Mental Disorder or Undiagnosed Hypothyroidism?

Mental Illness Or Thyroid Disease?

I stopped breathing momentarily when I received a message from one of my blog readers…trying to think back to all my years of work with children and adults with various forms of mental disorder. Is it possible that some people suffering from mental disorder are in fact undiagnosed or under-treated hypothyroidism sufferers? This reader has left me thinking over all I have learned about mental disorders and all the cases of children and adults I have worked with over the past 20 years. She has turned my perspective on mental health literally upside down.

Dear Dana,

I found your blog Hypothyroid Mom and feel a need to contact you directly. I was an energetic successful person and in one year I fell down and literally broke. I was put in a mental health ward because I went days without sleeping, felt so tired I couldn’t function and found myself delusional and couldn’t stop the words running through my head. I was diagnosed bipolar and drugged up with medication. I saw the line of bipolar patients waiting every morning in the psych ward for electric shock therapy. The only thing that saved me from electric shock was my mother yelling NO.

For four years I was drugged up so bad that my mind wasn’t right. I told the psychiatrists and doctors that something wasn’t right with me. From 110 pounds my weight went up to 245. I was so tired, suffered pains from fibromyalgia. My heart rate was pounding at 155 and my blood pressure was through the roof. They just kept telling me I was bipolar and that I was a hypochondriac.

Finally after 4 years of bipolar medications to the max, a close family member was diagnosed with hypothyroidism so my doctor tested me too. I have a family history of thyroid disease. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I’ve suffered so many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism you list on your blog for so many years.

Every single time I attend a bipolar support group I ask everyone if they are hypothyroid and every time half the people raise their hand and the other half have no clue what it is and they don’t know if they have been tested.

Jana

This reader’s message shook me to my core. I sat frozen in front of my computer.

Perhaps I need to step back and tell you a little bit about my educational and career background, to help you understand why this reader’s message has touched me so deeply. Why I feel guilty for having missed this critical piece to the mental health puzzle in my career.

At the start of my undergraduate science degree in Canada in the late 1980s, I was fortunate to take a course with a professor who was passionate about neurobiology. The science of the brain was intriguing to me. I graduated with my Honors Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience. When I then graduated with my teaching degree to teach science at the high school level, a specialization in Special Education was a perfect fit with my educational background.

The year I graduated with my teaching degree, I was hired as a high school science teacher in a specialized school for students considered “unfit” for mainstream schools. Basically this meant children who were expelled from regular high schools, children considered “violent”, children struggling academically. Really it was a school where a good portion of the students, primarily males, were in and out of the juvenile justice system. My year at this school opened my eyes to a world I didn’t know existed. I bonded with these children. I cared about them. They told me their life stories. I had many students who were great people, truly wonderful caring people that found themselves on this path in and out of jail.

I was interviewed on Prisonworld Radio Hour about my experience as a teacher for these troubled children in and out of the juvenile justice system. We discussed the issues of race, gang violence and an educational system that is failing these children. Since receiving this message from my blog reader, I’ve thought back on that interview and wonder if I missed a critical piece to the puzzle. A great majority of my students were labeled with learning disabilities and various mental health issues including depression, anxiety, suicidal, bipolar, ADHD, conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder. No matter where I worked in my teaching career, from this special school for troubled kids to a gifted high school for academically talented children, I inevitably found children struggling with mental health issues.

Given the need of every cell of our body including the brain for thyroid hormones, is it possible that some of these children had undiagnosed thyroid disease? Hmmm….

In 2000 I moved to NYC for my graduate studies. I attended classes with Ivy-League professors well-renowned for their research contribution in the world of psychology and counseling. As a career counselor and trainer in New York City, I’ve worked for over 10 years with people who have lost their jobs or who are unsatisfied with their career progression. You can’t imagine the number of people that I have worked with suffering from depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Job loss and career dissatisfaction are powerful triggers for brain health issues.

According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and The American Thyroid Association, iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism on a worldwide basis. In areas of iodine sufficiency, such as the United States, the most common cause of hypothyroidism is the thyroid autoimmune condition Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.1 With Hashimoto’s, our immune system creates thyroid antibodies to attack our own thyroid gland as if it is the enemy. Check out my post Hashimoto’s: Your Body Is Not Supposed To Destroy Itself Right? Once our immune system begins destroying our own thyroid gland, this attack can then spread to other parts of the body. Every part of the body becomes fair game for attack…why not the brain!

During my graduate studies, I was team leader for a prestigious professor’s research team. As a team we spent months of research to prepare just one research paper. I know very well the amount of time it took to create a published study. While one study alone is not enough to peak my interest, when I find multiple research papers all with a common finding my interest is caught. For multiple research teams to find similar findings, the findings deserve serious attention. This is the case with hypothyroidism and mental disorders.

Hashimoto’s disease often comes with ups and downs in TSH like a wild roller coaster ride, with people suffering swings between symptoms of hyperthyroidism (hyperactivity, irritability, inability to sleep) and hypothyroidism (fatigue, depression). These swings back and forth, don’t they sound very similar to the swings in Bipolar Disorder (manic depression)? Hmm…

Research – Hypothyroidism & Mental Disorders

A 2002 study entitled “High Rate of Autoimmune Thyroiditis in Bipolar Disorder: Lack of Association with Lithium Exposure” found that Hashimoto’s thyroid antibodies were highly prevalent in a sample of outpatients with bipolar disorder as compared to a control group.2

What complicates studies with bipolar disorder is that patients with bipolar disorder are often treated with the drug Lithium. Thyroid problems are a common side effect of this drug. Lithium can cause hypothyroidism, goiters (enlarged thyroid), and autoimmune thyroiditis. So what came first, the hypothyroidism or the lithium treatment. The fact that so many bipolar patients on lithium treatment and so many not on lithium treatment are found to have Hashimoto’s thyroid antibodies is cause for real concern.

An interesting study of bipolar twins versus healthy control twins showed that autoimmune thyroiditis is related not only to bipolar disorder itself but also to the genetic vulnerability to develop the disorder.3

A 2004 study found a link between thyroid autoimmunity, specifically the presence of thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPO Ab+), with anxiety and mood disorders in the community.4

A 2005 study found that subjects with Hashimoto’s disease displayed high frequencies of lifetime Depressive Episodes, Generalized Anxiety Disorders, Social Phobia, and Primary Sleep Disorders.5

A study entitled “TSH concentration within the normal range is associated with cognitive function and ADHD symptoms in healthy preschoolers” reported:6

Despite being within the normal range, high TSH concentrations are associated with a lower cognitive function and high TSH and low Free T4 with ADHD symptoms in healthy preschoolers. Statistically significant differences were observed in the highest quartiles of TSH, suggesting a need for re-evaluation of the upper limit of the normal TSH range.

The Thyroid Movement

Actress and model Gena Lee Nolin, who starred on the popular series “Baywatch”, has gone public with her struggle with Hashimoto’s disease and hypothyroidism. She is the first internationally-known celebrity to tackle worldwide thyroid awareness as a personal mission. She has a devoted following on Twitter and Facebook. The following post was recently included on her Thyroid Sexy Facebook fan page. When I read this post, I knew the time had come to rise up and help make change. Thank you Gena for all you are doing for us.

<<Linda>> Today I am angry. I know someone who signed themselves into a psych ward due to under-treated thyroid disease and other hormonal imbalances. This person was feeling suicidal and hopeless, has been to numerous clueless doctors from an HMO, and can not afford out of pocket treatment. Of course, in the psych ward, their treatment consists of antidepressants and therapy. It’s NOT going to work.

We have to change this. We HAVE to change this.

Never once in my educational training in education or counseling did I ever hear about the dangers of thyroid disease and brain health. Never once in these 20 years as a teacher and career counselor, have I ever considered thyroid disease as a possible cause for a person’s mental disorder. Never once…until NOW.

“When you know better you do better.”

-Maya Angelou

Thanks to people like Gena Lee Nolin a Thyroid Movement is happening. I can feel it deep within me. With every new follower on Twitter @HypothyroidMom, and every new “Like” on the Hypothyroid Mom’s Facebook page, and every comment from readers around the world here on this blog, I am convinced that a thyroid revolution has begun!

This is a call out to all my readers suffering from mental health issues to please be sure your thyroid has been checked properly. It is not enough to test for TSH and T4. A full thyroid panel should at least include TSH, Total T4, Free T4, Total T3, Free T3, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies. Please read my post Top 5 Reasons Doctors Fail To Diagnose Hypthyroidism.

Thyroid dysfunction can be inherited. To all my hypothyroid readers, please watch your children carefully. I am worried for our children. They may inherit thyroid dysfunction from us. I am devoted to building awareness for us, and I am compelled to do it for our children. If your child is suffering from learning disabilities, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, suicidal thoughts, conduct disorders or other mental health disorders, please please please have their thyroid properly tested. Please.

To all the teachers, special education teachers, school directors, child care workers, school counselors, school administrators, please please, if you are working with a child suffering from brain health issues, please recommend a child for thyroid testing.

To all the police officers, truant officers, juvenile justice system workers, lawyers, judges, please include proper thyroid testing for those with mental health issues.

To the psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, social workers, mental health ward workers, please recommend proper thyroid testing and be your patient’s advocate with their doctor.

To researchers in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, counseling, education and neuroscience, please take a look at the number of studies linking hypothyroidism especially Hashimoto’s to mental health. There are multiple studies that warrant further attention and additional study.

To all doctors, pediatricians, ER staff, nurses, endocrinologists, psychiatric hospital staff, please read the large body of scientific research linking thyroid dysfunction and mental health. Please take a close look at this research and analyze the flaws in the current mainstream medical model for thyroid disorder and make change. Please.

To people in the media, please help us. We are an unrecognized and overlooked group in mainstream medicine. The Thyroid Federation International estimates there are up to 300 million people worldwide with thyroid dysfunction, yet over half are unaware of their condition.7 Please help us build awareness. Please help us make change.

Thank you to Jenny and Rufus Triplett for including me on Prisonworld Radio Hour to discuss my experience as a former high school teacher for troubled children in the juvenile justice system.

References:

  1. ATA/AACE. Clinical Practice Guidelines for Hypothyroidism in Adults: Cosponsored by The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and The American Thyroid Association. Endocr Pract. 2012;18(No.6):989-1028
  2. Kupka, R.W., Nolen, W.A., Post, R.M., McElroy, S.L., Altshuler, L.L., Denicoff, K.D., Frye, M.A., Keck, P.E. Jr, Leverich, G.S., Rush, A.J., Suppes, T., Pollio, C., Drexhage, H.A. High Rate of Autoimmune Thyroiditis in Bipolar Disorder: Lack of Association With Lithium Exposure. Biological Psychiatry 2002 Feb 15;51(4):305-11
  3. Vonk, R., Van Der Schot, A.C., Kahn, R.S., Nolen, W.A., Drexhage, H.A. Is autoimmune thyroiditis part of the genetic vulnerability (or an endophenotype) for bipolar disorder? Biol Psychiatry 2007 Jul 15;62(2):135-40
  4. Carta, M.G., Loviselli, A., Hardoy, M.C., Massa, S., Cadeddu, M., Sardu, C., Carpiniello, B., Dell’Osso, L., Mariotti, S. The Link Between Thyroid Autoimmunity (Antithyroid Peroxidase Autoantibodies) with Anxiety and Mood Disorders in the Community: A Field of Interest for Public Health in the Future. BMC Psychiatry 2004 Aug 18;4:25
  5. Carta, M.G., Hardoy, M.C., Carpiniello, B., Murru, A., Marci, A.R., Carbone, F., Deiana, L., Cadeddu, M. Mariotti, S. A case control study on psychiatric disorders in Hashimoto disease and euthyroid goitre; not only depressive but also anxiety disorders are associated with thyroid autoimmunity. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health 2005 Nov 10;1:23
  6. Alvarez-Pedrerol, M. Ribas-Fito, N., Torrent, M., Julvez, J., Ferrer, C., Sunyer, J. TSH concentration within the normal range is associated with cognitive function and ADHD symptoms in healthy preschoolers. Clinical Endocrinology 2007;66(6):890-898
  7. Thyroid Federation International. International Thyroid Awareness Week. Retrieved from: http://www.thyroidweek.com/en/be-thyroid-aware.html

Take Back Your Thyroid Health! Sign up and never miss a post - it's FREE


About Dana Trentini

Who knew that little butterfly-shaped thyroid gland at the base of my neck could affect my life so completely? I founded Hypothyroid Mom in memory of the unborn baby I lost to hypothyroidism. Winner of two 2014 WEGO Health Activist Awards: Health Activist Hero & Best In Show Twitter. *Hypothyroid Mom includes Affiliate links. Connect with me on Google+

Comments

  1. Wow. I agree. Never thought about that either. I have a Degree in Social Work & worked in a Private State Hospital where I noticed patients on many types of drugs to alleviate symptoms caused from all the different drugs that were supposed to alleviate symptoms of mental disorder. Adults & children.

