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Mood Disorders

The Link Between Depression and Thyroid Hormones

Many patients with hypothyroidism experience depression. When thyroid hormone medication alone does not alleviate their low mood or depression, they become frustrated.

Furthermore, many people with depression, may actually suffer from hypothyroidism before ever getting diagnosed or treated.

The question that needs to be addressed is whether depression is the disorder causing your health challenges, or if depression is the normal consequence of dysfunction in the body?

Clinical depression is a real issue, however, it is often the result of a cellular stressor or inflammation, not just an isolated mistake by the body. To be diagnosed with clinical depression, a person must have persistent symptoms lasting longer than two weeks.

Some of the possible symptoms include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Persistent sadness or anxiousness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activites
  • Fatigue or decreased energy
  • Irritability
  • Lack of appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Unexplained aches or pains without a clear physical cause
  • Weight challenges

Many people can struggle with these symptoms for various reasons including inflammation, cellular hypothyroidism or gut dysbiosis. Often times, unexplained patient symptoms later become diagnosed under the umbrella of “Depression.” However, depression is most likely not the cause of unexplained symptoms for most patients. Depression is not the cause, it is the effect of imbalance or dysfunction.

Depression is often the result of inappropriate neurotransmitter production or the excessive clearance of neurotransmitters. Current medications used to block neurotransmitter metabolism, do not fix the root cause or underlying problem of depression. When you have chronic inflammation your body increases the speed at which it depletes or metabolizes seratonin, the feel good neurotransmitter.  The body uses an amino acid called tryptophan to make serotonin. Under stressed and inflammatory conditions, even more tryptophan is diverted away from serotonin production. Conversely, taking SSRI medications for long periods of time can cause a pooling of serotonin, and inhibit the clearance of excess hormones which often leaves patients irritable and anxious.

Every cell in the body has receptors for thyroid hormone. The brain, especially, has a high density of thyroid receptors and is extremely susceptible to mild changes in thyroid hormone. Simply stated, sufficient levels of thyroid hormone are vital to good brain health. Thyroid hormones help facilitate the function of the brain’s neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that communicate information throughout the brain and body.

Rejuvagen’s Approach to Depression & Mood Disorders…

  • We utilize a thorough health evaluation and function thyroid testing to determine how thyroid physiology may be impacting your brain health.
  • We analyze functional stool testing for microbial imbalances that may be affecting your health.
  • We continue to support the patient with recommended diet and lifestyle modifications and supplemental support to restore cellular function, address micronutrient deficiencies and improve overall health and quality of life.
Call 610.558.8920 or click to book your free 15-minute call.
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Hi, I’m Dr. Eric Balcavage, owner and founder of Rejuvagen. If you’re struggling with health issues or have questions, let’s chat. You can schedule a 15-minute call with me to get started.