When Thyroid Disease Masquerades As Psychiatric Disorder

When Hypothyroidism Masquerades As Depression

One 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 haunted me to this day.

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 post sparked so much interest that many thyroid sufferers contacted me with their personal horror stories of psychiatric disorders. I can’t stop wondering how many fellow thyroid sufferers are in mental health wards right now? How many fellow thyroid sufferers reading this post right now are struggling with mental health issues? Is it possible that many of them have been misdiagnosed?

Millions of Thyroid Sufferers

The Thyroid Federation International estimates there are up to 300 million thyroid sufferers worldwide, but over HALF are presumed to be unaware of their condition. That means over 150 million thyroid sufferers worldwide have no idea they suffer from a thyroid condition.

How many of them have been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder?

How many of them end up in mental health wards?

How many of them are suicidal?

How many thyroid sufferers suffer mental health issues despite their thyroid treatment?

How many thyroid sufferers on thyroid treatment complain to their doctor about psychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety? Instead of looking more closely at the thyroid condition, the doctor insists their thyroid lab test is normal and hands them a prescription for psychotropic drugs.

I don’t know how many. However I worry that there are many thyroid sufferers in this situation, many more than we can imagine.

This is not to suggest that mental health related drugs and treatment are not necessary for many people. There is no shame in receiving mental health related treatment. That is not what this article is about. They are extremely important and beneficial for many. The issue is that thyroid disease has the power to disturb mental health yet thyroid function is not routinely tested. There should be thyroid testing for every person displaying mental health symptoms. For individuals diagnosed with thyroid disease who continue to suffer mental health symptoms, a comprehensive investigation is needed to ensure they are being optimally treated.

Is this happening to YOU right now? Are you here reading this? Is this happening to a family member or friend? Get a second, third, fourth even tenth medical opinion until you find a doctor who listens to you – Top 10 Resources to Find a Great Thyroid Doctor.

Thyroid Antibodies

In mainstream medicine, doctors rely on one lab test TSH to diagnose and treat thyroid dysfunction. Countless thyroid sufferers have “normal” TSH but they suffer debilitating symptoms including mental health issues. A full thyroid panel should at least include TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, and Thyroid Antibodies, however all these tests are often NOT done by mainstream doctors. Hmm…

Even when thyroid antibodies for Hashimoto’s are tested and found to be high, mainstream doctors refuse to treat if the TSH is “normal”. Hmm…

The Journal of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine:

The mental symptoms associated with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis may precede the full-blown, classic picture of hypothyroidism. The psychiatric symptoms include various mental aberrations, depression, irritability, and confusion. Indeed, patients may be mislabeled as having psychotic depression, paranoid schizophrenia, or the manic phase of a manic depressive disorder. The workup must include a thorough evaluation of thyroid function, including tests for auto-antibodies. Patients usually respond favorably to thyroid replacement hormone therapy.

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…

The standard care for Hashimoto’s sufferers is to wait until the body has attacked enough of the thyroid gland to trigger the TSH to rise above normal and then treat with thyroid drugs. Doctors refuse to treat until the patient’s TSH rises above “normal” yet all the while the body is attacking the thyroid gland and the person is suffering mental health symptoms. Hmm…

The standard care for Hashimoto’s fails to address the autoimmune condition. Doctors fail to consider all the potential underlying issues including gut issues, food sensitivities, gluten sensitivity, sex hormone imbalances, blood sugar imbalance, adrenal dysfunction, chronic inflammation, selenium deficiency, vitamin D deficiency, and heavy metal toxicity. Is it possible that by addressing the autoimmune condition in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis that the mental health symptoms may be resolved? Hmm…

The Hashimoto’s Institute is a FREE online Hashimoto’s event running from September 15-22. There are still a few days left to catch it. Click here to register: The Hashimoto’s Institute

Register for FREE Hashimoto's Institute

T3 Thyroid Treatment

In mainstream medicine, T4 drugs like Synthroid are the gold standard for treatment of hypothyroidism. Many doctors around the world refuse to prescribe different thyroid drug options including T3 medication and natural desiccated thyroid. Hmm…

The Holtorf Medical Group article Thyroid Dysfunction As Cause of Depression includes research showing the effectiveness of T3 in treating depression and bipolar.

Many depressed and bipolar patients have undiagnosed thyroid dysfunction as the underlying cause or major contributor to their depression that is not detected by standard thyroid tests…

With an understanding of thyroid physiology and associated dysfunctions that is present in depressed patients, it is clear that timed-released T3 supplementation should be considered in all depressed and bipolar patients despite “normal” serum thyroid levels. Additionally, straight T4 should be considered inappropriate and suboptimal therapy for replacement in such patients.

Dr. Kent Holtorf talks here about thyroid tests and treatment errors. He shares a study that showed “T3 was a better anti-depressant than anti-depressants”. Hmm…

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 IT’S TIME FOR CHANGE.

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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. Jana DiCioccio says:

    Dana,
    I am in tears reading this.. thank you so much for what you have done. For too long Ive felt the pain & weight on my shoulders with the information I held within until I came across you. I cannot bare knowing people are wrongfully being harmed & don’t have the words to thank you enough for all you have done. I am over joyed to know people have come forth from the original story to you & now have answers. My hope is that one day the doctors negligence will be so well known that they will have to come forward & fix their ways. Slowly the weight is lifting slowly the heartache is dissapating. To my friend Dana you are saving the lives of people I care for so deeply yet have no idea how much I care & want then well. I owe you everything.

    Sincerely & always your friend,
    Jana DiCioccio
    Ps. Should anyone have any questions I am happy to answer & help any way I can
    God Bless

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Jana,
      Your story is so upsetting that it has propelled me to research this link between hypothyroidism and mental health issues with a fury. This should NEVER happen to anyone. The fact that thyroid sufferers may be suffering in mental health wards and on psychotropic drugs when their thyroid disease is the real issue is so upsetting. Thank you for sharing your story Jana. You are saving lives right this moment. For every person struggling the same will read your story and know they are not alone. I am proud to know you Jana.
      Best,
      Dana

  2. Oh Dana,
    What a Godsend you are! Jana and I have very similar stories and thank you for linking up to my article “Miss Diagnosis.” I spent 6.5 years as a bipolar woman and am now having quite an identity shift. All I can do at this point is continue to get better and wean off the psych meds, and everyday is getting better. Everytime I meet a bipolar woman now, I ask her to please get a full thyroid panel run. My advocacy will grow as I heal. It’s so important to advocate – and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for speaking out. I’m almost 40 and instead of being angry at the past decades of insanity and misdiagnosis, I’m looking forward to the best decade of my life. It’s so easy to get angry, but I keep marching forward and educating. I feel so blessed to have found your blog – you’ve been one of the cornerstones in my recovery. THANK YOU!!!! xoxo, Court

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Oh Court, thank you so much for commenting on Hypothyroid Mom. It was so sweet of you to put a link to Hypothyroid Mom in your post “Miss Diagnosis” at ibeefree.com. It was such a raw and real post that had me thinking for days. I am sorry for all that you’ve been through. I know that mental health is a sensitive topic to discuss but we have to discuss these issues for their to be awareness and change. Thank you for so openly sharing your story. I know that you are saving lives Court by sharing your story. There will be people suffering from bipolar, depression and other mental health “labels” and they will know they are not alone. You will encourage them to get a full thyroid blood panel and I am convinced this will save lives. Thank you Court. I am happy to know you. Best of luck in your healing.

      http://ibeefree.com/2013/02/02/miss-diagnosis/

  3. Dana,

    I am haunted, too, by stories like Jana’s and I thank both you and her for sharing such a painful story. Stories like this need to be heard! I really believe that through sharing comes healing. Jana I am so glad that you were able to get the right kind of help in the end. I shudder to think how many women are out there enduring similar situations. I recently read a woman’s story about her mis-diagnosis of bi-polar disorder with psychotic episodes due to environmental toxins at her workplace! After two hospital admissions, she began to advocate for herself. But when she tried to get help from an “alternative” doctor because her meds weren’t working & negative side-effects her psychiatrist “fired” her! With the help of an orthomolecular doctor she was able to wean off all her meds (except thyroid med because the lithium destroyed her thyroid) and she was even awarded workers compensation because she was able to prove her supposed bi-polar disorder with psychotic episodes was actually chemical induced encephalitis. I couldn’t help but think of Jana and of course Court. Court is also a great example of how self-advocacy can change everything – I’m so glad you share her story too! Love that girl.

    Thanks Dana for turning your own sad situation into something positive & creating a place for women to educate and empower themselves! My hats off to you and all the brave women who share their stories so others may benefit.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Thank you Sonya. I am happy to be connected with women like you, Jana and Court. I know the topic of mental health is a sensitive one but it’s so important to share these stories because it is a very real problem for thyroid sufferers. If we all keep hush about these struggles people will continue to suffer.

      I love your article on mental health at Hormone Soup. A special thank you to Jana DiCioccio and Courtney Rundell for sharing their stories. I am certain you are saving lives today. God bless you.

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

    • Jana DiCioccio says:

      Sonya,
      Thank you for you incredible kind words. I thank Dana and Courtney as well. Your bravery to come forth is giving me the courage to take the years I not only went through to come out the other end stronger and better for it, but to expand upon what I first did when I knew the time had come. I first contacted Dana whom knew my fear & desire to protect my family, caused a tug of war between finally ripping open this very secretive, not well known problem that goes beyond what I even told Dana. Dana I’ve been working on a blog I dare not post until ready for it encompasses all my research, medical etymology, my own story beginning to what is still on going but most important my own investigations I went under cover that expand beyond what I told you about. I did do a 1 year investigation study 3 times a week undercover in two government run agencies (no coincidence they are the two largest agencies that I disguised myself in. I told you the name of the two agencies. I also went under cover in a small non government run agency that died out too quick to be conclusive) to find the truth of what was and is going on. Dana, you are starting to uncover what I never expected you would & I gleam with pride that you are doing so. This goes so far that it never seems to stop nor does the typing from all that I learn that has become an unpublished blog awaiting a friend of mine to edit once I’m ready. There is a lot more to this as can obviously be seen from Sonya’s case. Dana lets talk when you have time . I have an email like I said long over due on the way. It is becoming apparent I need to come out with it all. My life is but one and I bear the blood of people I personally knew who have been lost to this tragedy. My closest friend Curry among one of them. I didn’t open my mouth in time but I didn’t have the sound proof evidence that I have now. I’d gladly pay any price I have too, for every person who has suffered as a result of my taking too much time. I’m so sorry to you all from the pit of my soul. To Dana, Courtney, Sonya please help set this burden loose I cannot bear alone.

      • Dana Trentini says:

        It never ceases to amaze me the pain people struggle with thyroid dysfunction. Jana, I look forward to your blog and learning more about your story. One thing is clear we need more awareness about the link between thyroid and mental health. We need change.

      • I agree with Dana, it sometimes seems there are more women with thyroid dysfunction than without these days. Thyroid and other female hormones play a substantial role in mental health. When one is out of balance it can wreak havoc.

  4. Hi Dana,

    Thank you and Jana for this blog and both of your information & stories. Mine is very similar. I was having mood swings, sad, anxiety, angry, felt like I was crazy at times. I went to a doctor & was diagnosed with depression. I was put on Wellbutrin, Zoloft, and several other antidepressants because none of them worked, so the doctor kept trying others. I eventually found a family doctor who ran some tests for me, I didn’t know what he was testing me for, so I went along, because I always have trusted my doctors. He came back & said I was hypothyroid & needed to go on levothyroxine. My symptoms of depression, mood swings, etc. started to dissipate. A few years later some symptoms returned & I started to have an enlarged thyroid. My doctor tested me for Hoshimoto’s, the results came back and he said, no you don’t have it. I now have to see a VA doctor who took me from .375 levothyroxine to .125 mg. She tests me frequently, but only for my TSH level. When I’ve spoken with her about my insomnia, anxiety & mood swings I’m currently having, she has now set up an appointment for me to see a psychiatrist. I see her on the 26th for my test results, which I will then ask her to do all the other tests you have recommended. Then I see the psychiatrist on the 28th. I will go & see what he has to say, but will most likely have to take it with a grain of salt. I appreciate your help & Jana’s help. I will write an update after my appointments. Thank all of the women who have posted their stories here, it helps to know you are not alone & you’re not crazy.

