Thyroid: connection with depression

The dysfunction of the thyroid gland is characterized by an excess or below normal production of the so-called thyroid hormones (thyroxine or T4 and triiodothyronine or T3), which have a determining role in many processes of the body and including some cognitive processes . In the first case it is a hyperthyroidism and in the second one a hypothyroidism.

However, it should be noted that both diseases are related to the dysfunction of emotions, even when they present a clear physical symptomatology:
Hyperthyroidism: tachycardia, increased appetite, weight loss, diarrhea and heat sensation.
Hypothyroidism: decreased heart rate, loss of appetite, weight gain, feeling of fatigue, less tolerance to cold.

As can be seen, it is an opposite symptomatology. But, nevertheless, both diseases have a common point: it can cause clearly depressive symptomatology, which does not necessarily imply the existence of a depression. And this is more noticeable in the case of hypothyroidism, which can cause fatigue, weight gain, apathy, depression, inability to concentrate and memory problems.
It is not uncommon, in fact, that some of these patients are diagnosed and treated for depression when in fact they have a problem with the thyroid gland that adequately treated would reverse that depressive symptomatology, as long as there was no real depression.

It must be borne in mind that depression is also associated with a series of somatic symptoms common to many pathologies, including hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism: unjustified weight loss or increased weight as a result of hyperphagia, insomnia or hypersomnia, psychomotor agitation or slowing, fatigue or decay or decreased ability to concentrate.

That is why currently it is recommended that patients with depressive symptoms are made a measurement of thyroid hormones in order to rule out or confirm the existence of a dysfunction of the thyroid gland. And this is more important as a treatment with antidepressants not only will not be effective in patients with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, but they can suffer the important side effects associated with these drugs: sexual dysfunction, weight gain, sleep disturbances, etc.

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