Thyroid UK
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3 Dietary Changes To Make Before Starting An Antidepressant

An interesting article by Dr. Kelly Brogan in the Huffington Post.

There is an interesting paper referenced in the article about glyphosate.

Thanks to Lorraine and her "Thyroid News" website for posting Dr. Brogan's article. PR

35 Replies

Anyone presenting depressed enough to require antidepressants is unlikely to be able to wait 4 weeks for antidepressants while they do food elimination tests IMO.

Mildly depressed people might well benefit though.


Unfortunately it doesn't take much for a patient to be prescribed antidepressants in the US or the UK, you don't even have to be depressed. Hopefully, some day we will actually have a real understanding of just what exactly depression is. There are probably many pieces to the puzzle including thyroid, gluten, food intolerances, environmental toxins, defects in the methylation cycle and others which we are as yet unaware. I am encouraged that more doctors like Dr. Brogan are exploring other approaches to solving the problem instead of just throwing drugs at the patient, many of which are no more effective than the placebo effect. PR


It is 180 degrees from when I needed antidepressants in the 90s. They had been prescribed when I was living abroad and on them I was a competent person for the first time in my life. The truly horrible gp I went to when I moved back to London told me they absolutely couldn't prescribe them because they might be addictive and they didn't know what they did in young people - oh, and they were far too expensive. Now the license has expired they see the error of their ways and dispense like Smarties (although my current gp felt he should tell me they're no more effective than a placebo).


Did your GP suggest an alternative therapy to ADs?


Pshaw! Placebos maybe - ? :-)

I was bereaved (twice in a short time) and struggling.


In my experience you may be prescribed antidepressants for almost anything under the sun except for...depression. If you ask for ADs it seems to trigger some sort of alarm bell and reluctance to prescribe.

I'm bipolar and have periods of remission and tend to be at crisis point before I seek help hence my comment about not having time for elimination diet vs chucking down ADs.


Yup, there's a time and a place.

I cherish the early experience I had on fluoxetine where I saw myself clearly without my compulsions and realised it could done. (Later is another story. Fluoxetine stopped working for me and I never really had that experience again.)

I met someone in the smoking car on a train (long time ago) who told me he was bipolar and he said his manic periods made the depression bearable. He said if he had to be depressed at least he could enjoy some of his mania. (But I'm absolutely not making light of mania.)


Prozac stopped working for me after a while, then had venlafaxine which may have caused a minor heart thing and since 2011 Sertraline which I haven't taken since November.

ADs aren't a recommended therapy for Bipolar but the reported side effects of some drugs are enough to put me off considering them. I'm now hoping the addition of T3 will do for brain and body.


I think I remember venlafaxine. Does it have terrible withdrawal symptoms or am I thinking of bupropion/Wellbutrin? I ran out once and felt like I had flu. I think it may have been venlafaxine which for weeks only allowed me to fall into tiny periods of light sleep, from which I could be awakened by a pin dropping.

Well, if you're well supported I think it's aways worth looking at your options. Often drugs worked backwards - or not how they are commonly seen to work - for me. Prozac helped me with anxiety a lot, and it made me sleepy so I took it at night (which apparently is the opposite of how most people react to it). I had a creative psychiatrist who even treated me with Ritalin (which made me feel properly crazy but was worth a try though because I was in deep problem territory). As long as you can recognise if something is swinging in the wrong direction I think it's worth giving anything promising a go.

I truly hope that t3 works for you. When it works for me (presumably on the right dose) it has given me such a great spark, I am hopeful for you.


I've heard of people experiencing terrible withdrawal from venlafaxine and sertraline. I've been lucky not to have experienced them.

I don't consider issuing repeat prescriptions and annual med reviews to be good support at all. The bare minimum to stop me clogging up the surgery IMO. I hope that I'm aware enough to recognise tell tale signs of an impending episode, but I always say that:( and at least I have some ADs to hand.

Managing the thyroid is most important at the moment so bipolar will just have to get its arse in line ;)


Sorry to hear that your surgery isn't much cop. Do you have people who would recognise the signs and give you a nudge?

It must be difficult going from one extreme to another. I had a single episode of hypomania which at the time just seemed like I was beginning to feel good again, depression resolving, etc, so I can see where that could provide a challenge, esp if it goes on to escalate into a full-blown event (which luckily didn't happen to me).

Years ago I had a couple of really good psychiatrists have not had much luck with standard GPs. :-(


I haven't the energy for hypermania :-D I'm so aware of my physical and mental state a la thyroid that I really would notice any change in mood, disposition, energy etc. right now & I would act on it. The last thing I need is an up or down episode when I think I may be on track for being well soon.

Over the years its become very manageable. No crazy manic highs, just some grandiose ideation and impulse buying. Mainly depressive, but not the depths of despair of my youth.

I hardly touch alcohol and avoid stressful situations and I've just touched wood that I stay stable. Thanks for your concern xx


Clutter, may I ask if you think your medication contributed to your Thyroid problems or alternatively do you think it was due to underlying Thyroid problems? I know Lithium is a well reported suspect.

I was labelled with 'anxiety' for many years despite my reasoning with the GP it was something physical causing it - my 'dodgy' nodule. Yet have no proof as no T4/T3 tests taken at that time. J

PS Hope the T3 is helping. :D


Tricky question, Jane. Haven't taken Lithium for 30 years so doubt it was a trigger for the thyroid.

I had a complete physical and bloodwork prior to Bipolar diagnosis and that would have flagged up thyroid problems. Also had annual company medicals until my 30s which specifically tested TFT as mother had Graves.

I quit smoking, one trigger, about 6/7 years before thyroid problem.

I went from 10/12 to 14/16 in a few months about 3 years before diagnosis and then lost 13kg in 10 months prior to diagnosis. I wonder now if this might have been Hashi flexing muscles but assumed it to be a bipolar trick at the time. The smoking trigger sits comfortably on this timeline, I think.

I had two bereavements and a serious car crash 10 months before thyroiditis diagnosis, trauma being another trigger, but I think I was already ill by then.

Fingers crossed for T3 to work a body and mind miracle.


I'd love to see a survey here on smoking cessation and how it fits into the story. I quit about three/four years before diagnosis.


Jury's out on whether smoking switches on a gene, masks thyroid trouble or whether it's triggered by quitting.


Yes, smoking has been reported on many occasions - poll suggestions here....

it may be tricky to show a disadvantage of quitting however I think it has to be recognised in order to investigate further. J


Clutter thanks for answering, I was afraid I was being too nosey! Just that I imagine a lot of Thyroid sufferers are misdiagnosed, and given the wrong treatment, it breaks my heart to see.

You don't think lithium could have contributed? (I've heard others report they think it did - but who knows!).

Years ago I would never have thought to ask for the numbers and trusted 'normal'. Yes I think trauma, especially neck trauma is another factor.

Here's hoping the T3 continues to help J :D


If I thought you were nosey I wouldn't have answered :)

It's such a long time since I took Lithium and I must have had 6 annual TFTs in the decade after that I'm inclined to discount it but could be wrong.

I'm aware of the misdiagnosis tragedies and also aware that physchiatrists often diagnose thyroid disease during blood work ups to eliminate physical causes for psychiatric disorders.

If only GPs did this before prescribing ADs:(


spareribs that is interesting. I was on lithium too (many years ago, and only briefly) but I feel my ht symptoms predate lithium treatment (TFT 'normal' throughout). And my mum is also ht but had no lithium, so maybe other influences at work here (genetic predisposition? shared environmental factors?).

I'm sort of glad lithium didn't work for me as I found the side effects too much. The long-term health effects aren't for the faint-hearted so best to use it when there aren't other practical options. Mind if it had helped I would have been on it like a rash. :-)


just one post of many here if you search lithium (it inhibits thyroid hormone).

I think it's a combo of factors, being prone, environmental & a trigger - I also think fad diets have a lot to answer for. (can't find any HypoTs in my family, but diabetes or 'dropsy' yes) J :D


Also hard to know historically who was *actually* hypo due to rubbish diagnosis guidelines. My gran had dementia for 15-20 yrs before she died and was on ht meds toward the end but I can't help but wonder if ht had a role in her deterioration.

Had to google 'dropsy' - ! :-)


Hi spareribs. I hope you dont mind my jumping in between this conversation, but there seems to me to be a similarity between Lithium induced hypo and my experience in January when I totally crashed after taking Quetiapine for 8 weeks. I can only find one research paper on Quetiapine that says take care when prescribing to thyroid patients. Although I suspect Lithium is far more toxic long term, they are used in similar circumstances. For me, I was rx'd quetiapine for cyclathemia ( which I am now questioning), and strange that my crash came 6 to 8 weeks later ( which would account for the depletion of thyroxin in the blood. What is your opinion? Thanks. Lynne x


Hi Nezzykins.

I'm sorry I wouldn't know, just noticed a few folk mention Lithium.

On is does say not to be given if

"abnormal thyroid tests"

perhaps you could try asking it as a new question to see if anyone has the relevant knowledge/experience? Best wishes J :D


OMG ....GMO's I will want to avoid these now, this and Dr. Kelly Brogans article and after watching your other link also, will try to eliminate wheat.


I knew even before opening up these that sugar and gluten were going to be on the 'banned list'. I'd take it further and say that all grains 'ideally' should go, however gluten is a good first step for those that are too 'daunted' at the prospect to abandon all grains. I have tried to get my son to give up gluten and sugar, whilst he understands and AGREES he should do that he admits he is not 'ready' to do this and does not even want to try, shame (he's 18 so still young)


I haven't gone g-f or sugar free either. The more I read, the more I agree that I've probably had contributory gut issues, but like your son, I'm not ready yet.


Clutter, I posted a video by Dr. Davis about wheat and it's affects, you might find some of his comments about bi-polar of interest. PR


Thank you :) I'll look at it later if I can restrain myself from lobbing this pesky laptop across the room. *1000 curses & death to malfunctioning technology*

1 like

One other study that might be of interest since you mentioned T3. PR


Two articles from a forward thinking shrink, Dr. Kelly Brogan about gluten and its effects.


Chemical mismanagement.

here's what the wwf have to say - read down to toxins found in bloodtests of 40 European ministers...


Scary innit :(


yup! and the rest!

but a little observation, if I may..., you DO seem to be getting better and very coherant & helpful in the process :) - I say things as I see - gets me into loads of fun, oops I meant trouble! - and meanwhile crossing my fingers and toes for you! (are you on NDT?)

PS feel free to bite my head off - but be warned as a mutant, I can grow another! J :D


Uh oh, a mutant admin. My endo didn't warn me about this. D'you think it was the T3 or NDT wot dun it?

I have some NatureThroid as back up should problems with Levo resume or I hit a wall with T3. Doing well on T4+T3 at the moment, I feel, and don't want to fix what ain't broke.

Thanks for your observation. It is helpful. I do feel so much weller. Am quite grumpy and irritable today after a mega sleep but have always thought a recovering patient is a grumpy git so I take it as a very good sign.


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