The link between thyroid disorders and depression has long been established. This link has been recognized for over 200 years by medical practitioners. Disturbances in thyroid functioning may affect an individual’s mental condition leaving him or her with psychological disorders, depression being the most significant.
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Research says that certain thyroid conditions such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can cause depression. Studies have found out that 12 percent of the American population suffers from thyroid conditions in their lifetime. Let’s take a look at these thyroid conditions and see how they are linked to depression.
Hyperthyroidism is a thyroid condition that is characterized by an overactive thyroid. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid is doing more than it is fashioned to do. Once an individual’s thyroid starts producing more hormones than it is supposed to produce at a given space of time, it is termed overactive. Research says that 69 percent of people living with hyperthyroidism are also suffering from depression. This research further explains that hyperthyroidism is more associated with psychological disorders and bipolar depression.
Some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism which are common with that of depression include;
- Mood swings
- Increased heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
An individual suffering from hypothyroidism is said to have an underactive or sluggish thyroid. Hypothyroidism is specifically linked to depression. The body is made so that each prompt for action needs an immediate response for optimum functioning. Imagine your body calls for hormones for the day to day regulation of the body’s metabolism and discovers that the thyroid gland is slow to respond; its functions will be abnormal, and energy levels will drop. This thyroid condition is characterized by the deficiency of thyroid hormones in an individual’s central nervous system. This is because enough thyroid hormones are not being secreted. Hypothyroidism might initiate the following symptoms;
- Memory loss
- Weight gain
- Difficulty in information processing
These symptoms have more in common with clinical depression, so underlying thyroid conditions in a mood disorder patient can easily be missed. Since these symptoms are related to depression, misdiagnosis occurs as some doctors might attribute these symptoms to a mental health condition.
Thyroid treatment options and depression
Most thyroid medications are known to cause depression in an individual with a thyroid condition. Such medications include thyroid hormone supplements.
Thyroid hormone replacement is a treatment option that involves replacing the thyroid. This treatment option aims to bring back normalcy to thyroid secretion in your body, but it also interferes with depression medications.
On the other hand, your thyroid condition might be an adverse effect of your depression medications. Many medications can cause your thyroid gland to be overactive or underactive, but Lithium is the most popular one. Lithium is a known treatment for bipolar depression, which can cause hyperthyroidism.
Also, women are more likely to develop thyroid conditions and depression than men. This is due to their biological make-up. Women are vulnerable to hormone-induced depression due to natural factors like menstruation, which causes the fluctuations of estrogen levels. So, when these episodes of depression occur, they take depression medications that can lead to overactive and underactive thyroid functioning.
Having symptoms of depression can be a tell-tale sign of an underlying thyroid condition or not. Even though you have undergone TSH levels tests, the test results can be inaccurate. Therefore to rule out the inaccuracy, you should have more than one test done in different labs.
So, suppose you discover you have been having depression symptoms. In that case, you can suggest the possibility of a thyroid condition to your doctor to enable him to factor in a TSH levels test on his report.
Most medical practitioners seek the aid of rabbit monoclonal antibody production service when treating thyroid conditions to help their patient replace worn out antibodies while recovering from their conditions