Category: Integrative Medicine

Thyroid Dysfunction and Mental Health

Manyimages-4 people have symptoms of thyroid disease. Hypothyroidism often results in symptoms of extreme fatigue and sleep difficulty, hair thinning or loss (especially at the eyebrows), weight gain, cold intolerance, depression, dry skin, high cholesterol, menstrual and fertility problems, and muscle soreness. Many of these symptoms are similar to depression. Hyperthyroidism can look like mania or even psychosis, with increased energy, lack of sleep, agitation, anxiety, restlessness, weight loss, rapid heart rate, sweating.

Because of the typical way most doctors test thyroid function, they are told their thyroid is “fine” and that they are either depressed or stressed. The test that is most often obtained is called the TSH, which measures the hormone from the pituitary gland in the brain that tells the thyroid to make thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism). Too much TSH means the thyroid is not making enough hormone while too little means too much hormone is being released (hyperthyroidism).There are several reasons for these problems, including the thyroid gland itself not working correctly, the pituitary not secreting TSH correctly, conversion from the inactive hormone T4 (which is made by the thyroid gland) to the active hormone T3 in the cells, to an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland.

In order to adequately evaluate how well the thyroid is working, 8 different tests are necessary, not just the TSH. These tests will help determine if thyroid problems are involved in the depressive, anxiety , mania or other symptoms you are having, and will help determine the appropriate treatment. Everyone with symptoms of depression and anxiety deserves to have their thyroid tested, because if it is the underlying cause of their problems, treating depression or anxiety with psychiatric medication is likely not going to be helpful!

For more information about thyroid dysfunction, digestive system problems, adrenal fatigue and other medical conditions that can look like mental health problems unless they are suspected and tested , I encourage you to attend the Public Presentation on the Relationship between Physical and Mental Health being held on Sunday, AUgust 21, 2016 at 7:30 PM at Simple Gifts Massage Co, 3567 St. John’s Lane (entrance on Frederick Road), Ellicott City, MD. Email to or call 410-260-0344 to RSVP. the first 10 attendees will receive a free Metabolic Health Screening.

Conferences I have Recently Attended

It is the start of conference season! I have attended 3 really interesting and useful conferences since the end of January, and have both learned as well as had reinforced information that is relevant and critical for the assessment and treatment of patients in an integrative, holistic Psychiatric practice. It is important to know about many different issues in order to determine both the underlying cause of mental health problems, as well as treat each person’s needs individually and effectively. Brain, Body and Behavior (and Moods) are all closely interconnected and influence each other in many and complex ways. Read more

The Gut Microbiome and Mental Health

What does the 3-4 pounds of microbes (which includes bacteria, viruses, yeasts and molds, parasites and other microscopic critters) that live in your gut have to do with your mental and physical health? There are many more of these microbes than all of the cells of your human body, and they contain many times more genes than our approximately 22,000 human genes. The types of microbes vary depending on the environment that they are exposed to in your gut. If you eat processed food, they are different than if you eat whole organic food. If you exercise the types and amounts change. Read more