Is this depression??

I have been on Levo approx 7 weeks and diagnosed 11 weeks.

In the past I've had spells of anxiety but could always attribute them to something going on in my life and they quickly went. Tried anti-anxiety medication a few times over two years but never stuck with it due to side effects and the anxiety dissipating.

For the last two weeks I have felt unusual...like I am some sort of mind reading fortune teller who can predict some disastrous misfortune about to befall me. So far I've been innacurrate. It started off with being a little bit down over a couple of things my partner said to me that his ex-wife has been up to (she's a real pain!) Normally I can speak to my friends and feel back to normal, but that's not happening now. I know two weeks is no time at all BUT it is for me.

I'm wondering if this is more of a depression due to the length of time and needs to be tackled differently to anxiety?

Is Levothyroxine to blame???

Thanks

32 Replies

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  • I would say it's down to the hypo. Depression, axiety and all that are all hypo symptoms. You're only just starting on your journey, you still have a way to go, and it all takes a long time. So, don't worry about it, just tell yourself that you're going to feel so much better when your levels are optimal. Both mentally and physically. :)

  • greygoose Thank you for replying.

    I really struggle with understanding why you get hypo symptoms when you have replacement hormone. I can see why you might get them if you are not optimally medicated or remain in the dark about vitamins, diet etc but I can't get my head around why someone gets symptoms. Does that mean, regardless of being on a replacement hormone you can still get a whole chunk of hypo symptoms?

    I spoke to my friend who has chrones disease and she explained that whilst her medication works for the most part she gets what she calls "breakthrough symptoms" every now and then. Is this what hypothyroidism is like?

  • Hi everyone as someone who has been through this - ie mega symptoms - I was down on many hormones - progesterone oestrogen and testosterone - unfortunately unless you tested for the whole adrenal range of hormones - it might be that you will struggle to get back to full good health although the thyroid hormone eventually will make you feel much better.

  • Thanks - I will look into this. I've always thought that any anxiety/depression I had pre-thyroid issue was hormonal as definitely would only "get me" at certain times of the month.

  • Could very well be. But, then again, you have no real idea of when 'pre-thyroid' was, because it takes a long time for the symptoms to make themselves felt. All hormones are inter-dependant, If one is off, the others are likely to be, too.

  • It is recognised that women are moody because of our menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause change our hormone levels. It is now being recognised that those with chronic conditions whether they effect hormones like hypothyroidism or not, are more likely to have mood issues. Why these occur, why some people have longer term orders like depression and others are just "moody" hasn't been established.

    Anyway one thing not mentioned is that unless you are really on your knees, it is not a good idea to go back to your doctor and say you are depressed.

    Unfortunately many doctors still use this statement recorded on medical records as an excuse not to treat a patient correctly. So if you need something from a dosage increase of levo, a hormone/vitamin/mineral test or even have symptoms of another disease they can dismiss it as you being "depressed" even if you report no such symptoms until it you are in a serious condition. (Though you don't even need to have "depression" on your medical records or be female to be called crazy by a GP.)

    Also don't worry about getting other hormones tested, tweaking your diet or even taking supplements just yet. (In fact don't take any vitamin/mineral supplements until you have been tested.) At the moment make sure that any repeat tests for your thyroid hormones are:

    1. Done first thing in the morning,

    2. You have fasted for 12 hours drinking only water before.

    3. You haven't taken levo for 24 hours (take it immediately after the test) .

    That way your thyroid hormone levels will be at their highest.

    In addition after every test make sure you get a copy of your test results. You normally have to wait 3-5 working days for them and may be charged a small fee. Any difficulties in getting them come back here and start a new thread for advice.

    Finally the main site of the charity that runs this forum is here - thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/ Try and understand as much as possible about hypothyroidism including the complex biology as the best advocate for you is you. GPs know very little about hypothyroidism (and other chronic conditions) so it is up to you to educate any who will listen to you. Most don't listen though and presume that the NHS gives them all the information they need.

  • Replacement hormone, in your case, is levothyroxine (T4, the thyroid storage hormone). Not all patients can tolerate T4-only, and esp. convert T4->T3, which is what relieves your hypo symptoms. (Assuming your nutritionals are good and you are not harboring autoimmunity.) If your doctor were state-of-the-art, you would have had the full thyroid panel TSH/FT3/FT4/rT3/TPOAb/TGAb. Did your doctor say anything to you about Hashimoto's Autoimmune Thyroiditis, which is the most common cause of hypothyroidism?

