Hashimotos Disease / thyroid and anxiety

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by scott14, Jan 23, 2007.

  1. scott14

    scott14 New Member

    I know there have been some postings about Hashimotos disease and thryroid problems. I thought I would send out another post on this topic due to my current condition and wondering if anyone has experience or knowledge regarding it which might help me.

    Does anyone out there know if Hashimotos can typically cause extreme anxiety (and depression)? (my thyroid tests run more towards the hypothyroid end of the spectrum than the hyper end).

    As background: I quit Paxil about 6 months ago or so after being on it for many years. Shortly after, I experienced severe depression (may be to be expected). But then out of nowhere about 2 months ago I was hit with extreme anxiety, which still continues on top of heavy depression and fatigue). I am trying to keep it under control with drugs through a psychiatrist (Seroquel and Prozac).

    However, I have also tested positive for Hashimotos disease at the thyroid.

    Has anyone else out there experienced intense anxiety (and depression) while also having Hashimotos, or know of some sort of linkage between the two?

    So, can Hashimotos cause intense anxiety and depression is my big question?

    If so, how should it be treated? (I don't know if even the endocrinologists know the answer to this with CFS/FMS).

    Does taking medications like Seroquel and Prozac to control the anxiety/depression make sense under these conditions, or am I be just making things worse long term?

    I have also lost a great deal of weight, as well as experiencing heavy autonomic system disruption, particularly coldness and low body temperature.

    If anyone could shed any light or personal experience on this, it would be very helpful, and, of course, greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, all.
  2. scott14

    scott14 New Member

    Thanks, froggyfog, for looking that up and responding to me.

    I am, however, confused by what you say at the end, about there being too much Thyroid hormone with Hashimotos. Reason I ask is that I that I have been told that Hashimotos typically leads to and is a precursor to hypothyroidism, which I would think is not enough thyroid hormone. Plus, my lab tests support this by coming in as relatively hypothyroid.

    Any further clarification you might have which could shed further light on this?

    Thanks again,
  3. mujuer

    mujuer New Member

    Been there, done that. I can't tell you though which was the egg or which was the chicken. I had horrible panic attacks after an assault in '94. I was on Trazadone up until four months ago. It was wonderful for panic attacks. Four years ago, I was diagnosed with hypothyroid and already had a goiter so I don't know when the thyroid problem really started. I know that I had symptoms for a long long time. After changing dr.s and complaining of being cold all of the time she sent me to an endocrinologist who found the problem. I have been on synthroid ever since and have kept the goiter from growing and the side effects are way down. I don't have anymore problems with anxiety either. Of course I was somewhat anxious going off of the anxiety meds and it took awhile to adjust without them but I did. Good luck, I know how horrible it is to live with anxiety attacks.
  4. grace54

    grace54 New Member

    I also have Hashimotos and yes it can affect your entire system. You didn't say what your numbers were as far as tsh-free t-3 free t-4. One needs to know these numbers so they can treat it if necessary. Generally speaking one will gain weight if hypo. It has been found that some with fibro/fatigue have a problem converting t-4 to t-3 so we have a double whammy to deal with.

    I gained a lot of weight when my thyroid quit on me and lost it when I got treatment with meds. Auto-immune disease complicates so many areas of our life. My DR's tell me they don't know all the complicatios that it causes. Sometimes I wonder if my Hashi's is the underlying cause of my fibro symptoms. A good DR should be able to help you, but I would want to get my numbers in the normal range as a first step. Good luck my friend
  5. pw7575

    pw7575 New Member

    I have been reading about thyroid problems lately as I am wondering if I have one. I have read that hashimotos can cause panic and anxiety. Also I was watching a make over type show today and the lady getting made over happened to mention that she has hashimotos and it caused her to get severe panic attacks and anxiety.

    Not sure what you would do to treat that...Sorry! I just wanted to let you know that yes it can cause that.

    Hope you find some answers.

    Take Care,
  6. greeneyeslk

    greeneyeslk New Member

    I have FM/CFS and was diagnosed with Hashimotos by my FFC MD last year. I have extreme trouble with anxiety. In fact, I started having anxiety problems at the same time I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism which seemed odd since I wasn't hyperthyroid which is more known to cause the anxiety. I had been on a rollercoaster of taking thyroid and having to come off of it due to it making my anxiety worse. Then I went to FFC doctor and currently take Synthroid (for my T4) and a compounded version of T3. The compounded version of T3 seems to work better than the Armour Thyroid that I was taking off and on previously. My doctor wants to increase my T3, but I am reluctant due to the anxiety. I take Xanex .25 mg 2 to 4 times per day as needed for the anxiety. The Xanex has worked quite well for me, but alot of doctors won't prescribe it long term. My FCC doctor has been supportive in prescribing the Xanex for me. As for the depression I take 5 HTP 50 mg. 3 x day as it also helps with sleep. I try to lean toward the natural approach and the only RX I take for my FM/CFS is Xanex. Just a warning though that you cannot be on any prescription anti-depressants while taking 5 HTP. I have heard that Prozac can cause an stimulant effect which could be possibly increasing your anxiety. Maybe you should talk to your doctor about taking something different for your anxiety. I know that some people take Xanex and other anti-anxiety drugs along with their anti-depressants. I understand how frustrating this is as I have been dealing with the thyroid issue for 8 years now. It is kind of a double edge sword in that you need extra thyroid, but it also can increase anxiety.
    Good luck and I hope that you can find a medication/supplement that will help you.
    [This Message was Edited on 01/24/2007]
  7. fibro-chick

    fibro-chick New Member

    what are the symptoms of hashiamotos disease?
  8. Hope4Sofia

    Hope4Sofia New Member

    Hi Scott,

    I was recently in to see my Psych for a med check. I am taking Cymbalta for severe anxiety.