    Additionally, I have a young family member I have watched in & out of treatments for bi-polar. Weight up & down.

    Can’t believe after my own struggle with Hashemitos I never saw a similarity.

    Thank you for opening my eyes.

    This is one of the most interesting blogs I have read in a long time.

    Goes to my #1 complaint about our healthcare system…the over use of prescription & OTC drugs. By druggin-up someone they can’t even tell what the real problem is.

    Sad.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Kathryn,

      Thank you for commenting. I had no idea either after 20 years of work with children and adults struggling with mental health issues, that thyroid dysfunction could be to blame. I had no idea. When this reader contacted me, the light bulb went off. Since receiving this reader’s message, I’ve dug through research on the link between thyroid disorders and mental health, and I am shocked! I feel guilt for not having figured it out before now.

      I am happy to hear from you. With your educational and work background, you too work with people suffering from brain health issues. So many of us do. If we can reach people working in these fields, my hope is that the light bulb will go off for them too and that we can make a difference.

      I am happy to hear from you Kathryn.

    • Hi, I am a 46 yo male with no prior mental health issues until June of last year when . my undiagnosed hypothyroidism made me not only sick but actually psychotic. It was the scariest thing I have been through in my life. I taken to the local hospital and treated like a crazy animal instead of being checked for hypothyroidism I was drugged with geodon and spent two months in a mental hospital.. It was there I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism . I am now taking armour thyroid and have a complete remission. I am on no psychiatric drugs and feel like a new person. Listen up people what happened to me can happen to anyone. All mental health patients should have a thyroid test. I will never get over how I was misdiagnosed and mistreated by Greenville memorial hospital. But each day I become stronger with my thyroid medication .

      • Dana Trentini says:

        Steve,

        After reading your message, I had to lower my head and sit still for a moment. I am sorry all that happened to you. I appreciate very much that you shared your story. I know that there will be readers who will read your comment and know they are not alone. You will give them hope and show them how important it is to have thyroid tested. I am so happy you are doing better. So great. May I use this comment of yours in a future article at Hypothyroid Mom without including your name? I know that it will help many readers. Happy to have you on my site. Welcome.

        • Oh goodness Steve,
          I am so sorry this happened to you. Dana, I am so thankful for all you do and for this blog. Mr. Steve, I feel psychotic much of the time and am hoping and praying I can get a correct diagnosis. If I do not I think a mental ward and a divorce will inevitably be in my near future. So many of the symptoms, 90+ I have had currently or recently.

          Thank you Dana.
          And thank you Steve for sharing.
          Glad to read you are doing good after what you experienced. Ms. Dana, please continue your work. Please tell us how to get the word out there for others to get tested and information to share.

          Sincerely,
          Holly O.

  2. Thank you Dana
    Now it begins and you have opened the door. I applaud you for opening this door.

    Sincerely,
    Jana

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Jana, You have literally turned my perspective on mental health upside down. Thank you for sharing your story on Hypothyroid Mom. Know that your story will help so many. There are people right now suffering who may find this post and know they are not alone. Thank you.

  3. JayAnne Paladino says:

    Thank you! I have known this for 10 years! What hell I went through before I was diagnosed, my thyroid test NEVER has been abnormal, always been in the ” normal range”. Doctors need to gauge by how a person feels and routinely do the antibodies test! They don’t though so for many years I thought I was going crazy. Also they need to ask routinely about postpartum depression? Recently found out the link between that and Hashimoto’s.! All new moms should be closer watched after birth and thyroid antibodies and thyroid tests need to be monitored better. I have had to fight everyday for my health and its not getting any easier! Doctors still don’t want to listen and they don’t want our input with our own research from the Internet. So aggravating! This a great article to run off and give to my GP. Thanks! My daughter is pregnant now and she was diagnosed with diabetes at 13 months and I’m sure the high antibodies before being diagnosed had something to do with her autoimmune attack on her pancreas as an infant had they made my diagnose within a timely time I wonder?? I know for sure I will be looking out for her this time!

    JayAnne

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hello JayAnne,

      I am happy to hear from you. Absolutely watch your daughter carefully especially during and after pregnancy. When I miscarried my baby unnecessarily to hypothyroidism at 12 months pregnancy, the Warrior Mom came out of me. I will never trust my doctors unquestioningly ever again. Watch your daughter. If your doctor or her doctor is not knowledgeable in thyroid dysfunction (unfortunately many mainstream doctors are not) it may be time to change doctors. I will be writing soon about finding a great thyroid doctor.

      Many of us have suffered an uphill battle for proper diagnosis and treatment. I will fight like a warrior to be sure my sons don’t face the same.

      Thank you for sharing your story. Best wishes to your daughter for a safe pregnancy.

      • Sorry, you said you miscarried at 12 months pregnancy? I’m so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. That must have been horrible. Please help me understand the connections to low thyroid and miscarriage. My company provides free information to postpartum moms experiencing mood and anxiety symptoms.

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Hi Cheryl, every part of the body including the brain requires thyroid hormone for proper functioning so hypothyroidism can come with mental health symptoms. The sex hormones and thyroid hormones are intricately connected so postpartum when sex hormones are fluctuating so do the thyroid hormones leaving hypothyroid women very vulnerable. Many of us, myself included, struggle postpartum. Postpartum depression is of particular concern. You should read this article I wrote on this topic:

          http://hypothyroidmom.com/the-truth-about-hypothyroidism-and-depression/

  4. Great post hypothyroid mom! I am definitely going to ask my doctor to run all these tests for me. FYI have you visited the website http://www.reversingchronicdisease.com?
    I bought the book that Patricia Stephens, author wrote on the link between ADHD, Fibromyalgia – she spends a lengthy section discussing the thyroid. FYI the “temporary” solution she gives the nod to is a tricyclic antidepressant and stimulants during the day. However she has discovered how using dietary supplements for those who can afford them may provide a healthier long term solution. I am on stimulants for ADHD and a tricylic at night. My pains are now gone and I can focus better during the day. I will not be surprised to learn that the problem starts with the thyroid – because SO MANY of the symptoms you mentioned two posts ago I suffer from. I will keep you informed.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Thank you very much Peter. Thank you for commenting. Fibromyalgia and ADHD are linked to hypothyroidism. Many people suffer from many conditions simultaneously. If you consider that every cell of the body requires thyroid hormone for proper functioning, thyroid dysfunction has the potential to result in many illnesses. What is sad is that thyroid dysfunction goes unrecognized and down graded in the medical community. Just a look at my post “300+ Hypothyroidism Symptoms…yes REALLY” gives you an idea of all the possible complications.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/300-hypothyroidism-symptoms-yes-really/

      Please be sure to have your thyroid properly tested. There is always the possibility that your ADHD and fibromyalgia are not related to thyroid dysfunction, however you should definitely get proper testing to be sure.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-5-reasons-doctors-fail-to-diagnose-hypothyroidism/

      Thank you for recommending the book “Reversing Chronic Disease”. I am a bookworm. I will be sure to read it. I always love book recommendations!

  5. Cynthia Mehall says:

    I have suffered with hypothyroidism for most of my life. I’ve also been in the mental hospital three times on suicide watch. I’ve lost jobs, relationships, and countless of opportunities to depression. I’m not sure if in my case the depression was related to the thyroid issue, as there is other mental health problems in the family. I do know that they can very much be linked, and would never ever poo-poo the idea that one cannot be related to the other. Please, keep up the fight, keep the faith.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Cynthia – I am very sorry to hear your story and I appreciate you sharing this on my blog. My hope is that my blog will be a place where people read about other hypothyroid sufferers’ struggles and know they are not alone. Thank you for commenting. Happy New Year. I hope 2013 is a great year for you!

  6. Patricia Malmendier says:

    Thank you! After years of struggling with miscarriages, infertility, and mental health issues, I am elated the world is finally acknowledging the connections between those issues and hypothyroidism. I pray with all my heart that going forward, we will have far more information & better managed treatment!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Patricia, I a so happy you found me at Hypothyroid Mom. I wrote this particular blog post in the hopes of finding women struggling with mental health issues to warn them to have their thyroid checked for it may be the underlying issue. I can only imagine the number of undiagnosed or insufficiently treated hypothyroid sufferers that are misdiagnosed with depression, bipolar or other mental health issues. The world knows so little about hypothyroidism. I hope to live to see the day that this changes for us.

  7. Hi I was sectioned under the Mental Health in the Uk. What a trauma. Two days later diagnosed with Bipolar1. !!!! Never had any mental issues in my life I was 48. The Physchatrist had only spent about 10 /15 mins and makes this earth shattering diagnosis!!!!!! I had presented myself at the local hospital seeking help. I had lost 3 stone , Tremors, litle or no sleep. I also had a racing heart. I had been having terrible nightmares always the same them came flashbacks I had what I believe are triggers and one of a smell ? It revealed its self as a heinous act of child sexual abuse on the night of my beloved fathers funeral. I was just ten. How could the mind block something like this for 37 years. Less than a week later I was also diagnosed with Graves Disease. It took me three years to get off all meds for two illnesses. In 2111 an NHS Physchatrist after seeing me since 2010.weened me off all meds and reported that I had been misdiagnosed, I was also seeing a therepasist privately who agreeded. An independent court approved Physchatrist who could not confirm bipolar. Too late it had ended my 28 year marriage I am now divorced. I have found out that they were quick to section me and diagnose me as I have a brother who has severe bipolar it is known as a family cluster. I have an ex he has not been able to face me since the day he walked out(other than court) and two much loved darling children now 11 and 14 years who think they have a mad mother. I am so ill now with my thyroid I have no life and such loss. I now also suspect I have had thyroid trouble since birth or childhood. I want this never ever to happen again. No solicitor I have so far approached will taker case.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Oh Lulu, after reading your post I had to pause for a moment to catch my breath. Your story is so unbelievably tragic. The symptoms you presented at the hospital that day were hyperthyroid symptoms from your Graves Disease and there you were put in a mental health ward diagnosed bipolar. I am so upset right now. I wrote this post to find people like you diagnosed with bipolar, depression and other mental health issues, to warn you that so little is known in the world about thyroid conditions. Too little and too much thyroid hormones has the power to alter our brains, yet I fear there are psychiatrists, psychologists, ER doctors, nurses, mental health ward workers that don’t have any clue. I hope to live to see the day that thyroid conditions gets the attention in the world that it needs. I hope. Best of luck to you Lulu. I am happy to have you at Hypothyroid Mom.

