Could your Depression have a medical cause?

Posted on: 28th September 2018

Often there’s no single cause of depression. It can occur for a variety of reasons and it has many different triggers. The NHS notes that stressful life events such as bereavement, divorce, financial worries or redundancy can often be triggers however it is possible that an underlying medical problem is the cause of depression. Thyroid hormones T4 and T3 govern our body’s metabolism and energy production. Without adequate levels of thyroid hormones and their proper utilization at a cellular level, symptoms such as depression, anxiety, mood swings, brain fog and poor concentration become increasingly prevalent. People who have had a head injury or who have coronary heart disease or cancer carry a higher risk of suffering from depression. Sometimes depression from a medical disorder can be very insidious – none more so than hypothyroidism, which is underactivity of the thyroid gland. This is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones or thyroid hormones are not being used efficiently at a cellular level. Subclinical hypothyroidism is defined as low thyroid function that goes undiagnosed because it is below the surface of clinical detection, or has no recognizable clinical findings. Subclinical hypothyroidism is defined as a condition without typical symptoms of hypothyroidism, elevated TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) and normal circulating thyroid hormone. People with hypothyroidism may experience any or all of the following symptoms, but may often be misdiagnosed because of a single blood test: constant fatigue, difficulty losing weight, constipation, coarse hair, dry skin, cold intolerance, muscle pain, cramp, memory loss, irritability, and abnormal menstrual cycles. If you think you may have hypothyroidism then do ask your GP for full TFT testing (Thyroid Function Tests).This should include the following components recommended by Thyroid UK. Some NHS labs do not perform full TFT testing to include T3 and Reverse T3 and vitamins, as a result of cutbacks, even when it is requested by a GP, so you may wish to get your bloods done privately, either by pin prick or blood drawing, via Medichecks or other companies listed on the Thyroid UK website. The Thyroid UK site also contains much useful information on thyroid disease, testing and also gene testing. If you have depression which you think may be caused by a medical condition and would like therapy, then please do get in touch.