have bipolar , will my thyroid go back to normal if lithium is stopped or will I have this problem for life

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15 replies

    Jackie
    Jackie

    Hi As far as I know, it will not. However, psychiatrist are very good on thyroid, so I would ask,Hopefully some one else will now more.
    Best wishes,
    Jackie.

    nostoneunturned
    nostoneunturned

    This is from C Dayan's "Fast Facts: Thyroid Disorders"

    "Lithium also inhibits the release of thyroid hormone. with almost one-third of patients treated with this agent developing transient hypothyroidism. However, severe or permanent lithium induced hypothyroidism suggests underlying autoimmune thyroiditis."

    pawpaw
    pawpaw

    up until last april I had normal blood results then they suddenly went crazy, keep going up despite medication and now have this goitre ,sore throat , and swallowing difficulties, and irritation in throat ..

    nostoneunturned
    nostoneunturned

    As you mention blood results then you are, reassuringly, being monitored.

    Found this in Dayan's book P61, could explain rising levels in case you are worried:

    "Lithium carbonate 300-450mg three times daily inhibits thyroid hormone release and may rapidly control hyperthyroidism in a manner similar to inorganic iodide. Escape from inhibition occurs with prolonged therapy."

    pawpaw
    pawpaw

    on slow release lithium 600mg at night . thanks for information , will have a look

    CarolynB
    CarolynB Administrator

    Thanks for this. This is very interesting! I was told my hypothyroidism was not autoimmune but lithium induced. Since then I have had symptoms, from time to time, of other autoimmune diseases (lupus and rheumatoid arthritis). I have also had a swelling in my throat some times that seems to coincide with worsening thyroid symptoms so I am fairly sure this is autoimmune. You have backed up my theory... :D

    kala3
    kala3

    Hi
    I was diagnosed bi-polar several years after thyroid diagnosis. Although knowing what I know now, have suffered with bi-polar and thyroid since a teenager.
    I was given Lamotrigine which helps with the bi-polar, less severe mood swings. But have been told that I will be on levothyroxine and Lamotigine for life.

    shaws
    shaws Administrator

    This is a link which may be of interest:-

    www.psycheducation.org/thyr...

    CarolynB
    CarolynB Administrator

    Since getting better thyroid treatment, I no longer require any psychiatric meds. I used to take a shed-load! Perhaps this is something worth looking into?

    nostoneunturned
    nostoneunturned

    Just googled "hypothyroidism connection with bipolar condition", here is just one of the many resulting links vindicating your own thoughts:

    www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ar...

    This really makes me think. Had a sister who was medicated for supposed psychiatric problems. I now recognise in her photographs many signs of hypothyroidism - puffy face/lost eyebrows/thin hair/ and remember her spending weekends in bed. Her supposed psychiatric illness was quite likely caused by hypothyroidism.

    CarolynB
    CarolynB Administrator

    I am a firm believer in this. I think too many people who are diagnosed with psychiatric disorders are actually either hypo- or hyperthyroid.

    pawpaw
    pawpaw

    thankyou so much for your help . there are loads of links on that site and they are very informative. its not nice being told you have a condition that you don't have a clue about , now I understand a little more at least . will have a clearer picture next week following ultra sound. thanks again .

    Hiphypo
    Hiphypo

    This seems to have happened to me too. I was diagnosed with Bipolar in 2002.

    18 years prior to that, after the birth of 2nd child I had post-natal depression for 6 months - then I went up and down constantly, crashing and burning until hospitalised in 2000. Never knew there was anything 'wrong' just assumed I needed to try harder to get things 'right'.

    Then diagnosed with Hypothyroidism in 2007 and gradually improved mood-wise until no longer on any meds at all. Now on T3 only and feeling even better - not hyper, just better.

    CarolynB
    CarolynB Administrator

    I wonder how many other people have had similar experiences?

    Glad to hear you are much better now :)

    pawpaw
    pawpaw

    this is so good to hear ,, thanks for sharing , you have given me a bit of hope that I may be able to get off this medication at some point . we took ages to accept that I did have bipolar and even after accepting it I still went through periods where I thought it wasn't and stopped taking lithium but it had deverstating consiquences when I did that . now they have found that I have hypothyroid and im on medication to treat it maybe the future will be different and lithium free , hate feeling flat all the time. in my teens I was totally different to this person I am today that struggles to do anything, nervous/anxiety/insomnia/lack of confidence/ some days cant leave the house / so thank you for the hope.

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