I am talking about emotional disturbances, mood swings and depression in women of all ages, but especially in peri-menopausal women.
To begin with, many times, the affected person feels guilty and it blames her depression or mood swings to her busy, stressed way of life and menopausal changes.
On other occasions, it is the own family and friends of the patient, who attribute her mood changes to her age, menopause-related changes or even "overstatements" about her depression or chronic fatigue symptoms.
Unfortunately, in too many cases, when these people come to the doctor, they may receive a similar response and get a symptomatic treatment for depression.
These drugs can indeed mitigate some of these alterations such as anxiety, although rarely solve the problem if there is an underlying disease causing this symptoms. In fact, some of these medications will even partially change the personality of the patient or the way the patient deals with her everyday problems.
Many times, these people can have an underlying thyroid disease, either undiagnosed, or incorrectly supervised.
In subclinical and overt hypothyroidism emotional alterations, depressive disorders and mood swings are relatively frequent. And sometimes, this can be the most remarkable symptom of the disease, hiding other symptoms of hypothyroidism.
It is not uncommon to find these patients taking chronic antidepressant and/or anxiolytic treatment., who have not been asked for a thyroid analytic which could point to the thyroid as the underlying cause.
We also find people who, although diagnosed with hypothyroidism, lack of a routine monitoring of the disease and TSH levels in order to regulate the hormone replacing treatment levels when needed.
Indeed, the requirements of thyroid hormone can vary depending on some physiological circumstances and particularly with hormonal changes in menopause, pregnancy or adolescence.
It is therefore highly recommended to maintain a regular monitoring of patients suffering from hypothyroidism to correct the thyroid hormone requirements along the different periods of the life of these patients.
Depression and emotional disturbances, along with other symptoms of hypothyroidism can lead the expert physician to the diagnosis of hypothyroidism as the underlying cause of depression.
Hormone replacement therapy will be able, in many cases, to correct these emotional disturbances with no need of antidepressant drugs.
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