Bipolar and hypo/hyperthyroidism

Hi. I need a little advice. I'm new here so please be gentle.

I have been diagnosed with bipolar 1 with ultra rapid cycling and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. For years my moods, along with my resting heart rate have been all over the place, often changing within 48 hours. I have sweats, dry skin (dandruff), tremor, euphoria, hallucinations on occasion, agitation, anxiety, fast speech & thoughts and a handful of other symptoms. My bipolar has not responded to any psychiatric medication at all. Just yesterday a doctor at my local hospital examined me and stated that at that moment in time he believed I was showing all the signs of thyrotoxicosis which was news to me as I didn't know you could be hypo and hyper at the same time.

All this got me thinking and I did some research and found the symptoms that got me diagnosed as bipolar are a better match for Hashimoto's & thyrotoxicosis.

Which begs the question: do I have bipolar at all?

I'd love to hear your thoughts. I'm going to ask to see an endocrinologist asap.

Many thanks.

43 Replies

  • I think you could be on the right track. Have you some blood test results with ranges you could share ? Also have you been tested for B12 - Ferritin - Folate - VitD ? What dose are you taking for your thyroid ?

  • I would say that they should have ruled out thyroid problems before any psychiatric diagnoses, but the parameters for the norms in the blood tests used for diagnosis are too narrow and therefore screen out a lot of people who do have thyroid problems. Good medicine always recommended that the blood tests be judged in consideration of the symptoms, but this is not done. In psychiatry they rarely pay attention to pulse or temperature. Try to find a doctor who is sympathetic. You could ask people here if they can recommend doctors, but you would need to say what country you are in etc. Sounds like you are on the right track. (And I'm a psychiatric nurse). Good luck :-)

  • i suspect you have the extremes of combined hashimotos and graves

    they can run in tandem causing total havoc in the body

    there was some research done in scandavia that totally removing the thyroid to stop theantibody attacks but its vital that you get proper replacent thyroid treatment afterwards and thats likely to need to be NDT rather than levothyroxine

  • Untreated Hashi/Thyroid issues cause psychological issues, when I'm in a bad bout I get quite OCD.

    Have you had your thyroid antibodies checked to confirm Hashimotos? Are you gluten free?

    With Hashis you must be gluten free. Research leaky gut.

    Dr Datis Khazzarian has brilliant books.

    Immune system recovery plan by Susan Blum is very helpful too.

    Also research adrenal fatigue, could explain a lot of your symptoms.

    Change your diet, start yoga, get vitamins optimum and look at Natural Dessicated thyroid instead of Levo. You'll see a big improvement.

  • Hi

    I have Hashimoto's and because I am older than you surely, my changes in mood, energy, etc are not so violent... People with Hashimoto's should treat themselves for autoimmune disease... Hashimoto's is not a real hypothyroidism. It's the immune system attacking/destroying the thyroid gland.

    I have taken this path: Only healing the gut (small intestine) (100%) by not eating gluten one can stop not only Hashimoto's but other autoimmune diseases.

    Of course your bipolar did not respond to psychiatric treatment.

    Good health


  • These replies are INCREDIBLE! I have long suspected there was more this than just bipolar. My mood swings have got worse with age (I'm 41). I am wheat intolerant (but not coeliac or gluten) but no one has told me to stop eating bread other than to cut down to help with IBS.

    I'm on a low dose (75mcg) of levothyroxin and that's it.

    I had some bloods done and they wouldn't share the results other than saying they were abnormal and indicated thyrotoxicosis.

    I'm going to find a good endo and sort this out. ANYTHING is better these awful psychiatric meds that have failed me for over 5 years.

    Thanks everyone!

  • If they refuse to give you your results, they are breaking the law. Remind them that the Data Protection Act of 1998 gives you the right to access to your results. And if they don't give them to you, there are measures you can take!

  • The doctors and receptionists CANNOT refuse you copies of your blood results. Freedom of Information. There might be a small charge not. Also try to make sure that the reference ranges are on the papers too.

