My doc says it is very likely that I have Graves and I've been reading and reading learning as much as I can. One of the things that disturbs me the most about it is the mental effects it is supposed to have even beyond have the thyroid surgically removed or ablated with radiation. This worries me because I have been battling depression for years. The following is from Wikipedia. What do you all think about this? Is this true to your experience?
A literature review in 2006, whilst noting methodology issues in the consistency of Graves' disease diagnostic criteria, found many reports about residual complaints in patients who were euthyroid after treatment with a high prevalence of anxiety disorders and bipolar disorder, as well as elevated scores on scales of anxiety, depression and psychological distress. Bunevicius et al. point out that this "substantial mental disability" is more severe in patients with residual hyperthyroidism but is present even in euthyroid patients. Delay in therapy markedly worsens the prognosis for recovery, but complications can be prevented by early treatment. In rare cases, patients will experience psychosis-like symptoms only after they have been treated for hypo- or hyperthyroidism, due to a rapid normalisation of thyroid hormone levels in a patient who has partly adapted to abnormal values."
and this (from same source)....I really don't want this to be true:
"Prognosis also depends on the duration and severity of the disease before treatment. Swedish research of 2005 reports a lower quality of life for 14 to 21 years after treatment of Graves' disease, with lower mood and lower vitality, regardless of the choice of treatment."
I have Graves' and had RAI two years ago, For me, being hyper or hypo both caused depression and anxiety. When my levels are good depression / anxiety go away. After thyroid removal getting the proper testing is so important. Many people are left under medicated, due to improper treatment. You might want to try anti-thyroid medication first and try cleaning up your diet. Watch the iodine, junk and processed food. If your levels improve, you may be able to go into remission. Finding a great dr is so important. If you do decide to have RAI or Surgery, make sure you find a dr who will test Free T3 & Free T4 and understands that TSH is often unreliable after treatment.
Thanks much for your reply. Do you feel that Graves affected you mentally a few years before your diagnosis? I suspect I may have had some subclinical flares of it even as long eight years ago - times when my heart raced and I had trouble sleeping. It sure makes me wonder about my moods and concentration issues over these years. Oh I'm on 10mg methimazole a day right now. Thanks for the diet and doc advice too!
I find this very interesting as way before I was diagnosed with hyperthroidism I had a severe anxiety attack which at that time I thought was a nervous breakdown. It went into depression which I had for the next long years of my life. I was jogging one day and I felt the Lord said there was something wrong with my blood. I went to the doctors and they found the lumps on my neck and also my cholesterol was very high. They then found out that I had thyroid problem and started treating it. I started gettin g better. I had the rapid heart beat that it scared me. Later down the road the hyperthyroidism caused me to get so weak and not functioning right and they irradicated it and then I became hypothyroid and diagnosed with hashimoto. It took me a long time to realize that this was all caused by my thyroid and took away some of the guilt that I felt for having the anxiety as I thought what was wrong with the way I lead my life. Nothing, nothing my body just failed me. Thank God that I am now feeling pretty good and am working on some of the things that I need to do health wise to straighten out the damage to my body. I am now gluten free and taking minerals, and other things to straighten out my high blood pressure and stomach issues and cholesterol. I also have recently had trouble sleeping all night but am feeling better now. I do have a question. The mineral that I am taking has idione in it and my doctor hasn't called me back to say if I can handle that. I had always thought that I couldn't take anything with idione in it. I don't think my level of tirosent is high enough. Could this little bit of idione make up the difference? What do you think. Thanks for your comments. It is really helpful to get validated.
I am also gluten free, which has helped me a lot. I'm not sure about iodine after RAI. Some people can still be sensitive to it, but it is essential for proper thyroid function.
Do you have your latest test results? Does your dr check Free T3 and Fee T4? This is SO important and I remember other medhelp users telling me this long ago. It took me way to long to demand this testing. Also, finding a dr who is not focused on TSH! Many of us after RAI find we need a T3/T4 combination. Like armour thyroid or adding cytomel to your T4 med(tirosent). I saw huge improvements after adding Cytomel to my synthroid. My blood pressure leveled out and many hypo symptoms were relieved. I am still feeling hypo and just found a new dr who suggested we test my adrenal function and RT3. Tests showed I have High RT3, which can effect the absorption of thyroid meds. I'm still waiting on the adrenal test for the dr to recommend treatment.
Thank you for sharing your story Applecore. I'm so glad you are feeling better now. I hope I can too. One thing you said really got to me - that it wasn't you, that your body failed you. That's how I feel now - relief to know that so much of my problems weren't that I just wasn't trying hard enough, you know? I hope you keep feeling better and better.
Just read the forum. Thanks for your comments. This forum has helped me so much over the years. iron sharpeneth iron. We help each other. I just had new blood work done from a holistic MD. I will let you know the results as he is doing free T3 and Free T4.
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