Psychiatric, psychological & emotional aspects of thyroid disease

But the problem with this scenario is that your depression or
anxiety or other mental health problem is not a unique and
unrelated illness. It’s most likely due to having a low free T3, the
active thyroid hormone, and/or adrenal insufficiency. And this
is especially common for patients treated with Synthroid,
Levoxyl, Eltoxine, Levothyroxine and other T4-only
medications.

And this problem is not limited to depression. Low thyroid
hormones, and the common occurrence of sluggish, poorly
functioning adrenals, can play a role in a variety of emotional
and behavioral symptoms and disturbances, including anxiety,
excessive fear, mood swings like bi-polar, rage, irritability,
paranoid schizophrenia, confusion, dementia,
obsessive/compulsive disorders, and mental aberrations.

So if your physician or psychiatrist failed to check your thyroid
function with the correct lab tests (free T3 and free T4, plus
antibodies), and your adrenal function with a 24 hour adrenal
saliva test, and instead prescribed his or her favorite band-aid
psychotrophic medication, 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 effects…besides the cost.

The mother of the creator of this site 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 (and we now know due to the thyroxine
treatment), she relinquished all control of her health to a doctor
who gave her electric shock therapy–a treatment which only
slightly lessened her chronic depression and dulled her memory
and intelligence for the rest of her life.

Dr. Ridha Arem, in his book, “The Thyroid Solution: A Mind
Body Program for Beating Depression and Regaining Your
Emotional and Physical Health”, states:
Scientists now consider thyroid hormone one of the major
“players” in brain chemistry disorders. And as with any brain
chemical disorder, until treated correctly, thyroid hormone
imbalance has serious effects on the patient’s emotions and
behavior.

Thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4, as the storage hormone) and
triiodothyronine (T3, as the converted and direct active
hormone) not only play a part in the health of your metabolic
endocrine, nervous and immune system, they in turn have an
important role in the health and optimal functioning of your
brain, including your cognitive function, mood, ability to
concentrate, memory, attention span, and emotions. On her
website, Christiane Northrup, MD states that T3 “is actually a
bona fide neurotransmitter that regulates the action of
serotonin, norepinephrine, and GABA (gamma aminobutyric
acid), an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is important for
quelling anxiety.” She also states that “If you don’t have enough
T3, or if its action is blocked, an entire cascade of
neurotransmitter abnormalities may ensue and can lead to
mood and energy changes, including depression.”

Dr. Barry Durant-Peatfield, in his book Your Thyroid and How to
Keep It Healthy, states
“Brain cells have more T3 receptors than any other tissues,
which means that a proper uptake of thyroid hormone is
essential for the brain cells to work properly.”

He feels that up to one-half of depression is due to unrecognized
hypothyroidism. And this figure could be higher when you
consider the high amount of thyroid patients who are suffering
from depression while on the inferior treatment of T4-only.

A must-read article by Heinrich MD and Grahm MD,
titled Hypothyroidism Presented as Psychosis: Mxedema
Madness Revisited (Primary Care Companion, 2003),
excellently outlines the relationship between thyroid disease
and psychiatric and psychologic manifestations:
Hypothyroidism Presenting as Psychosis: Myxedema Madness Revisited

Low cortisol can be an additional problem

In addition to low T3 levels causing psychiatric and
psychological disorders, low cortisol levels can be an additional
culprit—even when you feel you are adequately treated for your
thyroid. Low cortisol results in cell receptors failing to
adequately receive thyroid hormones from the blood, and can
explain certain emotional and behavioral symptoms even when
a patient is on thyroid meds, such as the need to avoid leaving
one’s house, seeking peace and quiet, unable to tolerate stress,
low tolerance to loud noises, rage, emotional ups and downs
similar to bi-polar, panic, obsessive compulsive tendencies,
hyper sensitive to the comments of others, phobias, delusions,
suicidal ideation….and more.

What’s the solution?

If you recognize any of the mental health issues mentioned
above–or even have friends or family members who have been
trying to point these out to you—find a doctor who will test your
free T3, plus antibodies. If you find your free T3 below midrange,
or if you have an autoimmune attack going on against
your thyroid (which will make labs useless since you vascillate
between hypo and hyper), you need to discuss the addition of
Cytomel (synthetic T3) to your current thyroxine medication.
There is a growing body of doctors and researchers who are
using T3 as an adjunct to anti-depressive therapy, since
improving your T3 levels can raise brain levels of the
neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine to the optimal
level they need to be.

Even better, according the experience of many, is switching to
desiccated thyroid, which gives you the entire complement your
own thyroid would be giving you—T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin.
There are numerous testimonies of patients ridding themselves
of chronic depression and other emotional problems when they
dosed high enough with desiccated thyroid to put their free T3
towards the top of the range.

If you find that your free T3 is high or above range, yet you
continue to have mental health issues, the missing piece in your
puzzle may be your adrenals. Click HERE for adrenal information.

See original article HERE.

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