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Thyroid cancer and depression

Hi Eveyone,
New to this forum stuff but I'm looking for help and answers anywhere I can get it. I was diagnosed with Papillary thyroid carcinoma in my early 20's and I'm male so I realize my situation was kinda unique to begin with. Over the years I've had an overall of 4 surgeries to completely remove thyroid and cancer as it grew back 2 more times after the original diagnosis around 2004-2005 I believe. I have read some of the other posts here and definitely agree and believe that it's true my depression/anxiety issues all started when I first had the thyroid problems and surgeries start. I do the usual which is see my endocrinologist every 6 months for ultrasound/bloodwork and test results and since the last surgery which was about 4-5 years ago(also had to have external beam radiation) my levels have been fine. I just turned 32 and I am currently having the worst time with my depression and anxiety to the point that I'm trying to take some time off work and apply for NJ disability because I haven't been able to go into work. Episodes of crying, extreme depression and all the thoughts that come with it, and it's so bad I just can't seem to make it through a normal day of work. Is it possible that this could be due to my thyroid issues? I take antidepressants and anxiety medicine both of which my Endocrinologist prescribes but haven't seen a psychiatrist in years because if I'm honest I'm not the biggest fan of them. Would anyone know if my Endocrinologist could fill out the disability forms for depression/anxiety issues and they would be accepted? He has been the physician seeing me and treating me for these issues. I'm just worried that with his title and my disability issues being depression/anxiety that I won't be approved and have no time to get my issues fixed or income for at the very least everyday bills. Obviously this adds to my anxiety so if anyone here can help in anyway that would be a big weight off my shoulders. Hope I gave all the right information and any help would be so appreciated. Thank you for listening
5 Responses
649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
The first thing we need you to do is post your most current thyroid hormone test results.  Be sure to include reference ranges, since those vary lab to lab and have to come from your own report.

Depression can be a symptom of hypothyroidism, but if it's a thyroid symptom it should be alleviated if your thyroid hormone med is properly adjusted.  Just having your hormone levels "somewhere in the range" is not good enough.  Many of us find that in order to feel best, we have to have FT4 at about mid range and FT3 in the upper half to upper third of its range.  If your levels are not adequate, symptoms will not be alleviated and for that reason, I think disability based on thyroid hormone inadequacy would be very hard to get.

We'll be able to tell more once we see your thyroid hormone levels.
Avatar universal
Hey Barb,
Thank you for responding. I believe these are the most recent lab results,


08/18/2014 T4, Total, Serum High Total T4: 18.0 ug/dL Final
08/18/2014 T4, Free, Serum High T4, Free: 2.03 NG/dL Final
08/18/2014 CMP, Serum or Plasma Glucose, Fasting: 88 mg/dL Final
Bun: 15 mg/dL Final
Creatinine: 0.90 mg/dL Final
Sodium: 140 mmol/L Final
Potassium: 3.9 mmol/L Final
Chloride: 103 mmol/L Final
Carbon Dioxide: 31.0 mmol/L Final
Anion Gap: 6.0 Final
Calcium: 9.2 mg/dL Final
Total Protein: 6.9 g/dL Final
Albumin: 4.0 g/dL Final
Total Bilirubin: 0.60 mg/dL Final
Alkaline Phosphatase: 50 U/L Final
Sgot (Ast): 14 U/L Final
Sgpt (Alt): 23 U/L Final
Glomerular Filtration Rate-calculated: >60 mL/min/1.73m^2 Final
08/18/2014 TSH, Serum Low Tsh: <0.005 uIU/mL Final
08/18/2014 CBC W/ Auto Diff White Blood Cells: 4.6 10^3/uL Final
Red Blood Cells: 4.48 10^6/uL Final
Hemoglobin: 13.8 g/dL Final
Hematocrit: 40.2 % Final
Platelet Count: 226 10^3/uL Final
Mcv: 89.7 fL Final
Mch: 30.8 pg Final
Mchc: 34.3 g/dL Final
Rdw: 12.6 % Final
Neutro-segs %: 67.4 % Final
Lymphocytes%: 21.7 % Final
Monocytes%: 8.3 % Final
Eosinophils %: 2.4 % Final
Basophils%: 0.2 %
                        08/18/2014 Thyroglobulin, Quantitative, Serum Low Thyroglobulin, Total: 1.0 NG/mL Final
Anti-thyroglobulin Antibody: < 20.0 IU/mL

Hope this makes any sense….

I worry about the disability not being approved because of his medical profession not necessarily because my hormone levels per say, as so much to the fact that he has been my treating physician and knows about how bad my depression/anxiety is. I want to see a psychiatrist but not only will it take a long time just get an appointment with one, they would still need time to evaluate me before they could approve me for disability. Everything has just been real bad for me lately and if I could just get a break without having to worry about being absolutely broke on top of already having the depression/anxiety flare up this bad would be a much needed help.
Again thank you again in advance for any and all help you can throw my way
649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
What thyroid replacement medication and dosage are you on?

The labs make perfect sense, thank you, but the only ones I really needed were the thyroid tests, which are the Free T4 and TSH.  Total T4 is obsolete.  I do need the reference range for the Free T4, though.

Your Free T4 shows to be high, which indicates that you're over medicated.  Over medication can cause depression and anxiety, just as under medication can.   But there doesn't seem to be a Free T3 test.  Free T3 is the thyroid hormone that is used by individual cells and correlates best with symptoms, so without that you don't know what's going on.  It's possible that you aren't converting the FT4 (storage hormone) to the usable FT3 and that adding a dose of T3 med would be beneficial.

It's normal for TSH to be suppressed following thyroidectomy for cancer, so that's a non-issue.

If you haven't had labs since August of 2014 and your FT4 was high at that time, you're way past due for new ones.  Be sure your endo orders and FT3, along with the FT4, TSH, Tg and TgAb.

I don't think it matters what kind of doctor fills out the paper work for disability.  My point was that thyroid related depression can be alleviated if the thyroid issue is treated properly; therefore, you would have a very difficult time obtaining disability based on a thyroid condition, no matter who fills out the paperwork, because your thyroid hormone levels do not appear to be optimal to start with.
Avatar universal
I take levothyroxine 250MCG everyday and I made the earliest appointment I could for my endo which isn't until Feb. 2nd unfortunately because he's currently on vacation. I do go this Monday for ultrasound and bloodwork
649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
Are you getting both, Free T4 and Free T3 tested?  You really need that Free T3 in order to be able to know if you're converting the Free T4 properly.

If you aren't familiar with how the thyroid hormones work in your body, I'll be glad to explain it to you.

Do post the new results when you get them and be sure to include the reference ranges, as those vary lab to lab and have to come from your own report.
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