    Jo xx

  • Data Protection Act 1998. :)

  • Hi I've had bipolar rapid cycling for 15 yes in 2014 I was diagnosed with graves thyrotoxicosis i i was first treated with carbimazole, then thyroid went back to overactive again. I went on to have radio iodine . In between this I've had my gall bladder out ,the last few months my health really started going down hill, I was admitted to hospital where I was told my thyroid was now underactive , sent home with medication but know information given to me. Through this sire I found out I should be tested for iron etc which has been done. Yesterday I was told that I need to have iron injection three times a week for a fortnight and then regularly after.

    My mental health has been worsening and my mental health team have admitted that until my thyroid is stable they can't get a clear picture to what is causing what. At points I was being to think my feeling Ill was due to my mental state. Symptoms of thyroid and bipolar mimic each other .please make sure that there is liaison between doctors

    I'm also having a MRI done to see if any gall stones are left in my bile ducts and waiting to see a gastroenterologist about my sliding hiatus hernia, as I now can hardly eat or keep food down would be interested to see if this has happened to anyone else after being diagnosed with thyroid problems.

    This site has be amazing the things I've learnt I hope things get sorted for you and hopefully you might not have bipolar.

  • Just been for my first injection, not iron injections its b12 told I will have to have them life sorry for mistake

  • The NHS protocol for B12 injections is every 12 weeks after loading doses. This may not be enough for you - so keep a journal of your symptoms so you can fight your corner.

    Buy the book - Could it be B12 - by Sally Pacholock.

    Sounds as if you have Pernicious Anaemia. Do you always have copies of your blood tests ? It is your legal right to have them. Also take Folate in a good B Complex to keep all the B's in balance.

    What other supplements are you taking ?

  • Hi not on any other supplements a year ago I had two b12 injections and was on folic acid. Then when I went for next injection nurse said I didn't need it, I was ill with other things should of queried it then. I only get a typed letter from consultant with thyroid readings only. I have now written to gp asking for all letters and results over last two years, as other mistakes have been made not just to do with thyroid. Thank you for your help I will try and get that book and ask gp about other supplements. My greatgran had pernicious anaemia, but I don't know if she had graves or thyroid problems

  • Auto-immune illnesses like to hunt in packs :-) You will find the book so enlightening. I learn new things on every page .....

    B12 injections can lower potassium I have read - so eating a banana afterwards could solve that one !

    Further testing for B12 is not needed as results will be skewed. I think GP's suggest it just so they can say your B12 is now OK - so no more injections. So do not let that happen to you.

    You need to find out if you do have PA. Good Luck :-)

  • Do they pick it up in the blood tests just had a load done so wondering if they tested that.All the doc said was I needed b12 injections Will ring gp and see if they have any record of it being that, if not I will ask about being tested thanks

  • I think you mentioned you would need B12 injections for life - as told by your GP. That suggests you may have PA. You will need the anti-bodies testing for PA - Anti-Intrinsic Factor and Anti-Parietal Cell Anti-Bodies. Being negative in the first test does not always mean you do not have PA I have read here.

    There is a PA forum here on HU. Ask the question there - lots of very helpful people.

  • Thank you I will ask when I go for my injection Tuesday don't know if I said but my great gran on my mums side had it and my mum has a under active thyroid

  • Have just joined pa forum thanks

  • You are doing well :-)

  • Your very smart...... I think you are really on to something because every time I drink poweraide I feel good which is loaded with b vitamin ...... I stopped drinking Dasani water and switched to nestle ,,,,,,,I feel better....... I still have horrible attacks when I get dehydrated .......thyroid is the worst ,messes with your heart to thanks for the good advice to everyone 🙏🏻

  • Everything your saying is thyroid disease your not alone 🙏🏻

  • Well done for not giving up and never giving in. Keep searching for the truth, you'll find it.x

  • There is a very good chance that you are NOT bipolar. I have wrestled with Hashimoto's here in the States, for over 30 years. Before I began taking the natural thyroid replacements like Armour and NatureThroid, my experience was just like yours! (I was quite certain I was crazy - as were some Dr.s! If you can believe it - one ENDOCRINOLOGIST actually prescribed Xanax and told me to go home and make up with my husband!!!!!!) No one knew what was going on in the 80's and 90's (or very, very few Dr.s did) It took 10 years going from Dr. to Dr. trying to find an answer. Synthroid was prescribed only because one blood test showed "borderline" hypothyroidism. Finally, one Dr. LISTENED. She told me that I was suffering from classic symptoms of a Thyroid Storm. The "Storm" would occur when (while taking Synthoid) some of my own thryoid hormone would get through my immune system (perhaps while distracted with more pressing infections, etc.), mix with the Synthroid and BAM! Just like you described. As soon as the medicine was changed to "natural" T3 and T4 thyroid hormone replacement - depression, rapid cycling WHATEVER....was gone. All these many years later - continuing on natural hormone replacements, prescribed by a DR. and I have not had one, let me repeat, NOT ONE, recurrence of depression, rapid heartbeat, dry skin, sweats, etc. Diagnosis of Hashimotos was confirmed by an Endocrinologist not by blood tests, but by urine analysis (collected over a week). It's kind of gross - but tests can be that way - ha!

    Listen to the Dr. who spoke of Thyrotoxicosis. Pursue the tests needed to confirm or deny Hashimoto's. Chances are great that it's not "all in your head", but a little lower - "all in your neck". : )

    Dr.s say that Hashimoto's is an auto-immune disease. I believe all auto-immune diseases are rooted in over-use of anti-biotics. In addition to natural thyroid medication, I have added (on my own) pro-biotics and anti-fungals, like Olive-Leaf extract. (Health-food stores) Diflucan (prescription necessary) if you can get a Dr. to prescribe it - is a miracle drug for Hasimotos. Somehow, I can't find one that wants to prescribed it for more than 30 days.

  • Found your post very interesting, I've have rapid bipolar for 15 yrs, so I don't think I could have had graves hyper now hypo for that long hopefully. But over the last two yes suffering with my thyroid, it has definently effected my bipolar got appointment next week with shrink he has been having a hard job sorting my bipolar out and has said till thyroid is stable he can't get a clear picture to what's going on. Will show him your post will be interesting to see what he says

  • I was only diagnosed with bipolar 5 years ago and have never met the requirements to be hospitalised (although I did take up the offer of a few private admissions voluntarily for a rest). I do wonder if the worst 'bipolar' episodes could be rapid cycling caused by hashi's and graves. I also wonder if I've had thyroid storm before - last Friday my heart rate jumped v high, I sweated profusely, I became very weak, my vision went grey and I collapsed. I ended up in A&E but they thought it was my heart and sent me for an echocardiogram which found nothing.

    I'm seeing my psychiatrist today - any suggestions on how I raise the topic of thyroid with him? I don't want to be seen to be self diagnosing or challenging his diagnosis just yet - that will come later.

  • I've learnt over the years to be honest with them, that why they know exactly what's going on. I have never felt like their dismissing what I say or not taking things seriously.

    You might find the bipolar UK site helpful, runs similar to this one they have a forum.

    Good luck with your appointment please don't feel that you can't tell them they need to know.

  • PS Gold Rule with bipolar don't treat it any different to other illness. Giving them all the information helps you and them,

  • Have you found Kelly Brogans website ? Signing up for her Newsletters will keep you so informed. Her latest book - A Mind of Your Own - is a best seller.