    Thank you again and I will keep you updated.

    Sincerely,
    Heather

    • Hi Heather,
      I can’t help but comment and say that I’m sorry you’re having insomnia and mood symptoms. Just can’t help but chime in and make a suggestion that in addition to your thyroid testing you may want to consider getting your other hormones tested as well. Estrogen, Progesterone, DHEA, Cortisol & Testosterone – it can give you a broader perspective. My anxiety and mood swings were related to a severe progesterone deficiency. The only challenge here is seeking out the right doctor. All the very best to you on your journey toward optimal health!

      Sonya

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Heather, I am so happy to have you on Hypothyroid Mom. It is unfortunate that thyroid sufferers are diagnosed with depression and other mental health issues. There are many thyroid receptor cells in our brain so imagine if you have abnormal thyroid hormone levels what affect that would have on our brains. After the birth of my first son, when I described my hypothyroid symptoms to my doctor she immediately passed me a prescription for anti-depressants assuming I was suffering from postpartum depression (which happens to many hypothyroid new moms!). She never suggested a thyroid test. Please be sure to get your Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and all thyroid antibodies tested (TPO-Ab, TgAb, and TSIG). As Sonya above mentions get your hormones tested as she lists above because that is a critical piece to the puzzle. With Hashimoto’s there are many potential underlying issues that need to be addressed including gluten intolerance, food sensitivities, chronic inflammation, blood sugar levels, heavy metal toxicity, deficiency in selenium and vitamin D. Here is a post on Hashimoto’s that includes additional tests to request from your doctor. Best of luck to you Heather and welcome to Hypothyroid Mom!

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/hypo-like-a-rock-star-hashimotos/

      • Thank you Dana & Sonya. I will bring these issues up with my doctor. The symptoms you commented regarding Hashimoto’s are everything I’ve got, Jana can confirm this, you don’t know how many people you are helping with this blog. Keep up the great posts!

        • Dana Trentini says:

          So wonderful to have you on Hypothyroid Mom Heather! Yes please discuss these things with your doctor Heather. I wish you good health.

    • Hi, your comment captivated my attention because I was currently diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. I went to an emergency room a month ago for heart palpitations and suddenly the results came in and I was told I has high levels of tsh which in other words means I suffer from hypodroidism. This took a heavy toll on me and my new doctor diagnosed me with anxiety disorder. Although my levels go from 5.7 to 6.4 the endocrinologist that I saw said he wouldn’t worry about it because my doctor has him convinced that I’m some kind of anxiety disorder maniac or something when I was perfectly fine before meeting both of them. I’ve always felt fatigue for years and I never had a doctor to tell me I suffered from thyroid. Turns out they started me on a low level of levothyroxine which only provides t4 mean while they have me on Xanax and anti depressents for anxiety. I feel that I should be treated for T3 as well since the results came back that they were low and t3 plays a fundamental role in ones mental health. If I were treated properly with T3 my anxiety symptoms would greatly improve, but how do I find a doctor to believe all of this when I’m already on all of these medicines. I need to do further research but I’m on it ladies more T3 is essential for ones mental health. If you’re only being treated for t4 then chances are you’ll always be a sufferer of these mental illnesses that have occurred due to being misdiagnosed or not treated with the correct medicine. If anyone knows of a good endocrinologist in Massachusetts please recommend him to me. Thank you

  5. Hi Dana,
    Lots of information to read, I know that people including myself have Thyroid problems, I do cardiovascular screening and that is part of the testing that I do, we check the Sympathetic and Parasympathic nervous system and it will tell us if your hormones are off. I tell lots of people to check to see if they have Parasites or Candida, and then we hit the Thyroid issues, there are many natural ways of working on these things and then we have to start on there nervous system, Chiropractic can be a big part of getting that to work correctly. I love your posts and will keep reading them, our main goal is to help people feel good naturaly. Jon Hoadey American Heart Clinic

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Jon,

      So great to hear from you. Thank you for commenting. I am particularly intrigued by the connection between low thyroid function and heart disease. I would love to hear Jon what link you find with your patients and what you recommend for thyroid patients suffering from heart disease. I had high cholesterol, very low blood pressure and low heart rate and high Cardio CRP prior to treatment, and then with natural desiccated thyroid miraculously those levels all improved. I would love your take on this. As well, please tell me more about how the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system is connected with the thyroid. This is very interesting.

  6. Wow. Wow Dana, Thank you so SO much for writing and posting this!
    My story is different yet similar. What happened to Jana could have happened to me. As it is, last year I lost my marriage as a result of what happened after my baby was born five years ago. Following a miraculous and relatively healthy pregnancy, everything hit the fan. My lifelong Hashimoto’s Disease went ballistic. My body and mind were not ok. I experienced a post-partum thyroid storm, severe symptoms like 100 lbs weight gain, extreme phobias, agitation and fighting with my partner of many years, orthopedic problems, physical pain, dysfunctional uterine bleeding and ovarian cysts, Estrogen Dominance… A long and terrible list. Luckily my therapist and I knew I am not bipolar, or I might have been misdiagnosed… That period of my life is still hard for me to believe or talk about. I had been on T-4 only meds since I was a teenager, due to childhood Hashi’s and bad TSH. Improper meds went on twenty years following my thyroidectomy. About three years ago, when I learned everything on the Stop the Thyroid Madness site , (which was my entry point to learning and getting help), I was astounded, and also enraged that I had been so very hurt by the medical establishment I had trusted. And my own ignorance… I immediately began the journey to better health. I eventually found a good doc who does the right tests. My lab tests were off the charts abnormal in many ways, but it still took a few upsetting tries to get the right treatment in the aftermath of information. I got on the bioidentical hormones I needed, I now take natural dessicated thyroid and many other things. All the weight came off. My health and appearance greatly improved. Sadly, my husband still didn’t understand, he took many of my symptoms very personally. I’m sorry he was affected, and hurt by this as well. I wish he had embraced this knowledge and accompanied me to doctors Instead we escalated… So I am a single mom now. Things are better though. My reconnection with my real self has helped all three of us. I think we are at least healing, and friendly again. I may be able to work again this year-it’s been a long time on Disability for me.

    I plan to copy this article to my family and friends, and my ex, in hopes they will get better insight about what happened to me, and how I am healing and now trying to get out of my hiding place and try to help others from the sidelines, with the energy I can spare… I am still shy and tentative, shell-shocked from the recent chapters in my life. But I feel further empowered and strengthened now, reading this and the other articles you’ve posted, and all the research, the wonderful comments. I feel hope.

    Thank you, again, for this blog and your FB page, for all you are doing, Dana. I am certain that you and the others who are educating and advocating and providing a space for thyroid sufferers are saving lives!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Oh Marina, I am so happy you commented here. When I wrote this blog post I hoped to find all the thyroid sufferers going through this experience with mental health symptoms to let you know you are not alone. It is so sad how thyroid dysfunction can touch the brain. It’s hard for loved ones to understand this because to be frank there is very little awareness about thyroid conditions in the media and the world period. So we are looked at like all these symptoms are in our head when they are not always. I hope that readers will find this post and your comment here and know there is hope. With a full comprehensive investigation of your thyroid health, it’s possible to get thyroid healthy and to reduce many of the thyroid related symptoms. It’s about being an advocate for yourself and researching all you can and then finding a great doctor who listens and explores your health story with you. I am so happy you found a doctor and that you are on your way to healing. That is wonderful to hear. Happy to have you on my page Marina. I hope that by sharing this article with your family, friends and most importantly your ex, they will see how your thyroid condition affected you. You have an invisible illness that to everyone on the outside you look find but on the inside you are suffering.

    • Gosh, Marina, can we be friends?! :) “Still shy and tentative….” how I relate!….this 4 year trial has left me battered and bruised as well, shakey legs hopefully beginning
      to “walk” once more. I do hope
      you are still getting better and
      better each day.

  7. I was diagnosed with Hypo in 2009, I am still struggling with my symtoms because Im also dealing with acid reflux and both need to be taken in the morning for me and they arent to be taken at the same time, recently I have been feeling like Im going a little nuts, horrible memory, cant sleep, Ive gained more weight, no energy at all, and all I get from the doc is “take your med, come back in 6 weeks” Im so frustrated and cant seem to find anybody that I can just talk to about this and maybe get advice, Im glad ive stumbled upon this as I was told I should go online and find a blog

    • Dana Trentini says:

      HI Christi, I am so sorry to hear your struggle. The symptoms you describe acid reflux, poor memory, inability to sleep, weight gain, lack of energy all sound like your thyroid condition has not been optimally treated. There are so many thyroid sufferers being treated but not treated well enough to be well. You must speak with your doctor about testing your Free T4, Free T3, reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies. It may be that the medication you are on is either at the wrong dosage or it may not be what’s right for you. There are many thyroid medications available and you need to speak with your doctor about the options. If your doctor won’t do these tests and insists your medication is right, yet you still don’t feel well, it’s time to find a new doctor.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/which-is-the-best-thyroid-drug-for-hypothyroidism/

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

  8. Hi Hypothyroid Mom.
    I hope you can maybe help me. Im so confused. I have never been diagnosed properly but know over the last 15 years my TSH was mostly normal but other times it wasnt.. I had alot of the hypothyroid symtpoms despite normal blood tests. I found a doctor who went by my symptoms and a machine called thyroflex. She told me the the thyroid hormones were not making it to the tissues which is why blood tests are normal but have the symptoms. I went on NDT or Armour and started to feel like myself and finally reached a point of sheer happiness. Fast forward after the birth of my son 3 years all was good that I ended up not really needing the NDT. I was fine for quite a while before all the symptoms started to come back. I went back on NDT about a year ago and flet great. This January I went on a cruise and got gastritis and was severley ill ..I stopped the NDT as I thougth some of the symptoms were from taking too much NDT. About 8 weeks later I got the strangest symptoms until now. Extreme fatigue, dry reaching int he morning, slight hand tremor, heart palpitations, nervousness, andinternal anxiety, muscle weakness, tired but wired. The worst of all is the severe depression and feeling so empty and flat towards the light of my life my son and my husband. That is the worst.. I find im crying alot because I dont know what is happening. I dont want to be like this. My TSH normal, FT3 normal, FT4 High out of range and Anti bodies normal, and Thyroid ultrasound showed Nodules and thyroiditis was the comment. That was also a year ago on the ultrasound but only mild. Now it seems more severe and nodules are slightly bigger. Can you offer me advice.. I dont know if it feels like depression. I dont want to hide away from life if anything I want to be my happy self. I dont want to keep crying and being emotionally.

    • Carmen,

      I went 5 years without taking my synthroid & showed all the symptoms you are currently having. I personally ended up back on my synthroid & found some comfort & relief. I know I’m currently on the right dose but my doctor at the VA will not send me to the endocrinologist unless I have a pituitary gland issue in my brain. I’d recommend you need to go back on what you were on, thyroid medications are one of those you should never stop taking unless the doctor slowly takes you down off it. I’m sure Dana will have more knowledge & experience in helping you with exactly what tests you require. I wish you the best and I hope you will keep us updated.

      Sincerely,
      Heather

      • Dana Trentini says:

        Heather, thank you for sharing your experience. Happy to have you on Hypothyroid Mom!

