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Can thyroid disease CAUSE bipolar disorder/mood swings?

Can thyroid disease/dysfunction CAUSE bipolar disorder/mood swings? Or is it just that a high percentage of people with bipolar depression have thyroid dysfunction of some kind?

I don't THINK that Bipolar can cause thyroid problems (unless being treated with Lithium), but can it happen the other way around?

I have just found out I have Bipolar II with mixed states, rapid cycling. I am also in the process of getting thyroid tests, no results yet. Wanted to know if a thyroid problem could be the blame and not my crazy brain.
Thanxs for listening and would appreciate any input. I don't know much about this yet. Thanxs,
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158939 tn?1274918797
I don't know which one is the chicken and which one is the egg. My daughter and sister were/are both diagnosed bipolar and their symptoms have decreased following thyroidectomies (for cancer/precancer) and synthroid treatment.  Not sure on my sister but I noticed personality problems with my daughter from birth (controlling, screaming all the time, inability to form friendships, destructive behavior, rapid cycling moods, etc.).  

My daughter had large nodules found with an ultrasound and because all of my sister's an I had our thyroids removed for cancer (only 1 precancerous), we elected to have hers removed too.  There were never indications of thyroid problems and we ran labs on her for months before the surgery - NEVER an abnormal thyroid reading.

My family has a history of both psychological disorders (schizophrenia, clinical depression, and bipolar) and thyroid disorders.  However, our thyroid disorders have been primarily cancer (mother has a goiter - probably  mostly cancer and sister had Hashimoto's along with her cancer).

There are links between all sorts of things associated with the thyroid.  Maybe someday they will find out some bipolar conditions may be an autoimmune response (like thyroid problems) but I don't even know if anyone is researching the link.

Do some research on bipolar disorder.  It's never fun to have an ominous label slapped on you without knowing everything involved.  

Now my motherly advice:  if you are anything like my daughter was, take a very deep breath, be calm, and focus.  You need to keep your thoughts from running away with you and from imagining the worst possible outcomes.  There is lots of support here!  No one is going to let you go through this alone.
Avatar universal
Thyroid conditioned can exasperate existing mental problems or even mimic mental illness.
Thyroid problem, both underactive and overactive, can cause mood swings.(OH Boy! can they!)  An overactive thyroid may exhibit marked anxiety and tension, emotional liability, impatience and irritability, distractible overactivity, exaggerated sensitivity to noise, and fluctuating depression with sadness and problems with sleep and the appetite. In extreme cases, they may appear schizophrenic, losing touch with reality and becoming delirious or hallucinating. However the most common effect of an overactive thyroid is anxiety.
An underactive thyroid can lead to progressive loss of interest and initiative, slowing of mental processes, poor memory for recent events, fading of the personality's color and vivacity, general intellectual deterioration, depression with a paranoid flavor, and eventually, if not checked, to dementia and permanent harmful effects on the brain. In instances of each condition, some persons have been wrongly diagnosed, hospitalized for months, and treated unsuccessfully for psychosis.
Among us who have Graves' Disease refer to "Graves' Rage",  committed acts that might seem violent or out of character
(OH Boy!). Screaming, throwing dishes, or assaulting someone.  "Graves' rage" is describe as inappropriate feelings of anger (OH Yes!), frequently followed by an impulsive destructive response to this anger (Not proud, but, OH  Yes!) The medical literature states that patients with Graves' disease are likely to experience emotional problems, including nervousness, irritability, anxiety, depression, and emotional liability, characterized by mood swings. Sudden crying for no apparent reason and overreacting are also common. (Yes! Yes! Yes! to all the above) Many patients report feeling edgy and irritable one minute, and normal the next. The literature also states that before hyperthyroidism was recognized as a disease, many patients with Graves' disease spent their days in asylums.

That is why I take Lorazepam when I feel the need coming on.
With time it gets better, I'm getting better, the ugly monster is slowly disappearing. :):):)

Good Luck.
Avatar universal
I was dx in May with Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism...there is no doubt in my mind that thyroid conditions can cause mood and mental problems.  I was experiencing symptoms of paranoia (and mood swings) for months until my meds brought my TSH levels down.  I now see how much I over-reacted to things in the past.  Now I am back to my normal self (I only take Synthroid).  I honestly thought I was going crazy and I didn't want to tell the doctor about it.  I was just hoping it was thyroid-related and would correct itself w/ meds.  It did.
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I have a daughter, 10 years, diagnosed with hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's) and on Synthroid for weeks. She is having dizziness, at times headache too and mood swings. Her first test of TSH/FT3/FT4 has shown significant improvement but her problems are getting bit too much. How long will it take to become normal. At times I feel she was better without treatment.
Avatar universal
You are not going crazy, it could be the disease!
I lost 50 lbs with Hyper/Graves' and still losing up until RAI treatment.  Don't assume your thyroid condition (hypo/hyper) until you have Labs done again.  At times I get real bad symptoms to where I want to change meds dose, then Labs reflect normal.  On the other hand, when I am feeling good, Labs state levels out of Labs reference range. So I don't go by symptoms alone, but with a combo of  Labs and symptoms.  So go get Labs done and work from there.  All you might need, if  truly hypo, is thyroid hormone medication/or readjustment. If not, if it were me, I'd do RAI.  Heck! it was me! and I did RAI - it saved my life, and, its beautiful most of the time ;)

158939 tn?1274918797
I can't relate to everything you are saying but right now my TSH is 75.9 and
158939 tn?1274918797
I can't relate to everything you are saying but right now my TSH is 75.9 and I feel like I am LOSING MY MIND!  I cry, I scream, I want to sleep all the time, I'm hot then cold, I hurt, I'm tired, I can't sleep!  It's all the thyroid (for me).

Please consider the RAI, I'm going through it this week.

After successful thyroid surgeries two diagnosed "bipolars" in my family (sister and daughter) both had the majority of their symptoms go away!

As I'm sure you read in another post by GravesLady - before they diagnosed thryoid disorders they just stuck us in the funny farm.  Hang in there and get that RAI done ASAP!
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