Posted on Mar 25, 2020, 2 p.m.
Article courtesy of : Thierry Hertoghe, MD, author of “The Hormone Handbook”
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disorder that progressively destroys the thyroid gland, causing it to gradually decline in its production of thyroid hormones over the long term. At the beginning of the disease, most patients with this disorder have no or few complaints. Gradually the thyroid gland of such patients deteriorates, making them increasingly more hypothyroid.
*Note: This article was edited on 3/26/2020 to reflect the changed dates of the event.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients are prone to nervousness, anxiety, and even panic attacks
As Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is in the beginning an insidious, almost silent disease, the patient is often unaware that something is wrong with his or her thyroid and leaves the disorder untreated. However, scientific investigators have found that such patients are much more prone to psychological disorders. First, patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have been reported to suffer from an approximately 10% decline in mental health. They are also likely to suffer from nervousness and anxiety, showing a 30% higher risk of neuroticism, nearly 50% higher risk of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and twofold higher risk of anxiety disorder. But these risks are only the tip of the iceberg. The risk of panic disorder has been found to be nine times higher in these patients! These findings are enough to make more than a few physicians uncomfortable at the thought of leaving these patients without treatment. But there is still more to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Higher to much higher incidence of depression and even psychosis in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
What about depression? Depending on the study, the risk of depression is 50% to nine times higher in patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. One study even reported a 43% higher risk of death by suicide or unknown matters in these patients. Some of these patients develop what is called Hashimoto’s encephalopathy. Encephalopathy is a rare occurrence, but much more likely in patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. When the encephalopathy occurs, nearly half of these patients develop paranoia or paranoid thoughts. One out of four patients with this type of encephalopathy even develop psychosis.
Greater attention deficits and memory loss in Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients have been reported to be at a threefold higher risk of suffering from attention deficit disorder, and more than one out of four patients complain about cognitive impairment. The risk of encephalopathy is significantly increased for them, and they are suspected to be a greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients are not as happy
High risk of depression—the opposite of happiness—anxiety, and other psychological disorders adversely impact the mood and happiness state of patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Positive thinking and psychotherapy may not be enough for these patients, who are assaulted by many causes for complaint. The vast bulk of scientific data suggest that Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients must be treated to reduce the psychological impacts of the disorder. Treatment should include a combination of therapies that have in research studies proven to be successful, such as eating healthy foods through a low carbohydrate diet, nutritional supplementation (selenium and vitamin D3), and avoidance of soy and cow milk products, and pollutants. If the level of such hormones is deficient, thyroid therapy has been observed to be helpful with a possible transient intake of low doses of glucocorticoids, DHEA therapy, and also testosterone.
To get practical information and references on the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune thyroiditis, read the article “Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, a Common Disorder in Women: How to Treat It” in the Townsend Letter April 2020 issue.
To access the relevant data on autoimmune thyroiditis, its association with various diseases, and its therapy, search the website of the International Hormone Society for the section Evidence-based hormone therapies (available soon).
To get practical and in-depth training on the treatment of autoimmune thyroiditis and other thyroid disorders and come attend the hormone therapy workshop in Orlando on August 21-22, 2020. Check out the Evidence-based hormone therapy workshop here, which will be available at the A4M 28th Annual Spring Congress being held in Orlando, Florida on August 20-22, 2020.
Thierry Hertoghe, MD is the President of the International Hormone Society. Born in 1957 and he practices lifespan/reversing aging medicine and hormone therapy. He represents the fourth consecutive generation of physicians who have worked in the field of hormone therapy, where he practices medicine with a team of experienced doctors in Brussels. He is an internationally known authority in medical therapies oriented to correct hormone deficiencies, reduce aging or even in some aspects reverse aging and possibly extend lifespan. He is the Author of various well-referenced medical books, including the international bestseller Hormone handbook and the Atlas of endocrinology for hormone therapy, Testosterone, the therapy for real gentleman, the Textbook of Reversing physical aging (volume 1: the head and the senses), the Textbook of lifespan and anti-aging medicine, the Textbook of Nutrient therapy, the Hormone Solution, Passion, sex, and long life, and the Oxytocin adventure, among others.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement