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Thyroid UK
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Still struggling with anxiety and low mood. What to do?

I've always struggled with anxiety - since as far back as I can remember (age 3-4!) I'm now 38. I was secretly hoping that the NDT would help, but I'm fairly sure that I'm clutching at straws as it's in my genes - my dad is the same, and my gran (his mum) also suffered from anxiety.

I've also had depression on and off for a few years now - again, I was hoping it might improve with the NDT but it doesn't seem to be. Some days I'm ok, but some days I'm really not - esp late afternoon onwards for some reason.

I am thinking that I might have to go back on the Fluoxetine - but didn't want to do this, if there 'was' a chance that the NDT still might help. I've been taking it for 6 weeks now, and am on 2.5 grains.

Any thoughts? :(

24 Replies

I have just been taken off armour thyroid which I am fighting to go back on as it made me feel so well , it might take a month or so for you to feel better in yourself . now I am off natural thyroid I am edgy jumpy bad tempered and depressed I can't wait to get back too normal


I think you need to increase NDT slightly to see if it helps. Have you been on 2.5 six weeks or increased slowly up to 2.5 gr? It takes a little while till we get stablised on medication.


I've just reached 2.5 over the six weeks. My last raise was 7 days ago I think.


This is some advice from STTM


I don't know if this will be helpful either. An excerpt:-

He had to stop for a few weeks… then resume again at one grain and do it the right way–approx. 1/2 grain raise every two weeks, slowing down in the 2-3 grain area (and for some, slowing down on even lower amounts).



Hello sip1,

I'm so sorry to hear that your anxiety doesn't seem to be improving. I'm assuming that you've had recent bloods done on your current dosage of NDT?

Could you post them?

I too am one of those who has very serious depression and anxiety. I am Hashi/hypo. It started in my mid teens. I am convinced that my thyroid issues started Back then too.

My endocrinology is quite complex and I have only recently within the last week discovered just how complex. I have seen a pituitary specialist who has explained things in further detail. Crikey.......I'm not simple.

I have spent years on and off anti-depressants and have had much success at controlling symptoms.

In recent years I have been on anti-depressants and NDT and felt good.

However when I have come off my AD's ........I've gone down hill. Like you, I expected NDT to be the answer to everything.

I have mentioned on this site many times the some people need BOTH. Just raising NDT won't do it for some. It didn't do it for me. It's not always a popular statement. But I believe that anyone who believes that anti-depressants are not necessary has never actually suffered from body -crippling, mind -numbing depression. A condition I would not wish on my worst enemy.

So you know what I'm going to say next........yep........if I were you.......make friends with the fluoxetine again. I take seroxat. Not all the time. But it has helped me through some extremely sticky patches which were so grave that it threatened my livelihood and family life.

As I said earlier my endocrinology is extremely complicated. When both both my FT's were well BELOW range MY TSH never rose above 6.2 ! It should have been closer to 100!!

I'm not going to expand because frankly it's too convoluted and has only come to light recently. In time I will share with the site, but I know that I cannot be alone in my complexity.

You stated that other members of your family have suffered too. Mine also. 4 members so far, going back generations. All of whom displayed symptoms of low thyroid.

I hope I haven't bored you with such a long reply. Yes ADs are over prescribed and handed out like candy by GPs who frankly can't be arsed to investigate further. Depression is a symptom of so many illnesses!! But for a percentage and I include myself.......they are necessary and what's more enable us to feel NORMAL. So please be kind to yourself.


If you need them .....you need them. You are not a failure.....you're just a bit more complicated!! :)

I am wrapping you in a bit of love because it sounds like you need it right now.



Thank you so much for your lengthy reply :) No, I haven't checked my bloods since starting NDT yet. I'm self medicating, so consequently paying for the tests myself. Having said that though, my docs are checking my TSH (I'm guessing that'll be all they'll check as usual) tomorrow - so that will give me a clue as to where I am, although I'll check again, and my FT3 and FT4 in a few more weeks to see where things are heading.

