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Sylvia224 10-11-2005 03:43 PM

Question - ADHD/Thyroid problems?
Hello, I have never posted on this board before, but I have a question that perhaps one of you can answer. I have had years of emotional problems, depression and anxiety, as well as obsessive compulsive disorder as a child. When I was a young adult, I was prescribed antidepressants for a deblilitating depression. I tried one after another, none of them worked. I gave up completely, until someone suggested that I appeared to have adult ADHD. I did not believe that at first, because I am an avid reader, and I thought no way do I have ADHD if I can enjoy reading (obsessively). Well to make a long story short, then I learned about hyperfocus. I am a textbook case of adult ADHD, so my doctor started me on ritalin and it really gave me my life back. I had stopped hoping that anyone could help me, but ritalin did.
So fast forward to a few months ago, my husband and I decide that we want to start a family. So I went back to my doctor to talk about what to do about my medication. We agreed that I would stop taking it, as there might be a risk to the fetus. Predictably, my whole world went to pieces again. Now I am taking a low dose of ritalin during the periods that I know for sure I am not pregnant, just to help me along. I'm seeing my doctor every month.
So now my doctor suggested that we test my thyroid levels, which we will do with a blood test next week. He says that thyroid problems can often mimic symptoms of ADHD almost exactly. I also am rather thin (not underweight, but Ė the slender side of normal I would say), and he said that might also be an indicator of a thyroid malfunction of some sort.
My other point to mention is that about six years ago, another doctor tested my thyroid, because I was so cold and tired all the time. The levels were normal. She didnít say what they were, as in a number.
Anyway, I guess I just donít know anything about this. I just wondered what any of you thought about it or have you heard of thyroids causing ADHD type trouble? What would be the problem with my thyroid, and what can they do to remedy it? Are we talking something simple like a vitamin or change in diet, or something major like surgery? Sorry if questions are very dumb!

skewch 10-11-2005 09:55 PM

Re: Question - ADHD/Thyroid problems?
Welcome! No question is ever "dumb" here. We all started somewhere with questions, sometimes because we had no idea where to begin.

I have ADD, and I'm sure I have since I was a child. My son is ADHD and I am so much like he is, it is quite scary actually. I don't take anything for it and it's funny that I've never been formally prescribed anything, although they want me on antidepressants in the worst way for my anxiety...that's a whole other book though.

I know first hand that when you have thyroid issues, you have some same symptoms as ADD but each person is different. My big one is forgetfulness. I am really bad for that and was really bad after my thyroid surgery...I couldn't remember words etc. I always knew about the "hyperfocusing" aspect of ADD because of my son having this since he was 3. I knew it was true for me as well because I can sew for hours on end into the wee hours of the night and not even realize it.

If you have hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, you are treated accordingly with medication and yes, a simple pill each day is most effective. There are more serious thyroid issues that require surgery etc. but that can be jumping the gun a bit here because your thyroid tests aren't back. Be SURE to get the lab results and post them here so that the "experts" can help you through the numbers and what they mean...doctors aren't always forthcoming with information.

Good luck on your bloodwork!

tlsims 10-12-2005 08:59 AM

Re: Question - ADHD/Thyroid problems?
i found out why going through my thyroid illness that i am ADD. since the surgery i have been able to cut down on my ADD meds. but i still them. i think if you are ADD a thyroid problem will definetly increase the symptoms of it. but getting your thyroid under control may not resolve all your ADD problems but it will help get rid of brain fog.


Sylvia224 10-12-2005 10:04 AM

Re: Question - ADHD/Thyroid problems?
Thanks so much for the information everyone. I will be sure to post my test results so you can see what you think. I take the blood test on Monday, go back to doctor for results on Friday.
Thanks again!

Meep 10-12-2005 10:35 AM

Re: Question - ADHD/Thyroid problems?
A few thoughts regarding ADD/ADHD, Thyroid, and mood disorders:

Thyroid hormones are made by combining two L-Tyrosine molecules with varying numbers of Iodine atoms. T3 has two L-Tyrosine and three Iodine, T4 has two L-Tyrosine and four Iodine...

Many parents of ADD/ADHD children and many adults with ADD/ADHD have found that supplementing with L-Tyrosine helps the symptoms ADD/ADHD.

L-Tyrosine is also a precursor to several neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitter imbalances cause emotional and cognitive probems like depression, focus problems, etc. (getting interesting, yet?)

Perhaps some of our thyroid problems and symptoms are due to a lack of L-Tyrosine. Wehn we get out thyroid levels right by taking pills for it, the L-Tyrosine in the body can then be used for neurotransmitters rather than metabolism, so our mental symptoms of hypo dissipate when we are medicated properly. If not, maybe we need L-Tyrosine.

IF you try supplementing with L-Tyrosine (you cna get it at you local herb/vitamin/healthfood or pharmacy or grocer), start at the lowest dose possible and slowly increase. If you get irritable and cranky in ways that you weren't before, then maybe you need to decrease the dose or stop altogether.

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