Can Thyroid develop into Adrenal exhaustion - Thyroid UK

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Can Thyroid develop into Adrenal exhaustion

Sylvia22
Sylvia22

I have a friend who is in his mid 80's. He has had an underactive Thyroid most of his adult life . He also has bipolar his wife was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago and he has gone downhill from then on . He has episodes of collapsing on standing and cannot cope and has put himself in a local mental health hospital .they say he has low blood pressure and have put him on medication It does not seem to be working he is becoming very frail and no one seems able to help him

Wondered if anyone has any thoughts about this

16 Replies
oldestnewest

You mean hypothyroidism? Yes, it can cause adrenal fatigue. But, before recommending anything, two things should be checked. a) what are his thyroid levels/is he optimally medicated for it (low blood pressure can be a hypo symptom)? b) is he eating correctly? At 80, and just having lost his wife, the odds are that he's not eating much at all and could be suffering from malnutrition. Which won't help his adrenals at all. He should have his nutrients tested.

All in all, he needs proper testing. Why is he under a mental hospital? What good is that doing to do him?

Sylvia22
Sylvia22
in reply to greygoose

Thank you. He has not lost his wife but she has an aggressive cancer and has decided that she won't have any treatment. He got into such a state that he could not cope and was near a break down and acting strangely. He decided to go into the mental health hospital as his wife could not cope with his state of mind and his physical condition. He has been to the general hospital but they cannot find out why his BP is so low and have talked about

a pacemaker which he does not want have.

greygoose
greygoose
in reply to Sylvia22

But, does he actually have a thyroid condition?

Sylvia22
Sylvia22
in reply to greygoose

Yes. Underactive and on Levo

greygoose
greygoose
in reply to Sylvia22

Then the first thing would be to get thorough testing :

TSH

FT4

FT3

antibodies if he doesn't already know he has Hashi's

vit D

vit B12

folate

ferritin

Difficult for anyone to help him without all that information. But, it really does sound like he's under-medicated.

Sylvia22
Sylvia22
in reply to greygoose

Thanks for the help.He has a retired Doctor friend I will see if I can talk to her. Will let you know how I get on

greygoose
greygoose
in reply to Sylvia22

You're welcome. :) Good luck!

I suspect the “bi-polar” is a mis diagnosis and he has not been treated optimally for his hypothyroidism!

Hanne1977
Hanne1977
in reply to Airmed

I can offer my perspective on this being a researcher and clinical mental health counselor (can diagnose the same way psychologists and psychiatrist do) As well as having bipolar I myself. From clinically peer viewed published research, There is a relationship between hypothyroidism and depression. It is very rare for someone to be diagnosed bipolar and have the bipolar being misdiagnosed Because of hypothyroidism. From what I’ve researched this could be because of the mania involved.I am doing my doctoral research on a link between hypo mania and Cushing’s disease. In some cases with pituitary Adema’s, the individual could end up being missed diagnosed with bipolar. It also comes down to the psychologist counselor or psychiatrist who has diagnosed this individual. For a professional opinion, for whatever it’s worth, I would need more historical information from a psychological perspective to comment on whether he could have hypothyroidism and bipolar or some other disorder. Bipolar illness per DSM-V has become more of a bipolar spectrum illness. It’s incredibly hard to treat because each person is different, especially with psych medications. This is a topic that fascinates me and that’s why my dissertation will have components of this in it. My point is, it all goes back to the history and without knowing that it can’t be ruled out that he has bipolar.

Sylvia22
Sylvia22
in reply to Hanne1977

Hi. He had bipolar from an early age and has mad two attempts to end his life when he was in his youth. He was treated with Lithium for years until he was told his kidneys were failing because of the Lithium. He took his self off it and has managed to function fairly well until a couple of years ago. He cannot seem to deal with the fact that his wife has a very aggressive cancer and has gone into a state of high anxiety and has very low BP which sometimes makes him collapse.

Airmed
Airmed
in reply to Hanne1977

Sadly many Thyroidies are mis diagnosed with depression, bi -polar and other illnesses. A friend of mine on T4 only and very unwell was told she was bi-polar. The only thing bi-polar about her was the magnetic clasp on her necklace. Transferred to T3/T4 combi then T3 only and miraculously the bi-polar along with the rest of her symptoms disappeared. I’m not saying that people don’t suffer with bi-polar disorder. But I think diagnosis of bi-polar for a thyroidie needs to be made cautiously.

Treatment for thyroid hormone starting at 80 years old can be very tricky and doctors should be very careful. Hopefully they are starting him on the lowest dose possible as his body may not be able to handle this medication. It could definitely affect his adrenals. And my guess is that at 80 years old his kidney function isn't optimal. I would guess that all or part of his symptoms could be from malnutrition and I would think that b12 anemia and iron anemia should be checked before heading down the thyroid route. Is it possible that he his still in range with his thyroid but just low? I have a friend that at 76 years old had her thyroid removed because of nodules. No cancer just nodules. After they put her on a high dose of thyroid medication she had several strokes and passed away. She had been taking 50mcg most of her life but the high dose after the surgery stressed her body too much. There is a lot of information on treating elderly with thyroid medication. B12 and iron deficiency can act like and look like thyroid disease and sometimes when you get these deficiencies taken care of many people end up lowering their thyroid dose. Its seems like a small thing, but these anemias can be fatal and should be taken seriously.

jpar
jpar
in reply to jpar

Many people are misdiagnosed with mental illness and bipolar when they have b12 anemia or pernicious anemia which is a form of b12 anemia. Check out the b12/ pernicious anemia group on this site and see if your recognize any correlations.

Sylvia22
Sylvia22
in reply to jpar

Thank you I will

Sylvia22
Sylvia22
in reply to jpar

Thank you. My friend has been on Levothyroxine for many years.

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