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  • please help! any effect of antidepressants on TSH results?

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    Old 09-27-2003, 01:26 PM   #1
    twirlygirl
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    Question please help! any effect of antidepressants on TSH results?

    hi all,

    a quick question with a moderate amount of background/history (apologies!). the basic question is: i seem to remember that there was some relationship between TSH/hypothyroid symptoms and taking antidepressants without taking thyroxine (i.e., does taking antidepressants somehow mask symptoms or affect TSH results?). does anyone know of one, and if so, could you please reply to this thread? my thanks in advance!

    ** ** **

    the background/history, for those who are interested, and/or if this will help explain why i'm asking the question:

    my husband has what i see as possible hypo symptoms which became much more evident about a year or so ago; the main symptoms are: low energy, no motivation, decreased sex drive, depression/anxiety, high blood pressure, recent weight gain, and definite increased hair loss. he also has thick foot skin, which i never would have thought to mention other than there was another post about that!

    he has been taking a variety of antidepressants over the past year to address the appropriate symptoms, but the meds have had a very disappointing result; he currently takes moderate to high doses of two of the most effective meds, and continues to have the above symptoms. the only real effect that we've seen is a decrease in his tendency to be very easily irritable; but we've also been having weekly couples' therapy to address this and other issues.

    thyroid problems run in his family on both sides: his paternal grandmother had her thyroid removed (unsure as to why) and now takes thyroxine, and his aunt on the other side is hypo or has hashi's and also takes thyroxine.

    he has had his TSH tested twice in the last year. in march, it was 2.5, and in september, it was 2.66; other september results include FT4 of 1.1 and Total T3 of 0.9.

    i am definitely not a doctor, but i was diagnosed with hashi's in january with a TSH of 14, and have been taking thyroxine. the dose stayed at 50mcg for a few months. i felt okay, and then and i felt awful, and my TSH reflected this, but my PCP said it was "fine". i complained, a lot, and finally got an endo referral; when when i saw the endo for the first time, he said "if your TSH is not at a 1.0, i'm going to increase your dose." it was 3.5, and he increased it. i'm now up to 75mcg, and am finally feeling some relief from my own symptoms.

    my previous experience is that i was prescribed antidepressants on 4 occasions over the course of 8 years. i now look back at the blood tests over those years and see my TSH rising steadily over those years, but it was never mentioned by anyone, including the psychiatrists.

    re: my husband, i am very concerned that: 1) he is being medicated with the wrong thing(s) and for the wrong condition; 2) his taking the antidepressants has possibly made his TSH appear to be more normal than it actually is; and 3) he will not get medicated for thyroid issues until he is really in a wretched state, as i was in january.

    so, i'm looking for information. i'm seeing my own endo for a checkup next week and want to approach him with information and questions for my husband's sake, since our PCP appears to be unresponsive to this possibility.

    any thoughts or ideas would be *highly* appreciated!

    much thanks, and my best to all,

    twirlygirl


    [This message has been edited by twirlygirl (edited 09-28-2003).]

     
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    Old 09-27-2003, 04:13 PM   #2
    Blaana
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    I have just found out that I have hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance. My doctor told me that insulin resistance can cause a problem with T4 being broken down into T3 and that the thyroid labs will appear normal. T3 is needed in the brain for the neurotransmitters to work properly. Neurotransmitters are raised, lowered, and/or normalized or balanced by anti-depressants. Also, hypothyroidism effects serotonin. Some people with depression are treated with T3. To see if you are insulin resistant you need to have a 2 hour glucose tolerance test and have insulin levels checked with the glucose. If diabetes runs in the family then you are more prone to having it and if it goes untreated it can lead to Type II diabetes. Other symptoms of it are fatigue, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, increased waste line, vision changes, and other things associated with some vitamin deficiencies, and depression. It can eventually lead to heart disease and can increase the chances of getting some cancers. Oh, also it supresses the immune system making a person more susceptible to illnesses.