      • Hi Heather,

        Thank you so much for taking the time and writing. Not that I want you to suffer but it really makes me feel better that you understand what I am going through as you have had the exact same symptoms. What a relief. You are so right .. I am trying to make an appointment with that same doctor and try and get back on the medication to see what is happening. I kind of feel that depression wouldnt cause all those symptoms. I know from depression you usually want to hide away and not do anything ..Where i really want to do stuff i am just to tired and its hard to enjoy yourself when you feel terrible. Thank you Heather again for your comment and I will post my results as soon as I get them and let you know how I go. God bless you with health and happiness always :)

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Carmen, I am so sorry all this is happening to you. There are so many possible reasons for why this is happening to you. First of all, are you still seeing the doctor who put you on NDT when you were feeling great, because you need to see that doctor again. You write that you stopped your NDT so are you currently not taking medication?

      Your symptoms could be due to hyperthyroidism. If you are on medication, you need to speak with your doctor about over-medication. However the other possibility is that your nodule is causing hyper symptoms. You mention that your TSH is normal, Free T3 normal and Free T4 is high, and that high Free T4 may be causing those hyper symptoms. If you are on medication, it may require a reduction to lower the Free T4 level. This shift to hyper may be causing your mental health symptoms too.

      What does your doctor say about this? What change in medication has been done? You say your thyroid antibodies are normal, so all these three are normal TPO-Ab, TgAb and TSI? If you haven’t had all 3 please get them done too. With Hashimoto’s for example people can swing between hypo and hyper symptoms so you have to have the antibodies for Hashimoto’s both tested (TPO-Ab and TgAb) and antibodies for Graves (TSI).

      If you are not on your medication, then you must contact your doctor because stopping prescribed medication can be dangerous to our health and worsen our condition. Given that you had a doctor who treated you well and got you feeling well, it’s time to see that doctor again. If not, here is a post with resources to help you find a good thyroid doctor.

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

      • Hi Dana,

        Thank you for your comment. It’s so lovely to see you respond and reach out to others in need ..Even if it is just for support. Truly God sent. I am not on NDT since January and the symptoms started a few weeks later. I know the Ultrasound sound said ” Increased Vascularity and Nodules compatible with Thyroiditis. I suppose if my thyroid was functioning well it should not be inflamed or show thyroiditis.. I have not had the 3 tests done actually. Only TgAB and it just said under 20.. and defintely have not had the TSI done.. I will have to try and get these blood tests done and see what it shows.. and also am trying to go back and see my doctor as well. I really feel it is my thyroid and not true clinical depression… Maybe because I was feeling so good and now im not that is the source of my crying and low mood, which could be linked to the thyroid. If not then I will have to lok at the anti depressant option but only want to do that as a really last resort… Will update you as soon as I have some news :). God bless you Dana

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Carmen, best of luck to you. It may very well be that your thyroid condition is at the root of the issue. At the same time, this doesn’t mean that anti-depressants are not an important option for those that really need it. However anyone with a thyroid condition suffering any mental health symptoms should be sure to have their thyroid fully tested to be sure that isn’t the reason for their symptoms. May 2013 bring you better health Carmen!

          • Hi Hypothyroid Mom,

            Its me Carmen again. Ive had all the blood tests and anti bodies and all came back fine. I did have a git feeling to ask my GP for a Nuclear Scan. She did this straightaway for me. The Endo I went to has been trying to imply that yes i have an underlying thyroid condition Thyroiditis but its not causing my symptoms. However I dont know if you can make sense of this. I am seeing the Endo tomorrow with this scan as I think even though my blood work is fine and Im not not any meds he can no longer say anything .. This is what the scan says

            Scan findings: The Thyroid Gland does not appear enlarged. There is mild non-uniform increased uptake throughout both lobes of the thyroid. There are no definitive, cold or “hot” nodules in either lobe

            There is significant suppression of background uptake
            The Calculated thyroid uptake value at 20 mins is 7.58% (normal range 1-5%)

            Opinion : The scan findings are consistent with Grave’s disease or toxic phase of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Scan findings are not suggestive of toxic adenomatous disease or subacute thyroiditis…

            I hope he does not brush me off and say there is nothing wrong as your blood work is ok… I am also really low on my cortisol saliva results all day. I am 9.5 total and range is 11-72..
            My ACTH blood test result was 2.8 range was (0-12)

            So I think it may explain all of my teariness, paranoia, depression. fatigue etc. I am sad that I have had to ask for the tests myself as I am not a doctor but had to go with my gut. I still really dont know what is happening with my thyroid but whatever is going on has robbed me of my life for the last 7months and I hate to think if I hadnt asked for this test where I would be now. The endo said the saliva tests are all witch doctery and hocus pocus.. I do not believe him as I have read alot of research that says Saliva test for cortisol is very accurate.. Looking forward to any input anyone may have :)

          • Dana Trentini says:

            Hi Carmen,

            I am so happy you had that testing done because the scan shows “consistent with Grave’s disease or toxic phase of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis” which are both thyroid autoimmune conditions. Here is a description of Hashimoto’s. Either of these would explain your symptoms.

            http://hypothyroidmom.com/hypo-like-a-rock-star-hashimotos/

            Low adrenal function can wreak havoc on thyroid health and absolutely needs to be addressed. Thyroid advocate Janie Bowthorpe from Stop The Thyroid Madness wrote this important article on abnormal cortisol levels and thyroid health.

            http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/adrenal-info/

  9. Lisa LeVerrier says:

    Hi Dana,

    Thank you for posting this article. I just posted a link to it via my FB Fan Page Demystifying the Thyroid. I believe this is so important to spread the word and I appreciate your thoughtful and thorough blog posts.

  10. HI Dana,

    Thank you for your lovely comments. Unfortunately when i went to the endo he said there is nothing wrong with me because my bloodwork and antobodies are all in normal range. I told him i know myslef and this is not me.. I said he has an ultrasound that showed thyroiditis and nuclear scan shows the above and i showed him my really low saliva cortisol levels and he said even though i have an underlying autoimmune thyroiditis it is not causing my symptoms ..I questioned him repeatedly and showed him proof even with the saliva test accuracy. He said he cant help me because all my blood work and antibodies and everything is in normal range. I walked out of their in tears and hopeless as i still dont know what to believe. My gut feeling is its my thyroid and i was proven right with the scan to a degree but he made me so upset and confused .. He basically told me it was in my head in not so many words. I have started HC yesterday for my adrenals as they were very very low …Now its trying to work out what is wrong with my thyroid as I believe it has contributed to my depression and emotional symptoms. I am taking alot of supplements in the meantime and also will be having an iron infusion as well. So im trying my hardest but its an uphill struggle to work this out and he really really upset me ..I walked out of his office and cried and cried.. :(

    • I forgot to mention that my antibodies are within range
      my reverse t3 is high in range range is 170-450 mine is 434 and my ratio is 12
      my white blood cell count range (4-11) mine was 7.2 in in january and is now 4.2
      My ESR is 5 range is (1-24)
      TSH range (0.40 -3.50 ) in january it was 0.40 april was 0.76 june is 1.10
      Free T4 (9.0- 19) april was 26 then a week later 19 June is 14.6
      Free T3 No range written but from memory range was 3-6.8 April was 3.6 ,may was 5.3 june was 4.3 ..

      • Dana Trentini says:

        Carmen,

        I responded to your other comment suggesting to get a copy of your lab results and here they are great. So you did the Reverse T3 ratio using the calculator on Stop The Thyroid Madness. There are many reasons why people can have high reverse T3 that then causes all their symptoms. First off stress both emotional and physical can cause you to produce more of the inactive Reverse T3 as opposed to the active T3 hormone. Also as written in the Stop The Thyroid Madness article attached below two other common reasons are poor adrenals (best test is saliva test for cortisol level) and poor iron levels (be sure to have full iron panel including ferritin) or also low B12 (so be sure to have B12 tested). Be sure to also have your thyroid antibody levels retested for Hashimoto’s (thyroid peroxidase antibodies and thyroglobulin antibodies) and antibodies for Graves (TSI)

        http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/rt3-ratio/

        Also, your Free T3 should be in the top quarter of the normal range as written by thyroid advocate Mary Shomon: ““More innovative doctors are beginning to believe that a TSH of around 1 – 2 — in the low end of the normal range — is optimal for most people to feel well and avoid having hypothyroid or hyperthyroid symptoms. Similarly, some practitioners feel that optimal hypothyroidism treatment includes Free T4 in the top half of the normal range, and Free T3 in the top 25th percentil of the normal range.”

        Please find another doctor for another medical opinion on your condition.

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

        • Hi Dana, I’m seeing another endo and will see what he will do. He did day its not normal to have the results of the nuclear uptake scan. He said its showing my thyroid is taking up more that it should and its very dark , he also said my ultrasounds comparing one year apart are showing different as in this years ultrasound is getting worse… The inflammation is increasing! He will so another blood test. He said nuclear uptake scans are very very accurate ! however he cannot understand why it’s not showing in the blood test.. So I questioned him and said what if bloods come back normal and he said let’s wait and see. I know it will come back normal but I suppose the fact that 3 scans showing abnormal results must mean something … He said my uptake scan image should not be as black as it is … So maybe I’m a rare one where it does not show ! Hopefully ill get to an answer soon

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Carmen,

      I am so very sorry to hear what happened. Of course your symptoms may not be thyroid related however if your instincts tell you something isn’t right follow your instincts and seek another medical opinion even 10 medical opinions so you are sure every possibility has been checked. Get a copy of your lab results to see which tests were done and what your scores were as compared to the normal ranges. It’s very common for people to have “normal” levels but the ranges are so broad that you can be in that range but still not optimal for you. For example, thyroid advocate Mary Shomon wrote: “More innovative doctors are beginning to believe that a TSH of around 1 – 2 — in the low end of the normal range — is optimal for most people to feel well and avoid having hypothyroid or hyperthyroid symptoms. Similarly, some practitioners feel that optimal hypothyroidism treatment includes Free T4 in the top half of the normal range, and Free T3 in the top 25th percentil of the normal range.” If TSH was the only test done, and Free T4 and Free T3 were not done then you need to have them done and see where your scores fall in the range. Always get a copy of your lab results and check yourself.

      http://thyroid.about.com/cs/hypothyroidism/a/notwell.htm

      Sometimes an endocrinologist is not the type of doctor you need.

      http://thyroid.about.com/od/findingdoctors/a/thyroid-patients-endocrinologists-thyroidologists.htm

      I compiled a list of the top 10 resources to help readers find a great thyroid doctor in their area.

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

  11. Hi Dana
    I never made it to a physch ward. My Dr thought it was perfectly fine to add Wilbutrin to my other anti depressant and then just look at me once a month. I asked for a Thyroid screen the last time I saw him in April. He said “no” and laughed, “but we can test for sleep apnea”.
    I never went back. I went to my Pulmonary specialist immediately and persuaded him to let me try Desiccated Thyroid ERFA (I’m in Alberta). He was a little reluctant, but as my inflammation levels were very high, m C-Reactive Protein too and an increase in my TSH over two Years from 1.1 to 2.28, he agreed.
    I then paid to see a Bioidentical Hormones Dr.
    Amazing. I am now taking 4,000 mg Vitamin D, Progesterone and DHEA, with a trial of Testosterone.
    I am Insulin deficient.
    My allergy levels are outrageous.
    This has been going on since at least age 13. Three courses of anti depressants and three years on Beta Blockers and I may finally see a difference.
    I still feel like hell most days, but at least now I know I’m not delusional!

  12. Hi Dana
    I stumbled upon your website today and started crying hysterically reading through all the letters from so many people suffering with many of the same issues I have been suffering with for so long. After having my son 23 years ago, I had gone back to my doctor several times complaining of extreme tiredness, lethargy, brain fog, poor memory, anxiety and feelings of depression. He had said at first that I should give my body time to recover cause I had just had a baby and to take some multivitamins and that I should be ok. Instead my symptoms had just gotten worse as time went on and my hair was falling out in clumps and I had developed extreme phobias and was even more depressed. I went back to see him and this time he gave me a prescription for antidepressants which I took for a while but did not help. I again returned to the doctors office which he then had my thyroid retested and this time he made me feel like I was a hypocondraic when he said that the tests were fine and there was absolutely nothing wrong with me that it was all in my head. I was truly depressed leaving his office that day that I honestly thought that there was something wrong with me mentally and haven’t spoke to anyone else about it and have been suffering in silence all these years for fear that I would end up in a mental ward. I just want to thank you and all these people who have posted their experiences on this post because now I feel that I am armed with so much knowledge that I can go forward now to try and help myself. Thank you again and well wishes to all my thyroid suffering sisters and brothers!

