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Have your Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) checked
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truindependent posted:
I posted this in the Tips section, but thought I'd also post it here so that more people might see it:

I have been dealing with depression for 40 years or more. About 2 years ago, one of my doctors checked my Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) for the first time. It was over 6. I spoke to my psychiatrist about it and he said, contrary to popular belief, he has found that the optimum value is between 1 and 2. I have since started taking Synthroid, which is dirt cheap (try to get the brand name - I have had issues with the generic). For me, 1.6 or so seems to be the magic number and it has made a HUGE difference. I am off just about all my depression meds and feeling very good (I'm 63 so I don't expect too much!!!).

There is actually a condition related to low TSH, called Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which describes one of the side effects as depression. My psychiatrist actually authored a paper on it, but he wasn't the one who checked my TSH!!! Just a little bit irritating...

This is not a cure all for all people with depression, but it seems to me should be one of the first tests done whenever anyone complains about depression. I wish it had been done for me 40 years ago.

Good luck and I hope this helps you. I've been there and I know how debilitating depression can be.
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teawithme responded:
Dear Independent,

I'm so glad that Synthroid makes a HUGE difference for you. Thank you for reminding us that hypothyroidism can be a big contributor to depression, and, sometimes, the only factor in it.

It can also be a factor in bipolar disorders, dysthmia, panic disorders, anxiety and cause symtpoms resembling ADHD.

For some reason, women around the age of 50 tend to have problems with low thyroid. Some of the early symptoms are fatigue, weight gain, muscle cramps, increased brittleness of your nails and hair, itchy skin and difficulty thinking clearly.

It's important to eliminate physiological causes when diagnosing depression.

Hooray for your feeling so much better. I'm glad that you've been able to get off of most of your depression medications.
And, hey, 63 is a great age! You've still got energy, but you're wiser. Have fun!


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