    The treatment is a low carbohydrate, low fat diet, exercise, and my doctor put me on a medication called actos which is used by diabetics but it can also treat hyperinsulinemia. My doctor said I only have to take it about 6-9 months then I will be ok. I already feel alot better and can think so much better. I was having anxiety attacks and haven't had one in a while. That's another thing that it causes, anxiety and it increases a steroid in the body too.

    Someone else on this board mentioned thyroid resistance. I don't know if the two are related or not, but you might want to look into that.

    Blaana

     
    Old 09-29-2003, 01:58 PM   #3
    pdb123
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    If you find out any information, please share it with us! I too, have wondered about a link between anti-depressants and TSH levels.

    I was on the anti-depressant Remeron for about a year. The side effects of the drug include weight gain, constipation, and increased sleep. Gee, sounds a lot like the symptoms of hypo, doesn't it? Well, I had all of these symptoms. And after being on it for a year, my primary doctor told me my TSH was 14.5 and I should be treated for hypo. So, was it all just a coincidence? Did the Remeron just reinforce my hypo symptoms? Or did the Remeron actually cause my TSH to rise???

     
    Old 09-29-2003, 08:04 PM   #4
    Noa24
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    I don't think ADs CAUSE hypo/hypo symptoms. You may have been treated for depression, although the depression may have been part of the hypo.

    I took ADs and anticonvulsants and antipsychotics for 2-1/2 years (boy, did someone have it wrong!!!), and my TSH kept dropping. The other levels are probably about the same. Actually, if they did get messed up, it wasn't irreversible.

    On the other hand, I know that a number of the things I took are reported to "mess with" ovarian function and things like that...and it's all the endocrine system. So who knows?!?

    Noa

     
    Old 09-29-2003, 08:31 PM   #5
    twirlygirl
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    Quote:
    Originally posted by Noa24:
    I took ADs and anticonvulsants and antipsychotics for 2-1/2 years (boy, did someone have it wrong!!!), and my TSH kept dropping. The other levels are probably about the same. Actually, if they did get messed up, it wasn't irreversible.

    ...

    Noa
    Noa,

    so, here's one part of my question. while your TSH levels were dropping, what symptoms of hypothyroid did, or did you not have? did you feel good, as dropping TSH levels theoretically indicate, or did you (still?) feel awful? did you know that you had thyroid issues at the time, or were the misguided prescriptions because no one knew what the heck they were doing?

    my own theory is that there may be some way in which antidepressants actually futz with the levels as they show up in the blood, or with the symptoms, or *something* -- such that your TSH appears to be lower than your symptoms are making you feel.

    i wish that i had conclusive proof, like more blood levels of my own during the years when i was, and was not taking antidepressants. unfortunately, i don't.

    thanks to all for reading, thinking about this problem, and replying. i'm seeing my endo on 10/2, and i promise that i'll reply back if i get any kind of information that seems worth sharing.

    twirlygirl


     
    Old 09-29-2003, 08:44 PM   #6
    Noa24
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    I found this on another board...

    >The drugs such as Prozac and Paxil, and Serzone, >cause increased metabolism of thyroid hormone, which >fits with an increase and then decrease in TSH.

    The increase mentioned was while taking ADs, and the decrease occurred some time after stopping them...

    As for my case, whenever I'd get the TSH done (which is all anyone took during that time), it would be in the low-normal range...although it was lower each time they took it...which, of course, showed that nothing was wrong. Gee! I felt like crap...can't even remember everything, but I know I was really depressed AND meds would quickly build up in my body b/c they were not being broken down correctly (we figured that out when I changed docs). Another thing that was "weird" was that I kept getting worse and worse instead of better...no single drug or combo could do anything good for any length of time.

    When you're hypo, your body doesn't metabolize meds correctly, and it takes longer for them to leave the body (kind of like the rest of the "slowed down" stuff that happens). People with hyper clear meds faster, and they'll need to take them at higher doses or more often.

    Hopefully, that helps some, although it doesn't totally answer your original question...

    Noa

     
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