August 5, 2009
According to news reports out today, the use of antidepressants doubled between 1996 and 2005. Today, 10% of the population is taking antidepressant medication — that’s an estimated 27 million Americans.
The question this raises for me is, how many of these people who have been diagnosed as “depressed” — usually by primary care and family doctors — are actually hypothyroid, but haven’t been properly tested and diagnosed? How many of the people taking antidepressants may actually be misdiagnosed?
It’s an important question. Because we know that depression can be a symptom of hypothyroidism. And we also know that there appears be a relationship between autoimmune thyroid disease/thyroid antibodies and depression. And we know that thyroid treatment can sometimes help as an adjunct to treatment for depression.
Consider the scenario. A woman goes to the doctor, complaining that she’s feeling more tired than usual lately. She’s gained a few pounds. And she feels down in the dumps, a bit blue and moody. Does the doctor think, “Hmm, fatigue, weight gain, depression — these could be signs of hypothyroidism. Let me run a complete thyroid panel?” Sometimes. But more often, the doctor thinks “fatigue, weight gain, depression — these are symptoms of depression, so I’ll write a prescription for an antidepressant.”
Read entire article: http://thyroid.about.com/b/2009/08/04/how-many-of-the-27-million-americans-on-antidepressants-actually-have-undiagnosed-thyroid-disease.htm
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