Although hypothyroidism and depression are very different diseases, they are interconnected in many individuals’ lives. In most cases, depression is the first sign that a person’s thyroid is not active. If your doctor has diagnosed you with hypothyroidism, this suggests that your thyroid is not secreting enough quantities of thyroid hormone, which in turn, could disrupt every part of your body. But due to overlap of certain signs of depression as a result of hypothyroidism, patients and doctors may overlook the chances that a patient could possibly be having a thyroid that is not active. In such instances, the patients’ depressive symptoms could be as a result of hypothyroidism itself.
Hypothyroidism is a condition that has characteristics such as abnormally reduced activity of the thyroid gland and insufficient secretion of the thyroid hormones. Thyroid gland produces hormones that are crucial in regulating development, growth, and the metabolism rate. The major cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto thyroiditis which is a condition that makes the body’s immune system to secrete antibodies that damage the thyroid tissues over time. Because of this the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient thyroid hormone.
If you have the hypothyroidism condition, you may experience fatigue, lethargy, loss of concentration, and sleeping too much that may result into feelings of depression and extreme sadness and despair may accompany it. At the same time, you could have other signs mostly associated with a thyroid that is not active such as:
- Decreased heart rate
- Extreme sensitivity to cold
- Muscle and joint cramp
- Weight gain
- Skin darkening
- Hoarseness of the voice
- Swelling on the front part of the neck
- Loss of Hair
Interconnecting Hypothyroidism and Depression
Depression is common among people with hypothyroidism than those without. To assist the doctors to find out whether depression is connected with hypothyroidism, depressed patients need to be checked for thyroid disorders. If hypothyroidism is detected, blood tests can be done to confirm the results, specifically portraying decreased thyroxine and increased levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone.
Research has shown that if you suffer from depression as a result of hypothyroidism, instead of going for antidepressant drugs, your depression condition may get better with thyroid-replacement drugs such as thyroid, which assists in increasing the levels of triiodothyronine. For People suffering from depression as a result of hypothyroidism, replacement of thyroid medication may not only improve the feelings and effects of depression, but also improve the effectiveness of antidepressant drugs. When thyroid drugs minimize TSH levels to its normal range, the signs of depression usually go down.
Treatment for Hypothyroidism and Depression
Although hypothyroidism mostly occurs in adult females, this condition also affects both genders and show symptoms ant any age.
If you have feelings of depression, seek advice from your doctor, as both hypothyroidism and depression can be treated, a correct diagnosis such as blood tests to check thyroid hormone secretion, is a crucial first step towards proper management. If symptoms that are linked to depression as a result of hypothyroidism go from bad to worse, you should seek help from a doctor as soon a possible, the earlier you get help the better it will be for you and not forgetting your health.