Depression: Could it be I just need T3.

Depression is a difficult illness especially when doctors are telling you the thyroid has no part in it (which is odd since my symptoms started just before my thyroid was removed due to thyroid cancer). I started thyroid medication, T4, 21 months ago and I have changed doses every 3 months because I have gone from hyper, to not hyper enough, to too hyper, and so on. When I asked my endocrinologist about the weight gain he said it didn't have anything to do with losing my thyroid so in his opinion it was my depression medicine. He didn't test anything else, he just sent me on my way. I had already tried several depression medicines with my family doctor for 1 year. When he felt he couldn't help me any longer, he sent me to a psychiatrist. My psychiatrist is compassionate and tends to be better at looking at the whole picture so after my endocrinologist said the weight was from my medication, the psychiatrist and I changed my medicine to something that was shown to cause less weight gain. As of late these ongoing medicine trials have not brought much relief in terms of the depression or the weight gain. Recently he suggested I consider using Ketamine an IV drug which is costly, but has shown some positive results in helping depressed patients. After doing my own research on the thyroid and depression I had come across the concept of combining T4 and T3 medications to decrease some of the hypothyroidism symptoms. There is a lot of great information out there about how this works, but I won't go in to detail here. At this point I had two choices: 1) go with the Ketamine which is somewhat experimental or 2) rule out any other causes of depression and find an endocrinologist who would consider T3 medication. I decided to rule out as many causes as I could. I went to my doctor and we did several blood tests including B12 and calcium which are just some of the deficiencies that can cause depression. Next was switching endocrinologist to someone I felt would be more open to listening to me. The doctor I found specialized in thyroid cancer which was a major plus. My first appointment was anxiety-filled because I was terrified she wouldn't listen. I was afraid she wouldn't even consider T3. What would I do then! I was running out of things to try. I cried the entire appointment and could barely think, but to my amazement she agreed to add T3. It's been about a month since that appointment and although I haven't seen a ton of improvement I have renewed hope which keeps me going day to day. It will take another month or two to see the full effect of my latest medicine regimen, but with hope that this medication rollercoaster may be over soon I do my best to move forward.

4 Comments

  1. I have had the Ketamine treatment for depression and it worked really well for me. However, the effects were short lived. For about a month I was completely depression free. I didn’t even recognize myself because I have lived with depression for most of my life. But after it wore off it was difficult because I was right back at square one again. I had a thyroidectomy in 2013 and have been struggling to find the right dose/medication ever since then. I have found that T3 helps with depression. There is a psychiatrist that is convinced that all forms of depression are caused by imbalances in the thyroid. (Here is a link to one of her articles http://kellybroganmd.com/thyroid-whats-mental-health-got/). After having lived without one for four years now, I agree with her. Hope you find a balance of meds that helps you.

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting! I have yet to speak to anyone who has done the Ketamine so your input is very helpful. Also hearing that someone else with no thyroid is struggling with medication makes me feel less alone. It’s feels like such a crazy place to be in life. It feels so helpless at times. You can’t do anything without doctor approval and you have to wait so long in between dose changes. I would love for you to write a guest post on my blog about your experience if you would be up to it let me know. Thanks again!

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      1. I would love to write a guest post for your blog. I need direction though about what specifically to write about. My mind is not working well with connections and organization right now. I lack focus.

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      2. If you want to write about losing your Thyroid and what life has been like since that happened. Any changes you have seen and/or your feeling about the medication process, symptoms you had or are having. Hopefully that helps focus you. You can email me at dsherr26@yahoo.com whenever you get around to it or need more quidance. I totally have the focus problem too! Thank you so much for doing it!

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