  • Hi I agree with grey goose here. I've been on Levo for nearly 3 years and I still get symptoms, mood related rather than physical; (although my hair still is an issue) I get down very easily and become irrational without much provocation. I'm medicated well because I've got to know my own body and when it's telling me things aren't quite right with the Levo.

    I get unwelcome thoughts and I am constantly overthinking. It's difficult because I work in a nursery and I have to remind myself a lot about keeping calm and upbeat. I have hashi flare ups which seem to get worse in the winter and maybe mix in a bit of seasonal affective disorder. I'm on a high strength vitamin d usually (2500) dose to get me through that over the winter months, that maybe an avenue you could go down?? Has anyone checked your vit d level?

    Currently I'm 38 weeks pregnant and it does concern me that I'm more susceptible to develop depression being hypothyroid. Especially when this is the worse time in winter and I'm only on a pregnancy appropriate dose of vitamin d.

    I think the replacment hormone controls symptoms to the point where your body can function rather than eliminate them. And low mood/anxiety etc goes with the territory.

    Your only a few weeks into medication and may not be optimally medicated yet. Give it some time to kick in/level off.

    .😊

    Your GP if he's like every other, is prob not so clued up with it, I've changed GP twice since having this in the search of someone who is understanding of it. 👎 You will get good advice on here.good place to rant/let off steam/ If not you can push for a endo consultant but I only got one when I got pregnant.

    When your stable with Levo you can look at self help, tweaking diet to avoid flare ups, getting other elements in your vitamins right etc. there's a lot to learn!

    Good luck with it 😊

    I'm sure you will be fine xxx

  • Hi.What levels do you have to have to be diagnosed with hypo?

  • Mikella, why don't you post your own question? You'll get lots more responses than you will by tagging your question onto someone else's post. :)

  • Well It wasnt my intention to bother anyone with my question.I just thought that there is no point in making another separate topic on the same subject. Anyway thanks for your suggestion

  • The point is, Mikeila, every time someone answers your question, the OP with get an email, and it's very annoying when the response isn't for you.

    So, yes, there is a huge point in making another separate topic, that is just for you. That's how this site works. :)

  • What grey goose said, and very importantly your question could easily be overlooked mid another thread. Don't be shy about putting that question as a new post. It helps the rest of us too when admin and members address it specifically :)

  • Food sensitivities can cause depression. Are you gluten free?

  • How is your b12 level? If it is low (which it often is when you have hypothyroidism) it can cause that kind of problems....

  • What blood test you need to do in order to check if you have hypo?

  • you would be better starting your own post with all your questions love it makes it easier for people to reply to your individual needs

  • If you look on the Thyroid UK website you will find yr questions answered there.

  • It sounds like anxiety or the precursor to panic attacks.

    Get your adrenals tested. Learn relaxation techniques, find a yoga class or just find time for you!

    It's usually excess adrenalin which triggers doom then a panic attack, I found if I ran fast when I felt it coming on it used up the adrenalin and I felt better. Not so good if you're in a supermarket haha

    I'm sure once your medication is at optimum levels you'll start to feel better.

    Just T4 (Levo) isn't for everyone. You could look I. To Natural Dessicated Thyroid. (NDT)

    Don't let the Dr cop out and put you on antidepressants!

  • You have only just started your thyroid journey and you have a long way to go yet on a slow journey. I'm not saying this to put you off, upset you or anything else but just to say you have to be patient and realistic. Thyroid problems can't be solved over night sadly and it can be a long, but interesting journey. Also we are all different so when you readcsuccess stories in a short time rejoice with the poster but hope, not expect, that the same will happen to you. It takes 5 weeks for your medication to be fully in your body hence, I hope, you will have been told to get your bloods re tested. I'm assuming you will have been put on a low dose thatvmay not make much difference as it's intended to get your body used to it. But after resting you probably will need and increase in meds and these are by 25 mcg which you may not think is very much but it's probably double of what you are taking now and still a lot if you were started on 50 mcg so looking at it like that it's a big increase! So it can take a while to get a dose that is working well for you and also for you to feel fully well. Symptoms lag behind lab work so yes it acan be expected to still not feel on top of the world straight away. There is a lot to learn and rather than me write it down refer you to the site of Thyroid UK who run this forum. There 's loads of useful and important info to read and implement and it feels daunting at first but it's all the things to do and not to do to feel well and happy.