I think though - it does feel like I'm failing somehow, going back on the AD's. I keep telling myself that I'm not, and I need them - but in the back of my mind I just keep thinking 'here we go again, giving in to anti-depressants'...


Definitely hang in there. I'm the same as you and Armour made my life normal again. I would say give it time but also you may have to increase your dose. Also have you checked your adrenals and vitamin levels? B12 and Iron?

For the first time last winter I didn't get SAD. I put it down to Armour. What were your last blood results?


I haven't had my bloods checked yet - I had them done before I started on the NDT but was waiting a little longer before checking them again. I will check my adrenals as well at the same time.

I also suffer with SAD - and PMT as well, pretty much anything associated with low mood and anxiety! I took AD's specifically for PMT, and SAD. There was always something to flipping dread! At least one week out of 4 I feel crapp(er) - and then as soon as the dark nights start drawing in, I'm then reminded that I have at least 6 months of even more doom and gloom. This is on top of feeling poo anyway. Hey ho!

Forgot to say that my iron and B12 are fine.


I agree with Joesmum dont leave yourself suffering. There is nothing wrong with treating your anxiety and depression symptoms by using appropriate medication. Carry on with your NDT as well and once your anxiety and depression symptoms have settled you may choose to reduce your ads. I have suffered with anxiety and depression for many years and like you it seems to run in the family unlike thyroid issues that only affect my daughter and I. I take a beta blocker daily for the anxiety and at the moment I dont need anti depressants, and contary to what some people say on here I am totally in control of my thoughts and behaviour the medication doesnt control me!!!! Be kind to yourself and dont wait for thyroid treatment to work you could be waiting for ever and treat your anxiety if you feel thats right for you. Unless someone has suffered from severe anxiety they would have no idea of the daily suffering anxiety causes. Hope you get things sorted. You never know waiting to see if the NDT will work might be making you anxious lol xxx

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Yes I think you're right there - waiting probably is making me anxious lol. Everything makes me anxious though - just general ups and downs of daily life can accumulate and become too much to handle. My problem is that my mind works overtime, constantly trying to solve whatever the problem might be, and 9 times out of 10 there just isn't an answer or solution. And when there are several 'problems' (even if they are minor things) - I think that's when it all becomes just too much, and the depression kicks in.

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Sip, It's a no brainer as far as I'm concerned. Take the ADs to cope with anxiety and depression until, and if, NDT makes it so you don't need them. 6 weeks isn't nearly long enough for NDT to have helped you much and there's no point in suffering until it does xx


Clutter - could the NDT be making my anxiety and depression worse do you think?


Sip, it could if you are overmedicated. Have you had a thyroid blood test since starting NDT? Have your anxiety and depression become worse since you started NDT?


Would I have other symptoms other than anxiety if I was over medicated? My pulse and temp haven't really changed since before starting the NDT.

I haven't had a blood test since before I started it no. My doctor doesn't know I'm taking NDT, but they have requested a thyroid check which I've changed to next Friday to give it a little longer. The receptionist said that they wanted to check T3 and T4, but presumably, if it's not of the 'free' variety it'll be fairly worthless will it?


Sip, if you're overmedicated you'll likely have palpitations, tremors and diarrhoea too.

I don't think NHS test total T4 and T3 any longer so you'll have FT4 and FT3.


Oh good, that's a bonus then. Least I won't have to pay for my thyroid test then this time!!

Hmmmm - I do have palpitations - however - I have had palpitations for years on and off so I don't know that I can read too much into that. Nothing else though - presumably I'd know if I had tremors?


Sip, It doesn't sound as if you are over medicated.


Hi Sip

I am sorry you are having problems. Would your GP test your Free T3 as you could be low in this vital hormone. Two links below:-


This is an excerpt and as we are hypo, our T3 is usually low if not converting levo properly.