  8. Hi thanks for your reply. On forum thyroid uk a blog about a tragic story of a lady wither hyperthyroidism was diagnosed with a mental illness and through her self into the Irish Sea. After reading the coroner’s report that their is no connection between the two illnesses. I want justice for her and me. I am going to the press with my storey I can not let this tragic event happen again.

    I may need support with evidence, will you be willing to assist?

    lulu

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Lulu, I read the tragic story and was so upset by it. Absolutely if you need any research to support you I am happy to share with you what I have. I hope to see the day when thyroid awareness is worldwide and thyroid sufferers don’t fall through the cracks of mainstream medicine!

  9. Hi Hypothyroid mom. I wonder if i can get some advice from you.
    15 years ago i had symptoms of underactive thyroid but my TSH was sometimes out of the range sometimes not. T3 would be out but t4 normal. then other times all my results were normal. I finally found a doctor who treated me about 7 years ago based on symptoms only as the thyroflex machine and i must say i got better over time ..Had my beautiful son 3 1/2 years ago and all good. I got off the medication about a couple of years ago and was ok for a year. noticed symptoms coming back a year ago and went back on them. Got better again…In January this year i went on a cruise and got a bad bout of gastritis. i stopped the thyroid medication as i was getting overactive symptoms or so i thougtht.. Anyway i was dealing with gastritis pain too. i noticed towards end of feb I started getting extremely weak and tired but i had lost alot of weight as well due to gastritis .. Then i started getting anxiety like symptoms, heart palpitations, internal tremors , hand tremor at times, tired but wired and insomina , the most distressing of all is the severe depression all of a sudden.. I feel so distressed at feeling so down and feeling so emotionally strange and flat towards the light of my life my son and husband.. and everyone else. I have muscle weakness as well. I had my blood test and it showed TSH normal, FT3 normal and FT4 High.. Ultrasound shows nodules and thyroiditis. Antibody test normal. I am having another test this week, I am so scared because while i dont think its depression and my gut feeling is the thyroid.. I just hate crying all the time and feeling so sad plus the other symptoms too. 4 months ago i was soo happy and have no reason to be depressed. :(

    • Hi Dana,

      How are you? Ive written a few posts on here and you have always replied. I dont know if you can help me. As you know my thyroid labs came back normal but my nucelar scan showed Graves like image due tot he darkness, I had a biopsy but it showed no cancer .. I thought they would be able to detect if i had graves from the actual tissue as my nodules are very very small. Anyways finally a blood test came back very high for

      Anti Nuclear Antibodies ( ANA ) blood test .. Should be below <160 ..My result came back at 1280 .. I cried as finally something showed.
      I will see the endo soon as try and see what this all means. I know it is defintely an Autoimmune disease and it could be Grave's but further testing maybe needed. I'm hoping this expalins the mental issues such as depression,anxiety like symptoms plus the fibromyagia like pain that I suffer as well. I do have A Reverse T3 ratio of 12 ( so i know I am pooling) so technically it's also causing Hypo thyroid symptoms plus saliva test showed extremely low Cortisol results as well ( almost Addison like ) but blood was ok.

      Can all these issues cause severe emotional distress and depression.. Im feeling like finally I have a clue as to why im like this and being undiagnosed for over 8 months has only made it worse and caused me to have more fear and paranoia as to why i was feeling like ive lost interest and had no joy or love or zest for allt he things that matter to me.. Like my family and life itself ..

      • Dana Trentini says:

        Hi Carmen,

        There is a great deal of research connecting thyroid conditions including Graves and Hashimoto’s to mental health so absolutely this could be it. Good luck with your endo appointment. It would be a good idea to get a second medical opinion too. Best wishes. Let me know how it all turns out.

        http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

        • Hi Dana, I have had a shocking year with depression and emotional symptoms and physical symptoms as well. Even though one endo thinks I have Graves but normal levels he assumed my above symptoms could be coming from something else and suggested I see a psychologist. I haven’t done so yet. I have gone with my gut feeling and asked for a parathyroid hormone test and also an ultrasound. Someone pointed me in the right direction on what to ask for. Lo and behold I had a over range PTH test result and it said hyperparathyoidism … My ultrasound also suggests possible adenomas and/ or hyperplasia … I don’t know if you have any info on your blog with the above disease … I’m hoping I now have a reason as to why I feel dreadful. It was myself that pushed the Doctor as they didn’t want to do this for me as they thought it was psychological and yet I was right… Just wanted to let people know that not to give up.

          • Dana Trentini says:

            Hi Carmen, I’m so happy you pushed for further testing. I don’t know enough about hyperparathyroidism to say one way or another however it’s definitely worth investigating. Also be sure your testing for thyroid function includes Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies for Graves and Hashimoto’s, adrenals, full iron panel, food sensitivities especially gluten, sex hormones and nutrient deficiencies including D3, B12, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. The thyroid is a complex web and every aspect should be investigated. Also you should read a great new book by Dr. Datis Kharrazian “Why Isn’t My Brain Working?” Best wishes to you.

  10. Colleen Dinan says:

    Thank you for your helpful information. At 49, I was diagnosed with severe hypothyroidism. I had never been tested prior, and now understand that my mother was affected as well. She passed away at age 64 after a lifetime of depression. I believe I had issues since puberty. I can only be grateful for treatment now and look ahead to enjoy learning about what an amazing person I am and always was. I hope others can find the help that I have received and embrace this brand new life. I’ve never felt better.
    Best regards,
    Colleen

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Colleen, So wonderful to read your comment! I am happy you are doing well. I love hearing success stories. I too feel great despite my hypothyroidism. Your message is so important because there is light at the end of the tunnel!

  11. Thank you for this post and for the 300+ symptoms post! While I am not currently suffering from thyroid issues/hashimotos, I am suffering from another issue that is often linked (and which I haven’t seen mentioned, though I may have missed it)- lichen sclerosus. You touched on it when you mentioned sexual pain, but like the thyroid issues, it is under diagnosed and misdiagnosed all the time. Women get told they are injuring themselves or doing something wrong (diet, products, etc), so this post and the comments really touched me. Hearing about these people who are suffering but whose pain is being invalidated and who are being treated for symptoms rather than the cause is very disheartening. Keep up the great work shedding light on these sensitive, complex, and often misunderstood issues. If we all join in this fight together, eventually the health community will have to hear us.

  12. Wow! You are definitely onto something here, Dana! As a former Probation Officer who worked in the Criminal Justice System for a decade, I had never heard of a connection between mental health and thyroid disease. I’m still in the midst of my own personal struggle with thyroid disease and suspect I have been for quite some time but it’s pages like yours that have brought it to my attention. I’m now hopeful I will be on the road to recovery soon and I have people like you to thank for that! I appreciate all you do for all of us suffering with this horrible disease.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Tara,

      I truly believe when you know better you do better. So now we know the connection to thyroid conditions we’ll be sure to think about it when we are working with people with mental health symptoms. I hope by writing articles like this that I will reach people who have no idea about the connection. Best wishes to you on your way to good thyroid health. Happy to have you at Hypothyroid Mom!

  13. Dana,

    While I have a facebook page and website, trying to educate people about hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s as well, a little known fact among my readers is that I to was diagnosed with Bipolar when I first was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I was lucky to have a therapist who was open minded and suggested that I try Armour Thyroid. Once I was on Armour for a period of a month or so, all my Bipolar symptoms went away – ALL of them. I stopped seeing the therapist and psychiatrist. Forever. Of course, this was AFTER it had already caused problems at work, at home, and to my self esteem personally. Yes, this is another area that we could be helping to educate and change policy!!!! Thanks so much for posting this and I’ll be sharing it with my story for the first time!

  14. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism at 19, along with major depression. My daughter was diagnosed at 6!! Now at 9 she has anxiety disorder, and now ADD. We had to start medication for the anxiety, and I am digging in my heels to avoid ADD meds. I am FEARFUL about her future!! Everyone wants to prescribe a new “patch” and after I explain to them how this disease works, they agree her new issues are from the thyroid. But how to slow/stop this process?! I worry about what kind of future she will have, knowing how much she has already been affected…

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Amanda,

      Given the link between hypothyroidism with anxiety and ADHD, before starting more meds, why not find a doctor who really gets thyroid conditions to get her comprehensive testing to be sure her thyroid condition is properly treated to see if it makes a difference.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

      There are many potential triggers for Hashimoto’s that should be considered especially food intolerances (I have several readers who went gluten-free and their antibodies went to normal), nutrient deficiencies should be tested (ferritin, D3, B12, magnesium, zinc, selenium), bacterial/viral infections, heavy metal toxicity, poor gut health.

      There is a great book by Izabella Wentz all on lifestyle changes to make for Hashimoto’s.

      http://www.thyroidlifestyle.com

      • Thank you. Honestly I have only recently been aware of the gluten connection. I have NEVER had a Dr talk to me about diet, even several endocrinologists. My daughter is only 9, and seeing pediatric specialists at MUSC, so I thought they would be the most knowledgeable and up to date, since it is a teaching hospital. How wrong I was. I have contacted the only local Dr I have been told will treat outside the box, and he doesn’t take insurance. I just lost my job so I am not sure how that will go!

        I have had SO many medical issues that I have been told are not related, but I have always known they were. I just can’t sit back and let my daughters life start the same track as mine, especially at such a young age!!

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Amanda,

          I was personally shocked by how removing gluten from my diet improved my symptoms. I lost 10 pounds in 1 month. The reaction of my body was so fast. I am convinced that there is great truth to food intolerances not just gluten but I also wonder about dairy too. You should really read the book by Izabella Wentz on Hashimoto’s that I attached in my last comment. Also thyroid advocate Janie Bowthorpe from Stop The Thyroid Madness has a private online group for parents with children with hypothyroidism where you can get suggestions from them given they have children with hypothyroidism too. Worth a try.

          http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/nthchildren/

          • I will be getting that book, thank you!! Started today gluten free! Hubby is going to do it with us and see if he can get healthier, too! Thank you so much for this post, glad I stumbled across it!!

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Best wishes Amanda. Happy you stumbled across my article too.

          • We have been GF for a few months now. Slip ups every now and then (hard for a 9 yrs old to turn down the offer of a cupcake or cookie, ESO at school parties or grandmas :-/ but she has gotten much better!) And I am happy to say NO MORE daily tummy aches!! The nurse had to call and ask what we did bc she missed seeing her! She used to take Mira lax DAILY and now its about 2 times/month as needed!! Hoping to see improvement in focus soon, but this is HUGE!! We did start a low dose ADD med to help with school but I have not allowed them to increase it, and we all were in agreement to increase anxiety med but by the time the visit came, she was able to tell them she didn’t need more!! So glad to have something we can control that helps!! Thank you!!!!!

  15. Becky West says:

    Thank you for sharing this great post! I never comment on blogs. EVER! I happened to read this and thought I would just share some of our story. I have a daughter who is now 5. At age 3 she started slowly gaining weight, despite a good diet. She had zero energy. When I say zero, I mean she would sit for hours and play barbies and dollhouse. It was a struggle to get her to play at the park. Not only did she have these physical symptoms, she had a high level of anxiety~ the doctors dismissed it as a phase. She started preschool and this anxiety kept her from enjoying school. She would meltdown on the way home frequently. She was exhibiting many behavioral problems and had to be moved to a special education preschool after only a month and a half. In four months she had gained ten pounds. I was getting depressed because I felt helpless to do anything about it. Finally, at the age of four, I went to her “well” check armed with a food diary and an attitude of determination not to be dismissed and also not to be blamed for her diet or my parenting. The doctor agreed to send her to an endocrinologist even though thyroid issues in children are so “rare”. A few months after she turned four we discovered that her thyroid was profoundly under active. I don’t remember at the moment which level should be .05 or under…..T4? Hers was 334. We immediately started treatment. After several months her numbers come back to normal. Her energy increased and her weight stabilized. After all of this battle, the after effects are developmental delays in emotional, social, fine and gross motor skills. I wholeheartedly agree that the thyroid had some play in causing her delays. The endocrinologist is not in full agreement to that but believes it could be a “possibility” but that we will never know for sure if her thyroid had anything to do with it. Now, its just a wait and see process to see if she will catch up with her peers. It can be very frustrating dealing with doctors who are not willing to do even the simplest of tests. Parents and caregivers, if you suspect anything, please be persistent!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Becky,

      I’m so upset to hear what’s happened to your daughter. What a tragedy. I am so happy you went to her doctor armed with a food diary and an attitude of determination. I appreciate you sharing your story because other readers on my site will see it and be encouraged to also be advocates for themselves and their children. I write this website for the adults with hypothyroidism but really I hope to make change so that the next generation will not struggle as we’ve struggled. Learn all you can about this condition so that as your daughter grows up if she struggles again with her thyroid you will know what tests and treatments to consider. What I write about here at Hypothyroid Mom applies to children too. I wish you and your little girl all the best.