    Remember as well that many on a forum are like you, learning and asking questions along your journey so don't think you will. Ever get well. I'm still hearxas I want to help and give something back for the helpful suggestions I've come across on my journey to wellness.

    So glad you have found the forum and dont forget to ask when there's something you don't understand. We have all been there and knowxhow overpowering it can feel at times.

  • Yes, Levo is not like aspirin. The body seems to adapt to it slowly, and some even find their TSH rises on the first, low dose.. as though the body has got over excited and is saying.. yeah, yeah, so you can make T4! I need more!

  • Quite often it's the body thinking ivhave found a new source so may be I can sit back and test so the starting dose can be less than the body was doing in the first place and it's so easy then to get disillusioned

  • Hi can I also recommend buying a good Vitamin B complex supplement which will help with depression - I had a very stressful life for over 30 years and I mean stressful and B complex got me through without any further need for tablets from Drs. Also Vitamin C at least 1,000 mg. and magnesium - all are necessary for the thyroid and for calmness - not calcium though please as it can cause issues.

  • But get B12 measured before doing this, since B12 supplementation can mask PA or autoimmune atrophic gastritis.

  • Absolutely. The mistake I made.

  • Thyroxin makes me feel clinically depressed within 4-5 hours of going back on it - I hate the stuff. Google thyroxin side effects. NDT is the only way.

    J

  • NDT is the only way... for you.

  • I completely agree with you Hose1975, NDT is so poorly understood that most peoples when they try it have a bad trot. But honestly it's like champagne when you get it right

  • Taking thyroid speeds up your metabolism, making your body run its biochemical processes faster. You could be running out of ingredients it needs, causing your symptoms.

    As already pointed out, gluten can complicate things. It can create more mucus in your gut, promote candida, and damage your intestinal villi which absorb nutrients. Most people with Hashimotos have a gluten problem as well.

    Things that you may want to lab test to figure out what you're short of:

    Folate

    B12

    B6

    Zinc, copper

    Amino acids, especially tryptophan, phenylalanine, and tyrosine

    Histamine

    Dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine

    Supplements that can help:

    Fish oil EPA/DHA

    Methylcobalamin B12

    5-methyltetrahydrofolate

    B complex

    Zinc

    5-HTP

    L-tyrosine

    Lithium

    Inositol

    Two books that might help you are The New Optimum Nutrition for the Mind by Patrick Holford and Primal Body Primal Mind by N. Gedgaudas.

    Many antidepressants deplete you of folate, and they aren't terribly effective. You're more likely to have a folate deficiency than a Prozac deficiency....

    Also, try a Paleo Diet.

    Best wishes.

  • Lots of folks do well on NDT but, from my own experience, try to stick with the levo until you are on a stable-ish dose, and get tests mentioned above, before exploring t3.

    Impending doom depression, and anxiety is a classic for me when my levels drop. In fact, I just blub at anything and see death and disaster. Seven weeks is no where near long enough for your body to adjust. Keep posting your blood results here. And you can always sneak in the odd private lab test just to check your doc has got you on an appropriate and, or timely dose. in fact, it is vital that you are able to understand and monitor your own progress. You should be on a test and adjust accordingly until your GP thinks you are optimally replaced. It is possible to feel worse during early stages of replacement. Do not take NDT or any t3 based replacement without medical support if you are unsure about your adrenal status, have any heart issues, or blood sugar issues.

  • Sounds very much like you have issues(ex wife) etc. Which creep up on you & you dont realise it!! A lot of anti depressents leave you anxious also. Its a vicious circle.xx

  • Ex wife on loads of Valium and anti-depressants at the moment so all quiet on that front.

    Agree about anti-depressants. My Dr said not to stop taking them when I was diagnosed thyroid issues, but I did. I'm not sure they helped me - I used to say it how it was on anti-ds, my filter disappeared. Much more diplomatic now! I felt dead to emotions ....

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