Your bipolar symptoms may be undiagnosed Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I found another Ninja Doc – Hyla Cass M.D. located in Los Angeles – when researching for my “Holistic Psychiatrists in the U.S.” free report. She believes up to 80% of women diagnosed bipolar are actually suffering from the autoimmune disorder Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
The list of holisitc physicians is online here: Holistic Psychiatrists in the U.S.
After I copied her info onto the Word.doc, I signed up for her email list. A few days later I received one with the following information:
“Over the years I have diagnosed many patients with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the thyroid and a gradual destruction of thyroid tissue by the immune system.”
“Frequently presenting with anxiety, depression, moodswings and fatigue, it is often just treated at face value with psychotropic medication — and the opportunity for correct treatment and a much improved life are missed!”
Opportunity for Correct Treatment and a Much Improved Life are Missed
Isn’t that sad? It’s awful. And also simply inexcusable. The connection between thyroid issues and depression, weight gain (and difficulty losing weight with diet and exercise), irritability, mood swings, trouble concentrating, etc. have been known for decades.The Connection Between Thyroid Illness and Depression Has Been Known for Decades. Click To Tweet
Yet a patient (usually female) who complains about these problems to a doctor will more often be given an antidepressant rather than extensive thyroid or other medical testing.
And even if you do get thyroid, blood sugar or other testing, you may be told you are normal when you’re not: Is Your Thyroid Gland Really Normal?
Then a patient gets worse as the antidepressants cause the side effects they are known to cause such as fatigue, constipation and worsening of depression and suicidal ideation in some.
Related post: The Most Prescribed Antidepressant in America.
Worsening of all symptoms plus a few more because the underlying illness is thyroid or other medical issue and not being treated.
But what usually happens next? A bunch more psych meds are prescribed and they continue to worsen. The side effects from more meds adds new problems such as impulsivity, acting erratically etc.
Then what happens?
They get a diagnosis of Bipolar 2 Disorder – but they are not bipolar. Their ‘hypomania’ was caused by the medications and untreated underlying illness; not actual Manic Depression.
It’s medical malpractice, plain and simple.
If a physician can’t read, prescribes medications without understanding the potential side effects and then ignores the connection to the meds when the patient gets worse and gives out more harmful drugs, not even knowing the interaction in the body of what they are prescribing… they should not hold a medical license.
Simple. First, do no harm.
How Is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Diagnosed?
The following is quoted from an article on Endocrine Web.com: “Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Diagnosis – Many Tests Can Detect This Common Thyroid Disorder“.
It talks about three primary ways to diagnose Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), anti-thyroid antibodies (ATA) and thyroxine (T4).
1. “A thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test is a blood test that is one of the go-to tests for diagnosing hypothyroidism. Remember, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of hypothyroidism.”
2. “Anti-thyroid antibodies (ATA) tests, such as the microsomal antibody test (also known as thyroid peroxidase antibody test) and the anti-thyroglobulin antibody test, are commonly used to detect the presence of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.”
3. “Thyroxine, or T4, is the active thyroid hormone in the blood, and your doctor may measure the level of free T4 in your bloodstream to help confirm a Hashimoto’s thyroiditis diagnosis.
Each of the above is described in more detail in the article, click here to read.
What is the Treatment for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
The following is from a Mayo Clinic.org article: “Hashimoto’s Disease – Treatments and Drugs“.
“If Hashimoto’s disease causes thyroid hormone deficiency, you may need replacement therapy with thyroid hormone. This usually involves daily use of the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine (Levoxyl, Synthroid, others).”
I’ve been reading about thyroid illnesses for many years – since subclinical hypothyroidism was a large part of my extreme bipolar mood states. A great resource is Hypothyroid Mom.com – that covers these issues in-depth and from many angles.
The below is quoted from the article: “10 Reasons Why Hashimoto’s Patients Don’t Get Better“.
“There is not one easy fix to successfully managing Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, an autoimmune thyroid disease. As many people have learned the hard way, using thyroid hormones to get TSH within lab ranges certainly doesn’t guarantee a fix for most people, although it can help.”
“Hashimoto’s is a multifaceted autoimmune condition that involves many mechanisms. To truly manage your autoimmune Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, it’s important to understand the factors that contribute to it.”
The article is written by Dr. Datis Kharrazian, author of the book: “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal?”.
It talks in detail about additional things a Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis sufferer can do in addtion to medications, especially when they don’t improve on meds.
26 Years on Synthroid and Still Have Hypothyroid Symptoms
Of the symptoms of hypothyroidism listed above, I still have many though a low dose of Syntroid has kept me stable and out of the severe episodes of Manic Depression that lead to hospitalization. For that I am very grateful.
I got to enjoy life, work, raise my son.
But I still to this day have hypothyroid symptoms, and still try to find ways to treat whatever is the underlying cause of my health issues. I’ve recently gone gluten-free, to prevent worsening with age.
My periods are so heavy for the first night I am up three times or more to change tampons, pads, etc. or would have blood-soaked sheets. Yes, it’s gross. And yes, that’s “heavy menstrual flow.”
I was constipated for years, now only regular due to supplements I take.
I still deal with fatigue and mood swings. I have very low blood pressure, always have. I have high cholesterol (though eat a healthy diet and don’t smoke) – always have.
But no doctor ever put those together to come up with a thyroid-related diagnosis. And when I’ve asked for a full thryoid panel I’ve been refused on many occassions.
They refuse to test for Hashimoto’s, believe it or not.
Since I am taking Synthroid and that is the primary treatment they don’t want to bother. But it’d be a good thing for me to know, don’t you think?
They will diagnose depression in 10 minutes – then love to prescribe psychoatropic meds. To get many forms of payback from Big Pharma.
To have to figure out what is actually causing your symptoms? That may be – like it has been for me for most of my life – simply up to you.
Read, learn and seek out appropriate medical care. Don’t accept a ‘depression’ diagnosis. Or bipolar. Find out what is causing your mood issues.
To your good mood health, Molly