  16. Staci Johnston says:

    When I was 24 I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism after two miscarriages. I was thankful for a very dear friend that suggested I see her OB/GYN after my miscarriages, she suggested that the miscarriage could be due to thyroid problems. The very first test my doctor ran was to check my thyroid, sure enough I had Hypothyroidism. For years I carried on with no problems, having my thyroid checked periodically and occasionally needing to adjust my medication. Fast forward to age 39…I started having all sorts of random health problems, I became extremely anxious, having anxiety attacks and the littlest of things became very stressful and I was extremely depressed, even though things in life were going ok. I was seeing an Internal Specialist and my OB/GYN (different Dr. than the one who originally diagnosed me) who were both tracking my thyroid (or so I thought) with regular blood tests. The internal specialist referred me to a psychiatrist for the anxiety and depression. I was soon on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication, but I still did not feel right and I was having all these other health problems that the doctors could not figure out and they continued to do blood work on me. After an ER visit one weekend, with my heart rate up and severe migraine I followed up with my doctor (internal specialist). I asked him if there was a possibility that I could be allergic to my Thyroid medication. I had become sensitive to medications and had allergic reactions and this was the ONLY pill I was taking. He told me that I could not be allergic to that, so I said then “So what is causing me these problems, what is wrong with me?! I was so frustrated at this point and being told the “blood work” did not show anything. Something I said to him prompted him to “AGAIN” look at the same blood work he’d been looking at for months, he turned to me then and said I was TOXIC, that my Thyroid Levels were too high! I was overdosing on my medication. He had increased it months earlier and I thought with all the blood work that was what he was checking! WRONG!! I was having a “Thyroid Storm” It took four months for my body to readjust and no thyroid medication. I then asked for a referral to a new doctor. After doing my own research, I could have died! Even the ER visits and CT scans, heart monitoring, NO ONE could read a simple blood test! Isn’t this what they are trained to be looking at, especially when they are treating me for HYPOTHYROIDISM! My new doctor a Rheumetologist discovered that I had LUPUS, which was attacking my Thyroid and caused my body to go hay wire. He keeps a close eye on my labs and Thyroid! I do NOT understand doctors today, most of them do not listen to the patient and a thyroid test is so simple. It should be the very first thing that is looked at regardless if a person has a history or not. Should be the first thing ruled out or treated! Even being my own health advocate and having had Hypothyroidism for years, the symptoms I had were like nothing I had ever experienced before. I was looking to my doctors for their medical expertise. I very well could have went into a coma, had a heart attack or died from the toxic level of my medication, all because my doctor(s) were NOT looking at my thyroid levels and I was having “blood work” done every two weeks! I thought I was going crazy, it can wreck having on an individual mentally! I cried all the time, all I wanted to do was sleep, my marriage became stressful during this time and I quit a job that I loved, because my doctor suggested that it was causing me too much stress and was the reason I was having the problems I had. After my body naturally detoxed itself, one day I felt like I had woke up from a coma. The fog had lifted and I felt like my old self again. The day to day things I had done and things in my job were just a blur, I really do not know how I was functioning at all. It was like I was running on autopilot but I was crashing! My husband is now one of my main health monitors and advocates. He can help me gauge when something is out of the norm for me and I now have a team of doctors that work together that I am now confident in, that will listen to me and are taking care of me. Thanks for listening.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Staci,

      I am sorry to hear all you’ve been through. Your story shows how thyroid hormones can be dangerous if not monitored very carefully. Every person on thyroid medications and their doctor should be watching for signs of over-medication which is when the body goes hyperthyroid with symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, racing heart, heart palpitations, shakiness, etc. I am so happy you are getting better. Happy to have you on my site.

    • Hi Staci, thank you so much for sharing your story, I’m being tested for LUPUS too as I have high ANA antibody levels. I too have been suffering alot of your issues but I think what you said is making sense. Lupus has thrown the body off and attacking thyroid . I’m doing further testing for confirm if its LUPUS and I know how u feel I cry everyday too and ry on low dose Valium at nights and I am looking forward to waking up one day feeling the Fog, depression, anxiety , pain lift … There needs to be more doctors testing autoimmune disease. I’ve been going through this for 8 months and it goes to show Doctors need to be aware it can strike anyone … I hope to getter better soon too .. Thank u again xxx

  17. I congratulate you. For the most part I’ve been lead to have very little respect for both the Medical, and Psychological Industry. I’ve rarely seen an example of people willing to question their education or to really help people. It seems that many would rather trap people in the system.

    I’ve also found another component to thyroid health, the energetic congestion that accumulates in the Throat Chakra. Every one of my clients who has come to me with thyroid problems, (it must be hundreds) always has the same congested energy behind it. They are always somewhat passive/aggressive, they tend to be avoidant personalities, they don’t confront others, they fear conflict, they hold unspoken anger, and they are often rather isolated. This causes all this energy to congest in the chakra, and depletes the normal energy. Energetic dysfunction then can lead to physical issues. This is just a thought for you. It can seem strange to those who haven’t experienced a clearing. Once experienced, many skeptics change their mind fast.

    So in closing, I want to congratulate you on your open mind and encourage the development of moving away from standard thought about people as dysfunctional and labeled into categories; written off. I think there is so much more we can be doing for people if we could only open our minds and accept that we don’t know much! Great job.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Erin,

      My acupuncturist speaks a lot about the Throat Chakra and hypothyroidism. This really resonates for me personally and I’ve done my best to make changes in how I react to situations and people in my life. Good to have you at Hypothyroid Mom.

      • That is wonderful to hear. If you would care to contact me and experience what I do, I would be happy to give you a free 20 minute chakra reading over the phone, for the express purpose of opening you to an experience you might find interesting and want to learn more about in order to assist your clients. I greatly appreciate your openness and would love to simply confer with you, if nothing else.

  18. What an extremely moving article. In my 54 years, I have come across so many situations where mental disorders are the reason for mishaps. I have one story to tell where compassion and caring action saved a man who was extremely mentally ill from being killed. I work in a local community centre fitness centre. I was aware of a member who had incidences with the law. He was working out to feel better. He was doing quite well and was in great shape. I advised staff about his condition for their protection and that of our members. No one knew that the man was very ill. I was worried. My advice was taken seriously by one co-ordinator. I wasn’t present for an incident that could have killed people, but the story stays fresh in my mind. During an altercation in the fitness centre, the man took a 35lb dumbbell and was about to attack another member for taking his machine while he was doing a circuit. The co-ordinator called a male staff to help and directed him to go behind and take the weight out of the aggressors’ hand. (a dangerous and brave move) The man turned to retaliate and the co-ordinator, as tiny as she is, did something to trip the aggressor. The male staff took the weight which the aggressor continued to clutch in his hand and he said, “Man, it isn’t worth it. Don’t do it. I understand you are upset.” He dropped the weight, the bylaw department was called and the man was banned from the fitness centre. A couple weeks ago, in Toronto, a young kid who for some reason decided to take a jack knife out and threaten a bus full of people downtown is dead from 9 bullet wounds. There was no one on the bus when police shot him down. It’s under investigation. Fortunately there is a civilian video. Mental illness is so not understood. I’m almost certain if the aggressor man in the fitness centre was on that bus a couple weeks ago, he’d be dead now. The man is now heavily medicated and apparently after so much therapy, he is also hypothyroid as well. The only problem is he had the wrong treatments all along. The fact that he is hypothyroid becomes secondary and insignificant now compared to what he has become! It seems the decline is also connected to the hard recreational drugs he started using when he began getting ill in his teens which further impaired his mind. His family loves him but didn’t know how to help him. This seems to be the case sometimes with these kinds of illnesses. His sister was kind enough to share his story with me. She also thanked us for the time he worked out.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Johann,
      Thank you for sharing this story. It is very upsetting how mental health is misunderstood. There are many health issues that mimic mental disorders that are not being regularly tested like low thyroid. I hope by writing articles on this topic to create more awareness.

  19. HI Dana, Thanks to you and Gena and Mary Shomon and many others, there is a Thyroid Movement/Revolution in the works. Social media has become sacred in that aspect, because we know that the medical profession is just not self-monitoring enough to do what needs to be done. I am a licensed nurse, but I am not practicing at this time, at least not for pay. I needed to stop work due to my congenital hypothyroid issues that went unaddressed, inappropriately addressed, and misdiagnosed by the medical profession all my life. The medical profession has really been nothing but a Red Herring to me for life, thriving, wholesomeness and wellness. If I were to re-enter the health care system, I know that I would not have very much power or voice. There is really no way for me to hold physicians accountable. or influence them I have worked in environments where I was shot down by MDs because I asked certain questions. Medicine/health care is an autocratic field. Don’t ever let anybody tell you it is not. The average MD loves his/her power, authority…..and money. The change is going to have to come from pressure from the outside.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Beverly,

      Thank you for commenting. I hope that by spreading awareness among thyroid patients that we can create a grassroots movements where we put pressure on the medical system from the outside. It’s time that the medical protocol for diagnosing and treating thyroid conditions be changed.

  20. Excellent blog, Dana. I feel quite raw after reading through. I’m going to tweet link to @mentalhealthcop and @endo-editor who is attending a European Thyroid Conference on 7th September.

    Ps you shouldn’t feel guilty about not making the connection 20 years ago. You’ve made it now .

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Clutter,

      Thank you so much for always being a great supporter of Hypothyroid Mom. I love being connected with you here on my blog and on Twitter. Thank you for sharing my tweets.

      • It’s my pleasure, Dana. I’ve learned so much from you,Mary and the ThyCa forum and hope that retweeting will help others who are suffering.

  21. My continual fight for my life and my sanity. I have vacillated from one extreme to the next. Am I bipolar, GAD, depressed or just under-treated for my hyperthyroid which has not been right for the last 15 or so years. I wished that someone could please get it right before I give the fight.

  22. Thank you for this article. It truly brought tears to my eyes, knowing I’m not the only person whose quality of life has been seriously affected my not only the symptoms but knowing something was wrong but being unable to convince medical practitioners/specialists. I had symptoms – tinnitus, swollen full throat, loss of hearing, carpal tunnell, face, eye swelling – for about 10 years. Because I’ve had depressive disorder, anxiety, for even longer I felt these symptoms were not taken seriously. I ended up in a psychiatric hospital for about three months, had 13 sessions of electric shock, then years later started to feel manic…getting the response from docs that ‘I can’t imagine you being manic.’!! Finally, my feet, legs swelled to the point of hardly being able to walk and finally diagnosed with TSH of 180 and next to no thyroid hormone. My levels are good now but sustained tarsal tunnell syndrome in both feet due to the initial swelling (even with this getting the message across that my feet were not right was difficult!). Doctors…please listen to your patients, regardless of what their history’s are. Please do the antibody test with all depressed patients, just in case. I scarcely survived those years but am glad I did. I cannot describe how wonderful I feel now…This is the first time I’ve put words to some of what happened, thank you so much for validating our experiences!

