Although they're separate diseases, depression is sometimes a symptom of hypothyroidism. That’s when your thyroid gland doesn't make enough of the thyroid hormone. Medication to boost those levels can get rid of your symptoms, including depression.
The two conditions share so many symptoms that doctors sometimes overlook the possibility that someone who is depressed may also have low thyroid levels.
By Geneen Roth
Do you secretly believe it's selfish to put yourself ahead of others? If
so, you may never stop packing on pounds.
There are some things in life you take for granted: Your children will
outlive you. No matter how tough it gets, you won't poison your spouse with
arsenic-laced toothpaste. And if you have a best friend, you will attend her
But life sometimes upsets our most basic assumptions. And although I haven't
resorted to the arsenic (yet), I did have...
If you have hypothyroidism, you may have fatigue, sluggishness, and trouble concentrating, and you may sleep too much. All of that may cause you to feel depressed.
At the same time, you could also have:
Slower heart rate
Sensitivity to cold
Joint or muscle pain or cramps
Tingling in your hands and fingers
Vague aches and pains
Modest weight gain
Dryness or yellowing of your skin
Brittle or thick nails
Swelling in front of your neck
Hair thinning or loss
Linking Hypothyroidism With Depression
To help doctors figure out if your depression is due to hypothyroidism, you need to be tested for thyroid disorders. Blood tests can confirm them by showing a low level of a thyroid hormone called thyroxine and a high level of one called thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
Studies show that if you have both hypothyroidism and depression, things may improve with thyroid-replacement medications rather than relying on antidepressants. They increase levels of two major thyroid hormones: triiodothyronine (also called T3) and thyroxin (T4). When thyroid pills lower TSH levels to the normal range, depression often eases.
If you're feeling depressed, see your doctor. Because both hypothyroidism and depression can be treated, a proper diagnosis is a major first step toward feeling more like yourself.