Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Community
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363243 tn?1331037450

PCOS, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and Depression

Hello everyone. I was diagnosed with PCOS about two weeks ago. I've been plagued with hirsutism since I was 12 years old and I'm now 36 and I was always diagnosed with idiopathic hirsutism because my total testosterone was normal, my glucose was normal, my menstruation was very regular, I was not overweight, etc., etc. I always believed that there was something wrong and my physicians just weren't savvy enough to figure it out. Years passed and I
decided to get checked again because I've gained 30 lbs over two years (due to taking prednisone for the hives I got daily because of Hashimoto's) and the male pattern hair growth increased. I'm now 5'6" and 167lbs.

I sought the help of an endocrinologist and he ordered a lot of blood tests. I never had problems with elevated glucose and the test showed that my fasting glucose was 102, slightly elevated. My free testosterone was elevated also which explained the excessive hair on my chin, neck, chest, stomach and thighs. I haven't had problems with fertility because I have two children who were conceived with no difficulty because my periods had always been like clock work. I was surprised at the diagnosis but relieved to find out that there was a known medical term for my symptoms.

I have very bad depression and panic attacks and I've had them for 18 years now. Does anyone know if there is a link between PCOS and clinical depression? Also, is there anyone else out there with Hashimoto's thyroiditis along with PCOS. I'm going crazy with depression, hirsuitism, pelvic pain, panic attacks, excess weight, slight acne, oily skin, fatigue, etc. If anyone has these symptoms please tell me what treatment you've sought and what has helped you if anything. Thanks and good luck.
12 Responses
189069 tn?1323405738
I'm very sorry that you're going through this. I have read that PCOS can be linked with depression. Plus everything else you're going through; I can understand why you feel so bad.  Talk to your doctor about the meds that would be right for you to help control the symptoms. Good luck!
363243 tn?1331037450
Thanks for responding to my rant:-) I do have some appointments scheduled with some physicians. I'll see what they have to say but I have a feeling that I'm going to have to do a lot of research myself.
Take care.
Avatar universal
I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2005 after not having a period for almost a year. I was diagnosed last year with hypothyroidism, and today when I went into the doctor to review my blood work we found some astonishing results that may be linked to Hashi's. In a matter of a week's time my TSH level jumped from 1.2 to 4.8. The only explanation the doctor could offer is the Hashi's, and I was tested for that today and will find out on Monday. So it is very likely that I will be in the same boat as you.

The usual treatment for PCOS is metformin to regulate insulin, and birth control to regulate hormones. My testosterone is still very high despite being on Yaz and Yasmin since 2005, so my doctors are going to put me on spironolactone. spironolactone is supposed to do wonders for acne, so you might mention it to your doctor as an avenue of treatment. Hope that helps, sorry if I rambled.
Avatar universal

What caught my attention was your mention of anxiety and panic attacks. I am 41 and have had trouble with anxiety during post partum and early in my life, during my first year of menstruation. I know my anxiety is triggered by hormones and stress. I too am being treated for hypothyroidism. My sister recently told me she had been diagnosed with PCOS. I was complaining to her about my anxiety problems and my temper outbursts. I have also recently began to have moderate to severe pain on my left when ovulating. She suggested I should get evaluated for PCOS.

Anyway, I wanted you to know you are not alone. And anxiety and panic attacks are treatable with medicaiton "Ativan" is what I take. You can also learn coping skills to help deal with the anxiety. Anxiety is either genetic or caused by tramatic events. Mine is genetic and like I said brought on by hormone imbalances.

Good Luck and seek help.
541196 tn?1293556536
I have PCOS, Hashimotos, Pituitary Tumor, Type 2 Diabetes and Depression/Anxiety.

Seems they somehow all go hand and hand. :-(  I am 30 and have always been underweight, until about a year and a half ago I began just packing on the pounds.  I am now 5'2" and 160 lbs!!!!!!

I take metformin, lexapro, cabergoline and levothyroxine.  

I have horrible uterine pain a few days through out my cycle, I have anxiety, times of dry itchy skin and other times with oily acne skin, I have new hair growth on my upper lip and chin.  My moods are all over the place and I have been struggling with anxiety for a few years.  

Best of luck. You aren't alone!
Avatar universal
I have Hashimoto's and PCOS. Tough combo. I feel sorry for the post who also added diabetes (all closely related) My symptoms exploded last October and I have been to doctor's and couselors 2x'a a week since then trying to get everything regulated.

The symptoms are overwhelming and constantly changing. I fist sought out medical help when the anxiety almost completely took over. My doc put me on lexapro and immediately checked my thyroid levels wich came back out of wack (over the past 6 months my TSH levels have varied between 4 to 56). The Lexapo nixed the anxiety within 4 months but the this only heighten the depression. I have been on sythroid varing from 88mcg to now being on 137 mcg. 6 more weeks then I go back for an ultrasound to check to see if the tyroid goiter is reducing and that there are not any lumps.

