The thyroid gland secretes and controls hormones. These hormones affect your level of vital energy, mood, and body weight. Thus, they can cause depression. Next, you will learn about depression caused by a decrease in thyroid function and how to cope with it.
What are hormones?
Hormone is a substance produced by the endocrine glands, which has a great effect on the vital activity of the organism as a whole. The work of the glands of the endocrine system affects the growth and development, mood, sexual function, reproduction and metabolism.
How do hormones affect depression?
The level of hormones, especially those produced by the thyroid gland, can cause depression. In addition, some symptoms of depression are dependent on thyroid function. It also depends on the conditions associated with the menstrual cycle, such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenopausal period and menopause.
Since these conditions and symptoms of depression are interrelated, it is necessary to perform blood tests to avoid making a wrong diagnosis. It must also be remembered that disorders associated with dysfunction of the thyroid gland and depression can occur simultaneously. As well as depression and disorders associated with the menstrual cycle.
What types of disorders exist in thyroid dysfunction?
Impaired thyroid function affects the digestive process, mood and sexual function. If the thyroid gland produces a very large amount of hormones, the body uses its energy faster than it should. This state of hyperactivity of the thyroid gland, called hyperthyroidism. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- enlarged thyroid gland
- heat intolerance
- rare, scanty periods
- irritability or nervousness
- muscle weakness or trembling
- sleep disturbance
- eye problems or eye irritation
- weight loss
If the glands produce an insufficient amount of hormones, the body uses energy very slowly. This condition of insufficient thyroid activity is called hypothyroidism. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- dry, rough skin and hair
- frequent, heavy menstruation
- hoarse voice
- cold intolerance
- weight gain
Some of these symptoms – fatigue, irritability, weight gain, sleep problems – may indicate the presence of depression.
A doctor may prescribe a blood test to determine the level of certain hormones in the body, in particular:
- thyroid stimulating hormone (produced by the parathyroid gland)
- triiodothyronine (a hormone produced by the thyroid gland)
- thyroxine (thyroid hormone)
What causes thyroid disease?
There are many causes of both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Currently, about 20 million Americans suffer from some form of the disease. Disorders of thyroid function can occur in any person, regardless of age or skin color. Sometimes children are already born with impaired thyroid function. However, women are 80% more prone to this disease.
The causes of hypothyroidism are:
- Inflammation of the thyroid gland that may affect the level of hormones produced
- Autoimmune goiter, a painless and hereditary disease of the immune system
- Postpartum inflammation of the thyroid gland, appears in 5-8% of women who have given birth and quickly passes
This disease can also be triggered by certain medications, such as lithium and amiodarone, or an iodine deficiency in the body. The thyroid gland uses iodine to produce hormones. The level of iodine in the body, usually supported by the use of iodized salt.
Hyperthyroidism can be caused by the following factors:
- Diffuse toxic goiter, enlargement of the thyroid gland (also called thyroid proliferation)
- Nodules that appear on the thyroid gland and that cause its increased activity
- Inflammation of the thyroid gland, which can cause the release of stagnant hormones (due to the release of all hormones hypothyroidism can develop)
- Increased level of iodine, which is achieved as a result of taking certain medication or cough syrups
How to treat thyroid dysfunction?
The goal of any method of treatment is to regulate the level of hormones in the blood. Hypothyroidism is treated with medication, in particular levothyroxine. This medicine is produced by pharmaceutical companies such as Sintirod, Unithyroid, Levoxil, and Levothyroid. Levothyroxine. This is a synthetic hormone that should compensate the body for missing hormones.
Unlike hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism is more difficult to cure, because to completely cure it, it is necessary to normalize the level of hormones in the body. The treatment method may include drugs that will block the production of hormones. Or it will consist of radioactive treatment with iodotherapy to suspend the activity of the thyroid gland. This type of treatment, although widespread, in most cases leads to hypothyroidism. As a result, levothyroxine is also prescribed to the patient in order to normalize the level of hormones in the body.
What other types of hormonal disorders are associated with depression?
As mentioned above, women are more prone to hormonal disorders, as well as to depression. Biologically it turned out that women are more vulnerable to these diseases.
The menstruation process causes a change in the level of estrogen and other hormones. Some women in the premenstrual period are sad, become irritable and tired. These signs are symptoms of premenstrual syndrome or PMS. If these symptoms manifest themselves more acutely, this condition is called premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
During pregnancy, the woman also undergoes emotional disorders caused by changes in the body. After the birth of a child, in the body of a woman there is a huge release of hormones. This process causes such a condition as postpartum blues, a mild form of depression that occurs immediately after birth and quickly passes. This condition can develop into a more complex form – postpartum depression.
Over the years, when a woman comes out of childbearing age, she also experiences hormonal changes. These changes occur during the premenopausal period and during menopause. This period in a woman’s life is marked by the manifestation of symptoms such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, weight gain, and problem skin.
A woman who shows signs of depression needs treatment. Early treatment of depression in mothers plays an important role, both for the mother and for the child. Treatment of depression associated with hormonal disorders is no different from the treatment of general depression – psychotherapy, visiting support groups and the use of antidepressants.