Q: Input on BP & Thyroid Dysfunction
I don't have a question, but it's possible I have part of an answer.
I found your website while trying to determine if anyone has made the link
between bi-polar disorder and thyroid dysfunction.
I was diagnosed 6 years ago with manic-dpression and very quickly, after taking
lithium, was diagnosed with hypo-thyroidism also. Since my doctor has
never been able to get my thyroid level stabalized, I swing from hyper to hypo
constantly, alternating every few months from one to the other. For some
reason my response to the medications is not the usual response; what is too
much at one time is too little at another.
Because of these constant fluctuations, I made the connection a few days ago
between manic depression, clinical depression and the state of my thyroid.
When it is underactive, I feel the same as I have when told I was
experiencing clinical depression. This includes decreased energy,
decreased interest in life, numbness to events around me and lowered mental
alertness. During the times I have experienced hyperthyroidism, my speech
is rapid, my mood is elevated, optomism abounds, thoughts are clear and fluid
with rapid comprehension of new information, my interest in art increases
also-exactly as in manic-depression.
I am telling you this to encourage your interest and endeavors in this area.
All of the research in the world does not equal the testimony of one such
as myself who has experienced and been diagnosed with all four extremes.
Dear Ms. S' --
Thanks for writing. Your description does indeed push me along toward
thinking there is some profound similarity between hyperthyroidism and mania,
and vice versa. There are textbooks which describe mania "in
association with" hyperthyroidism, but not as though they were somehow the
same thing (and again, vice versa with depression). You, and through
others like you, me too -- are on to something really important. I've
submitted a 25 patient case series of folks treated with T3 and T4 together
(which I hope you haven't had yet because I'm guessing it might do something
positive) and I can't wait to see if it actually gets "heard" in the
mood disorder circles (although that's tough because the drug companies shout
much louder). We'll see. Thanks.
Published December, 2001