If you are suffering from multiple hypothyroid symptoms, like hair loss, thinning of the eyebrows on the outer corners, weird little circular bruises under your arms, dry skin (even though you drink a lot of water), constipation, tired all of the time (except in the middle of the night when you are supposed to sleep) and you have depression issues, (and or anxiety issues) you might be experiencing first hand the hypothyroidism depression connection.
I’ve gone to the doctor expressly to get my thyroid checked and instead of exploring the thyroid issues, he started treating me for depression. I can’t take depression medication because it makes me want to throw up and gives me a horrendous headache. I’d rather be depressed than take that stuff.
After that experience I started investigating all of the symptoms of hypothyroidism and discovered that there really is a hypothyroidism depression connection.
For me understanding that there might be a connection and that I might be dealing with an immune system issue, not simply a thyroid issue has allowed me to connect some of the dots.
It has recently become evident that circulating thyroid antibodies are found in excess among patients suffering from mood disorders. Moreover, a manic episode associated with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis has recently been reported as the first case of bipolar disorder due to Hashimoto’s encephalopathy. We report a case in which Hashimoto’s thyroiditis was suspected to be involved in the deteriorating course of mood disorder and discuss potential pathogenic mechanisms linking thyroid autoimmunity with psychopathology.
Hashimoto thyroiditis is when your immune system is attacking your thyroid.
When autoimmune Hashimoto’s flares up, the immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid gland. As the thyroid tissue is destroyed, it spills excess thyroid hormone into the bloodstream. This causes symptoms that can easily be confused with the manic episode of bipolar disorder, such as hyperactivity, irritability, and an inability to sleep.
When the immune attack dies down, more thyroid tissue is lost and the person returns to a hypothyroid state that frequently includes depression and fatigue, which can look like the depressive state of bipolar disorder. Also for someone who has gone a period of time without sleeping much and operating on overdrive, a crash it to be expected.
As 80% of our immune system is located in our intestines what we eat, seems to me, should be significant in controlling this immunity problem.
In one study a poor woman had undergone a series of horrendous medical encounters only to find out several years down the line that a change in diet could deliver significantly better results.
Here is what was prescribed after this poor woman (perhaps I should call her a poor, poor woman) had been hospitalized, undergone electroshock therapy and was on a bunch of different medications. You can read the whole tragedy here
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Going gluten-free and dietary changes
Because of her Hashimoto’s diagnosis, the first thing I did was put her on an autoimmune diet and remove gluten from her diet. I also asked her to remove dairy and sugar and add in healthy fats, lots of vegetables, and to eat more frequently to keep her blood sugar stable. I supported her nutritionally with essential fatty acids (including emulsified fish oil), emulsified vitamin D, nutrients for insulin resistance (since her blood sugar was high her last time in the hospital), and gallbladder support to give her the digestive support she needed since her gallbladder had been removed.
Gut detox and adrenal support
Immediately she started to notice improvement in how she felt. After following the diet for several months, I put her on a gut detoxification program with a hypoallergenic detox protein powder. I started her on adrenal adaptogen herbs and nutrients as her salivary adrenal panel showed an increase in cortisol and night. This means she was more awake and night when she should be tired, which indicates a dysfunction in the brain’s sleep-wake cycle. Adrenal adaptogens address this.
This is pretty much the same treatment I’m undergoing on my own. I’ve cut out gluten and sugar. Though I do eat some dairy, I’m considering cutting that out too. Honestly I love coffee and milk in the morning with cinnamon in it. Seems to me any time I start monkeying with that I start to crash. The majority of my diet is fresh fruits and veggies consumed in salads and also as a juice. I find I can get more nutrition into juiced vegetables than I can by eating them in a salad.
I also have chickens so I don’t feel guilty about the excess dregs from juicing. The chickens love it.
I have added adaptogen herbs in the form of Ashwagandha and Adaptogen R3 into my diet along with selenium magnesium, black walnut tincture and bovine thyroid descant.
While it has only been a couple weeks at this point, I believe I am feeling and sleeping much better than I have in many years.
Please don’t confuse this with medical advice, what works for one person might not necessarily work for another. This seems to be working for me. If you are on anti depression medication please do not go off of it without your doctor’s consent.
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