Other options. Liothyronine (Cytomel), a synthetic version of T3, is eliminated from the system faster than T4, so levels fluctuate more. Another option is liotrix (Thyrolar), which combines both T3 and T4 in one pill. Both of these drugs may require more careful dosing to avoid raising thyroid hormone levels too far. Yet some people respond better to these medications.



I'm not an expert on anxiety but have you cut out gluten? Gluten can cause anxiety, especially when you're also autoimmune


I don't know if they have/had a thyroid problem - just anxiety really. My gran was quite bad with her anxiety - although back then, she called it her 'nerves'. I think I am probably a lot like her - a born worrier, and also quite insecure unfortunately!



I am sorry to hear that there have not been any changes in mood since starting the NDT. It does take time to build up in your system and it is possible that there is something else going on.

Obviously it would also be important to check your Vitamin D levels as this can contribute to mood.

The other thing that comes to mind, because I am investigating it myself is PD (pyrole disorder). I mention it because it can be associated with Hashi and hypothyroid and often times there is a history of depression, anxiety, addiction etc in the family. Here is a link but if you google Pyrole disorder or kryptopyroluria or mauve factor there is alot of information online. In short however it is easily treatable with zinc and B6, however you should be tested and not just supplement.

It is very interesting however that some of the nutrients used to treat hypo are also those used to treat PD. There is also alot of issues with heavy metals that could contribute to mood.

Anyhow, here is the link vitalityandwellness.com.au/...

Good luck and AD are there to help you, dont feel badly for taking them but it may be worth digging a bit further to figure out if there is another underlying cause.

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Have you had your zinc and magnesium levels tested, or tried supplementing them? There would appear to be good evidence that low levels of either, or both, can cause mood dysfunction:



I have suffered from anxiety since a toddler,like you,and I realise now I have experienced depressive episodes from a young age.Its in my family too.

I was on thyroxine for 18 years from 1997.

In 2011,after prolonged stress,I spent 2 years in a depression with extreme states of anxiety.I was completely against anti depressants,especially after starting Cetalopran & enduring 3 weeks of awful side effects.

In September 2016 the same thing happened-acute anxiety,followed by depression.But this time I had had 18 months of great improvements physically & moodwise on T3.

Such a shock!Luckily my neice,who has inherited this genetic trait,recommended I try Sertraline,which she takes.

After suffering for 4 months,I realised i could not face another two years of living hell,now that I know what the first two years were like,in fact I was in so much psychic pain most days I didn't know how I was going to go on.

Thank goodness one of the admins & some posters on here encouraged me to take antidepressants if I needed to & even recommended Sertraline,like my neice,after several experiences with medication.

Anyone who has suffered true depression or severe prolonged anxiety understands that sometimes,antidepressants may be needed.I would prefer not to be taking them.I know coming off them will not be easy.

I am very glad that not everyone on this forum treats antidepressants as evil to be avoided at all costs.I know I did until this year.


Six weeks isn't long, it took me six months to get enough NDT into my system to start working effectively. Entirely my fault because I increased very cautiously & wasn't taking it properly, ie, exclusively away from things that clashed such as tea, dairy products, vitamins & minerals, HRT, & not realising unfermented soya is the devil's food.

Are you making sure you have the right nutrients, & they're taken away from anything that might reduce absorption?

Hormonal imbalances play havoc with our bodies & minds. The endocrine system is closed, so it's not always easy finding out which bit is out of sorts. In my case a pituitary adenoma wreaked havoc for 40 years. Various papers & books & I've read suggest up to 25% of the population may have this condition, & there's a genetic link. Having your prolactin levels tested might be useful.

Prior to getting my TH & nutrient ducks in a row, I crashed at 4pm, like clockwork, every afternoon. Embarrassing during work meetings. I think this was due to the circadian cortisol pattern being messed up from having insufficient thyroid hormones. Your anxiety might be due to something similar, & hopefully, will reduce as the hormones get into your cells & do marvellous stuff.


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