to listen to your body. In addition to your symptoms of depression or your anxiety symptoms, what is going on that is out of the ordinary and interfering in your ability to live your life as you’ve been accustomed to in the past?;

Next, get specific. Do you have any of the following symptoms of a thyroid condition?3;;

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism might include:

  • Fatigue
  • Heart palpitations and/or a racing heart
  • Heat intolerance
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Increased cholesterol

If you are experiencing multiple symptoms in either category, a visit to your doctor is important. Be sure to mention your anxiety or depression, too, as these can be a symptom of a thyroid disease, and thyroid disease can sometimes be a cause of anxiety and depression. Only a doctor can determine if you have a thyroid problem and, if so, whether there is a link to your mental health challenges.;

If you do have anxiety or depression and a thyroid condition, treatment can be promising. Medication exists to treat or compensate for a non-functioning thyroid, and treating this potential cause of anxiety and depression can likewise improve these mental health disorders.;

  • Harvard Mental Health Letter,;”Thyroid Deficiency and Mental Health.”;Harvard Health Publishing: Harvard Medical School, May 2007.
  • How An Imbalanced Thyroid Impacts Your Mental Health

    That tiny butterfly-shaped thyroid gland at the front of your neck and the four pea-sized parathyroid glands beside it shoulder big responsibilities for your physical and mental health. More than 20 million Americans suffer from thyroid disease, according to the American Thyroid Association . Dr. Terry Baker and his experienced staff can determine if you have a thyroid imbalance and help you manage it when you do.

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    What Exactly Does The Thyroid Do

    The two-inch-long thyroid gland is part of the endocrine system that controls your metabolism. It affects your breathing, energy, even how quickly your heart beats. It also regulates body temperature and monthly menstrual cycles, and it helps create energy from the food you eat. The parathyroid glands produce a hormone that regulates calcium in your body.

    Anxiety Disorders Are Linked To Inflamed Thyroid Glands

    How To Fight Depression and Anxiety Caused By Hypothyroidism

    Although antianxiety medications target the nervous system, one new study suggests that anxiety disorders may stem more from the endocrine system.

    Most people have brief periods of anxiety from time to time, such as when they experience stressful situations in which the outcome is unknown.

    For many individuals, however, anxiety is an acute, frequent, and persistent emotional state that adversely affects quality of life. In fact, experts estimate that anxiety disorders affect around 264 million people worldwide.

    Antianxiety medications, which typically target the central nervous system, can be helpful, but they often fail to provide permanent relief.

    Now, a new study suggests that anxiety disorders may stem, at least in part, from malfunctions in the bodys endocrine system.

    The results demonstrate that inflammation of the thyroid gland is associated with anxiety disorders, suggesting new avenues of treatment.

    The researchers presented their findings at the European and International Conference on Obesity in September 2020. Juliya Onofriichuk, from Kyiv City Clinical Hospital in Ukraine, led the research.

    She explains: These findings indicate that the endocrine system may play an important role in anxiety. Doctors should also consider the thyroid gland and the rest of the endocrine system, as well as the nervous system, when examining with anxiety.

    T4 and T3 help produce and regulate the hormones adrenaline and dopamine.

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    The Anxiety Summit How Thyroid Imbalance Can Cause Anxiety And Depression

    Dr Hyla Cass, MD, author of Eight Weeks to Vibrant Health was interviewed by host of the Anxiety Summit, Trudy Scott, Food Mood Expert and Nutritionist, author of The Antianxiety Food Solution.

    How thyroid imbalance can cause anxiety and depression

    • An aside on Abram Hoffer and orthomolecular medicine
    • Thyroid disorders: frequency, causes, symptoms and the mood/anxiety connection
    • Hashimotos thyroiditis and anxiety
    • Testing: basal temperature and blood tests
    • Conventional medical treatment
    • Natural thyroid hormones and dietary factors
    • Shoulder stands, rebounding and exercise for stress and anxiety

    Hyla and I recently both presented at the Integrative Medicine for Mental Health conference.; While we were these I asked her to do a quick video.; Here it is

    Here is Hylas answer to: What are some of the other factors that can cause us to have a low thyroid function?

    Here is the paper: The prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders in patients with euthyroid Hashimotos thyroiditis: a comparative study, discussing the connection between thyroid disorders and anxiety and depression

    Euthyroid Hashimotos thyroiditis and euthyroid goiter increase predisposition to major depression and anxiety disorders, and thyroid autoimmunity and other thyroid pathologies should be investigated in euthyroid patients with chronic and treatment-resistant complaints.

    Here is the 2014 paper I mentioned Paradigm shifts in thyroid hormone replacement therapies for hypothyroidism.

    What Causes Hypothyroidism

    Many different issues can cause hypothyroidism. Some of the most common include medications which can affect the thyroid, the autoimmune disease Hashimotos thyroiditis, and radiation treatment for cancer.

    Chronic stress can also cause hypothyroidism, as can pregnancy . Some lithium antidepressants may also lead to hypothyroidism. Even iodine deficiency can lead to hypothyroidism.

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    What Can You Do

    Remember to eliminate, and then reintroduce and then consume to your tolerance. Some people need to be very strict, other people have some leeway and its important to understand that. Also, to understand that a thyroid condition is not a death sentence, its actually a very manageable condition that should respond well to these therapies, plus or minus medication if you need it. You can live a;very healthy, happy, productive life, which is important for people with thyroid problems to hear, because you may have a tendency to be more anxious and depressed. So we dont want to fuel that fire.

    The truth actually is that you can be very happy, very healthy and very functional. So hopefully this is a lifeline that will pull you out of any despair you can fall into if youre reading the wrong information on the Internet. So, this is Dr Ruscio with some thoughts on this study; Looking at the connection between thyroid autoimmunity, anxiety, depression.

    I hope this information helps you get healthy and get back to your life. Thanks.

    Need help or would like to learn more? View Dr. Ruscios additional resources


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