    • ..and unfortunately, due to another symptom – fibroids, another hashimoto symptom – I had to have a hysterectomy about a year and a half ago. Still very painful, not knowing what could have been as I’ve always desperately wanted children. So I’m not a Hashimoti mum, but am happy for getting through it all and being a more outgoing, peaceful person! Counting my blessings…

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Mandy,

      I had to put my head down for how upset I was by your story. Thank you for sharing this. I know there will be other readers who will read your comment and feel they are not alone. Thank you.

  23. supermomof4 says:

    I found this article so interesting that I had to forward it to a few friends…. I was diagnosed at the age of 8 with Hypothyroidism but…they believe I was born without a thyroid gland because the ultra-sound showed no evidence of a thyroid gland (butterfly). I’m now 39 years of age, I’ve been off work on sick leave since January 2013…I’ve suffered from depression along with my hypothyroid. I’ve been on Synthroid since diagnosed and started taking antidepressants since 24 years of age. My thyroid is always fluctuating in its levels…it is SO frustrating! I had post-partum with both pregnancies in 2009 and 2010. Thank you for sharing this link/post! The “thyroid” or lack there of plays such an important part in the rest of the body and mind! More awareness needs to be there for the help to come! I’m a strong advocate for thyroid awareness as I’ve had this all my life! I hope more people read your article, Dana and become more self-educated to seek the help they need :) I’ve now applied for a long-term sick leave through my work in order to get myself back to a “normal” thyroid level and emotional level in order to cope with everyday life! My 4 children (2 stepdaughters, 2 biological children), my husband, and extended family deserve to have the best of me as well as myself :) I deserve to feel my best! I continue to exercise everyday, make an effort to go out and enjoy life, and just be “me” as much as I can. Thank you for your informative blogs/articles/ etc. and for getting the word out that “thyroid disease” is a serious matter!

  24. I have Post trauma disorder serving in the army that was about 20 + years ago
    i was treated and my life was filled with happiness and energy i fought hard to get to that point so very hard but i got there.
    then some… almost 8 years ago mental symptoms started to creep up , my anxiety rose as did panic attacks I didn’t wont to eat because i didn’t feel like it , i was sleeping most of the day for weeks i was weak , had hart palpitations , and i know something was not right and that it wasn’t the post trauma …
    But my health documents show only the Post trauma so my family doctor toled me to get a psychiatrist and to go on vacation which i did – the vacation from hell i could hardly move from my bed at the hotel let alone have a walk.
    the psychiatrist wonted to give me pills( i didn’t wont them so i didn’t take them ) . even my own parents toled me to relax that it’s ” only panic attacks ” i already been their and i know what to do , they sead to me , this went on for some months i lost a lot of wight…. in my hart i just new it was not post trauma
    I did the unthinkable ( at thaws times ) i changed my family doctor , my new doctor look at my history nodded and before anything he just sead ” let check your thyroid ”
    blood test came back 2 days later , he urgently asked me to his office not only were my charts off the scale they were in red – i had Graves and nothing had anything to do with post trauma

    My advice to all :
    1st do not label any one specially if your a doctor
    2nd don’t label yourselves do the blood test , it’s just one and listen to your harts
    3rd doctors are ONLY human beings treat them as they treat you they are not Gods even tho some think they are, and know when to get a 2nd and 3rd opinions

    God bless you all

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Nili,

      Your message really struck me. I am sorry all that you went through. Your advice is so right on point. When your instincts tell you something’s not right seek a 2nd and 3rd even 10 medical opinions until you find a doctor who figures it out. I’m happy you found a doctor who tested your thyroid. Best wishes to you.

  25. What an awesome article!!
    I’ve been begging doctors for years to check me and double check me And the last dr only wanted to give me antidepressants and anti anxiety meds! I’m neither anxious nor depressed! My mom was diagnosed with Graves’ disease when I was a teenager but that matters not to the doctors I tell. My immediate family thinks I’m nuts with my constant growing symptoms. And now after reading this article can see some of the same signs in 2 of my children. I don’t have the money to doctor hunt for one that will listen and basically given up!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Casey,

      Given your mother’s Graves Disease absolutely your thyroid should be tested. Not just TSH but also Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and in particular thyroid antibodies for Graves and Hashimoto’s. There is a hereditary factor to thyroid conditions so absolutely you may have inherited a thyroid condition from your mother. I put together a list of top resources to help readers find good thyroid doctors in their area. Best wishes to you.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

  26. I had graves’ disease and before I was diagnosed I thought I was going crazy. Seriously, check into a mental health facility, crazy. I was just incredibly blessed that my general practitioner was able to look at all my symptoms and started testing me for graves’. Thank god for doctors who listen!

  27. Hi Dana,

    To that thyroid hormone mix, add parathyroid and adrenal gland malfunctions. ALL can create what gets termed ‘mental illness’. Nothing mental about it at all. The whole field of ‘mental illness’ is mostly unproven, there are no blood tests to indicate what is ‘wrong’. It’s just become a cop-out for pill-pushing, unfortunately. And destroys lives.

  28. I’m a second semester nursing student and I just completed a course on Mental Health. In my clinical rotation, we were able to look at each patient’s file. I noticed that most of the adult patient’s had hypothyroidism and were prescribed Synthroid. It was prevalent mostly in the bipolar and depressed patients.

  29. I have been in a panic today, desperately seeking information because I am scared to death for one of my dearest friends. Reading this was what I needed and validates my concerns. A very close friend and coworker suddenly lost her father to cancer, which rocked her world. Her behaviour was becoming manic, she was hearing and seing things, thought her father was haunting her, had horribly dark thoughts and uncontrollable episodes of sadness and rage, never sleeping. She began seeing her father’s psychiatrist because she thought grief was making her crazy, the doc diagnosed her as bipolar, put her on Zoloft and talked about admitting her to a mental health facility. At the same time, she found out she had several very large nodes on her thyroid, both hot and cold nodes, and all of the symptoms caused by the thyroid matched the symptoms that drove my friend to seek mental health care. I was so relieved! This meant that surgery, recuperation time, and thyroid medicine would return her to normal. Right after surgery, the psych doc – knowing about the thyroid issues, increased her medications for treating bipolar disorder, adding abilify, instead of stepping back to see if everything smoothed out after recovery from surgery. Because my son experienced horrible reactions to Zoloft, I recognized my friend’s dark thoughts and severe agitation as a Zoloft reaction. She went back to the doc to ask to go off the meds, and the doc changed her medication to Seroquel instead. Because the doc pulled my friend out of work and placed her on medical leave, she is not allowed to return until the doc signs a release. The doc won’t, and has revisited the suggestion of inpatient admit for treatment. I am FRANTICALLY trying to convince my friend that EVERYTHING is related to her physical thyroid issues and medication reactions, and to continue to be treated for a disorder she does not have, with drugs that make her worse, will destroy her. My dear friend can’t think clearly enough to listen, she believes there is something wrong with her because this doc told her she was unstable. I am horrified, how can this medical professional continue to aggressively treat for bipolar disorder knowing about the thryoid issues and the complexity of her case? How does a friend help in this situation?

  30. Hello to all, the contents existing at this web site are actually remarkable for people experience, well, keep up
    the nice work fellows.

  31. Hi Dana,
    After getting a Phone call from my daughter and her telling me she
    had hypothyroidism.she also said dad you should get your thyroid tested.
    You have symptoms of it.
    2006 I had a Major breakdown.
    diagnosed with depression…anti d’s and valium for anxiety plus
    seraquell for sleep.
    several S attempts
    over 20 ect treatmemts
    several stays in Mental hospital wards
    I am still suffering
    complete exhaustion phyc says due to depression
    need to sleep at least 12 hrs a day and many times more
    phyc says due to depression.
    no motivation,no enjoyment of life anahedism i think he calls it.

    i have lost my business,lost investment properties,lost family
    lost everything
    because of yhis.

    After my daughters call i found your site
    and just busted out crying,got angry a whole range of emotions cause all
    of a sudden there was possibly a light at the end of the tunnel.
    here in australia when you are diagnozed with a mental illness you are generally
    tested for thyroid problems.however only the basics.Of cause they come back in the normal range!!!
    Anyway I have just had my blood tests done as You reccommend….Dr looked at me and said thats a womens problem????.
    I dont care i said i want them done,
    will get results next week.
    I am holding out for a result fro hypothyroidism and then with correct treatment
    a better life.
    by the way back to my daughter,no improvement with meds she is on.
    i asked her what they were,from your info here i knew they only helped with T4
    I said to her go back to your Dr and get something for T3 as well

    I have rambled on but,I would say this
    If because of your site and i and my daughter get a better life I will be
    shouting from the Hilltop to anyone who will listen….get the proper tests done.
    I will go back to the Drs,Phycs, and mental institutions and be telling them.
    I will become an advocte for you here in Australia.
    thankyou Dana and other contributors here.
    I am looking forward to a new life
    Trev

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Trevor,

      I am so sorry to hear all you’ve been through. It’s so upsetting. I’m so happy you are pushing for the right tests. As you know from my site “normal” lab tests do not mean “optimal”. I have heard from many readers in Australia who found great doctors open to treating with natural desiccated thyroid by calling all the compounding pharmacies near them and driving distance away and asking them for the names of doctors who prescribe natural desiccated thyroid. Best wishes to you and your daughter. Please keep in touch and let me know how everything turns out for you both. I just followed you on Twitter too.

  32. I thought I saw on your site before that there is a particular time you should have your labs drawn because it maximizes the accuracy of the test. I think it’s a time that it will more likely show up a problem. Can you direct me? I just can’t find that again and I’m getting ready to have labs drawn.

    Also, did you have something that showed that some people are being diagnosed based off of basal body temperature? Mine was tested at 97.6 but they didn’t seem concerned or to have taken that as abnormal.

    Thank you for your help.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Erin, I am sorry for the delay in responding. I’ve had so many reader questions and emails that I am struggling to get to everyone but still hoping to reach everyone. I get my labs done in the morning. I do not take my thyroid meds the morning of my labs. I take my meds along with me in my purse and take them after my blood draw. Many of us have low basal body temperature. I had temps in the 96s before proper treatment so yes it’s one symptom that should be checked as one part of a full investigation.

  33. I’m so happy I found this page. I have been doing a lot of research on bipolar as my sister signed herself into a psych ward a week ago for treatment of bipolar disorder.
    10 years ago, a benign tumor was removed from my sister’s neck and with it, half of her thyroid was taken. About 2-3 years before the tumor was found, her behavior altered having classic depressive and severely manic episodes. Post surgery she went to her doctor who began treating her with several antidepressants and anti anxiety pills. Due to me once reading that about 80% of women are misdiagnosed with depression and actually have a thyroid problem, I questioned her about what they were doing for her lack of thyroid. She informed me that she was told that her thyroid was functioning normally. Normally??? She now has half a bloody thyroid and this is normal? (I still have anger issues over this, clearly. ) In what parallel universe is having half a thyroid considered normal? She began seeing a psychiatrist about a year ago who got her off the drugs her family doc had put her on that were making her episodes worse. He said all of the drugs were wrong. Good, but still no thyroid testing. Unbelieveable. We have 5 women in our family who have hypothyroidism. Our grandmother and all 4 of our mom’s sisters have it. Our mother’s doc claims she doesn’t have it but that is the same doc who is saying my sis’s thyroid is fine. I have a different doc and will be getting every darn test available. I have also personally shown some signs of Bipolar DisorderI and feel that it is all likely due to an imbalanced thyroid from family history. Jeez, 4 of us also had gallbladder disease and had that removed. (Our fam apparently likes to share illnesses :))
    When I have my tests done, I will be coming right back here to let you know how things go. Thank you for making people aware that these illnesses are linked in an undeniable way. My sis doesn’t believe me, I’m not a doctor. I am however a lover of knowledge and love to research (the nerd in me prevails!).
    Best wishes to you and all who come here looking for help/answers!