    We discussed my symptoms and she made it very clear that I needed to continue my testing and treatment with the endocrinologist before we made any more decisions regarding med changes. I agree with her.

    Have you checked your adrenal glands as well? I'm curious because of the weight loss you mentioned.

    I was just in to see the endo today and she mentioned the possibility of Adrenal problems as well as Hashimotos.

    I hope you find help soon. I know how very discouraging it is trying to figure this monster out. I do think treating your Hashi's may help you.


  9. grace54

    grace54 New Member

    I know that some psychiatrists prescribe T-3 to their patients for depression so the right script could help the thyroid and depression/anxiety. I have been taking a slow release t-3 from a compounding pharmacy but as yet after 6 months have not seen any improvement but some see a positive change in a short time.
  10. scott14

    scott14 New Member

    Thanks, everyone, for your helpful responses on this.

    What makes this even more puzzling and difficult is that although my thyroid readings have bounced back and forth between hypothyroid to close to hypo but in the normal range, I do not demonstrate some of the characteristics of hypothyroidism, and in particular, I am losing a lot of weight instead of gaining. Rather than suffering classic panic attacks, it's more like my system is completely flooded with adrenaline most of the time, and I can barely sit still or sleep. Would Hashi's or hypothyr. cause that?

    As a result of these contradictory signs and symptoms, I am hesitant to take thyroid medication for fear of it exacerbating the on-going anxiety/adrenaline rush (which is virtually unbearable at the moment). Plus, I just started the Prozac (and Seroquel) and I'm afraid to add anything to this mix right away.

    Also, I agree with a couple of your responses regarding my adrenal glands. I would think if antibodies are attacking my thyroid, then they could be attacking my adrenals too. So, I guess I need to figure out now how to get that checked now (would that be an endocrinologist?).

    Thanks again, and any further enlightenment based on my further questions and observations here would still be helpful.

  11. TKB

    TKB New Member

    My understanding is that Hashimoto's thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease where the thyroid attacks itself. My symptoms initially where an enlarged thyroid gland (goiter) that a doctor noticed at an office visit and I was so hyper I couldn't sit still, my heart was racing, etc. They treated me with a medication to "kill" part of my thyroid function, but frequently they can't tell how much medication to give to slow down the thyroid, and so they treated the hyperthyroidism, but caused hypothyroidism because my thyroid slowed down too much.

    I have been on thyroid replacement for about 25 years now.
    I don't think anxiety would normally be associated with hypothyroidism (because everything in your body slows down), but I have extreme anxiety and take a lot of meds for it, yet I am hypothyroid. I'm guessing there are other things going on causing the anxiety, but not my thyroid. I also take 2 adrenal hormones, Cortef (cortisone) and florinef (to raise my very low BP).

    I have seen endocrinologists, neurologists, cardiologists, etc. and none of them seem to be able to answer my questions. I just had a heart rate variability analysis test (a rare test) and it confirmed my orthostatic intolerance/insufficiency; had a cardiac impedance test that showed low cardiac output; sleep study that showed no stage 3 or 4 sleep (deep sleep). All these tests confirm that I have multiple problems, yet no one knows how fix the problems!

    My nervous system feels as if it is always "stuck on" and I am anxious all the time, but better with Xanax, clonazepam, Lamictyl, etc. (all calm the nervous system).

    I still show high anti-TPO titers to confirm the Hashimoto's but don't know why I would be anxious if my thyroid is underactive?

    Too many questions without answers!

    Good Luck,
    [This Message was Edited on 01/25/2007]
  12. Debbie229

    Debbie229 New Member

    Hi Scott, I know this post may be a little late in comming. Sorry about that. I have had hashimotos and developed depression along with it. Had been taking lexapro for it but after a couple of years it didn't help and was changed to effexor. In speaking with both my endocrinologist and my gen. md both have stated to me that hashimotos plays a big part in depression.
  13. CanBrit

    CanBrit Member

    Many moons ago I used to suffer from severe panic attacks. My daughter (now 30) also suffers from them and she has found that Paxil works the best for her in controlling her attacks.

    Now I take Zoloft for depression. I have Hashimoto's along with CF/FMS. For me I think the depression comes from having to try to cope with these illnesses. I was diagnosed with FM first, then Hashimoto's, then CFS. My Hashimoto's was started by a virus (that also kicked of the FM)

    I know that some people with Hashimoto's become hyperthyroid before they become hypothyroid. I have extremely low temperature (usually in the 96 range) Menopause helps with not feeling too cold!!!

    I guess I'm saying that it's possible that, in your case, they're not related. Prozac's side effects include weightloss and anxiety. You may want to look up all the side effects associated with this drug.

    All the best,


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