Hypothyroidism and the link to Depression

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August 4, 2012 by dontbringlulubook

Hypothyroidism and depression are two very different conditions that carry two different sets of symptoms but may be sometimes linked. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland, located at the base of the neck, is not producing enough thyroid hormone. This means when there is not enough thyroid hormone being secreted by the thyroid gland every cell, organ and tissue type in the body is somehow effected. When it comes to hypothyroidism and depression, it is often a chicken or egg situation where the hypothyroidism may be causing the depression. However, in some cases, depression occurs in a person who has hypothyroidism and the depression is independent of the condition.

Hypothyroidism and the link to depression

Hypothyroidism and the link to depression

People with depression can be treated with antidepressants but without blood testing to check thyroid hormone level.

This is a mistake often made. Hypothyroidism causes symptoms such as fatigue, problems with concentration, excessive sleepiness or lethargy. These symptoms mimic depression, or may lead to depression with the added feelings of hopelessness and sadness that accompany depression. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism are sensitivity to cold, tingling in the fingers, and slower amount of circulation of blood around the body and mild bowel problems.

You may also gain some weight and suffer from joint pains and other non specific aches and pains.

In those people who have depression separate and apart from the hypothyroidism, studies have shown that the addition of thyroid hormone replacement increases the efficacy of antidepressants being taken, thus helping to relieve the depression. This is especially true for people who are taking tricyclic antidepressants, but it is thought that people who are taking SSRI’s, such as Prozac and Zoloft, will also reap a large benefit once the underlying hypothyroidism is treated.


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