Tags: Thyroid Disorders | hypothyroidism | depression | link

Is There a Link Between Hypothyroidism and Depression?

By    |   Monday, 07 March 2016 06:09 PM

Nearly 10 million Americans experience hypothyroidism, and there is a strong link between this thyroid condition and depression.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in the throat that produces hormones for controlling metabolism, and its proper function is critical to most every system and organ in the body.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The One Secret to a Healthy Thyroid

When the thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormone, a condition called hypothyroidism results. According to Harvard University’s Harvard Health Publications, the condition is much more common in women than in men. In fact, hypothyroidism will affect as many as one in five women by the age of 60.

According to Harvard University, some people who suffer from depression and are taking antidepressants may be better served by taking thyroid medication instead. They say that doctors typically focus on the brain when patients present with low mood, but underlying hormone issues should be considered as a possible cause.

Hypothyroidism and depression share some common symptoms which can make clear diagnosis challenging, says WebMD.

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The relationship isn’t entirely clear, and it is not known whether hypothyroidism causes depression or if depression causes hypothyroidism, Dr. Jennifer Davis of Brown University explained to The New York Times. She also says that women’s complaints of depression are far too often dismissed by physicians as being related to stress or other anxiety issues, so the underlying thyroid disorders are not addressed.

In order to properly diagnose hypothyroidism, physicians need to take a look at all of the patient’s symptoms. Harvard University says that, in addition to low mood, hypothyroidism has physical symptoms like cold intolerance, hair loss, dry skin, and slow heart rate that can be clues that the thyroid may be contributing to chronic low mood. They advise a simple blood test to determine if the thyroid is producing enough thyroid hormones.

When hypothyroidism is effectively treated, many patients find their depression improves gradually over time. The New York Times says that memory and cognition can also be improved.

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Nearly 10 million Americans experience hypothyroidism, and there is a strong link between this thyroid condition and depression.
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Monday, 07 March 2016 06:09 PM
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