  34. I have always been an anxious person. Last year at this same time I was sitting in a dentist chair and had been feeling faint I had to stand up and the doctor asked me if I had been seen by my doctor. I finally gave in after have several severe panic attacks, racing heart, throwing up and naucious, flush, I always need to be cold I cant stand the heat. I was admitted to the emergency room for posssible GI issues and even had a colonoscopy done. I have seen a psychologist for many years and he has been wanting to put me on meds ever since the birth of my son. My primary checked my thyroid and did all the physcial bloodwork. it was all normal. I finally gave in and was put on meds clonazepam and lexapro. I tried them for a month and immediatly withdrew myself because I was having suicidal thoughts. I went the natural way to cope with my panic attacks and anxiety. But going forward there has never been one day ive felt good my eyes and face are always swollen blurred vision light sensitiivity hot flashes my left side of my neck tightens, shaky,shortness of breath the whole nine yards but im always told its just my anxiety and being on meds will help but i refuse. I am 26 with a beautiful little boy and I know that what my body is feeling is not right I should have at least one good day I feel this everyday and sometimes worse. I finally saw a homeopathic doctor and she ran extensive blood work and explained that sometimes what a primary dr runs isnt as effective as running a few more tests like the antibodies and a few more thyroid tests that are deemed to not be neccessary. Needless to say I get my results Monday and after reading this article it but some sort of joy in my heart its given me hope that just maybe I can be the mom my sons needs and possibly enjoy the rest of my years to come. God knows this is killing me.

  35. Thank you. My husbands father had thyroid issues and had a stroke and heart attack linked to his hyperthyroidism at the age of 27. My husband is now 35 and has been showing signs of a mood disorder ever since ive known him. Lately im concerned for my child and i’s safety and when i bring up bipolar he is afraid to seek help. Now im thinking i can word this differently to him and go about treatment by starting with thyroid related tests first. His episodes happen after or during the onset of lightheadedness and a very bad headache. He was found to have an anomally in his frontal lobe of his brain which if im correct is the area of the brain that controlls mood. Any advice on what to do next. He has no health insurance.

  36. Hi Dana,

    Not sure if I ever answered your request about using my story in future articles or studies regarding the effect of thyroid disease and mental health. Of course you may use my name address and if it prevents someone from going through what I did you can even use my medical records. I have always been a private person who cared a great deal about what others thought of me, when I was at my sickest with thyroid related psychosis my closest friend commented to my family how embarrassed I would be if was aware of my behavior at the time. I can say that yes it was traumatic but I was litterly dying of hypothyroidism. I took many pictures of myself and surroundings, those pictures show me with a very fat neck at a height of 5 10″ and weight of 140 pounds. My neck is now half the size it was since taking Armor thyroid medication. I feel I had a near death experience, if it happened to me there have to be others. There should be funding and studies done on this subject in order to help make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else. Please feel free to use my experience, if you would like more information email me directly. Thank you Dana for all your hard work and research. I am so sorry for the loss you suffered that inspired you to become such a source of information and hope to so many people.

  37. First of all i want to thank kristina for the post she made on how Dr Adams helped her in bringing back her lover before christmas. At first when i saw the posting i was so happy and in the other hand so scared,That this might not be real, Then i decided to give it a try in which i contacted Dr Adams and told him how my lover left me for another lady for the past 3years and i have been lonely and depressed without him,So i told him if he has helped anyone called kristina and he said yes, that was the lady he helped in bringing back her lover before christmas. I said good and i told him that if he can help me in bringing back my own lover,He laughed and said once i have contacted him that my problem will be solved. He said that my lover will be back to me within 24hours and do an unexpected thing for me. i said really, Truly when the 24hours was completed i got a text from someone saying am sorry then i decided to call the number i saw it was my lover smith voice. I was so happy he was begging me on phone, That he is ready to do anything that will make me happy in life,So i told him to come over which he did,As he was coming he came with a brand new Car as gift i was so happy and made me had access to his account to prove to me that he is not going to leave me for another lady,Am so happy today and am also thanking kristina for posting this early. Dr Adams you are truly a man of your word. He can also solve any kind of problems in this world. Friends you can contact Dr Adams on his private Email dradamsjohnsoncentre12@gmail . com

  38. Hi Dana,
    I’m so relieved to find this page.
    For all of her adult life, my Mom has suffered with major depression, psychosis and racing uncontrollable and destructive thought patterns which has lead to her being hospitalised, on suicide watch, at least 6 times. Other associated symptoms of hperthyroidism seem to be present in my mother also, such as irritability, sensitivity to noise, fatigue, lack of concentration, weak legs, aching muscles etc. Since the death of my father in 2012, my mother has spent at least 9 months in a mental health hospital. She was treated last year with a whole host of anti-depressants and with ECT treatment, none of which seemed to help. She was yesterday diagnosed with hyperthyroidism which the endocrinologist says she has had since at least 2007 when she had an operation on her heart (as that was the oldest routine blood test he had results available for). He was appalled that this has gone undiagnosed and untreated and he points to some extremely high readings over the past few years at various intervals.

    I’m not saying that the my father’s death did not have anything to do with these last two ‘episodes’, but my mother has an extensive history of these symptoms and various suicide attempts and alcohol abuse to fend off the intense feelings of guilt she has about her illness.

    She has commenced a small starting dose of carbimazole (5mg).
    I was eager to hear your thoughts about hypERthyroidism and its role in depression.
    It is such a crying shame for her and others like her if the whole illness could have been controlled or influenced by treatment of the thyroid.

    Thanks so much,
    Philip.

  39. To go a little deeper into the rabbit hole – Fluoride has exactly this effect on the thyroid. It used to be used to treat hyperthyroidism in the 30s and 40s. A fluoride based industrial toxic acid waste they put in my water, it is now to be found also increasing in our food and the environment. It would perhaps explain some of the obesity epidemic. It is used in toothpaste as Sodium Fluoride, a more pharmaceutical grading than for water fluoridation, but still very toxic and is otherwise know for it’s use as a rat poison. Fluorides are to be found in many industrial pesticides. The risk is everywhere. This “debate” has been raging for 50 years – there is so much research on the internet – but any dentist will tell you, in their best indoctrinated professional gravitas of course, that it’s “good for children’s teeth”. It isn’t – in fact it mottles and discolours teeth and causes a condition called skeletal fluorosis (your doctor will tell you you have arthritis!). They absolutely point blank refuse to check or test for fluoride in the person when up against all these “modern health conditions”. It’s just not in their training. But enough. If you think I’m a “conspiracy theorist”, fine, you have that right. But if you want to learn more a good place to start might be Fluoride Action Network (google it).

  40. Hi Ms. Trentini,

    Thank you so much for posting this and educating on hypothyroidism. I have suffered from hypothyroidism since my 2nd child was born and my mother had her thyroid removed, so there is a genetic component as well.

    I am also an acupuncturist and an herbalist and treat my hypothyroidism naturally with acupuncture and herbal therapy. With a licensed acupuncturist, this can safely be done. All of my thyroid panels have come back within normal ranges; however, if not treated I will have: insomnia, body aches, hair falling, difficulty to lose even 5 lbs, debilitating fatigue, mood difficulty, a sensation of cold that can only be alleviated by a hot, hot bath and probably other things that I am not thinking of. The holistic theory on these panels is that the TSH panels pick up on active and inactive TSH. So unfortunately, there could be even more people not being treated correctly because the TSH panel is not coming back correctly. Also, I used to think that synthroid and other thyroid prescriptions were the only prescriptions that did not have dangerous side effects; however, I later learned that synthroid and other thyroid medications actually atrophy the thyroid. I would definitely call that a strong side effect.

    Acupuncture actually stimulates the thyroid to do its job better on its own so its very natural medicine. acufinder.com is a good site to find a licensed qualified acupuncturist. A master’s degree or higher in Oriental Medicine or Traditional Oriental Medicine is needed for quality acupuncture care.

    Just wanted to share some holistic avenues. Thank you.

  41. I suffered from this and thought i was going mental or going to have a breakdown i was hot in winter could feel my blood pumping through my neck when i was trying to sleep and wanted to hit people or myself

    thank god the doctor suspected what was wrong.

  42. I was misdiagnosed for 11 years. I was told I was depressed. I was told I was in early menopause. I was told my thyroid was “fine” because my TSH was around 5. I had little to no understanding about thyroid disease. I did not know there were many other tests. I then began fertility treatments which did not work and was told my infertility was unexplainable. I had severe mood swings. The kind where my rational self would think omg, what is happening to me, but my irrational mind ranted and went crazy. It cost me my marriage in the end. My soon to be ex husband does not believe the mood swings are related to my hashimoto’s disease. It’s a hard disease to have because it can’t be “seen” by people. I am always sharing information and telling people to be tested. Because of this many people I know have gotten help, many also roll their eyes and tell me they don’t need tests. I had a total thyroidectomy in 2011 because they had never run the full panel and ignored my requests. By the time I was diagnosed my thyroid was a withered mess that was barely even functioning.

  43. Kimberley Martin says:

    I retired in December 2011 after 32.5 years teaching children with special needs. 30 years with the mentally handicapped and 2.5 with the emotionally disabled. This is the first I’ve ever heard of the thyroid connection. You ask that teachers recommend thyroid testing. Wonderful idea in theory however, at least in the county where I taught, we were told to NEVER suggest any kind of additional medical/psychological testing unless we ourselves were prepared to pay for such testing. Being a parent/child advocate first before being a puppet to the system I would use terms like, “If it were my child I’d get…” That way they (the school board) couldn’t accuse me of recommending costly testing and hold me accountable. It’s a shame that they seem more concerned about their bottom line than the welfare of the student and parents confronted with this upsetting circumstance. Thank you for your tenacity and stick-to-it-tiveness to continue your research and follow through on getting the word out for awareness of the possibility that could change many lives for the better. Sincerely- Kimberley

  44. I have to say there are some good docs out there. I have a family history of schizophrenia and thyroid problems among other things. At 21 after having a child I told my OBGYN I was hearing voices and that they weren’t saying anything yet. I just kept thinking I could hear stuff in my apartment at night when I woke up at least 3 times an hour. I told him I was paranoid and my pulse raced all the time and it was getting worse. I told him I was not dangerous yet but I was afraid if this kept up I could be a danger to myself or others. He laughed and said lets check your thyroid before we lock you up. HE WAS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! I was just paranoid because my thyroid was overproducing hormone like crazy. I was also losing weight. I could have easily been diagnosed as schizophrenic. I was ready for it. I was afraid I was crazy and dangerous. It makes me wonder if most of my brothers problems were more thyroid than mental. Once my thyroid was controlled the paranoia ceased. So did all the other symptoms. He tried to tell me it wasn’t quite an auditory hallucination unless you were sure you heard it. LOL. Anyway, there are a few very good judicious docs out there.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Anna, wow I’m so happy you have a great doctor. I wish everyone had a great one like yours. I am fortunate too to have found an amazing doctor who changed my life. There are good doctors out there and I wish we could clone them so everyone would have one too.

