Thyroid Dysfunction and Mental Health

Many 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.

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