    • Hi Marie, don’t despair, I’m going through exactly the same things as u are and my blood test is normal although fluctuates however 2 ultrasounds done a year apart show increasing thyroiditis and nuclear uptake scan shows something as well… So I think bloods can tell a story and other tests can tell a story… Yet we still suffer endlessly … I’m trying to stay strong until I get an answer with supplements , iron, 5htp which can help with the depression side of it , multi vitamin , and good food !!! You are not alone and I too thought I was going crazy and was going to go to a mental health clinic but I’m going by my gut instinct and also my other tests .. Maybe not everyone is as clear cut text book for diagnosis ! Thinking of u and stay strong xx

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Marie,

      Goose bumps rose on my arm reading your message. I am so sorry to hear all that you’ve been through. Every cell of the body including the brain requires thyroid hormone for proper functioning so absolutely low thyroid can cause mental health symptoms like depression, anxiety, phobia, bipolar, etc. I worry that there are more hypothyroid women with depression and postpartum depression than anyone realizes.

      Please you must get your Free T3 and thyroid antibodies tested because they have both been linked in the research to mental health symptoms. Often times TSH is the only test done and Levothyroxine drugs like Synthroid are the only drugs prescribed but there are other tests needed and other medications to consider. Don’t settle until you find a doctor who understands. I will post links here that you’ll find helpful. Best wishes to you and so happy to have you at Hypothyroid Mom. I also have a Hypothyroid Mom Facebook page in case you are on Facebook.

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

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/which-is-the-best-thyroid-drug-for-hypothyroidism/

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

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

  13. Hi Dana,

    I thought i had responded to your reply.. but not sure.. i cant see it. I went to another endo who is working on trying to work out why my nuclear uptake scan is showing graves despite normal tests. He is trialling me on antithyroid medication as he said he cannot discount and ignore my scan despite what blood test is showing.. I also tested positive for for high antibodies for Anti Nuclear Antibody test . Should be below 160 and my result was 1280 .. so finally something is beginning to show.. I am waiting to see what my latest Reverse T3 test shows as well. Yes I do cry and feel really down at the loss of joy that i am experiencing and it is a struggle to stay strong plus dealing with phyisical symptoms and pain but atleast more pieces to the puzzle are being revealed. Im sure it is all means something finally. I will stick with this endo as he s the only one wanting to really help and trial things. it goes to show we have to sometimes keep searching. once i get all my answers ill let you know and hopefully my experience can help someone as well. xo

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Carmen,

      How are you doing with the new endo? I’m happy you found someone who is listening to you. Best wishes to you for better health.

  14. Zoloft depression has actually been around for around 12 years. Patients have been proven to respond well to treatments from Zoloft depression while doctors favor Zoloft depression’s availability in various strengths, this way, someone who’s suffering from depression doesn’t have to settle for something else just cause they don’t have the right dosage available, with Zoloft depression, it’s hard to not get the right dosage for you … Understanding Zoloft depression better

  15. My ex-wife was diagnosed with hypothyroid a year and half ago. She was give Armour Thyroid, but her behavior became quite erratic, withdrawn, secretive and non-communicative.
    Over the next several months her behavior became even more bizarre, as though were single again and had regard for me whatsoever and actually said she wished I were dead.
    She would stay out all night without me knowing where she was.
    We finally divorced and I started trying to figure out what happened.
    In researching hypo I found out about all the psychological implications and was shocked.
    Knowing then some of the early outward physical manifestations I thought back several years about the many signs and symptoms she had seemingly unrelated to one another.
    At least three years before her diagnosis she was being treated for anxiety and depression with myriad drugs that kept changing to ‘find the right dose.
    After hypo diagnosis she was on three different antidepressants, one antianxiety and one antipsychotic as well as the Armour Thyroid but her behavior only got worse.
    Now I’m wondering if she’d had hypo so long before diagnosis if there was some exacerbated or even permanent mental damage done linked to her behavior.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Scott,

      I’m sorry to hear what happened to your ex-wife and to your marriage. Every cell of the body including the cells of the brain require proper thyroid hormone levels for proper functioning. It may be that her hypothyroidism was not being properly treated and resulted in mental health symptoms. I imagine there are many possible reasons for this type of behavior but her hypothyroidism would be one to consider. I wonder about the spouses of thyroid sufferers and how you manage in your relationships with spouses struggling with symptoms. Thank you for commenting.

  16. I was admitted to a psych ward after an episode where I was not able to breath and was put on anti-anxiety medication. After discharge I researched everything I could about my body and my symptoms. I made an appointment with my G.P. and when he refused to treat me (other than anti-anxiety meds) I refused to leave his office until AFTER he ordered a cat scan and ultrasound of the large growth protruding out of the side of my neck (THAT IS RIGHT I HAD THYROIDITIS AND THEY WERE REFUSING TO TREAT IT). Initially the insurance company refused to cover the cat scan and ultrasound but it was 7PM and the doctor wanted to go home so he fought for it. The ultrasound showed that the growth protruded into my chest cavity (thus the reason I couldn’t breath; fill my right lung). I had it removed and it was cancerous. AMAZINGLY this could have all been avoided if the medical professionals had listened to me many years earlier when I told them I was hypothyroid and they refused to treat me (I had ALL of the symptoms!!). Without a thyroid I was put on Synthroid, which didn’t change a thing (the symptoms were still there). A year and 5 endocrinologists later I once again had to take over my own medical care and found a chiropractor who would prescribe Naturthroid. Within a week I felt MUCH better. FINALLY I AM ON MY WAY TO A HEALTHY LIFE after 22 years of SUFFERING NEEDLESSLY (including a stay in a psych hospital). I lost my marriage, family, respect, and career due to UNDIAGNOSED hypothyroidism!! Endocrinologists and general practice doctors should be stripped of their license to practice medicine; every single one of them are quacks. They have no idea what they are doing!!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Starling,

      I put my head down on my desk for how upset I was after reading your story. I am sorry all that happened to you. It is a tragedy. I am so happy to hear you are doing well now. Prayers for you.

  17. Mama Nellie says:

    Thank you!! I had two psych hospitalizations in my late teens. I was told told electric shock therapy or state mental institution. Even though i had not recovered my will to live or joi d’vive, i answered the questions the way they wanted me to so i could be discharged to try harder next time and end up 6 feet under instead of on 4th floor. I was on psyche meds for years. During the pregnancy with my first born, I went off meds and was under close care of psychiatrist/psyhologist/OB care team. I did really well. Had moderate ppd, but refused psych meds so i could nurse. Life was about my child, and so i found joy in every moment of every day. Still no accurate diagnosis. Pregnant with second born, still no psych meds, still doing ok. She was born and WHAM severe PPD. I couldn’t remember what i had done by the end of the day- like what i fed my children, what times i fed them, how long they napped, what diapers were like, et c. I know they were taken care of because of a strict schedule i followed. I made an appt with a psychiatrist thinking i needed psych meds again. One blood test later and was diagnosed with Hashi’s. Life made sense. Here i am 14 years, five children born, later learning about treatments other than synthroid and ready to take even more control of my life.

    Thank you Thank you Thank you for sharing and making this info “mainstream”!!!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Mamma Nellie,

      Thank you for sharing your story. I know I have many readers who go through and read the comments to read other people’s stories. Maybe they don’t all comment but they are there learning from each story. You will give readers hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. God bless you with good health.

  18. About 9 years ago I ended up with a massive goiter and gained 50lbs and the doctors decided to take that half of my thyroid, but my thyroid levels were “normal”. It’s now 7 years since then and I keep going in to get my levels checked to which I am told I am normal and are you sure you aren’t depressed. I feel so failed by the system it’s ridiculous, and my insurance won’t pay for any of the doctors that I am able to find that will work with the thyroid and how you actually feel. It’s very frustrating to keep being sent to nutritionists, who tell you that you are lying about your food intake and exercise, to try and loose all of this weight that came on with the thyroid.

  19. I first wrote to Dana after I wentthrough the most traumatic event in my life all caused by undisguised Hypothyroidism.I am a 46 yo white male with absolutely no prior mental health issues, I noticed years ago that my eyebrows where becoming sparse didn’t think much of it until I learned it can be a sign of hasimotos. eventually I progressed to where I would feel faint upon standing up to quickly. soon after I was so intolerant to cold that I could not keep warm in June, I started sleeping for days at a time, I thought I just needed the rest. I became depressed, I started thinking about starving people, of the world, I cried I became obsessed with the end of the world, my behavior become increasingly bizarre, I was going into myexdema coma and myexdema madness. I saw everything differently than before, I felt as if I had been poisoned and was dying. I became psychotic to the point I actually thought I was Jesus . I did so many insane things that my neighbors and friends knew I needed help but didn’t know what to make of me, mild spoken, model neighbor who suddenly was screaming 911 in the front yard of his own property until the police would come. I put my partner of eight years though hell, finally I went to Greenville Memorial hospital voluntarily with the complaint I felt like I was dying. the staff at the hospital insisted on drawing blood, I said no I didn’t want that I just wanted a visual exam of me. I was told that I could give the blood or they would take it which they did. they tested the sample for everything but tsh. which was confirmed in a later blood test to be at 138 that’s one hundred thirty eight not 1.38. prescription drugs were found in my blood and the staff decided that I must have abused drugs and promptly committed me to a weeks stay in the crazy ward of the hospital until a bed could be found in the state hospital that I was to spend t
    almost a month in. while in Greenville Memorial I was kept in what was basically solitary confinement, I was told nothing about my condition or given any comfort or reassurance by the staff in any way. I had never been in the hospital before and upon trying to leave I was strapped down in four point restraints for trying to elope as my medical records indicate. I was given drugs that chemically restrained me such as geodon. I was never violent or rude to the staff I just wanted to leave and could not stop crying and beating on the door of my “room” thereby disturbing other patients and used as grounds for physical and chemical restraints. I was then shipped off to Patrick b Harris state mental hospital some fifty miles from home. it was there that the doctor tested my tsh and found it to be 138. I was given 50mcg synthetic thyroid hormone and slowly came out of my insanity and coma. almost a year has now passed and I am taking 1 1/2 grains of Armour thyroid each day and I am feeling stronger healthier each day that passes. I have had no strange thoughts orsany mental symptoms since my tsh is now in the 1.5 to 2.0 range. there is much more to my story but this Is all I can bring myself to write at the moment. I really think I should write a book, maybe that’s why this happened to me, to help others understand that if left untreated Hypothyroidism first drives you insane and then kills you.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Steve, Reading your story gives me chills. No person should have to go through what you went through. I can’t even imagine what was happening to your body at a TSH of 138. It actually keeps me up at night sometimes wondering how many undiagnosed or insufficiently treated thyroid sufferers are in psych wards right now. Thank you for sharing your story. I know there are many readers here who go through the comments. They may not comment themselves but they’re learning a lot from reader stories like yours. I hope you know your story will save someone here on my site. Thank you.

