Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hypothyroidism and Depression

I have seen a patient once who presents with Depression and some Anxiety symptoms.  On further questioning, she had other symptoms of weight gain, thinning of hair, cold intolerance and constipation.  She had a family history of both depression, anxiety and thyroid disease.  As part of her "organic or physical screen", we did blood tests.  This confirmed that she had hypothyroidism (low thyroid).

In conclusion, her hypothyroidism has probably "triggered" her depression and explained her other symptoms of weight gain, thinning of hair, cold intolerance, constipation and flat mood.

This highlights the importance of doing a physical screen for anyone who presents with symptoms of depression, anxiety or any mental health issues.

Talk to your Doctor about all of your symptoms even if you think they are "irrelevant".

Dr Vin
Family Doctor from Australia

4 comments:

  1. Great post! :)

    Last August (2010) I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidsm and started to take medication to increase my levels to the normal range. Since then my moods have been all over the place...to the point where I can't handle them anymore. I started to consider a correlation between the two earler this year but wasn't entirely sure. I have since come to realize that there is a connection and I'm starting to get some help.

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  2. Purple Pineapple,

    Good to see that you are getting help promptly. Hypothyroidism is a common problem especially for females. It can also be associated with Pernicious Anaemia and Celiac Disease and as these can cause low b12/low iron/low folate which then can affect your mood, I encourage you to speak to your Doctor promptly regarding this.

    Good luck.

    Dr Vin

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  3. Oh wow, I didn't know about that! I've had low iron for quite some time now, I think mainly because the only meat I eat is chicken which I eat MAYBE once/week. Thank you so much for letting me know :)

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  4. Purple Pineapple,

    Iron deficiency is a very common problem particularly due to low meat intake (as you have pointed out quite correctly) or heavy menstrual period in females. In males, it is generally not a good sign and definitely needs further investigations especially looking for gastrointestinal bleeds. Again, I encourage you to talk to your Doctor about this.

    Dr Vin

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