In short. I feel for all of you and you are not alone. Just keep trucking.

Have your doctor check for thyroid antibodoies - this will indicate an autoimmune diseas such as Hashimotos.

Lexapro + synthroid + linsopril (for high blodd pressure) is slowly begining to work for me. Doc says that she may add Welbutrin to help with the depression but is worried that it may strike up the anxiety since I had that so severe. She wants to wait until the ultasound to see if the thyroid is getting better.

I have also been taking NuvaRing for birth control for several years but am considering swithing to YAZ since it supposed to help with PCOS. I have read lots of negative post about Yaz so I am slightly hesitance since the idea of feeling any worse makes me cringe - but my doc thinks it could possibly help. Worth the risk - still in debate. I'll let you know if that works out or not.

Good luck and many blessing to everyone!
Avatar universal
I just wanted to thank all of you for sharing your information and support for eachother.

I'm 32 and have been to numerous doctors since I was 15 because of irregular periods, goiter, and pretty much just feeling like ****.  I was diagnosed with PCOS at 15 after numerous uncomfortable tests and ultrasounds.  I have also had my thyroid tests more frequently than most women have paps.  Unfortunately, most of my doctors focused on one or two symptoms and I frequently got conflicting information from one to the other(sometimes they even contradicted themselves) because my hormone levels would be different everytime i got them checked.

I went to a new doctor today and found out that Hashimoto's can cause fluctuations in thyroid hormone as well as my other symptoms.  I told my new doctor that the most disturbing thing to me is the mood swings.  I have been more depressed in the last few weeks than I have been in a long time and it is alarming to the people I love.  Especially since I am a counselor and I know that my recent depression isn't related to any unusual stress.  It really ***** when you're crying for no reason.

At this point, I'm scheduled for a ton of lab tests to rule out several things, but it is likely that I have Hashimoto's along with PCOS and insulin resistance.  Fortunately, I have not given up on trying to get help with all this and have finally found a doctor that is listening to me about everything instead of picking one symptom or another.

I encourage anyone who doesn't feel like their doctor is listening to them or just wants to give up on doctors because of frustration with the medical run around, to please don't give up!  Take charge of your own health care; research doctors, symptoms, treatments, & etc.  Let your doctors know exactly how you feel and don't be afraid to change doctors.  Find a doctor that listens to you and is genuinely concerned about your wellbeing.

Sorry this was so long...guess I just needed to get it outa me

Thanks again!
Avatar universal
Hi everyone,
Thank you, coco727272, for posting this question and all of you for posting your stories. They are of enormous help to me! I hope that mine will help at least some of you.

I've got all thee: Hashimoto, PCOS and depression. Funny bunch. None of them curable, but fortunately enough treatable. I'm not sure which came first, but I know that the depression was the last to join.The only treatment I'm taking is a hormone replacement therapy for the thyroid (levotyroxine 100mg). I categorically refused to be put on a pill, even though bunch of doctors recommended it. In my opinion they were just lazy! As I have regular cycles, I saw no point in taking hormones to regulate my periods. I was fortunate enough (so far) not to have irregular periods, but I do have pretty much all other symptoms. I won’t list them all, you’re already familiar with them, just the few that bother me a lot with a short description of how I try to fight them on daily basis:

- hirsuitism (tried only several removal techniques; laser epilation gave satisfactory, though NOT permanent, results)
- mild skin problems (tried mostly commercial products)
- hair thinning and falling out (hair supplements, olive oil + castor oil homemade masks, massage; I got it cut rather short recently to strengthen the roots and hope to see good results in a few month time)
- water retention, constipation, bloating, weight gain (specific diet and exercise)
- depression (tough to deal with, messes up all other efforts to stay in control; I don’t take any therapy for it)
Specific diet and exercise. Before this depression (I do ONLY what I must otherwise I prefer to be left alone) kicked in, along with general loss of energy I was able to control the above symptoms by watching what I eat and exercising (pilates, yoga, riding a bike – no heavy aerobic/cardio activities). It worked for almost all the above, apart from the hirsuitism.
I’m a pesco-vegeterian (fruit, vegetables, seafood – YES but NO meat, poultry, dairy products; decided to leave them out not just because of the FAT but because of the HORMONES they contain; even when they are organic they do have them naturally). I try to avoid eating processed foods with high level of carbohydrates.
The insulin resistance is the underlying cause for the PCOS. In order to keep insulin in balance, I try to limit myself to foods with low Glycemic Index (there are GI lists posted online) and avoid those that provoke high secretion of insulin (basically everything that has “comfort food” label attached to it – important problem for states of depression and anxiety).
Whenever I succeed in following this regimen I immediately see results. The same goes in the opposite direction. Whenever I find it hard to stay in control I pay the price quickly. I suppose that in my case depression came as a consequence of low thyroid hormone levels and general hormonal imbalance due to the PCOS. Sometimes I think that only KNOWING that you are limited FOR LIFE in certain aspects can be a reason enough to feel low…
As for the Hashimoto, I haven’t got a clue what caused it. I do have genetic predisposition and I was, and still am living in stressful conditions.
The trouble with all autoimmune diseases (Hashimoto is AU, Insulin resistance can be) is that it clearly says that our immune system is prone to getting “confused” and attacking itself. Once it starts somewhere it can start attacking other tissues as well. All this just to draw your attention to ADRENAL GLANDS. Sometimes our body starts producing antibodies to adrenal gland tissue, resulting in adrenal insufficiency. It seriously messes the metabolism and leads to depression.
I haven’t checked the adrenal glands yet. But I’ll do it sometime.
Doing regular check-ups is of vital importance to know where we stand, hormonally speaking. Most of the doctors check the TSH levels, BUT the hormone I take (and most Hashimoto sufferers as well) is the inactive form of the thyroid hormone T4 that has to be TRANSFORMED in the body into an active one T3 (the thyroid secrets directly only about 20% of the T3, while the rest 80% is made out of T4). TSH reacts only to the levels of the inactive hormone, which basically means that if you don’t check the levels of T3 and T4 too, you can’t really know if the body is getting what it needs. In other words, you can be taking your hormonal therapy and keep getting good TSH results without feeling better IF there’s something wrong with the conversion from T4 to T3.
Sorry for babbling too long, I just wanted share certain facts that doctors sometimes fail to mention or check.
Thank you once again and Good luck!

