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How Does Thyroid Affect Mental Health

Hyperthyroidism And Mood Disorders

Chicago Thyroid Doctor Answers – Can Low Thyroid Affect Mental Health?

In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. This can have a number of causes, with one common one being a condition called Graveâs disease. This is where the thyroid gland becomes enlarged, leading to an overproduction of thyroid hormone. Another common cause of hyperthyroidism is a benign or malignant tumor.

When too much thyroid hormone is present, the body goes into overdrive. The bodyâs metabolism increases significantly, leading to symptoms such as excess weight loss, sweating, heat sensitivity, rapid heartbeat, heart palpitations, and diarrhea.

In addition, mood and mental health can become affected. People with hyperthyroidism are often affected by a symptom called dysphoria, which might take the form of anxiety, irritability, depression, or restlessness of mood.

Issues That Can Affect The Thyroid Gland Include:

1. Hypothyroidism, or insufficient secretion of the thyroid hormone

2. Hyperthyroidism, or over-secretion of thyroid hormones

3. Thyroid cancer

4. Goiter

Of these, thyroid imbalance issues , are most common, and affect mostly women.

A thyroid imbalance can cause emotional lows similar to that of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Therefore, any diagnosis of a mental illness would first need to be ruled out for thyroid issues.

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How are thyroid issues and mental health connected?

1. Persons with hypothyroidism have symptoms similar to that of depression – feeling low, tired, difficulty in concentration and making decisions, loss of appetite and weight gain. Individuals with hyperthyroidism experience symptoms similar to those of anxiety, such as high blood pressure and high heart rate.

2. Thyroid imbalance can also cause physical changes in a womans body – weight gain, excess facial hair or protruding eyes, which can then lead to body image issues.

If you have chronic hyperthyroidism, you may experience

  • Dysphoria

  • Anxiety

If you have hypothyroidism, you may experience:

  • Feeling low and sad

  • Lack of interest in activities

  • Feeling sluggish, lethargic

Experts suggest that any psychiatric treatment should be done either after thyroid issues are treated or simultaneously with thyroid replacement.

Coping with the condition: Self-care

Thyroid Problems And Dementia Risk

Several researchers have questioned whether hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism increases the risk for dementia to develop. Research on this question includes the following:

In short, while the research doesn’t all agree, several studies indicate that major cognitive problems are not likely to develop with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. They also conclude that minor cognitive problems associated with thyroid functioning are often temporary.

Thus, if major cognitive decline is present, the physician should conduct a comprehensive assessment to determine what other medical conditions may be affecting your functioning.

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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.

Hypothyroidism And Psychiatric Issues

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Hypothyroidism is caused by an underperforming thyroid gland. The problemprogresses very slowly at first and may, therefore, have been in existence for along time, before detection. In fact, the psychiatric problems that stem fromthis disorder may be the reason as to why the dysfunction is diagnosed inthe first place.

Misdiagnosis: Because hypothyroidism is sometimes hard to detect andoftentimes overlooked, many sufferers have been misdiagnosed with psychosisand forced to undergo unnecessary treatment.

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Thyroid Treatment Can Help

Fortunately, there is an effective treatment available for those with thyroid problems. The thyroid hormone levels can be adjusted through the use of oral medications, radioactive iodine, and/or surgeries.

So, can this treatment help people with thyroid disorders who are experiencing cognitive problems? Although there is some question of the effectiveness of treatment with significantly older adults, most research shows that cognitive functioning improves when thyroid disorders are treated.

In fact, the good news, according to the Rancho Bernardo study, is that people who’ve been treated with supplemental thyroid therapy show no decline in cognitive functioning.

How Does The Thyroid Impact Mental Health

Thyroid disease and dysfunction can affect an individuals mood and mental health, in general. Usually, the more severe the hyperthyroidism, the more severe the changes in mood. When suffering from hyperthyroidism, one may experience paranoia, anxiety, or irritability. If suffering from an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, one commonly experiences fatigue or depression.

Many studies from around the world have shown links between hypothyroidism and depression. However, other studies have come back inconclusive, have produced mixed results in larger pools of people, or have shown no relationship between TSH and depression. Recent efforts have been made to determine whether there is a direct correlation between thyroid dysfunction and depression. In 2019, a comprehensive meta-analysis and systematic review was published in the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology. Researchers reviewed data from 21 different studies on subclinical hypothyroidism and depression, with 103,375 subjects across 7 of these studies being pooled to examine the risk of depression. The analysis showed a positive link between subclinical hypothyroidism and a risk of depression, especially in patients 50 years and older. These results indicate that physicians should take notice of depressive symptoms in patients with thyroid disease or dysfunction.

