have bipolar , will my thyroid go back to normal if lithium is stopped or will I have this problem for life

15 Replies

  • Hi As far as I know, it will not. However, psychiatrist are very good on thyroid, so I would ask,Hopefully some one else will now more.

    Best wishes,


  • This is from C Dayan's "Fast Facts: Thyroid Disorders"

    "Lithium also inhibits the release of thyroid hormone. with almost one-third of patients treated with this agent developing transient hypothyroidism. However, severe or permanent lithium induced hypothyroidism suggests underlying autoimmune thyroiditis."

  • up until last april I had normal blood results then they suddenly went crazy, keep going up despite medication and now have this goitre ,sore throat , and swallowing difficulties, and irritation in throat ..

  • As you mention blood results then you are, reassuringly, being monitored.

    Found this in Dayan's book P61, could explain rising levels in case you are worried:

    "Lithium carbonate 300-450mg three times daily inhibits thyroid hormone release and may rapidly control hyperthyroidism in a manner similar to inorganic iodide. Escape from inhibition occurs with prolonged therapy."

  • on slow release lithium 600mg at night . thanks for information , will have a look

  • Thanks for this. This is very interesting! I was told my hypothyroidism was not autoimmune but lithium induced. Since then I have had symptoms, from time to time, of other autoimmune diseases (lupus and rheumatoid arthritis). I have also had a swelling in my throat some times that seems to coincide with worsening thyroid symptoms so I am fairly sure this is autoimmune. You have backed up my theory... :D

  • Hi

    I was diagnosed bi-polar several years after thyroid diagnosis. Although knowing what I know now, have suffered with bi-polar and thyroid since a teenager.

    I was given Lamotrigine which helps with the bi-polar, less severe mood swings. But have been told that I will be on levothyroxine and Lamotigine for life.

  • This is a link which may be of interest:-


  • Since getting better thyroid treatment, I no longer require any psychiatric meds. I used to take a shed-load! Perhaps this is something worth looking into?

  • Just googled "hypothyroidism connection with bipolar condition", here is just one of the many resulting links vindicating your own thoughts:


    This really makes me think. Had a sister who was medicated for supposed psychiatric problems. I now recognise in her photographs many signs of hypothyroidism - puffy face/lost eyebrows/thin hair/ and remember her spending weekends in bed. Her supposed psychiatric illness was quite likely caused by hypothyroidism.

  • I am a firm believer in this. I think too many people who are diagnosed with psychiatric disorders are actually either hypo- or hyperthyroid.

  • thankyou so much for your help . there are loads of links on that site and they are very informative. its not nice being told you have a condition that you don't have a clue about , now I understand a little more at least . will have a clearer picture next week following ultra sound. thanks again .

  • This seems to have happened to me too. I was diagnosed with Bipolar in 2002.

    18 years prior to that, after the birth of 2nd child I had post-natal depression for 6 months - then I went up and down constantly, crashing and burning until hospitalised in 2000. Never knew there was anything 'wrong' just assumed I needed to try harder to get things 'right'.

    Then diagnosed with Hypothyroidism in 2007 and gradually improved mood-wise until no longer on any meds at all. Now on T3 only and feeling even better - not hyper, just better.

  • I wonder how many other people have had similar experiences?

    Glad to hear you are much better now :)

  • this is so good to hear ,, thanks for sharing , you have given me a bit of hope that I may be able to get off this medication at some point . we took ages to accept that I did have bipolar and even after accepting it I still went through periods where I thought it wasn't and stopped taking lithium but it had deverstating consiquences when I did that . now they have found that I have hypothyroid and im on medication to treat it maybe the future will be different and lithium free , hate feeling flat all the time. in my teens I was totally different to this person I am today that struggles to do anything, nervous/anxiety/insomnia/lack of confidence/ some days cant leave the house / so thank you for the hope.

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