Can Depression Be Treated With Thyroid Medication
The symptoms of a thyroid condition are progressive. Patients who suffer from an underactive thyroid are more likely to experience depression. The hormone imbalance triggered by their thyroid malfunction starts with:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Extreme sleepiness
The level of inactivity and frustration with the severity of their symptoms can lead to depression.
Thyroid medication will not be prescribed immediately because it takes time for the condition to become apparent. Patients will continue to develop more obvious signs of a problem until the source of the imbalance is discovered and treated.
The first Warning Sign
Depression is on a short list of early symptoms that present as your hormone levels begin to change. Since there are many causes that trigger mood changes, specialists will monitor patients for diagnostic clues as their symptoms develop.
Typically, thyroid medication is not the first step in treating depression. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, you will likely be put on antidepressants and may be referred to a counselor. Getting the right support system in place is the first step to managing depression.
Over time, more symptoms of your thyroid condition will develop. These include:
- Decreased heart rate
- Hypersensitivity to cold
- Joint pain and muscle cramps
- Nondescript body aches
- Weight gain and edema
- Changes in skin tone and texture
- Hoarse voice
- Swollen neck
- Hair loss
By looking at the symptoms as a whole, specialists are more likely to suspect and test for thyroid problems.
The Next Steps
There aren’t couple of different diagnostic tests that can confirm the presence of a thyroid problem. They are:
- Thyroflex Test
- Blood test
The Thyroflex Test can be an early indicator of the thyroid condition; while the blood test only detects the hormone changes after the condition has reached an advanced stage.
Your TSH level is usually abnormally high and the thyroid hormone in your bloodstream is noticeably lower. This imbalance is believed to cause a fluctuation in your melatonin and serotonin levels that can leave you feeling depressed. Leveling these imbalances out often treats the depression by proxy.
The downside is it can take a while for your thyroid medication to reach its full effect. In the meantime, you will likely be kept on your antidepressant regiment and monitored by a health professional.
If at any time during treatment your symptoms of depression worsen, talk to your doctor right away. It could be a sign that your medications need to be adjusted or that you are at risk or a drug interaction. Either way, the problem needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
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