Thyroid Problems and Psychiatric Symptoms

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SilverShoelaces
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24 Nov 2011, 10:31 am

This is more about mental health than physical health, I guess. I just read an interesting article on The New York Times' website about a possible connection between low levels of thyroid hormone and depression or high levels of thyroid hormone and anxiety.

Just thought I'd share!

Edit: Depending on your browser, the link in this post might not be immediately obvious. Here it is in a more manifest form.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/22/health/for-some-psychiatric-troubles-may-begin-with-the-thyroid.html?src=me&ref=general



safffron
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24 Nov 2011, 1:10 pm

I'm glad you posted about this. I read the same article yesterday. It's really something to consider.

While I've never had my thyroid tested, I did suspect that some hypothyroidism had occurred. So I started experimenting by sprinkling kelp flakes on my food. After some weeks, I began to feel better and my sleep is good. Next up, I'm going to try Lugol's Iodine Solution because I still have symptoms even though my diet is otherwise very good.

Yes, I'm into self diagnosis and sometimes self treatment. If I wasn't, I'd still be experiencing symptoms that doctors overlooked but tests later confirmed were related to actual conditions.


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Last edited by safffron on 24 Nov 2011, 5:19 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Jojoba
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24 Nov 2011, 3:59 pm

I've been reading, with many now limiting salt intake, and iodine being fortified into salt, people are now once again developing the thyroid problem of goiters. There are several nutrients to help keep ones thyroid healthy, but kelp rich in iodine can be one of the more helpful at preventing this problem. An article by a doctor that I follow writing about the growing thyroid issue he is seeing ~

"Goiter, goiter everywhere"

http://www.trackyourplaque.com/blog/200 ... where.html

From the article:

Quote:
In my office, now that I’m looking for them much more systematically and carefully, I am finding about 2 people with goiters every day. They are not the obvious grotesque goiters of the early 20th century (when quack therapies like the last post, the Golden Medical Discovery, were popular). The goiters I am detecting are small and spongy. Yesterday alone I found 5 people with goiters, one of them visible to the eye and very distressing to the patient.

It seems to me that iodine deficiency is more prevalent than I ever thought. It is also something that is so simple to remedy, though not by increasing salt intake. Kelp tablets–cheap, available–have been working quite well in the office population. My sense is that the Recommended Daily Allowance of 150 mcg per day for adults is low and that many benefit from greater quantities, e.g., 500 mcg. What is is the ideal dose? To my knowledge, nobody has yet generated that data.

Thyroid issues being relatively new to my thinking, I now find it incredible that endocrinologists and the American Thyroid Association are not broadcasting this problem at the top of their lungs. This issue needs to be brought to the top of everyone’s attention, or else we’ll have history repeating itself and have goiters and thyroid dysfunction galore.



Nier
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24 Nov 2011, 4:28 pm

Just don't overdo the iodine - too much for too long can put you at risk of overactive thyroid & the treatments for that are far worse than for underactive.

Seriously if you suspect underactivity, go see your physician/GP, a simple blood test is all that's needed to check for normal thyroid hormone levels. Then you don't risk upsetting your system by taking in unnecessary supplements. If you are underactive you can take tablets that just replace the thyroid hormone you're missing or take iodine for a limited period. If you're overactive don't touch iodine at all, you'll make things worse.



safffron
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25 Nov 2011, 10:27 am

Nier wrote:
Just don't overdo the iodine - too much for too long can put you at risk of overactive thyroid & the treatments for that are far worse than for underactive.

Seriously if you suspect underactivity, go see your physician/GP, a simple blood test is all that's needed to check for normal thyroid hormone levels. Then you don't risk upsetting your system by taking in unnecessary supplements. If you are underactive you can take tablets that just replace the thyroid hormone you're missing or take iodine for a limited period. If you're overactive don't touch iodine at all, you'll make things worse.


Where are you getting that information from? I've read that iodine can benefit both hyper and hypo conditions. Excess iodine is excreted through urine. Studies show that the Japanese take in an abundant amount through their diets and it's to their benefit.

I'll take your warning, but I wouldn't do something extreme or foolhardy with my body.

Some trivia - Iodine was once added to baked goods in the U.S. and then it was replaced with bromine, which is not so good for the body. So at one time consumers were getting enough iodine with their daily bread. Now we have to contend with bromine, fluoride, etc.



Nier
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25 Nov 2011, 12:58 pm

Safffron - Sorry I should have posted more explanation as it's a fine balance, like the body :)

You're correct that a high iodine diet can cause underactive thyroid, not overactivity (I had brain fog at that point!) but that doesn't make it safe to treat overactivity.

The reason it's bad for overactive thyroids is that if you're overactive you are making more hormones than usual, and the thyroid uses iodine to make it's hormone, so all you will be doing is making yourself very unwell as you'll be allowing your thyroid to flood your system with too much hormone.

Overactivity is not good for the body as it can cause heart & eye secondary problems, amongst the general symptoms, so even though if you take lots of iodine it may take so long to cause hypothyroidism that you damage your body in the meantime.

Does that make sense ?

That's why treatments for overactivity are not simply taking iodine supplements - if that were a good option it would be far cheaper than the treatments that are used (antithyroid drugs, surgery, radioactive drug treatment).

However the OP was absolutely correct - diets too low in iodine are definitely the bigger problem in the world at the moment.

I just wanted to explain a bit further - especially as thyroid problems are piddlingly easy to pick up by a blood test.

Have a look at these sites :

Thyroid.Org Info on Iodine Deficiency

American Thyroid Association

Too Much Iodine Article

Overactive Thyroid Diet



Last edited by Nier on 25 Nov 2011, 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nier
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25 Nov 2011, 1:33 pm

Just to clear up another potential source of confusion : the radioactive drug used to treat overactivity is also a form of iodine, but it's only a tiny amount & it's the radiation that's having the effect, not the chemical.



Mummy_of_Peanut
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25 Nov 2011, 1:38 pm

For those of you with an underactive thyroid, it might be worthwhile getting tested for gluten sensitivity or Coeliac disease. The molecular structure of gliadin (the protein part of gluten) is very similar to the thyroid. So, if your body is producing antibodies to gluten, it can also be attacking your own thyroid. It's worthwhile keeping in mind that it might be possible to solve the problem by eliminating gluten, no meds and no supplements required. Only a doc can confirm this, but if you also have bowel symptoms, it's quite likely.


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