Root causes of Depression in Hashimoto’s

The link between thyroid function and mental disorders, especially mood disorders, has been known for a long time.  Historically, this association was explained more than 200 years ago.

Today, it is widely recognized that thyroid disorders can significantly affect mental states, including emotions and cognition. Both excess and insufficient thyroid hormones can cause mood disorders, including depression, which are usually reversible with proper thyroid treatment. Depression, on the other hand, can be accompanied by subtle thyroid dysfunction.

thyroid problems and mental disorders

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Relationship between Depression and Hashimoto’s

Understanding the relationship between the two conditions can help clinicians interpret thyroid function tests in depression, better understand the pathophysiology of both disorders, and identify those who might benefit most from thyroid supplementation.

Clinical depression, or major depression, is a mental disorder characterized by a persistent depressed mood or loss of interest in activities that significantly affect daily life. Depression affects women more than men and the symptoms and severity of depression can vary from person to person. 


Most people don’t know how common Hashimoto’s depression is, but studies have found a link between the presence of mood disorders and the presence of TPO antibodies. 

A new study also linked depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, and anxiety with high levels of TPO antibodies. Antibodies to TPO are an early sign of an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland, even when a person’s thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels are still normal.

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Hashimoto’s disease is a thyroid condition that can cause temporary hyperthyroidism by pumping thyroid hormones into the bloodstream. Agitation, anxiety, and even symptoms of psychosis can occur to anyone who has experienced symptoms of hyperthyroidism (due to the thyroid hormone fluctuations common in Hashimoto’s disease) can explain how terrible it feels.

When thyroid hormone is removed, one may be functionally hypothyroid with symptoms of depression, apathy, low mood, and brain fog. In asymptomatic hypothyroidism, a slight decrease in the secretion of thyroid hormones is accompanied by symptoms of depression and apathy.

thyroid diagnosis

Correct diagnosis of thyroid disease and appropriate treatment can resolve many cases of depression. It may also be necessary to eliminate the cause and effect of thyroid disease to fully restore a healthy and happy state of mind.

There is research that supports the link between mood disorders and Hashimoto's. People who suffer from bipolar disorder are just one (as well as conditions related to depression and anxiety ) were found to have more antithyroid antibodies than other people.) 

Hashimoto's disease can be triggered by lithium, which is a medication that is commonly used to treat bipolar disorder. This further complicates the issue. 

Psychiatrists who are cognizant of the correlation between the thyroid and mood disorders are more likely to consider thyroid medication for their patients who present with symptoms. Similarly, progressive psychiatrists are more likely to be open to prescribing thyroid medication and will test all patients who present with new-onset depression, anxiety, and mental health symptoms for thyroid disorders.

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Antidepressants are favored by conventional doctors in the majority of cases. "Antidepressant" refers to depression-treating drugs. 

However, SSRIs are the most prevalent antidepressants. These include Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, and Paxil, among others. These drugs function by lowering serotonin levels. (our "feel-good hormone")

SNRIs are another commonly prescribed class of antidepressants. ( Inhibitors of serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake) The antidepressants Cymbalta, Effexor XR, and Pristiq are all examples of the class of medications known as "serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors." (A chemical that acts as both a neurotransmitter and a hormone within the nervous system). Some of the most common side effects are nausea, sleepiness, tiredness, constipation, and dry mouth.

thyroid levels

Although Antidepressants are not for everyone, a large study that was done in 2006, showed that only 30% of people "responded" to most antidepressants. Furthermore, less than 5% of people were found to be in remission from depression with SSRI drugs, even after using them for an entire year. 


Hence, it is important to balance your thyroid levels. To begin with, if your TSH is elevated, you may need to consider thyroid hormone replacement therapy. If you already take thyroid medicine, you may need to change the amount you take to get your TSH levels as low as possible. As far as medications and mood, getting the TSH between 1 and 2 μIU/mL, and in some cases under 1 μIU/mL, helps a person improve their mood symptoms.

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Hence, there is a correlation between levels that are either too high or too low and an imbalance in the thyroid hormone levels. This imbalance has been linked to a variety of symptoms, including depression and anxiety.

However, it is important to note that despite taking medications such as Synthroid, levothyroxine, or Levoxyl, these symptoms persist in some individuals. T4 isn't enough for everyone.


Depression is one of the most prominent indicators that a person with thyroid disease is not properly converting T4 to the active T3. If you're taking thyroid medication and still depressed, talk to your doctor about switching. Particularly, antidepressant effects have been observed with T3-containing medications.

Therefore, your symptoms such as depression and other mood-related symptoms may be related to your thyroid, be sure to advocate for thorough lab testing and the appropriate medications. It is recommended that you research the Root Cause Approach to healing Hashimoto's and use interventions such as art therapy, yoga, and exercise to maintain a healthy life.


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