Sometimes, it really ISN'T all about the thyroid

I've been knackered for months, feeling squishy-flat, no interest in sex, not getting enjoyment from anything and, recently, have gone off food (still eating the same amount but not deriving any pleasure from it). Don't even feel like exercising and I love exercising.

I've spent months thinking that it was probably a thyroid medication problem. However, when the death-thoughts started turning up I thought it was probably time to see my GP again; she's a psychiatric specialist.

It would appear that my antidepressant has stopped working (as my thyroid med levels are now good) and I'm being kept afloat by lithium. The problem I have is trying to pin down which of the blasted neurotransmitters I'm low in (my money's on noradrenaline and dopamine) and trying to find a new AD which doesn't have major weight gain and blood glucose control problems associated with it as I'm already prediabetic. And which I can have a glass of wine on without having to worry about passing out.

I have seen many posts on this forum which suggest that mental health problems (particularly depression) are caused by poor thyroid function. But I'm here to say that sometimes, it really ISN'T all about the thyroid.

15 Replies

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  • If you are still taking anti-depressants then this suggestion should be ignored...

    Have you ever heard of 5-HTP? It's an over-the-counter anti-depressant which works well for a lot of people. Go to Amazon and do a search, then read the reviews. Most people are very enthusiastic, although there are some people for whom it does nothing.

    It is true of all anti-depressants, no matter what their source, that they shouldn't be mixed, because of the risk of serotonin syndrome :

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serot...

    I do find that many brands of 5-HTP are in too high a dose for me - I only need 50mg per day, which I take in the evening - so I am limited by which brands I can take. Many brands are 100mg or 200mg per tablet/capsule, but there are a few 50mg dose products around.

  • 5-HTP is a form of tryptophan, isn't it? Much recommended as worth trying with ADHD and autism - with the latter, you probably need decent levels of D too. I tried it with my son to no avail, but as you say, for some it works.

  • Yes, 5-HTP is 5-hydroxytryptophan, and it is made from tryptophan in the human body.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5-Hyd...

    There is an excellent picture showing where it fits in to human biochemistry here :

    upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe...

    5-htp is the second substance down on the left. It gets converted into serotonin and melatonin.

  • I think because this is a thyroid forum - people do suggest the connection between thyroid and mental health issues. Always best to rule them out at least.

    Just wondering if you managed to increase your T3 and how you are getting along with it. ( As per your last thread :-) )

    Hope you soon feel better....

  • I haven't increased the dose to 10 mcg / day just yet as I'd like to get my prescription in for the next batch of T3 first (kind of a security blanket). And with my TCA having pooped out (it's a technical term :)) and another medication change imminent I feel it's best not to increase the dose right now. The most important thing is to get my head back to a place where I start feeling something again.

    I do not recommend anhedonia.

  • Just noticed that the FT3 is still outside the upper quadrant of the range. Perhaps when you are able to increase things - everything will improve. Hope so.

    Thank you for teaching me a new word - anhedonia :-)

  • Sure. Of course they're not. If your thyroid results are optimal and you've checked FT3 too, and perhaps even tried T3 in case you are one of the percentage that needs it... Some states of depression will be linked to nutrient shortages, and some might be linked to nutrient shortages that happened long ago, as long ago as in the womb, maybe. And some of them will be caused by medication. And some will be partly caused by bad luck in the gene department.

    Good luck on your search.

  • I was depressed (never depressed in my life), moody, brain fog, flooding, short-tempered, insomnia. Sounds like thyroid? Nope, it was from low progesterone.

    When I started to supplement with natural progesterone cream (10 mgs for 10 days starting 10/14 days after the first day of my period), it was wonderful. The insomnia was the first symptom to be resolved and the rest followed over the next month or two.

  • Respectfully... :)

    ...while I agree, not everything is thyroid-related, in your case I still think it might be.

    Your last set of results, posted just a few days ago were:

    TSH -.011

    fT4 16.6 (10-19.8)

    fT3 4.7 (3.5-5.5)

    Those aren't as good as they could be. Your FT3 has much room for improvement.

    Antidepressants can be crucial to recovery - I'm not disputing that. But I can't see any blood test that actually measures whether they've stopped working - in fact, they'd have to invent a test that shows they work first! There's no such thing as an antidepressant deficiency...

  • My thyroid levels have been lower and I've never felt this bad emotionally. If I'm undermedicated then it's only by a little bit. There may be no such thing as an antidepressant deficiency but there is such a thing as being low in neurotransmitters, which antidepressants can be very effective in treating. In my case at the moment I believe my dopamine levels are low; it produces a depression profile different to that caused by low serotonin levels.

  • Ay anti-depressant can negate your thyroid meds.

  • Always ask your Doctor. Vitamin D is available on the NHS if needed. My daughter has it prescribed. She has malabsorption following a serious operation last January. She very nearly died.

    She has other things to take but I cannot recall what they are. Her iron reserves were fine on June 17th, recently they went down to zero. Doctor think she had an internal bleed.

  • Sorry to hear about your daughter; it must have been a worrying time. However, both ferritin and vitamin D are high enough in range so I know that they're not factors.

  • Glynisrose: Which is why I take them well away from each other.

  • everywomanover29.com/index....

    I have found the above website helpful

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