  45. Hi Dana,
    Thank you for this great article. I’ve been wrestling with my bipolar disorder and hypothyroidism for some time, and am amazed and what I’m prescribed and how I’m treated. Most often one gets better as the other gets worse, and so I never really “get” anywhere. Of course it’s unlikely that I will ever be cured, but most modern means of managing these things are at the least masking techniques and at the most life-threatening. I’m getting ready to change doctors once again. Every time I change I feel a bit smarter, but I’m also taking another gamble.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Nick, I love following you on Twitter. Thanks for all your Retweets much appreciated. If you knew how many readers have contacted me with bipolar you may be shocked. Now of course this can be the cause of things completely unrelated to thyroid too. However for any person with hypothyroidism who is also suffering with any form of mental health symptoms, a closer look at their thyroid treatment is needed. If you check out the video that I include at the bottom of this post that I’ll attach below you’ll hear from thyroid expert Dr. Kent Holtorf about how T3 meds are considered a better antidepressant than antidepressants for both depression and for the depression phase of bipolar. Sad part is mainstream doctors are so focused on testing TSH and treating with T4 only Levothyroxine drugs that they miss the importance of T3 all together.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/when-thyroid-disease-masquerades-as-psychiatric-disorder/

      It is well worth your time to get a second even third or fourth medical opinion to be sure you are optimally treated for your hypothyroidism. I put together resources to help readers locate good doctors in their area. Best of luck and let me know how everything goes.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

  46. This article, found thanks to a friend and fellow Hashimoto’s sufferer, has had an “ah-ha!” moment effect on me. 8 months ago i was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s but have been suffering from deep depressive episodes, anxiety & insomnia for nearly 15 years. During that time, I kept saying to myself, there must be something else going on, it cant just be a mental disorder. Now i know the crazy feelings i have/had are not imaginary. Thank you for this blog.

  47. Angelring says:

    I’ve suffered for years with undiagnosed Hashimoto’s and a whole slew of endocrine problems that arose from it since I was about 12-14 years old. No one caught it in high school, even when I suffered very bad depression, so bad they took me to therapy, but I refused anti-depressants as I knew that was not going to help. I also knew something was wrong when I kept getting sick all the time and missing a ton of school due to sickness, female problems and anxiety attacks, but again, this was all seen as some attention seeking behavior or as me being lazy or defiant. My overheating when exercising was diagnosed as asthma, my growing exhaustion was seen as growing pains and just a lazy teen who liked to nap too much. My diet, the same one that allowed me to lose 10 pounds one summer with no effort made me gain 50 in one school year in which I was active and I was told I was again lazy and overeating.

    As someone with a psychology degree, I’ve been just pouring over all the information on my own hormonal issues and its really made me question mental health. Just how many of these mental illnesses do stem from a physical issue, even something easy to fix that was overlooked like a vitamin deficiency causing them? Its just ridiculous! When I graduated a bit ago and got diagnosed at 25, I felt like I finally had a clue as to what I knew all along was somehow wrong with me. Sadly I still have yet to feel good as I battle daily just to stay patient and keep up hope that one day I’ll finally have this entire slew of issues properly maintained and be functional again. It really does burn me up that there are children suffering like I did and just last week my own doctor was trying to push anti-anxiety and anti-depressants on me instead of upping my dose of NDT, its no wonder people get desperate enough to just give up. The entire system is a mess and I truly wish I had the ability to advocate properly, because I so wish something could be done to alleviate the suffering and lack of proper diagnosis. As it is, I bide my time and try to help as many others as I can to find the information I lacked for far too long.

  48. My Family Has A HIstory Of Hypothyroidism. My Aunt Nearly Died At The Age Of 5 From It, And Now Is Metal ChallengeD. My Other Aunts, Three Of My Cousins, My Mom And Me All Have.Ii However Didnt Show Signs Til I Had My Tubes Tied At 22. Lack Of Energy, Loss Of Hair, Major Weight Gain Are Just A Few. Its Been A Battle But I’ve Gotten Through It, Just Like Others Have. I Dont Take The Medicine The Doctors Want Me On, As I Do Not Trust Them And The Pills Made Me Sick.I’m Not Sure If Any One Else Has Been Getting Sick Either But I Found Kelp Has Helped Me Alot And I’m Losing Weight Slowly But Surly. Its Nice To See that People Are Being More Aware!

  49. Bless you, bless you, bless you for this article! I posted a blog article yesterday entitled, “Think you’re bipolar? It just may be your thyroid” because of my own experience of discovering that my hypothyroidism was masking as Bipolar 2.

    This morning, someone asked me where to begin researching this issue for themselves. I came back to google because when I first discovered it, there wasn’t that much info available. But I found your article and gave him the link. I am recommending it to everyone!

  50. As a hypothyroid sufferer who struggles with depression and as a school nurse in an Alternative School, I often encounter students with emotional issues. I try to encourage them and parents to get their thyroid evaluated! Great blog!

  51. Christos says:

    This has also been my personal experience. At around the age of 23, following a severe case of mumps which lasted for six months and severely affected my glans and energy levels, I was diagnosed as depressive. Over the next 42 years I was prescribed a whole range of antidepressant drugs from SNRI’s, SSRI’s TCA’s up to up to MAO inhibitors, all of which I discarded after a period as they always made me feel worse.

    The symptoms of hypothyroidism were there from the beginning and reported to a whole range of doctors including hospital doctors who thought I must be suffering from a rare unknown tropical disease, as my temperature range would fluctuate wildly over two degrees at a time in a matter of an hour or two. Finally my temperature settled to my feeling extremely cold all the time and wearing coats in the middle of the English summer while everyone else was enjoying short sleeves and laying in the sun. Still no connection by the doctors who examined me, and more antidepressants.

    About 10 years ago when I asked for full blood tests some of my GP succession started commenting that “I appeared to have a small problem with my thyroid”, but no one suggested anything further or referred me for any additional scans. Finally, a couple of years ago an overly risk averse GP (thank god for that) referred me to an endocrinologist and hey presto…. within days of starting on thyroxin I stopped wanting to kill myself on a regular basis so that I could stop the mental pain. It has taken some time for my body to stabilise, and I know that my thyroxin conversion is not always good enough because at times I feel exhausted and mentally down. However, these instances are generally very far apart (probably 3-4 a year) rather than their past regular occurrence.

    My comment now to anyone whose energy is unusually and continually down, loses hair fast, gets heavy duty cramps, and/or is feeling depressed while questioning why they feel like that, is to check their thyroid. And by the way… it turns out that hypothyroidism is a big genetic factor in my mum’s family that I did not know about, as I lost my mum while a baby and had no contact with her siblings until the past few years.

  52. I think you are absolutely right. All my life, I had had OCD tendencies, nothing major, but I was quite aware of obsessive thoughts and/or compulsions sometimes worse and sometimes better. When I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2004, had my thyroid removed, and was placed on replacement, I realized I was free of all of those tendencies some months later when I could not remember the last time I had had any obsessive or compulsive thoughts. When I tried to remember when they had stopped, I realized it was after the surgeries to remove my thyroid. Even thought my tests had always been in the “normal” range, I had swung back and forth from hyper to hypothyroid at different times in my life, and my cancer was only found after I finally found a PCP who would finally listen to my complaints of a sensation of a lump in my throat and who ordered a thyroid ultrasound just to be on the safe side. When my husband was diagnosed with bipolar in 2008, one of the first medications I asked his doctor to prescribe was levothyroxine. He is now stable and has his levels checked twice a year to make sure he is therapeutic.

    • Hi Jan, thanks for sharing your story. It’s sad really how low thyroid can affect every part of our body including our brain, yet the connection is so often overlooked. All the best to you and your husband.

  53. I have had hashimoto’s for over 20 years and have had my thyroid checked regularly but have never been on medication. I have been to different doctors and specialist but they have said my tiredness and aches are not caused by my thyroid. Lately I have done a lot of research and seen a new doctor. I have improved lately by going off gluten and by taking lots of vitamin d and fish oils. I still felt like there was something else needed. I have been in Germany the last few weeks and seem to be really improving, with my research I have found they do not put Fluoride in their water (in Australia they do). I found they used to give Fluoride to people with overactive thyroid. I tried to reduce my Fluoride intake at home by using bottle water but I still cooked, had tea and coffee with tap water and had showers with Fluoride in the water. How many people have problems caused by Fluoride in the water?
    I would love someone to research are these problem worse in areas with Fluoride in the water and and if people have problems do they improve by reducing Fluoride.

  54. sanjeev ahlawat says:

    My daughter was diagnosed as hypothyroidism wen she was 2yrs, she hypo from birth.bt wen after she was diagnosed. …we started with thyroxine and her regalur checkups thereafter for tsh, t3 and t4 r normal bt she has miled mental disorder….can anything …she is 15 yrs …now…can treatment ..mk her normal now?

  55. Chrystal H says:

    I cried when I read this! For YEARS my mood went up & down like a yoyo, I either felt full of energy or so tired I couldn’t function, yet fought insomnia almost my whole life. In 2002, after the birth of my 2nd child, things went downhill fast. I literally couldn’t get out of bed. I fed & changed my son, but that was all I could manage. Doctors told me it was just postpartum depression. I knew it was more than that. After 4 doctors (I refused to give up until ONE listened to me), one seemed more interested in all my Stanton’s as a whole. After some extensive bloodwork I was diagnosed with Hashimotos. It took a while but I finally felt better. I still don’t feel GREAT & I moved so I’m struggling to find a doctor to take me seriously but it’s definitely better. Don’t give up! We know our bodies & when something is wrong! Make Doctors listen. :)

  56. Chrystal H says:

    I cried when I read this! For YEARS my mood went up and down like a yoyo, I either felt full of energy or so tired I couldn’t function, yet fought insomnia almost my whole life. In 2002, after the birth of my 2nd child, things went downhill fast. I literally couldn’t get out of bed. I fed and changed my son, but that was all I could manage. I thought I had really lost my sanity for good after struggling with severe depression most of my teen and adult life. Doctors told me it was just postpartum depression. I knew it was more than that. After 4 doctors (I refused to give up until ONE listened to me), one seemed more interested in all my Symptoms as a whole. After some extensive bloodwork I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. It took a while but I finally felt better. I still don’t feel GREAT and I moved so I’m struggling to find a doctor to take me seriously but it’s definitely better with the thyroid meds. Don’t give up! We know our bodies & when something is wrong! Make Doctors listen. :)

  57. These responses are all incredible to me. Realizing that this has affected me nearly my entire life, yet knowing nothing about it because doctors are either ignorant or whatever the problem is makes me wild. Of late I have asked for a referral to an endocrinologist, but been refused because my “Thyroid panel” is normal. So I’m forced to “self-medicate.” I’m not worried about self-medicating because I know that the herbal supplements I use are perfectly safe (I’ve checked out everything exhaustively), and I know it works! But I can’t afford it. I am on a very limited income, and the supplements cost me between $60 & $90 a month, which I can rarely afford. So I have to put up with the depression and Bipolar symptoms. I have a feeling that it’s also a big factor in my ADHD for which I was just tested last week. Their solution? I can take bipolar meds, or I can take stimulants for the ADHD, I can’t take both, so either one or the other goes unaddressed, yet I know from past experimentation with the supplements that they deal with all of it. I’m also sure the yo-yo effect of being able to afford the supplements one month and then not for two or three more also affects things. What a bind! When I’m not taking them, my depression and lack of focus keep me from being able to make the money to afford them, and then when I can afford them, by the time everything levels out, I have like two weeks worth left. Sorry for the long response, I just had to vent. This is so obviously a huge problem for so many, yet goes nearly completely unaddressed due to medical ignorance.

  58. Never give up hope.

  59. I have been hypothyroid for 35 years, and my son was diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years ago at age 16. His psychiatrist at the time interviewed both myself and my husband for family medical history and told me there was a connection between thyroid disease and bipolar disorder. He ordered a blood panel for my son and his thyroid levels were normal. Given everything my son has gone through I wish it had been Hashimotos rather than Bipolar Disorder. We were fortunate to find a psychiatrist who was so thorough, not enough are!
    I’ll be following your site, I never knew there was such a movement on behalf of thyroid disease.