  20. Kristin Gallo says:

    Hello I just wanted to say that the stigma of mental health is terrible. I have severe anxiety ocd and bipolar. I’ve ran from psych wards as I’m not dangerous nor 5 nor a criminal. Now I was in the er 4 times out of my mind crazy but sane enough to talk my way out of lockdown. Anyway they finally on the fourth trip checked my blood instead of just drug screening me and discovered I was in near fatal potassium deficiency. Which is why I was so out of it. I’m trying desperately to get my thyroid looked at but because I presented psychotic no one will listen. But honestly that was not my normal. Hyperthyroidism runs in my family. And the head pills don’t work for me. They label me as treatment resistant and call it a day. But I’m beginning to suspect that there’s probably something else going on. I’m on weight gaining meds due to what they call anorexia. I’m not anorexic I in fact eat all the time. I feel I’m unfairly suffering because of my diagnosis. They just say its all in your head or its your ocd. But I’m sick and these meds don’t help. And there is a lump on my throat. So what do I do to get a doctor to look past my crazy and at least check me out.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Kristin, it is a tragedy what you have been through. I am sorry to hear what’s happened. One thing I know is half the battle is finding a caring doctor who listens to you and who does a full investigation to find out what’s happening to you. It can be a challenge to find a good one but that good one can change your life like my doctor did for me. I encourage you to search for a good doctor through these resources in this article attached. All the best to you.

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

  21. This is a great article! We get so many patients that are misdiagnosed when it comes to hypothyroidism, although I was unaware of the similarities between bipolar disorder (and other mental disorders) and thyroid dysfunction. I can\’t wait to use this information in my practice! Improving peoples lives is what we are passionate about (especially for those who come in with the \”all hope lost\” condition, as we call it). I\’m so glad I found this blog and am going to look over more of your writing to see if there is anything else we can learn/use from your insights. We do currently use multiple thyroid medication to treat our patients (trying to keep it as natural as possible depending on the symptoms though), including t3 and armour. Our belief is to customize a plan based on each clients individual needs since that is where the problem with most of their conditions occur with their doctors in the first place. It is sad how little of the people in the medical field are willing to put in the extra work and research (and this field is supposed to be about helping people Hmmm…). We also try to focus of diet, nutrition, natural supplementation, and bioidentical hormone therapy (if there seems to be a need for it). We also make our patients go in for routine blood work to make sure everything is going as planned. Is there any other suggestions you may have for us to look into for future protocol? Thanks again for the great article!You can find our websites at http://www.agemanagementoptimalwellness.com and http://www.agemanagementoptimalwellnesscenters.com if you would like to find some more information on our services and beliefs. Again, Thank you for your time : ) Happy Holidays to All!

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Age Management, happy to have you on my site and that my articles are helpful to you. So happy to hear you are open-minded in your way of diagnosing and treating your patients with thyroid disease.

  22. I cannot tell you how many patients we have that come in and are either misdiagnosed or their doctors won’t even run the correct tests on them. It is the best feeling when you can help a patient who is at the “all hope lost” stage! I was very surprised to learn about the connection between bipolar disorder or other mental illnesses and thyroid dysfunction. Thinking about it now, I can’t believe I didn’t come to this realization myself when listening to symptoms, but now I’m just concerned with all those others who aren’t receiving proper treatment that is right in front of them. I am going to start applying this to our program and look around your site to find other tidbits we can use to help those who need it. Again, beautiful article and kudos on the time and research you put in and the ability to express this to educate those looking for it. Thank you : ) !!!

    • Steve Griffin says:

      The answer to this is really quite simple , ALL PATIENTS PRESENTING WITH PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS SHOULD BE MANDATORILY TESTED FOR THYROID DISORDERS. unbelievable that in the year 2014 there is so much ignorance concerning thyroid disease and mental health issues. Some are even saying that the best antidepressant could be thyroid medication. I am no doctor , only a survivor of a nightmarish, embarrassing, painful disease that was completely overlooked by the local hospital and almost took my life. How will I ever get over the memories that are coming back of the completely insane things I did when I was unaware of my 138 tsh level? How will my friends and neighbors ever look at me in the same positive way as they once did? I can only think of one way to turn my experience from a negative to a positive, I must overcome the embarrassment , humiliation and put aside how my dignity was stripped away from me by both the disease and the system and push forward to promote mandatory thyroid screening of all mental patients. I think this may be my purpose in life. I have a lawsuit against Greenville Memorial Hospital pending because of the way I was not only misdiagnosed but actually abused. I went there with the complaint I was dying and although I needed to be somewhere safe I didn’t deserve to be put in solitary confinement for nearly a week in a room with no tv, no telephone, no furniture , only a blue plastic platform that was used to strap me down to when I was beating on the door crying to have someone tell me what was going on, I was never violent or abusive towards the staff. I was given sedatives , when someone is having myxedema sedatives are the last thing they need. I went three days without being offered any food, the few times they unlocked the door I was allowed to get saltine crackers and gatorade that was provided on a service cart left in the corridor. I was then sent a bill for almost 10,000 for my abuse.

      I was contacted by a local television station that heard about my ordeal but My attorney Todd Kincannon of columbia sc has advised me not to talk to the media . This lawsuit could drag on for years , I don’t think I could live with myself to wait that long to tell my story knowing that it could possibly help others , therefore I have decided to go against my attorneys advice and get the word out that hypothyroidism is not some made up disease to silence hypochondriacs , rather its a life long debilitating condition that needs to be carefully managed because if not it will rob you of your life and liberty . Its a disease that affects every part of your body , its something that millions of people have but don’t realize they have it. Every time I hear about someone harming themselves or others I always ask myself “wonder what their tsh was”.

      Please make thyroid disease screening as mandatory as immunizations. So many tragedies could have been averted . Public awareness of this issue could no doubt save countless lives and improve the quality of life for countless more.

      • Lori Woods says:

        I fear my boys will be put in the same kind of environment as you were subjected to, I am sorry to hear you were treated in such a manor. I am very pleased to know that you have found help it gives me hope for my boys. Who was the doctor who diagnosed you? I can’t seem to find a doctor to listen to me, I just keep getting the same reaction that my kid is just a spoiled brat, and I swear he is just a different person since that cyst started growing in his neck. His grades went from A’s to F’s overnight, and he cant even get his crap together to get ready to go to school. Its like he has gone backwards in maturity. Do you know of a doctor who I can take my son to? Thank you and good luck to you

        • Hey Lori,

          I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through. I was not diagnosed with hypothyroidism until I had left the local hospital and taken to the state mental hospital. It was there that the doctor tested for thyroid disease and told me that my TSH was 138, started me on 50 mcg of levothyroxine. I was so sick and tired at the time that it really didn’t register and I thought nothing about it. I was in that hospital for 23 days and before I was released given another TSH test which came back at 98. The doctor still would not acknowledge it was my thyroid that was the cause of my problems. My diagnose was altered mental status. Keep in mind I am in my forties and had never had any mental health issues, never seen a psychiatrist , or counselor, was always outgoing , friendly in my personal life and professional life with my sales career. I was discharged with a 14 day supply of levothyroxine. When I finally was released from what I considered false imprisonment I felt like a corpse, I didn’t have the energy to get of the sofa much less bathe or do anything to keep my house up. Within a few weeks of running out of the thyroid medication I again became psychotic and was convinced by a friend to go back to the hospital where you guessed it , I was treated like an animal, given powerful sedatives (by the way sedatives are one of the worst things one can give a patient showing signs of myxedema as it can throw them into myxedema coma ) I was sent back to the state hospital for another months stay and given only 50mcg of t4 per day, looking back I should have been getting intravenous t3 , I was forced to take psychotropic drugs which I didn’t need. I remember once I refused to take the risperdone I was surrounded by six armed guards held down and has it injected into my system. My reasoning for not taking it? I knew that people on that drug and similar ones live an average of 25 years less than the average person. I saw first hand the side effects of that drug by observing other patients in the state hospital. I am not telling anyone to stop taking their medications , I am sure that for some these drugs may be needed, however in my case , a man over forty with no mental history , I knew it would not be beneficial for me, I knew it was my thyroid. Upon release I researched hypothyroidism and learned about myxedema and myxedema madness a supposedly rare complication of hypothyroidism, in my research I was both shocked and relieved to find out that thyroid disease seemed to be a common link in everything from depression to frank psychosis. shocked because I never heard of this, relieved because I wasn’t crazy! I discovered the controversy between synthroid and amour , it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that amour makes more sense in treating hypothyroidism because it is biologically more equivalent to the human bodies own thyroid hormone. I began taking amour and have had no mental health issues what so ever, I do not take any psychotropic drugs.

          Lori regarding your son, please look for another doctor as soon as possible don’t give up until you find one who has answered all of your questions to your satisfaction, you may find that older doctors may be more open to prescribing armor and other natural thyroid treatments. I would be very concerned about the cyst you speak of on his neck. If you cant afford a doctor contact me I will pay for his office visit .

          • Lori Woods says:

            Steve,
            Thank you so much for the offer to pay for an office visit, made me cry, thank you. The problem I am having is getting my son to go to the doctor. He has had 6 or 7 blood tests done over the past year in addition to me getting a mental warrant, having him physically taken to a rehab (at 15) spent his 16th birthday in that rehab because the school said he was on drugs, all the while I know at 15 he isn’t a drug addict…..so now I finally got him in to see the endo doctor and of course he is pissed, and I know they just think he is a spoiled brat with no respect, because quite frankly that is what his behavior is. It is embarrassing but it took me forever to get the referral, anyway this doctor was trying to brush us off as painlessly as possible and then she had him put his hands on hers and my sons hands were shaking and sweating. She did comment that the shaking and sweating was a symptom so she ordered more tests, and just the usual THS, finally the orders got changed to include T4 and t3, now if I can somehow get Justin to go one more time and get tested I know the tests will show he has an issue. I’m hoping I get him to go with a promise of a 50$, he is not very nice in the morning before he has eaten and the test call for fasting…….I’m gonna try. Since my last post I myself had my thyroid tested from an online lab (I have no insurance) and sure enough I have high THS and low T3r so and I also believe I am low on iodine, (did the at home test) . This site has been a great source of information and I pray that I am on the flip side of what seems to have been a trying last 2 years. Again thank you for your offer of getting my son help. With much respect
            Lori Woods

          • lori woods says:

            Well I got the results of my sons blood test, still waiting on 2. After being politely dismissed from the doctor and told all of his test were in the normal range i asked for a copy for my records, never have i gotten a copy of blood tests in this manner–I really don’t know what this doctor is afraid of. I need to find a doctor that will listen to what I’m saying, i am willing to drive my boy anywhere in the United States to be seen. The tests results were not all normal and I’m not even sure if these are the actual results. I feel really at a loss for this situation and it sucks because I dont know what to do. Something is wrong with the boy. If anyone knows of a doctor that will see a pissed off, rude almost 17 year old and be open to the fact and believe me when I say he use to not act like this I would really appreciate a contact name and number. The facts of his condition are such, his body temp is documented as low (i save all paperwork) history of muscle cramps (he will confirm) A+ student, no problems with academics or social until growth of a thyroidglossal duct cyst started growing in his neck. Low calcium, high SGOT, high Sodium, etc. I know the high or low arent by much but they make the rage for a reason. Bottom line somethings wrong with my kid and if I can find some help I would appreciate it. Thank you all in advance.

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Hi Lori, I’m sorry what’s to hear what’s happening to your boys. I put together a list of resources with recommended doctor lists in this article below. I don’t know if they treat children your boys’ ages but worth a try.