1398586 tn?1370593158
First of all, sorry to hear about what you're going through.

I also have hashimoto's and PCOS, with a retroverted uterus on top of that.
Like you, I have had depression, bad skin, weight gain, muscle and joint aches, excess weight and anxiety attacks.

My doctor prescribed an antibiotic that is taken twice daily to resolve my skin issues and it has worked a treat - No oil and not a spot in sight. I don't think my skin has EVER been this good!
As for the depression, it is commonly linked to Hashimoto's and I've also read that women with PCOS are more likely to have thyroid problems.
I'm currently taking anti-depressants (which also help anxiety) however my doctor has advised me that once the Thyroxine tablets take effect, the symptoms should slowly subside so hopefully the depression will fade along with the other symptoms.

Muscle pain and weight gain are other textbook symptoms and are said to be reduced with the correct dose of hormone replacement.

Good luck :)
Avatar universal
I am 30 years old and I just found out that I might have Hashimotos.  I dont have depression but I do have PCOS.  I am also a pesco-vegetarian!  I have been put on a low-glycemic diet and am really sticking to it!  I have also reduced my caloric intake to nearly half what it used to be and with no weight loss at all.  IT *****.  I was also diagnosed Vitamin D deficient which I know is linked to insuline resistance and PCOS.  I am getting ready to go to another blood test to confirm the Hashimotos.  After which they are going to scan my thyroid for a node.  (there wont be one - all the women on my mother side of the family have thyroid issues)  That being said - if I have to go on the thyroid hormone replacement drugs - what can I expect?  Does it really help?  Will i be able to start loosing weight again!?  I've had PCOS for quiet some time now but just developed the Hashimotos so Im a little confused and scared about what it means.  Any suggestions?  Also has taken a DHEA and Vitamin D suppliment instead of the Thyroid hormone replacement drug help anyone?

Thanks in advance for any feedback
Avatar universal
I am sailing in the same boat as you...was informed by the doctor that I am a prediabetic. Sounds scary, but can managed.

Trust me, start exercising right now..and I mean right now! Join a group class, meet new friends who are trying to lose weight. It really helps. I can't explain how good I feel after exercising. Mood swings and anxiety all go away whilst I exercise.

Also, find a good diet plan for yourself and follow it through. I have had a real problem doing that, but I know that I must do it now!

Hope my advice works for you and you get better soon.
Avatar universal
Reading your stories brings tears to my eyes! I've been feeling all alone in my battle as my family doesn't understand and treats me as if I'm just lazy. Im 34 & have Hashimotos, PCOS, fibromyalgia, am hypoglycemic, have degenerative disk disease in 6 of my neck vertebrae, had low back surgery eight years ago. I get  my period every month but it's really light and only lasts a cpl days. I desperately want to have a baby but can't get prego. With all the conditions combined I'm unable to hold a job and have been denied twice for dissability. I have to shave my face daily due to hirsutism, am balding, & am constantly batteling extreme fatigue and aches. My parents treat it like its all an excuse to not have to visit with or talk to them which doesn't help. I found a dr that says if I follow the paleo diet (only meat, fish, fruit, vegies and nuts)it will all correct itself so I've been gluten free for eight days now and gonna be eliminating dairy next. Baby steps. I'm not happy to hear that others are suffering but happy to hear I'm not all alone. Thankyou for your posts
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