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Additional Methods For Management Of Depressive Symptoms

There are other strategies for managing depressive symptoms aside from antidepressants. For example, your doctor may recommend lifestyle modifications and therapy to help support your mental health.

Balance your blood sugar

Blood sugar swings significantly impact our emotions. Eat more frequent meals to avoid the ups and downs, and consider increasing your healthy fats while limiting your carbohydrates.

Cut the stimulants

Stimulants like caffeine or alcohol can affect our mood. For some, a genetic variation of the adenosine receptor influences how we react to caffeine. Caffeine also forces the liver to make more glucose, which, as mentioned above, affects our blood sugar balance. Try a cup of hot lemon water or golden milk instead.

Supplement with selenium

Research suggests that selenium intake may elevate mood and decrease anxiety. More selenium in your diet may help lower TPO antibodies and reduce stress, depression, and tiredness. Seafood, brazil nuts, and organ meats are the best food sources of selenium.

Try relaxation techniques

Stress and anxiety cause your cortisol levels to shoot up, which triggers the fight-or-flight response. Find a practice that helps you to calm your central nervous system each day. Try yoga, deep breathing, massage, or a warm bath.

How Does Surgery Address The Physical And Mental Health Effects Of Parathyroid Disease

Greenville SC Thyroid Doctor Answers – Can Low Thyroid Affect Mental Health?

Aminimally invasive parathyroidectomy is available that allows patients to treat the physical and mental health effects of HPT at the same time. The surgery involves the careful removal of any malfunctioning parathyroid glands and has a lower risk of a largeparathyroid surgery scar in comparison to other surgical options. Plus, a MIP has a high cure rate, particularly when it is performed by a parathyroid surgery expert like Dr. Babak Larian of the CENTER for Advanced Parathyroid Surgery.

Dr. Larian is committed to helping his patients achieve the full results of parathyroidectomy surgery. He works closely with a patient to identify the physical and mental health effects of HPT and treat them appropriately.

If Dr. Larian believes a MIP is the best option to address the physical and mental health symptoms of HPT, he tailors a surgery plan to his patient. Dr. Larian then performs the procedure and monitors his patients results after the procedure. This ensures a MIP patient can achieve long-term relief from the physical and mental health effects of parathyroid surgery.

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Other Ways The Thyroid And Mental Health Are Connected

While the thyroid and thyroid hormones have been found to have a direct link to mental health concerns and accompanying symptoms, sometimes thyroid treatments, medications, and other conditions could further harm one’s mental health.

  • Medications – It’s important to note that medications and treatments for thyroid problems can potentially impact mental health. Steroids and beta-blockers have been linked to depression and to symptoms of depression including fatigue and mental fog. Conversely, medications used to help treat mood disorders and major depression can harm thyroid health. According to Medical News Today, serotonin reuptake inhibitors that are commonly used to treat depressive disorders, can reduce T4 hormone levels by 11.2%.
  • Bipolar Disorder – The symptoms of bipolar disorder are similar to both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, which can lead to misdiagnosis and further thyroid damage. Those that are bipolar experience depressive episodes that closely resemble the signs of an underactive thyroid, as well as manic episodes that can be compared to an overly active thyroid. Some studies have even found that those with hyperthyroidism are more likely to develop bipolar disorder. Additionally, bipolar patients have often been prescribed lithium, an antipsychotic, which can damage the thyroid and cause low thyroid hormone levels, according to the American Thyroid Association.

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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How Do I Get My Thyroid Back To Normal

5 Foods That Improve Thyroid FunctionRoasted seaweed.

Seaweed, such as kelp, nori, and wakame, are naturally rich in iodinea trace element needed for normal thyroid function.

Salted nuts.

Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts are excellent sources of selenium, which helps support healthy thyroid function.

Fresh eggs..

Diagnosis Of Graves Disease And Depression

Hormones

Typically, if you have symptoms that may be due to one or both of these conditions, youll start with your primary care provider. They can give you a diagnosis or a tentative one, rule out other physiological causes of your symptoms, prescribe medicine, and, if necessary, refer you to a specialist.

For Graves disease, the specialist would be an endocrinologist . For depression, it would be a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist.

To diagnose Graves disease, doctors rely on:

  • Symptoms: Unintended weight loss, heart palpitations, insomnia, thinning hair, dizziness, and high blood pressure are key symptoms.
  • Physical exam: Goiter and over-responsive reflexes are common.
  • Increased sweating
  • Swelling in the front of your throat

Mental disorders like depression are diagnosed with the DSM-5. Thats the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

The diagnostic criteria for depression are based on symptoms. You must have feelings of sadness, poor mood, and loss of interest in your usual activities for at least two weeks.