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

          • lori woods says:

            I wanted to update you all on my boys, Justin the 16 year old is staying at a family friends place after spending a week in lock up because he flipped out acting crazy now he is looking at doing some time, in the meantime my oldest has tested positive for the Hashimoto antibody also but at least he is stable currently. As for Justin he is with someone he trusts and isn’t on any adderall or clonapine and I have a doctors appointment with a PA on the 28th, found her thru a chiropractor who believes what I have been thinking is wrong with him that he has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and I’m no doctor but I know my kid. His hair is falling out, he has lost weight, he struggles to smile and he cant even restring his guitar something he has done for years. His body temp is always 96.4, he says its hard to swallow, and he has headaches on the top of his head, and I don’t think he can hear but I am told by the endo Dr that she won’t give him anything because the thyroid peroxide test are within normal limits (test level 15). WTF???
            Justin still isn’t in school and I have gotten a continuance on the court hearing for failure to attend school, seriously??? how can I send my kid to school when he struggles to comprehend to flush the toilet? I swear people just have no idea unless they have been there……………….When I find a doctor who listens I will post a referral, I will try and keep you all updated. I also have labs to be tested for Hashi, and my middle boy has been tested for the antibody, waiting on those results.
            Thank you Dana for this page, gives me hope and the information is invaluable in my quest for answers. I have shared it with the mental health workers I have encountered recently and will continue. I absolutely agree that all mentally ill patients need to be tested for thyroid issues, the only problem I see with testing is like with my older son, James had his thyroid tested and we were told his thyroid is fine. I had a therapist put her eyes real close to mine and slowly told me ” this is not a thyroid issue with your son” I wanted to punch her in the face but instead I politely nodded my head. I have a list of doctors, teachers & healthcare workers I am going to show them that THIS IS A THYROID ISSUE ~good day to you all
            Lori

      • Dana Trentini says:

        Steve, Goose bumps rose on my arms reading your story. I fear there are more undiagnosed and insufficiently treated thyroid sufferers right now with mental health diagnosis, in mental health wards and contemplating suicide right now as we speak. Absolutely every person and child presenting with mental health symptoms should have full thyroid testing mandatory immediately without delay. I can’t even imagine what your TSH at 138 was doing to your body. Best wishes to you.

      • Roxanne says:

        Hi Steve (and everyone)- A red flag went off in my head when you mentioned the hospital system..in SC?? If it is SC, then I am about to deal with the system you have already had experience with. I am a student in all of this- learning all I can about everything involved with Hypothyroidism. I was diagnosed last year and took Synthroid for a short period of time. I feel very “odd-man-out” as my side effects from the med are not common and I have been looked at like I am crazy when I tell what they were on the drug- my memory/cognitive worsened after taking the meds for 8 weeks (so scatterbrained I had to get co-workers to help me remember why I left one room to go to the other- I would lose my job if I stayed like that) and my joints (particularly knees) weakened to the point I had to get my husband to help me up if I squatted (which I do at least a dozen times a day- always have)…I have been referred to the Endocrine Specialists in Greenville (GHS) after my ultrasound showed my thyroid to be 50-100% larger than it should be. I am nervous. I just started on Armour (refuse to take Synthroid again) and am sure I am in for a hell ride (going to the Endocrine Specialists) for my refusal to take a drug that hurts worse than it helps-you know how doctors hate natural meds. …earlier in life, I was diagnosed as Bipolar in my 20s -now in my 40s- and medicated for a few years, with good results- and, after finishing college and doing a mass amount of research on Bipolar, stopped medicating and learned to be self aware and respond appropriately to my moods so I have better control on my own (disclaimer-I am not in any way promoting anyone to stop meds) and now wonder about the Bipolar and Hypothyroidism link … In addition, I have a family history of thyroid problems and my 15 year old daughter is showing all the signs- but NO ONE will help, because her levels show “within range” and she is a minor (natural/holistic doctors are weary of under-age patients) – I thought you might know more/seen more for this area and have any advice for me and my daughter in regards to 1. what I could be in for regarding Greenville, 2. Who eventually helped you, 3. If you knew of anyone who might be able to help my 15 year-old daughter. Any other info is very welcome. And if anyone else has any ideas, please feel free to share!! I have looked at many links from this posting (many helpful to me), but none specify whether they work with teenagers within normal level who are obviously experiencing something wrong…

        • lori woods says:

          Roxanne (steve and hypo-mom)
          If and when you happen to find a doctor to treat you daughter I would appreciate a number as well. Currently my son sits in juevenal hall because of his condition and lack of medication because he is ‘within normal limits’ all i can say is i hope he is safe……breaks my heart, but his breaking stuff and flipping out is gonna get someone hurt, again I say HE NEVER ACTED LIKE THIS UNTIL THAT THING STARTED GROWING IN HIS NECK!!!!
          Thank you for the resources, and i took Justin to San Antonio and got the low down on how Hashi works, I got that, and then the doctor said to do this diet of cleansing, but that is difficult to do, my kid tried to do it, and so did i , then he went back to not eating at all, i have tried to tell him but if anyone knows anything about mental issues its like talking to a wall,,,,,,,HE IS SICK AND IS GETTING WORSE, HE DOESN’T GET IT!!! Diann I appreciate your resources, really but trying to find someone to treat a pissed off 16 year old who is on medicade who needs attention NOW~ maybe I’m doing something wrong but I am having a difficult time here. It gets tiresome and I get emotional trying to explain what is going on,,,,,,,,,,the endo here who actually saw my son could give 2 shits about anything other than the labs I have pleaded with her and to no avail, she wont treat the Hashi’s because “it will ruin his thyroid” and I still am in awe at that statement, good luck with your daughter please let me know when you find a doctor. I find it hard to believe that my son is one of the only boys this is happening to, I feel for every boy I run into who is in trouble out of school, smoking hanging out looking like a mess, I wonder if they are sick also and just don’t have a parent who gives a crap……makes me sad….I get upset then I research then I cry, then I pray and God gives me the strength to get up and do it again. And thanks for listening,
          Lori

        • Dana Trentini says:

          Hi Roxanne, I’m not familiar with any doctors in SC however here are resources with lists of recommended doctors. Not sure how many of these doctors see patients your daughter’s age but thought this could help you in your search.

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

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi David,

      Thank you very much for your comment. I just visited your website and loved your article “Keeping Your Hormones In Balance”. I invite select guest bloggers to include guest posts at Hypothyroid Mom and I was wondering if you would be interesting in including that article as a guest post on my site. I would include links to your website of course. If that article could include a bit more depth on the Thyroid Imbalance piece and add in a piece on Stress Hormones, it would make for an excellent article. Let me know by emailing me danatrentini@me.com.

  23. Lori Woods says:

    I have read this for the third time and again I am in tears. I have 2 sons one of whom is 28, James, and has been on psych meds for the last 10 years diagnosed with schizophrenia. He changed mentally when he went thru puberty (late at 17). It took about 3 years before he was officially diagnosed with schizophrenia we went thru many drugs and many doctors he was/is a mess. For years he complained how he couldn’t breath, he wanted to have a tracheotomy because he was afraid to sleep because his throat would close up and he wouldn’t be able to breath. The boy could put some miles on a pair of shoes, he would walk for miles in circles for days……
    Now my youngest son, Justin now 16, who is pretty much the same as far as short stature, same birth weight and body type as my oldest boy started puberty a bit sooner has been showing signs similar to his brother. I have had Justin tested over and over again for thyroid function and I keep getting the same answer that he is just going thru puberty. He had surgery for a thiroidglossal cyst at 14 and every since the cyst started growing Justin has been a different person. Finally I got his doctor to listen to me because one of his blood tests showed he had low calcium. He cant remember any of his school work, he is angry and he seems to have gone backwards in maturity. Justin has always been my 30 year old little man and he is now an angry confused teenager. He has no interest in driving or doing anything that normal kids his age do.
    I think he has the pseudopseudohypoparathyroid but how do I get a doctor to at least consider what I believe he has? I have a standing order for a plethora of new thyroid tests and he has said he will go on Monday morning to have the tests done. The doctor already put on the diagnosis area of his paperwork “behavior disorder”. Justin was put on ADHD meds and some other mental meds however he never had ADHD before the cyst started growing in his neck. I just need to find a doctor who will listen to me because this is my child and its very frustrating and his behavior is Not Normal Puberty.
    the tests ordered are as follows:
    tsh, t4 free, comprehensive metabolic panel, thyroid peroxidase ab, thyroglobulin antibody, thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin, thyrotropin receptor ab, acth, cortisol am
    Is there someone who can give me a second opinion with these tests and are these the necessary tests he needs to have? I hate to keep having his blood drawn like I said he is angry and 16. We live in South Texas and he has medicaid but I will take him wherever I need to take him. Thank you for all of your posts, I know I have thyroid issues and I know I have passed them on to my kids.
    Lori Woods from Corpus Christi Texas

  24. A strong belief which is opposed to reality but which the individual steadfastly maintains despite all evidence of its untruth is called a delusions. Patients who experience persistent delusions are said to be paranoid.

    There are three main types of delusions; the most common kind is the delusion of grandeur. The patient believes he is some exalted being, such as an emperor, a millionaire, a great inventor, or even God. One woman patient in a mental hospital had a pleasing personality and was well enough adjusted in most ways to be trusted with many duties, including that of helping show visitors through the institution.

  25. Great Great article! Can’t wait to show this to my thyroid patients who are also seeking psychological help to see what they say about this! We have put two and two together before, but this article really lays out all of the research beautifully and is well explained. i will get back to you guys with any questions or statements we receive from our patients!

  26. Lori,
    I understand what you are going through. Of all people you know your son best, you sound like you have lots of patience and given your struggles with your personal health I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you to have to also not only care for but defend your son. You sound like a wonderful mother. I think if I was in your situation I would tell your son that you have faith in him, that you believe in him, that it may be hard for him to understand but sometimes he acts in ways that others see as hurtful and it’s maybe it’s hard for him to see this. Most of all I would tell him that you believe in him, that you are doing everything in your power to get him help. Tell him that he needs to be strong because you know he has a medical condition. I would let him know that if he has experimented with drugs that it’s really so important that he needs to understand the importance of staying away from them as not only are they bad news but now more than ever there are a lot of people who are observing his behavior. I would be interested in knowing that his thyroid test results were. In my case I have had anxiety all of my life and fortunately have a doctor who listens to me and prescribed the appropriate medications, but when I wasn’t able to see that doctor because he was out for almost a year on medical leave is when I believe the subclinical hypothyroidism I now am understanding that I have probably had for years and didn’t know it then turned to full hypothyroidism. Because the hospital found rx drugs in my system they just assumed that my mental status was due to drug abuse and although I showed all the symptoms of hypothyroidism and myxedma madness, (my basal body temperature was 97.0, even the hateful doc at Greenville Memorial said people over forty don’t just go crazy. None the less I was labeled a drug addict and that they incorrectly assumed was the cause of my psychosis. Well a year later and I am on the same drugs that they blamed for my psychosis and since being treated for hypothyroidism I have had no mental health issues what so ever. If anything I may have post traumatic stress disorder from the way I was mistreated. But I really hate psychiatric terms. My case is unique in the fact that I was fine one day and with no mental history went off the deep end the next day, it’s like I was able to view the mental health system from the patient’s, or in my case victim’s, stand point and I was able to return to reality and live to tell about it.
    Keep the faith Lori, you are on the right track with your son. Feel free to contact me anytime.

    • Lori Woods says:

      Thanks Steve, I am happy to report Justin went to get his blood drawn today, it cost me only 50$ and a pack of cigarettes (before i get crap from any readers-dont judge until you’ve walked in my shoes)—I would love to say all of those things you were advising me but Justin has told me that hearing my voice hurts his ears, he knows I love him and he knows I’m trying to help. I am just happy he had the tests done, they took 7 tubes and for the most part he was not too angry. I will definitely post the results. You said something about the drug use, I had to ‘deprogram’ my son about 6 months ago because he was convinced he had fried his brain from all the weed he had smoked, it dawned on me all of the kids turning 30 this year are the first batch of the “just say no” DARE program……..I had to somehow assure my son that he couldn’t have smoked that much weed to have fried his brain. Yes I do agree a growing teenage brain does not need weed and it does affect a child differently but he was convinced he was just a fry brain. I had to assure him he couldn’t have smoked that much to just completely forget all he has learned, plus weed has never made anyone I know go completely crazy like a wild animal…..Anyway thanks for listening and thanks for understanding. God bless you and yours, Lori :)

  27. Hi. Reading all of these posts is really amazing. I was diagnosed with Hashis in 2001 and have been on levoxyl since then. Now 33, and two kids later, I have been dealing with rupturing ovarian cysts for over a year and just not feeling right. I have fantastic coping skills and was given a prescription for Ativan after 3 docs told me I had anxiety. I kept telling them something was making me feel like this and that anxiety was not the root of the problem. I have crazy insomnia, rapid heart rate, achy legs, insane mood swings, irregular and heavy periods, digestion issues. Finally my OB said he wanted to check my antibodies and not just the TSH and T3/4 levels. Low and behold, high antibodies. I have also been trying to get pregnant since August with no luck. I don’t know if there will be any course of action – still waiting for PCP to call me back, but I feel a sense of relief that something was found.

