Low Thyroid Symptoms and Antidepressants

Dr. Chris Heimlich DC, DACNB, Scottsdale Thyroid Doctor Comments:
depression It seems like every other new patient that comes in to our clinic asks me why they were prescribed antidepressants by their doctor when they went in for a thyroid problem.   Often the patient will tell me that they are not even depressed, just frustrated and tired of chasing the other symptoms of hypothyroidism.

You know what I am talking about.  Symptoms like being tired, sluggish, needing excessive amounts of sleep, weight gain, difficult bowel movements, hair loss, dry skin and mental sluggishness.

If you have been watching my videos and following the blog then you know the number one reason for low thyroid is an auto immune condition called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  (Check out my other posts if this is new information to you)

Here is an excerpt from a recent study that I found on medscape titled “Antidepressants Given With No Psychiatric Diagnoses”:

August 5, 2011 — Antidepressant prescribing by nonpsychiatrist providers in the United States has increased substantially in recent years, according to a report released today.

What’s particularly “worrisome,” say the report’s authors, is that a “large and growing” proportion of antidepressant prescribing by nonpsychiatrists happens without an accompanying psychiatric diagnosis.

“Many of the patients who are receiving these medications are dealing with the stresses of life or physical illness, and there is no evidence that antidepressants are effective in these groups of patients,” lead author Ramin Mojtabai, MD, PhD, MPH, from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, said in a statement.

They went on to say that the percentage of visits at which antidepressants were prescribed but no psychiatric diagnosis was noted rose to 72.7% in 2007.

So to answer the question of why you were prescribed antidepressants if you were not depressed is “I don’t know.”  It appears from the research that it is a growing trend.

What about the patients that are depressed, have low thyroid symptoms, and are already on antidepressants?   Should they be on antidepressants?  If they are on them then they should NOT stop taking them without the guidance of the prescribing physician.

Some of you may be scratching your head wondering why I would recommend to keep taking your meds, especially after watching the testimonials of our patients that no longer have to take them after starting care with us.  Sure many antidepressants have side effects, but coming off of them without supervision from the prescribing physician could be disastrous.

I am not anti-meds.  I am anti-medications if you don’t need them.  Our country is over medicated.  I tell all of our patients that the power that created the body can heal the body.  We just have to find out what is keeping it from doing its job.

That’s why we get the success we do here in the clinic.  We look at the body as a whole and gather all the pieces of the patient’s health puzzle to determine how we can get their body to heal itself through natural methods.

Check back soon because I will be starting a mini-series soon expanding on my previous post concerning the connection between the brain and the thyroid.