  • Found it will now sit and have a good look at it thanks

  • :-) :-)

  • Apologies for hi-jacking your post/thread :-)

  • No need I can't believe what I've learnt on here I've had quite a few mess ups with other health issue, it's unbelievable what I've not be told or test that should have been done, any input is greatly helpful thanks

  • I meant the OP :-)

  • Sorry brain fog

  • Show him my post. If he appears to be "challenged" by it - you must go to another Dr. These days Dr.s must be professionals that have open minds. The new "gut" science that is emerging was not known even 10 years ago. Dr.s that try to treat all the symptoms of hasimotos / rising thyroid problems are fighting a losing battle - and we are the ones on the front lines.

    It does sound like a thyroid storm. I "collapsed" many times before receiving the proper diagnosis / treatment.

  • Yes u can have thyroid for any amount of years

  • Hi just reading your post again do you know if you can have graves and hashimotos .can't remember whether I said I have graves, Brain is just not working at moment.

  • Sorry this post is to dtate2016

  • I will investigate whether I might have Graves and Hashi's. My doctor just isn't prepared to investigate beyond treating the symptoms one by one. Thanks.

  • I do not not know if you can have both diseases at the same time. I do know that both diseases are considered auto-immune disorders. Hence, the cure for both diseases is the same. 6 weeks of vegetable juicing only is the highest recommendation for healing the gut (leaky gut is the cause of auto-immune disorders). Baring that, going on a vegetarian diet, no dairy, no wheat, no rye, no oats, no barley (called the BROW diet) no meat. It is what I am doing now - on my 3rd day - mind is clearing, energy is already returning, and tummy is improving. Lots of healthy water too. (no chlorine, no flouride, etc.) Spring water with minerals is what we use here - bottled from the source. It is not expensive here.

    Personally, I wondered why in the world did we all get so allergic to wheat?!! Dr. Bergman in California explained - its the insecticide in cattle feed / agriculture. The insecticide kills the insect by destroying the insect gut. Little wonder then, that we all have "Leaky gut" syndrome. Little wonder that organic fruits and vegetables are ever on the increase in popularity.

    I still take medicine for Hashimotos's (60 Mg Nature-Throid). But I am determined to eat better / drink better. Otherwise, who knows what future disease RoundUp and similar insecticides will bring? Dr. Bergman has convinced me that Leaky Gut can be healed, but only with body respecting changes to our diet - permanent changes.

    I cooked the most wonderful pot of Lentil stew - without meet. Even my meet eating husband loved it! I used fresh spinach in place of the meet. (along with garlic, onions, tomatoes, rosemary and thyme). We can easily leave meet behind. (never been a vegan before - but if that's what it takes, I'm in!)

    For supplements, I use pro-biotics, olive leaf extract, and several others. I know it's hard to do when your brain is foggy and you feel sick, but try and research how to heal leaky gut syndrome all you can. Follow Heloise on this HealthUnlocked and view any videos that she has posted - she is the best!

    That is the quickest answer to either Hashimotos or Graves disease. Medicine is at best a poorly performing band-aid in the meantime. Try to find a Dr. who practices "Functional Medicine."

    Most of all - keep sharing what you find that works so that you too can help others. We will get through this together - and get well - which is so much better than a life-time of "treatment". Where have all the medicinal healers gone?

  • dtate2016 thank you I have starting eating correct foods, still not sure if everything's stinking in. What I do know is I've been feeding my graves with everything I shouldn't Dairy produce is no go for me I now need to find out if I need calcium supplement

  • Calcium supplements perhaps - but green things have a lot of calcium and magnesium! One Functional Medicine Dr. said to us at a speaking engagement: "Deer lose their antlers every year. Antlers are made primarily of calcium... What do they eat? They shed last years antlers and grow increasingly larger antlers every year that they live. What is their primary source of calcium? Do they drink milk?"

    Of course the point is that we have been schooled to believe that milk is the best source of calcium, when it really isn't.

    Hang in there. One step at a time. I know dairy - and especially cheese is hard to give up. Let's do this together. Let's all - Go Green! I find that avocado's satisfy my craving for creamy, protein filled, good fat!

  • Am already dairy free, going for b12 injection today will be asking about calcium etc.

    Interesting point about deer's never thought about that.


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