Are Thyroid and Endocrine Imbalances Causing Your Depression and Mood Swings?


Are Thyroid and Endocrine Imbalances Causing Your Depression and Mood Swings?  You  don’t just want a prescription, you want answers.  Is there a physical reason for this depression that makes you feel so bad?  Yes, in many cases there are physical underlying factors that are not adequately diagnosed by your doctor. They are too rushed and it is easier and less time-consuming to prescribe a drug, than find the ‘real’ problem. One important missed factor in depression and mood disorders  is thyroid and endocrine imbalances.  It may take a visit to a specialist or several to pinpoint the problem.  The more informed you are, the better off you are to get answers.

Thyroid and Endocrine Imbalances that Cause Depression and Mood Disorders:

The endocrine system is  important to the over-all working of the entire body including mental and mood stability.  The endocrine system consists of  a number small glands that have important functions including the thyroid, adrenal glands, hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal, ovaries, testes, Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas,and parathyroids glands.  These various glands and organs secret hormones that affect the whole body, but play an important role in mood and mental stability.   When these glands are imbalanced, they cause symptoms including foggy thinking, fatigue, weakness, depression, anxiety, depression, and mood swings.

The best doctor to evaluate your endocrine system is an Endocrinologist who specializes in endocrine imbalances.  Most of these specialists treat with standard medicine only but a few do have an open mind toward alternative therapies.   Ask questions about their experience  and beliefs.  A five-minute conversation with a few directed questions will tell you his view on alternative medicine.  Tell him you take herbs and watch the look on his face.  Then see if he gives you a lecture on how ineffective natural remedies are.   It doesn’t take long to flush out his views on the subject.  If he is dead set against natural therapies, you need to find a different doctor. If you don’t have that option, you can at least find out what is wrong. Whether you treat a health problem with standard or alternative medicine, it helps to know what organ or system is not working and why if possible.  You then can research the alternative medicine options yoursel, if he won’t give support the treatment you want.  Knowledge is power.

 Pituitary Gland Disorders:  The Pituitary glands are considered the master glands of the body.  The hormones these glands produce affect many functions in your body including secretion of adrenal and thyroid hormones. When your pituitary function is not functioning properly, it affects all the different glands and their health. Tumors both benign and cancerous are issues in pituitary diseases.

Adrenal Failure or disorder:  The symptoms of adrenal failure and depression are much the same:  fatigue and weakness, weight loss, muscle pain, and joint pain.   Naturally if you feel too tired to take part in life, you will feel depressed as well.  So depression may be due in part to frustration at feeling so bad or be mistaken for adrenal failure. Causes for adrenal gland failure include constant, severe stress; diseases of the adrenal glands; lack of sleep; illegal drugs; and  too much caffeine . There are tests that test adrenal function.  The problem is getting your doctor to take you seriously and order the tests. Then you often have to fight your insurance company to pay for them.  That is why adrenal failure often is never diagnosed properly.

Thyroid Imbalance:  The thyroid gland is one of the most important glands in the endocrine system. The thyroid secrets hormones that effect every cell and function of the body.  Thyroid hormones affect body temperature, immune function, the rate at which you use calories, skin condition, your hair condition, weight gain, where you gain weight, energy metabolism, and mental stability just to name a few.  Your thyroid can be hypo-active meaning it produces less hormone secretions than needed or it can produce too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism).  When you have  hypothyroidism you feel tired and weak; your brain doesn’t want to work; your hair may be dry and course; you are cold all the time; you may get sick often and stay sick; you gain weight even when you are eating properly; and overall your body is sluggish.  Women suffer from hypothyroidism more often than men.  It is often inherited from your mother’s side of the genetics. Your mother could have either been undiagnosed with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.  The imbalance in the gland can shift from one extreme to the other. Often in the past, people,  did not go to the doctor to get treatment.  Pregnancy is one cause that can impact thyroid health. These thyroid secretions also affect your moods and mental stability. If you surgically remove the thyroid gland without replacing its important  thyroid hormones, you will develop mental instability .  Often even a low normal thyroid production, can affect mood and stability.  Your low thyroid function may not be severe enough to treat according to your HMO doctor but is still affecting your body and symptoms of depression.  That is the problem with thyroid tests.  The tests  may show your blood has adequate thyroid hormone, but that does not mean your body and cells are using the thyroid hormone effectively.  It’s like a car that has a full gas tank but a bad carburetor.  The car may not run properly because the gas is not being used by the various engine parts efficiently. Thyroid tests do not show how your cells and organs are using the hormone. The tests are not advanced enough on a individual basis.  There is no test that is adequate for people with low normal thyroid function.  There have been several books written on the subject by doctors who are expert on this subject. Please review the books and links  listed at the bottom of this blog. You can read them through your local library. There are thousands of people whose thyroid function appears low normal on the tests, and so are not being treated.  Low-normal for them is causing symptoms. Your insurance company will not pay for these tests unless the doctor indicates they are needed.  Doctors do not take your symptoms seriously unless your lab test shows a moderate deficiency.  The tests are flawed in showing the true picture of your thyroid’s health and function. Research this subject further on the links included below. Holistic doctors look at history, symptoms, and other criteria not just test scores.  They study your skin, your hair, your eyes, your tongue, and other clues that show your body is not functioning properly.  They may try you on a dosage of Armour thyroid, despite lab results,  to see if your symptoms decrease with supplementation.

These are just three of the most important endocrine glands associated with depression and mood disorder symptoms.  An individual may have one or more imbalances in these all important glands.  These different endocrine glands work in harmony so that you have good mental and physical health.  Metabolic and nutritional imbalances should be ruled out before drugs are given.

Have a great week ahead.  We will be visiting San Diego for a week, so the next post won’t be published until after we get back home on September 10th.


References For Further Research and Study:

Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness, Broda Barnes,

Alternative Treatments for Hypothyroidism


Kate Freer
Master Herbalist and researcher since 1983. My husband and I live in Spring Valley, CA. We grow herbs, Moringa trees, and organic vegetables along with a flock of ducks and lop rabbits. I love writing and sharing knowledge about herbs and alternative medicine with my readers. I write for my business blog, Yahoo Voices, and now this new blog here. I look forward to this new writing opportunity.