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Depressed? You may want to check your thyroid

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If you’re depressed, and especially if you haven’t responded all that well to antidepressants, you may want to have your thyroid function checked. In fact the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists states: “The diagnosis of subclinical or clinical hypothyroidism must be considered in every patient with depression.”  That’s recommended because it is well known that when patients have slow metabolism due to low thyroid hormone production from hypothyroidism, they can easily have depression that can respond dramatically to thyroid hormone treatment.  It’s also recommended because many doctors are not thinking to check for low thyroid function in their depressed patients.  Hypothyroidism (high TSH and low T4 on blood tests) is found in 4% of people with depression and That’s good advice, but plenty of doctor ignore it. It’s just easier to write a prescription for antidepressants than to explore a potential underlying cause of so common a symptom as depression.

A review of the literature found that subclinical hypothyroidism (when the TSH is a little high but T4 levels are still normal) occurs in up to 40 percent of people with mood disorders such as depression.  That’s a lot of people but even that is just the tip of the iceberg.

That’s a lot, and I suspect a fair number of these people fall through the cracks when it comes to proper diagnosis aResearchers are totally missing the boat on the importance of thyroid hormones in the treatment of depression because they are looking at the wrong variable.  They are looking only at the thyroid blood tests when they should be looking at the body temperature as well.  They are puzzled by the fact that T4 helps people with hypothyroidism (high TSH on blood tests) while T3 helps people with normal thyroid tests.  However, this is exactly what we’d expect to see with Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome.

Of course a slow metabolism can cause depression and other mood disorders.  Of course low T4 production can cause slow metabolism and low body temperatures, and of course it will respond well to T4.  Of course impaired conversion of T4 to T3 can cause slow metabolism and low body temperatures and of course that can respond well to T3 therapy.

The slow metabolism that shows up on thyroid blood tests (hypothyroidism and subclinical hypothyroidism) is actually much less common than the slow metabolism due to Wilson’s Temperature Syndrome.  It is likely that almost all patients with depression have low body temperatures, and that many of them would gain improvement with the normalization of their body temperatures with T3 therapy.

It can be hard to interpret thyroid tests for subclinical hypothyroidism in the face of depression. When thyroid abnormalities exist, they consist mainly of elevated T4 levels, low T3, elevated rT3, blunted TSH response to TRH, positive antithyroid antibodies, and elevated cerebrospinal fluid TRH concentrations.

[MOST OF THESE THINGS ARE NEVER TESTED FOR IN ROUTINE SCREENING??] In fact, iIt’s been suggested that some people may have “brain hypothyroidism” while the rest of their body is, essentially, normal.  Some researchers speculate that this relative deficiency of thyroid hormone in the brain could come from a defect in thyroid hormone receptors or in thyroid hormone transport and uptake into brain cells. It’s also been suggested that stress hormones such as cortisol inhibit the conversion of T4 to T3, which could lead to a functional deficiency of T3.

Whatever the cause, tThere is some research to show that supplemental thyroid hormones can help antidepressants work better, at least for some people. And rResearch also seems suggests to indicate that some people respond better to T3 than to T4. It’s thought that these people have a genetic predisposition toward PROBLEMS WITH DOPAMINE PRODUCTION?? ….. [ARTICLE SAYS functional D1 gene polymorphism]  (a tip-off that you might have this could be …. personal or family history of neuropsychiatric problems such as schizophrenia, social phobias, Tourette’s syndrome, ADHD, alcohol or drug dependence.) Therefore, if you have depression and a low body temperature then your depression might respond dramatically to T3 therapy.  If your T4 level is low then you might benefit from either T4 or T3.  If your temperature is low and your thyroid blood tests are normal then you might benefit from T3.  The key is the temperature.  When your treatment normalizes your temperature, that’s when you’re more likely to feel well.

For further help you can find a practitioner by clicking here. help using T3 to treat depression, we suggest you DO WHAT? Find out first, if you also have low body temperature,?? Find a practitioner on website? Have your doctor read this article AND THE REFERENCE? Try a course of T3 and see if it helps your symptoms.

1.    Hage, MP, Azar, ST. The Link between Thyroid Function and Depression. J Thyroid Res. 2012;2012:590648. doi: 10.1155/2012/590648. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

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