  28. This is cruel and unusual punishment for someone who cannot find the right answers. I know, it took years to find out why I had so many ups and downs. Then when I found out, I also found out I had thyroid cancer and Hashimoto’s. I lost my thyroid and parathyroid. I went from a size 6 to a size 14, then down to a 10 (now). Being fat is one thing, being crazy is another. I felt truly “crazy” for a very long time. Now I just feel confused some of the time.

  29. This is cruel and unusual punishment for someone who cannot find the right answers. I know, it took years to find out why I had so many ups and downs. Then when I found out, I also found out I had thyroid cancer and Hashimoto’s. I lost my thyroid and parathyroid. I went from a size 6 to a size 14, then down to a 10 (now). Being fat is one thing, being crazy is another. I felt truly “crazy” for a very long time. Now I just feel confused some of the time. :)

  30. Kendra Morris says:

    When I was nineteen, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II. While Bipolar disorder does run in my family, Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism run in my family as well. My mother was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s a few years ago. After that, she recommended that I have my thyroid hormones tested. My doctor at the time said that there wasn’t a reason to test for antibodies and that while my hormones were not quite normal, my doctor said that they were nothing to worry about at the time. I didn’t quite understand the severity of the effects of both my possible misdiagnosis, or the possible thyroid condition. How am I supposed to know for sure whether or not I actually am Bipolar? This diagnosis changed my life, my relationships, and my career in the Army. I was chaptered out of the military for this and am currently researching this so that I might be able to rejoin the military. I just want to know how to go about figuring this out with my limited means. I have no health insurance and work a minimum wage job. What avenues are available to me to sort through this?

    • Kendra Morris says:

      I would also like to add that like my mother, I suffer from heavy and irregular periods. It has been increasingly difficult to lose weight even with diet and exercise. I also have had one documented miscarriage and two suspected ones. I have been in two two-year relationships and one one-year relationship. I never used contraceptives and nothing was done to prevent a pregnancy from occurring. During my first two-year relationship, I never got pregnant. During my one-year relationship, I ended up getting pregnant. When I went in for my ten week check up, they did a pelvic exam and tried to find the fetal heartbeat. When they couldn’t, they did an ultrasound to check on the baby. They found that it had stopped growing at around eight weeks and that my body wasn’t miscarrying on its own. At the time, they explained the cause of the miscarriage as a possible genetic anomaly. When I asked for testing on the baby, they said that the genetic material would be too torn up to test, so I didn’t press it further. I honestly didn’t even think about having myself tested. I wasn’t as well informed on the symptoms of hypothyroidism then. During my second two year relationship, there were two times that I had suspected I was pregnant. Because I had seen and felt the changes in my body from the first pregnancy, I knew what to look for as far as the first signs and symptoms of pregnancy. There have been two separate occasions when I saw some of the same signs and symptoms of pregnancy. Both times, the symptoms went away within a month, and I had a heavier period than normal with more intense cramps.

      With research, I have found that irregular/ heavy periods, infertility, miscarriages, and inability to lose weight combined with the mood swings makes a very good case against a bipolar diagnosis and a great one for hypothyroidism.

      • Dana Trentini says:

        Kendra, I’ve experienced over my life many of the same symptoms as you. You are right to suspect that thyroid disease may be the culprit for your symptoms. You ask an important question about what to do without the means to pay for health care. I worry so much about my readers without health insurance. One thing you can do is order your own lab tests to be sure that your thyroid is the issue. Testing should include not just TSH but also Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies. It would be helpful to add on adrenals and sex hormones too. At least you would know if this is the issue and then pursue finding a good doctor.

        http://www.canaryclub.org/comprehensive-iodine-thyroid-profile.html

        http://www.zrtlab.com/

        Before you do that, I would recommend searching for a good doctor in your area and calling to see what the costs would be to see if possible you would be able to afford to pay out of pocket or asking what they recommend for patient’s without health insurance. You could also ask pharmacies near you for their recommendations on how you may be able to get discounted thyroid meds due to your case.

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

        • Kendra Morris says:

          Thank you, Dana. It’s nice to hear from someone that I have a reason for concern instead of being blown off because of my diagnosis and the fact that I refuse to take any meds for it. My relationship with my own mother suffered greatly because I refused to take my meds. I tried telling both her and my psychiatrist that they didn’t work and that I couldn’t function. Both said something to the effect of deal with it. I’m tired of fighting for someone to listen.

  31. Psychotherapy will help these people make contact with themselves, with those primary needs that were neglected. Psychotherapy will help them to experience the feelings that could never be exposed before with the protection of a secure and stable therapeutic relationship.

  32. Hey! Oh, what a relief that i finally found a place that i can read and share experiences, and to be confirmed that i am not totally mad and irrational when i believe that doctors either don’t bother or got no clue, sadly :-/
    I used to have an actual depression, as i lost my brother and it led me to memory loss, so a doc in Sweden prescribed me a pill called Cytalopram to increase the serotonin level. At that time i demanded test to be done, they looked great. However about 3 months later i complained about gaining 25 kg in weight, tummy problems, insomnia, gnashing my teeth even when awake etc… all this got dismissed, i got told i eat too much and exercise too little. About a year later i was double my weight and mum sent me to and endo in Romania who told i got Hashi’s. My TSH used to be at around 10 and Anti TPO at 560…ever-since than in Sweden i got tested only on TSH and as i eat Euthyrox it sank to 1,5 however my Anti TPO escalated to above 1300, and i found that out recently as i moved to Norway and a doc looked at that value too. The T3 and T4 free are in range, 4,3 and 20,8, however it disturbs me a lot that i can get a miscarriage and that i cant recognize my self psychically or physically and furthermore i have been told by 8 endocrinologists, every time that i just imagine things, that i just need to work harder and do not eat so much(Oddly enough i eat very little and train a lot). I used to have curly hair and sporty body with a very high level of patience and optimism, now i got straight hair am so fat that i ache what ever i do, i feel shit, i got no patience, and i feel i am worthless….and who ever i tell that something is off, i am being told i am lazy, i got a physical problem, etc, believe me there is much more to that list.
    So i am a bit curious if you got any suggestions how can i get back to my old me? :} i seen some, sharing that they tried a cure on Copper, Zink, Selenium and E also D vitamin, to lower the Anti TPO. Others suggest a high dosage of Iodine. I can’t even get my hands on copper and Iodine tho, as right now in Norway i don’t really have the right to a doc as i haven’t got an ID, kind of really nasty situation. I of course take my Euthyrox on a daily basis, and am up at 150mcgr atm.
    Thanks again for this opportunity that this site opens to us, and thanks to those of you who share of your experience with thyroid dysfunction.

  33. Hey! Oh, what a relief that i finally found a place that i can read and share experiences, and to be confirmed that i am not totally mad and irrational when i believe that doctors either don’t bother or got no clue, sadly :-/
    I used to have an actual depression, as i lost my brother and it led me to memory loss, so a doc in Sweden prescribed me a pill called Cytalopram to increase the serotonin level. At that time i demanded test to be done, they looked great. However about 3 months later i complained about gaining 25 kg in weight, tummy problems, insomnia, gnashing my teeth even when awake etc… all this got dismissed, i got told i eat too much and exercise too little. About a year later i was double my weight and mum sent me to and endo in Romania who told i got Hashi’s. My TSH used to be at around 10 and Anti TPO at 560…ever-since than in Sweden i got tested only on TSH and as i eat Euthyrox it sank to 1,5 however my Anti TPO escalated to above 1300, and i found that out recently as i moved to Norway and a doc looked at that value too. The T3 and T4 free are in range, 4,3 and 20,8, however it disturbs me a lot that i can get a miscarriage and that i cant recognize my self psychically or physically and furthermore i have been told by 8 endocrinologists, every time that i just imagine things, that i just need to work harder and do not eat so much(Oddly enough i eat very little and train a lot). I used to have curly hair and sporty body with a very high level of patience and optimism, now i got straight hair am so fat that i ache what ever i do, i feel shit, i got no patience, and i feel i am worthless….and who ever i tell that something is off, i am being told i am lazy, i got a physical problem, etc, believe me there is much more to that list.
    So i am a bit curious if you got any suggestions how can i get back to my old me? :} i seen some, sharing that they tried a cure on Copper, Zink, Selenium and E also D vitamin, to lower the Anti TPO. Others suggest a high dosage of Iodine. I can’t even get my hands on copper and Iodine tho, as right now in Norway i don’t really have the right to a doc as i haven’t got an ID, kind of really nasty situation. I of course take my Euthyrox on a daily basis, and am up at 150mcgr atm.
    Thanks again Dana, for this opportunity that this site opens to us, and thanks to those of you who share of your experience with thyroid dysfunction.

    • Hi Erika,

      With Hashimoto’s there is an underlying autoimmune condition that needs to be addressed. Each person has various triggers that can cause their Hashimoto’s that should be checked. Gluten is one of major triggers for Hashimoto’s and I’ve had many readers say their thyroid antibodies lowered and symptoms improved by going gluten free. Worth a try.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/how-i-inadvertently-cut-my-hashimotos-antibodies-in-half/

      • Thanks for your fast reply. :-) I did read about such, that either diary products or gluten in some cases can worsen toms… I have went without both for a while, (half a year) however I didn’t notice changes, sometimes I got even more dizzyo. Newly I eat ginger that gives me the sensation of feeling well considering my stomach, and I am taking omega 3 to try get lucid in my head and stop feeling so low and stupid, but all this is experimental for me, that is why I asked if you know anything of a hands on solution, like the one with copper, Zink, selenium and vitamins.

  34. Melissa says:

    Wow! I am so grateful for having found this site and this particular discussion. My entire life my mother suffered from anxiety and panic that debilitated her from staying in a store, crowds, and even from driving on the highway! As much as I know about her teen years she missed h.s. And so much more to depression.. I can’t even count how many times she has gone to the er with heart palpitations and high blood pressure . All the same answers – mental or it’s all in your head…. Meds after meds after meds. Moving forward many years my mother started to have more physical sumptoms and after years of medication, tests and misdiagnosis FINALLY an infectious control doctor said “you have cancer” he didn’t know where but that she had it. They assumed at the time it was lung but after more tests it was thyroid. Come to find out she had it growing for over twenty years . No typical signs or sumptoms of thyroid issues (so they say), no lump – nothing ….just mental and hormonal issues masking the thyroid issue which come to find out was cancer!
    She is the strongest women I know and I am know being my own advocate in having my doctors further investigate my “anxiety, depression and hormonal issues”. Currently I am told no thyroid disorder but I have to wonder if something is being masked. Since my mother diagnosis several of sisters have been diagnosed w a thyroid disease or still finding out if there is one that was missed. I am saddened by all of those who suffer from AnY disorder and I hope to not scare any one that it is a cancer issue I just happy to know that there are others out there that have been trough possibly what I am tryig to figure out for me now!
    And if I learned nothing else from my mothers first hospital stay it is to not ignore your body and be your own advocate. My mother told all the residents (teaching hospital) to always listen to there patients and don’t assume it’s just “anxiety”!
    Take care all and well wishes
    Thank you for this site
    I know it’s not a cancer site but I will be sure to show my mother so she can read others feeling the way she does’

  35. Has anyone done a study about hypothyroidism and offspring of Agent Orange survivors? I have seen some blogs about it in relation to endometriosis (which I had). But, all of my siblings and myself have had female issues and 3 out of 4 of us are diagnosed with hypothyroidism. As a military wife, it makes me think about my daughters’ health as well. Thanks for all the great information!