  60. I find this interesting. I agree that everyone with symptoms like these should be tested. My youngest daughter has multiple health issues. When she was in middle school we started having serious issues with behavior. In seventh grade, we were already home schooling her, she suddenly complained of constant aches and pains. She slept all the time! She quickly got to the point where she needed a cane to stand and walk. Our doctor thought it might be rheumatoid arthritis. Within a week she could no longer walk or stand. She was in a wheelchair. The results of her blood work and other tests came back showing that her thyroid was malfunctioning and she has Graves Disease. Immediately she started taking synthroid and very soon was fully mobile again. The raging anger and violence returned soon after. It took another year or two before she was diagnosed bipolar 2. As a 25 year old adult, she now lives on her own, but cannot work full time. She gets her thyroid checked faithfully and knows the minute something is off. I too think that there must be a connection!

  61. Heloise says:

    After suffering for 15 years of what I thought to be Menopause plus depression due to some losses that happened in my life, I went to an OB/GYN who started me on an anti depressant pill. I remember crying non stop and willing to die. I had racing thoughts and my fight, even though I was debilitaded by this dis(ease), was a current and only topic in my life. I had to stop working. Lost my house and everything with it. When I started taking the anti depressants plus an anti anxiety pill, I felt better but I still was not myself. I have a heart condition that was discovered in my teenage years. In my last hospitalization due to the heart problem, the ER told me that I had a thyroid problem. I went to the primary clinician who, then, did the THS,T4 and T3 tests, coming up hypothyroidism. He put me in Synthroid at a high rate, which caused my heart to race, depression to attack, fatigue, sweat, etc. I called him and was told to go to my Psychiatrist. She, besides being an MD, is also graduated as a pharmacist and she told me the majority of MDs are not well trained to take care of women, especially women with thyroid problems. I started the search on my own. I cut the Synthroid in half and began taking a natural supplement. I learned that for people with a cardiac plus depression, plus the age ( I am a senior ), the initial dosage should be no more than 25mcg. Every month increase a 12.5 mcg for the body to get used to it. 10 days after I began my own research and medications I started to function better. I still don’t have the motivation to get out of bed as a normal person would do. But the depression lifted, the lack of air is getting better and my racing thoughts stopped. Therefore I believe that something is working. NOW I ASK ALL OF YOU: 15 years of pain, struggle, can be replaced? I know Doctors don’t have enough time to study all they have to. But those specialists ( who went to a fellowship in Endocrinology ) should be better trained to see the person as a whole. Not a mental ill person, not an arrythmic heart person, not a menopausal woman freaking out. BUT A WHOLE PERSON, who is suffering and is in need of help. Maybe my depression is based in my hypothyroidism, maybe is vice-versa. Who knows? I tell all my friends who are going through menopause or who are feeling symptoms related to such, to look for a Doctor who will be willing to listen to her. WILLING TO LISTEN. A little about myself: Doctor in Constitutional Law, Doctor in Medical Aesthetics. Raised 3 children on my own. My nest got empty at the same time of the Menopause. Depression kicked in and the rest is explained above. Women, don’t suffer for so long. Look for help. If you are not happy with the way your doctor is treating you or you don’t have a clue ( my case ) of the real problem, go to another one. Thank you for allowing me to take this emotion from my heart.

  62. I was just talking to a young friend who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and found this article to show to her. I struggled with depression and eating disorders for most of my life until I was diagnosed and treated properly for hypothyroidism. I have hashimoto’s thyroiditis. I realized the link myself a few years ago when I noticed that my hypothyroid symptoms would start to return now and then when my medication needed adjustment, but this was always preceded by the re-emergence of eating disordered thoughts and behaviours. Now whenever I start to feel those things I immediately work with my prescribing physician to modify my dosage of thyroid medication. It works every time! I told my old psychiatrist about this after I had been treated initially for my thyroid disorder amd she apologized to me and told me she should have tested my thyroid all those years ago. I am glad other people are catching onto the link between mental disorders and thyroid issues.

  63. Heloise says:

    Hello Dana.
    thank you for posting Lydia’s comment. I read all your blog and at this moment I have the feeling I have made years of study in Medical School with a specialization in Thyroid.
    It has helped me a lot. I continue going back to comments and all the mental disturbances that I had seem to be far away. I don’t feel the symptoms of depression at this moment and I feel a “cold” in my belly not believing that they might come back…..or not.
    My medication is still not adjusted properly and I am still very fatigued. A little lack of air as well, but with HOPE that it will soon go away and I will be able to live a normal life. I think I forgot what to live a normal life means !

  64. thetruth says:

    Mostly mentel desorders are cause by mind but not by brain.thats why still we could not find the root cause of many mental illnesses.just past this to everybody- http://www.spiritualresearchfoundation.org

  65. thetruth says:

    Mostly mentel desorders are cause by mind but not by brain.thats why still we could not find the root cause of many mental illnesses.just past this to everybody–www.spiritualresearchfoundation.org

  66. I am a mom who was diagnosed at age 16. I too had a difficult school year through out my years. Daily struggles in learning never improving. due to poor memory every teacher would always try different methods of teaching feeling their way was always better. It seem growing up I always was at issues for something wrong. With now having my own daughter I had noticed many early warning signs right to core of growth and some mile stones. We started testing early one Dr refused to even test her and would say negative. Till a new dr took over the case. Low and behold. Her levels we just starting to fall. Now we seem to be stable but the antibodies seem to be at increasing levels. I had took a extra drastic measure Asked for higher dose. To see it would help it did. WOW did the growth take off. Now were down the same road. Now when she is in school we have had odd reactions / comment as teachers asked what happened she was always so easy to handle. I am as a mom thinking in the back of my head” yeah my daughter is getting the best medical care” she is just as normal as any other child. Yes she does have a voice she is doing normal things a child should do her age. Now being told to put my child on Ritalin because her thyroid meds cause a bit of hyper active to which is normal. She sleep normal does not complain of being cold. So now were down a new road including having to avoid the mental health comments from educators. Unfortunately some are just rude and have no clue on even how to teach a child with hypothyroidism that is Hashimoto’s based. There really need to be a book for educators and learning resource that can be handed to them. Being a mom it is frustration daily/ yearly explaining why it important to change teaching method for a child with memory issues. As the brain has a problem recalling it quickly when off balanced.

  67. I was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder right after having my first child at age 28, mainly felt like it was slapped on me since my mom and sister have it. I’ve had several people tell me I should get my hormones checked. Here I am 7 years later stumbling on this site! I plan to get a full thyroid panel done, but not ruling out bipolar altogether since it runs in my family. Thyroid problems both hypo and hyper also run in the family….so I guess I am writing this for any advice especially when I go to an endocrinologist to explain my findings from this and other sites saying that the 2 (bipolar and thyroid) may have some connection. I am curious if bipolar meds can cover up any thyroid issues — should one be free of meds before getting a full thyroid panel done, because I am hopeful that is not the case, as I’ve done badly without drugs. In fact, that’s how I came across this site. I am off my antidepressant but still on a mood stabilizer in order to get pregnant. Trying for some time and not pregnant yet has had me searching different things, and doing not so good…feeling depressed has had me searching for the safest drugs while pregnant since I can’t get any clear or confident answers from my doc…(looking to switch). So…how does one know it’s a diagnosis of hypothyroidism versus bipolar?

  68. I could write a book from the perspective of a person that started having thyroid disfunction as a young boy. I didn’t get diagnosed until i had irreversibly damaged my life and everything around me. My anxiety and fear of doctors and no insurance kept me from getting diagnosed with graves disease until i was 23 years old first symptoms started at age 10….. things like hes just moody and hes high strung and has a short fuse were how I would have been described. My behavior quickly led to self medication drugs, crime and institutions. The whole time with every symptom of thyroid disease. even a trip to the psychiatric ward after a suicide attempt and it still went undiagnosed. I thought i was crazy or bipolar. Well having that going on for so long would make anyone act out right??? Anyway if anyone wants a story. Contact me. Sad story but a decent comeback as well. I hope nobody has to live like i did. Im 32 now and even though my thyroid levels have been pretty level with treatment for a few years now. The mental problems have persisted. I think the rollercoaster of hormones over many years has permanently changed my brain. I was a happy go lucky kid until about 10 having panick attacks and not knowing what they were all i could do was cry.

  69. Hi there chaps,

    I just think it’s interesting that a drug that helps bipolar, affects the thyroid gland. Wipes it out ultimately. So does it only work because it somehow calms the thyroid gland down? I was diagnosed with thyroid antibodies BEFORE bipolar. And I have a history (and family history) of autoimmune diseases – also have a lot of eccentricity in the family too. I’m convinced that our mental quirks have autoimmune roots, nobody will listen to me though. Nobody listens to you once you’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness.

  70. Dana Trentini says:

    Thank you BeePea for including a link to this post on your great blog. Thyroid sufferers are often mistakenly diagnosed with mental health labels such as depression and bipolar when really the underlying issue is a thyroid disorder that often goes undiagnosed. I wrote this post in hopes of finding people suffering from mental health issues to encourage them to get their thyroid properly checked. Thank you for sharing my post with your readers and helping to spread awareness BeePea. Much appreciated.

  71. Dana Trentini says:

    Thank you Hormone Soup for including a link to Hypothyroid Mom in your great article on mental health. So many women are diagnosed with mental health issues. Some of them may in fact be suffering from undiagnosed or insufficiently treated hypothyroidism and their doctors have no idea about the link with mental health. It is a tragedy.

    http://www.hormonesoup.com/are-womens-health-issues-being-painted-with-a-mental-health-brush/

  72. Dana Trentini says:

    Thank you HCI Market for including Hypothyroid Mom’s press release “HypothyroidMom.com Announces Advocacy for Thyroid Testing in Mental Disorders in 2013″. Thank you for sharing this with your readers and helping to spread awareness.

    http://hcimarket.com/hypothyroidmom-com-announces-advocacy-for-thyroid-testing-in-mental

  73. Dana Trentini says:

    Thank you so much to Mommy Perks Blog for including Hypothyroid Mom in “20 Favorite Articles from Around the Web”.

    http://www.mommyperks.com/business-articles-2/favorite-articles-from-around-the-web/

  74. Dana Trentini says:

    Thank you Eat Fit Health for including Hypothyroid Mom in your great article.

    http://www.eatfithealth.com/hashimotos-more-thyroid-disease/

Trackbacks

  1. […] really were dealing with hypothyroidism. Today, my angel Sonya from Hormone Soup turned me on to this article that blew my mind. This woman went through hell with misdiagnosis. So did this woman. And this doctor’s […]

  2. […] like my friend Courtney and this woman Jana, are being diagnosed with bipolar disorder when, in fact, they have Hashimoto’s Thyroid […]

  3. […] that the scientific literature includes multiple studies showing the psychiatric manifestations of thyroid disease. However the lack of awareness is pervasive. The Thyroid Federation International estimates up to […]

  4. […] Hypothyroid Mom | Mental disorder or undiagnosed Hypothyroidism? […]

  5. […] can go on and on about symptoms. A blog post recent blog on mental health disorders and Hashimoto’s, including bi-polar disease inspired me to […]

  6. […] that the scientific literature includes multiple studies showing the psychiatric manifestations of thyroid disease. However the lack of awareness is pervasive. The Thyroid Federation International estimates up to […]

  7. […] of my most popular posts at Hypothyroid Mom was a post entitled Mental Disorder or Undiagnosed Hypothyroidism? A reader contacted me soon after the launch of my blog in October 2012 with a story that has […]

  8. […] were dealing with hypothyroidism. Today, my angel Sonya from Hormone Soup turned me on to this article from Hypothyroid Mom that blew my mind. Dana shared a story of a reader who went through hell with […]

Speak Your Mind

*