Hyperthyroidism (an over active thyroid) can cause severe anxiety as well as depression. Hypothyroidism (an under active thyroid) can cause depression. General practitioners and endocrinologists often treat these symptoms with antidepressants. In some cases patients are referred to psychiatrists who then prescribe antidepressants, or worse, antipsychotics. Most of these doctors do not inform their patients of the harmful side effects.
A patient with hyperthyroidism has their entire metabolism on over-drive. The symptoms can include accelerated heart beats, high blood pressure, nodules (lumps in the throat), forgetfulness, anxiety attacks, overwhelm, exhaustion, aches and pains, tics, shaking, nervousness, insomnia, heat intolerance, sudden weight loss, claustrophobia, paranoia and many more.
Hypothyroidism symptoms include, but are not limited to fatigue, depression, weight gain, cold intolerance, excessive sleepiness, dry hair, constipation, dry skin, muscle cramps, increased cholesterol levels, decreased concentration, vague aches and pains and swelling of the legs.
How can a doctor diagnose symptoms like this in a 10 or 15 minute visit? They usually cannot. That is why thyroid disease often goes untreated until the patient is in severe trouble. Alternative medicine’s viewpoint on this matter is that symptoms show up way before blood tests can confirm that there is a thyroid issue and once the thyroid is 60% underactive or overactive it then shows up as irregular in thyroid test results.
When a patient is lucky enough to be correctly diagnosed they often are at their wits ends and are willing to take anything prescribed to them in order to obtain relief. The best treatment for any illness or disease is the one that directly addresses the source of the problem. A patient comes in and is complaining of not being able to perform the way they used to. Often before the blood tests even come back, if tested at all, an antidepressant is prescribed. Perhaps they are depressed because of weight gain, have an increased appetite (in the case of hyperthyroidism) or just cannot lose weight. Do doctors explain all of the side effects or any of them? Most often, not. These antidepressants and antipsychotics can worsen the symptoms. Why would anyone prescribe someone a medication (and I use that term loosely), that would do more harm than good? Antidepressants are toxic. Antipsychotic drugs are even more toxic.
When antidepressants such as SSRI’s (serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are prescribed expect such side effects as sexual dysfunction, nausea, nervousness, insomnia, agitation, decreased sweating, increased body temperature. Symptoms can worsen when taking other medications or supplements that effect serotonin levels such as St. John’s Wort and SAM-e. When the antidepressants do not work doctors sometimes combine SSRI’s and MAOI’s (Monoamine oxidase inhibitors = powerful antidepressants) resulting in more serious, potentially life threatening side effects such as Serotonin Syndrome (serotonin toxicity), with side effects such as fever, confusion, muscle rigidity, cardiac, liver or kidney problems.
Some drugs CAUSE hypothyroidism such as the Lithium (antidepressant), Amiodarone (slows down heart rate), and other drugs used for epilepsy, such as Phenytoin and Carbamazepine.
I do not see doctors going the distance. They should be advocates for your physical health as well as your mental health. How many times have you gone into a doctor’s office and the solution was a prescription? All too often I am sure.
Going to the pharmacy to fill a prescription today? Know before you go!
Alternative Therapies for Thyroid Disease
Foods that depress thyroid activity: broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens, turnips, soy, spinach, beans, mustard greens. Therefore these foods should be avoided for hypothyroidism and included for hyperthyroidism. In either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism you should avoid alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar, dairy products and wheat.
Excellent supplements are essential fatty acids, as found in flaxseed, which are anti-inflammatory agents (which are also good for fibromyalgia patients) and Calcium Magnesium combined. You should supplement 3 parts Calcium to 1 part Magnesium. Magnesium helps your body assimilate Calcium.
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