  36. HappyERnurse says:

    As a woman who developed hypothyroidism after treatment for Graves Disease, I agree that thyroid function and mental health are absolutely intertwined. However, mood disorders are much more complex than presented in this article. There are hereditary and environmental factors that trigger mood disorders. Once that occurs they cannot be treated with thyroid medication alone. Certainly, if a thyroid problem exists such medication should be part of the treatment plan, but true mood disorders according to DMS-V classififcation cannot be dealt with by taking levothyroxine, etc. In fact, medications commonly prescribed for mood disorders, such as lithium, cause thyroid disorders so TSH, T4, and T3 levels should be tested regularly if you take these meds.

    • To happy er nURSE, I am not sure about mood disorders but some MENTAL disorders can be treated and CURED with thyroid hormone such as armor naturethyroid etc. Especially in patients over 30 with no prior mental history and often times these mental disorders are completely reversed by thyroid medication requiring no other medication.

  37. HappyERnurse says:

    As a woman who developed hypothyroidism after treatment for Graves Disease, I agree that thyroid function and mental health are absolutely intertwined. However, mood disorders are much more complex than presented in this article. There are hereditary and environmental factors that trigger mood disorders. Once that occurs they cannot be treated with thyroid medication alone. Certainly, if a thyroid problem exists such medication should be part of the treatment plan, but true mood disorders according to DSM-V classification cannot be dealt with by taking levothyroxine, etc. In fact, medications commonly prescribed for mood disorders, such as lithium, cause thyroid disorders so TSH, T4, and T3 levels should be tested regularly if you take these meds.

  38. How can I find a dr. in my area that tests for all the markers of Thyroid dysfunction and that will prescribe dessicated thyroid and other options?

  39. Christine says:

    I just had to add my experience here, back in 2006 I was feeling awful, I’d gained a lot of weight and was tired and forgetful and just felt so bad, my head was foggy, my moods were up and down, my marriage was suffering and I just couldn’t seem to shake this rut I was in. I was under a lot of stress at the time with a toddler going through various operations, I was working full time running my own cafe, so I just put it down to stress. I went to my doctor who diagnosed depression and put me on Zoloft, it helped somewhat with my moods but all the other symptoms still hung around. I unexpectedly fell pregnant in 2010 and by that time had moved interstate and found a great doctor, she sent me for tests which showed I had hypothyroidism, I’d never even heard of it and she told me I probably had it for years and years but seeing although no one thought to test me it had gone I diagnosed. I recently moved back interstate and have been terrible at consistently taking my thyroxine and I have suffered terribly, I’ve put on weight, my moods are terrible, I’m struggling to cope with things, I’m very forgetful and very foggy minded, I nearly decided to separate from my husband because everything was getting to me and I couldn’t deal with everything going on in my mind. I’ve just found a new doctor and I’m going to get my levels tested and get myself back on track, it’s incredible how terrible things were simply because I haven’t been looking after myself.
    Thankyou so much for your article, I actually feel like I’m not going crazy now!

  40. If you feel like you may have a thyroid issue or any kind of hormonal imbalance, it is always best to seek the advice of a specialist in the field. Age Management & Optimal Wellness Center is a clinic in Tampa Florida that specializes in such disorders. Many of our patients come in after being “treated” by their primaries or other doctors who do not specialize in this field. Often times their symptoms actually become more severe and the physician who they originally see will tell them to find a specialist because they do not have a proper understanding of such disorders.

    Our advice is to go to a clinic that uses compounded t3 and t4, as well as other medications and natural remedies, to treat your thyroid disorder. You also want to find a clinic that runs a FULL panel of blood tests because, as explained in the article, thyroid disorders can often be treated as a different disease all together and vice versa. A full panel should include free t3, free t4, TSH, your Sex hormones as well as other tests, but make sure that these ones are definitely included. Make sure that their program includes techniques that can be customized to your individual needs because, as you know, thyroid disorders can’t usually be treated through a one-size-fits-all approach. A majority of your blood work should be covered by your insurance in most instances so don’t let them skimp you on your health overview. This is the best way to evaluate what is going on inside your body and will tell the doctor the safest and best way to treat your illness. Many clinics also offer free consultations so take advantage of this and check out multiple clinics until you find one that makes you feel comfortable. If you would like more information on our thyroid disorder beliefs, you can find them at http://www.agemanagementoptimalwellness.com/thyroid.html .

    I hope this information was able to help some of you begin your journey in becoming the healthier, happier you. I will check in with this post regularly to comment if you comment on my post and would like any questions answered, I would be happy to do so. Otherwise, have a great day and good luck with correcting your thyroid disorders!

  41. 24 years on Levothyroxine with mood swings the entire time but able to survive with meds. Now all of the sudden, I feel like I am going crazy – seriously. Can you get like this after so many years????????????? I have no thyroid due to cancer but this is seriously scaring me.

  42. I am deeply grateful to God that great progress will be made in the science of thyroid dysfunction because of your efforts. I suffered many years with the ups and downs of thyroid disease ,which affected every aspect of my life. I also researched and found the awesome difference that can take place after switching to Armor thyroid. Interestingly,,before this,, I began to suffer with bone pain and extreme fatigue.After tests that showed I did not absorb Vit D, the doctor immediately insisted I take Boniva……….I became very ill in a few weeks and I stopped this poison……… While researching in my bed on the computer…I came across a site called …Parathyroid.Com….I was shocked to read that a parathyroid tumor will cause mayham with Vit D..I diagnosed myself with a Parathyroid tumor….called the site and went to Florida…had it removed in 15 minutes…. I now absorb Vit D ! My body is normal at age 60 !! I urge you to consider reading the research on this vital site and by the way…..as they removed the parathyroid tumor…they also found…..a thyroid tumor …and I am healed.

  43. Thank you so much. Please continue to raise awareness on this issue. I have been wondering about this also. I experienced horrific psychosis and mental illness with my undiagnosed thyroiditis for years. I even attempted suicide twice. Twice!!! I was completely out of my head. I finally got insurance and they found out I had thyroid cancer in addition to two other supposedly unrelated thyroid disorders. My last really severe episode was after my thyroid was removed. At one point I started telling them that I thought my thyroid was making me crazy. They all treated me like I was crazy. “You don’t have a thyroid, it can’t be making you crazy”. But it was. I was not yet stabilized on the correct dose of thyroid medication and I was hyperthyroid. I was like, no no, you don’t understand, I have a thyroid condition and they were like, you don’t have a thyroid anymore, how can you be having a thyroid problem. Ugh!!! So there. It was the thyroid. I feel like going back and telling them, “I told you so”. Whatever. Now I am stabilized on the correct dose and am asymptomatic for mental illness. Go figure.

  44. Lona Leiss says:

    I love this connection, I hate that my daughters endocrinologist refused to link her irritability and hyperactivity to the onset of her hypothyroid. I wish more doctors would treat the whole person and not think of themselves as a RX pad.

  45. Hi Dana, our group has been putting together some statistics on folks with thyroid issues. One, do they use crystal style deodorant or antiperspirant. This may not seem important but we believe that the lymphatics that connect to the thyroid is channeled out thru the underarm and when block by a aluminum deodorant creates a backup to the thyroid. A study called “A Study on inorganic elements in psammomas from ovarian & thyroid cancer” shows concentration of aluminum in the thyroid cancer. Another study shows aluminum concentrates in thyroid of mice. The aluminum connection is very important because it is used extensively in our diet, and avoiding its influence requires awareness of the sources such as man made foods.
    We recently finished a clinical for Fibrocystic Breast and the influence of aluminum in breast tissue and the ability of Herbalix’s topical deodorant and Sentinel Breast creme to absorb thru skin stagnated and calcified aluminum from breast to the underarm. Interesting enough when we expanded the thermographic scans to include the thyroid we detected that some subjects had elected to wear earrings and the scans lead to irregular patterns, probably from the possibility that earring can harbor mixed metals such as lead, cadmium, nickel. The ability for the body to absorb the metal thru the earlobe and seep down near the thyroid was not an issue we were researching but the metals from earrings do play a role in Fibrocystic Breast. We do find however avoiding antiperspirants cleaning out the underarm with our Detox cleansing Deodorant keep the delicate sweat ducts open and allows the flow of metal ions to excrete thru to the underarm. Interesting we had people swipe their thyroid with our seaweed deodorant with beneficial results as the osmotic of accumulated salts in thyroid can alter the appearance in the neck. If their are two horizontal lines on the neck with a slight bulge we can assume a problem exists with the thyroid without having seen any tests. Dental work is a completely other issue. See Dr. Hal Huggins for metals in mouth.

  46. Shaun Reginald says:

    THANKS TO GREAT DR ORAEDE FOR SOLVING MY PROBLEMS
    Hi My name is Shaun Reginald I just want to share my experience with the world on how i got my love back and saved my marriage… I was married for 8 years with 1 kid and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had a fights and arguments almost every time… it got worse at a point that he filed for divorce… I tried my best to make him change his mind & stay with me cause i loved him with all my heart and didn’t want to loose him but everything just didn’t work out… he moved out of the house and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. The breakthrough came when someone introduced me to this wonderful, great spell caster dr.oraedespellhome@gmail.com who eventually helped me out…email him now or call him at +2349038604218

  47. Hello
    I have a question and a story.
    Hello
    long story short
    about 9 years ago , after I insisted i got a blood test that showed i had graves , before that every doctor wonted to give me some drag on another to ” calm me down ”
    3 years later i was treated with radioactive iodine since no mater what the graves wouldn’t let go and their was danger from the drags that stabilised me
    THIS was before the Eltroxin change !
    all was ok
    then came the change alto my blood tests show i am OK , i know i am not , but lets leave this alone for now

    NOW comes the interesting part : i safer a lot from panic attacks etc and was given Xanax
    Generic Name Alprazolam

    about a year ago i started having Depersonalization Disorder ( not pleasant understatement of the year )

    about 4 month ago because they run out of the medicating i was given Xanagis ( Generic Name Alprazolam also )

    BUT different companies the 1st is by :Pfizer Inc.

    The 2nd by :Perrigo ( which i take now )

    to my amazement the Depersonalization Disorder was goon with in hours !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    For my question /s is Depersonalization Disorder a comen thing with thyroid problems ( with or with out the thyroid )
    have any of you ever heard of a change of meds , like i just had that affect so fast so good ?
    I actually hope and need an answer in a weeks time since my doctor keep saying it is the same medication and i know that something in the Xanagis from the Perrigo company helps more then the other one

    thank you in advance
    Nili

  48. james ainoris says:

    fI had total thyroidectomy from cancer in 1991. Then developed terrible problems from inability to absorb t4…..ended up hospitalized in psych ward misdiagnosed and on various psych meds….during this time my cancer came back and i cracked up ….i ruined my family and was imprisoned…now years later after much research I uncovered the truth of how a good persons life can be ruined….even how a good mother can harm her own baby when affected by this illness….it is well established fact first discovered by Sir William,Gull in 1890s and is one of the first tests given to a person in psych ward upon arrival.Kindly look up site called thyromind.ca and a book by apa call thyroid axis and mental illness,also allthyroid.org is a good source. One good thing is thay you will be ok when hormones stabilize…I am fine now no longer needing psych meds for years….jpainoris@gmail.com

  49. Dana Trentini says:

    Thank you to Courtney Rundell from ibeefree.com for including a link to my post “When Thyroid Disease Masquerades As Psychiatric Disorder” in her great article “Thyroid Disease is Deadly Serious”.

    http://ibeefree.com/2013/03/19/thyroid-disease-is-deadly-serious/

  50. 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″. Much appreciated!

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

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  1. [...] many people have taken their lives because of misdiagnosed or wrongly treated thyroid conditions? How many of us have been in mental hospitals for thyroid disorders? How many people end up with thyroid cancer when it could’ve been detected and [...]

  2. [...] director of the Holtorf Medical Group, “Many depressed and bipolar patients have undiagnosed thyroid dysfunction as the underlying cause or major contributor to their depression that is not detected by standard [...]

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