Additionally, you must also have at least five other symptoms from this list that cause significant distress or impairment:

It may be difficult to diagnose depression if you also have untreated Graves disease. You and your doctor may not recognize that youre depressed until depression symptoms persist despite thyroid treatment.

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Be Sure To Have Your Hormone Levels Regularly Checked And Take Your Medication As Prescribed

If you already have a diagnosed endocrine disorder, you can help to prevent psychological issues by always taking medication as prescribed.

Dr. Celan says youll want to keep track of new and worsening changes in mood, sleep, enjoyment, energy, concentration, and appetite, as they may be a sign of the endocrine disorder changing and needing subsequent medication tweaking. Youll want to be open and honest with your doctors about when symptoms began, the context in which they exist, and what those symptoms look like.

On the other hand, Dr. Celan says, If you do not have an endocrine disorder diagnosed, when getting assessed for a new psychological problem, check if your doctor will also be looking at your hormone levels to assess for possible endocrine causes.

Treating Depression With A Thyroid Condition

Most people with hypothyroidism and depression will see an improvement in their mood with thyroid hormone replacement medication. However, the amount of time it takes to see changes in your symptoms is based on the individual and can take weeks to months. Older adults who seek hypothyroidism treatment can expect it to take longer to see results, as thyroid medication is often titrated slowly in this population to avoid putting any strain on the heart.

Whether you have a thyroid condition or not, most people need to regularly monitor their thyroid function when taking antidepressants. However, if you have a thyroid condition, you will need to pay extra care to manage your thyroid.

Likely, your doctor will instruct you to keep a close eye on your symptoms. If you experience more thyroid symptoms after starting an antidepressant, it may indicate your medication is affecting your thyroid. You will also need regular blood tests when you titrate your antidepressant dose to verify that your thyroid function is not affected. Sometimes, your thyroid medication may need to be adjusted to counter the effects of your antidepressant.

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The Association Between Thyroid Dysfunction And Rcbd

Comparison of fast serum levels of FT3, FT4, and TSH between RC and NRC

We first compared the fast serum levels of FT3, FT4, and TSH between RC and NRC in all the participants. As Table demonstrated, RC did not differ significantly from NRC in the serum levels of FT3, FT4 and TSH. However, the variances of FT3, FT4 and TSH in RC were significantly larger than those in NRC . Then, we did the same comparison after excluding patients with comorbidity of thyroid diseases. It came out that only the variance of FT4 was significantly different between RC and NRC . However, if the above-mentioned comparison was done in female and male participants respectively, the difference in the variance of FT4 between RC and NRC only existed in female participants . Finally, the same comparison was performed again after excluding patients with comorbidity of thyroid diseases or under psychopharmaceutical treatment within 3months prior to recruitment. The results showed that both the mean and the variance of FT3, FT4 and TSH were not significantly different between RC and NRC .

Table 2 Comparison of fast serum levels of FT3, FT4, and TSH between RC and NRC

The prevalence of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism in BD

Fig. 1

The association between hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism between RCBD

Reduce Your Inflammation Levels

Hypothyroidism And Mental Health Issues

Dr. Kelly says that anti-inflammatory diets and nutritional therapies have also been effective when it comes to addressing inflammation that might lead to depressive or anxious mood issues.

Studies have also shown that stress-induced inflammation can be addressed by stress reduction techniques such as breathing exercises and meditation, she says. These are all conservative, safe, and effective approaches to improve depression and anxiety in those with endocrine disorders.

In the end, the mind and body are interconnected. Rather than thinking of them as separate, which theyre not, its smart to think of them as one machine with many moving parts. For this reason, be sure to advocate for yourself with your healthcare providers and ask for a systemic examination of your issues.

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Will A Patient Experience Depression After Parathyroid Surgery

Patients may be concerned about the parathyroid and depression, parathyroid and anxiety, and similar topics associated with parathyroid surgery. Dr. Larian answers questions about these topics and many others, so a patient knows what to expect in the days and weeks following a parathyroidectomy.

Dr. Larian also offers post-surgery instructions to help a patient realize the full benefits of parathyroid surgery. He remains accessible to patients after parathyroidectomy surgery as well. If a patient is worried about depression after parathyroid surgery or has any other post-treatment concerns, let Dr. Larian know, and he can offer assistance.

Psychiatric Illness Hormones And The Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland has a significant effect on the mental health of every humanbeing. There seems to be an increasing correlation between thyroid dysfunctionsand the mental stability of the sufferer. It is therefore imperative that youunderstand the impact that your thyroid has in psychiatric illnesses. Yourmental problems may have a very treatable source. Either an overactive thyroidgland or an underperforming gland can cause mental problems related to thethyroid. The symptoms vary for each problem and each individual. You need tobe able to differentiate the possible sources.

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