Functional Medicine Toronto Therapies: How Targeting Thyroid Issues Could Lessen Depression

functional medicine toronto depression

Did you know that you could treat thyroid issues with functional medicine from Toronto? In fact, thyroid treatments might even assist in improving mental health. We explained how the thyroid’s role is to secrete hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones have a wide range of jobs to fulfill, such as regulating metabolism, influencing brain development, optimizing fertility, and other bodily functions.

But when your thyroid becomes compromised – by releasing not enough or excessive amounts of hormones – this could trigger an unbalance in the body, setting off unwanted individual symptoms like memory issues, unexplained weight gain or weight loss, infertility and excessive fatigue. As discussed in our previous blog post, toxins affect your thyroid health as well, and how functional medicine may help.

Now what’s astonishing is that thyroid health is connected to mental health! According to the Thyroid Foundation of Canada, “depression may be the first sign of an overactive or underactive thyroid.” Unfortunately, some healthcare providers attempt to tackle the depressive state first without considering the thyroid.

So what’s the link between your thyroid and depression? Here, we briefly explain thyroid functions, how your thyroid affects mental health, and how to visit the Toronto Functional Medicine for clinical care.

Understanding Thyroid Health: The Functional Medicine Approach

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland. Though small in size, it provides several functions!

There is a hormone called TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) that helps to release two thyroid-related hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). When they work together, T3 and T4 help with regulating your heart function, metabolism, body temperature, and additional bodily functions. The thyroid hormones work like this in the body:

  • The hypothalamus secretes TRH (thyroid-releasing hormone).
  • Then it stimulates the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) to be secreted by the pituitary gland.
  • As a result, T3 and T4 are created in the thyroid and then released into the blood.

This process operates like a “loop”. When these thyroid hormones increase, TRH and TSH secretions come to a halt. But when there’s a reduction in T3 and T4, this process “loops” around again. If your hypothalamus, thyroid and pituitary gland are compromised you could have an unequal amount of T4 and T3. Accordingly, weakness, sleep issues, unexplained weight loss or weight gain, or even the onset of chronic conditions could be triggered.

Knowing that now, what is the connection between depression and thyroid health?

What Depression Has Got to Do With Your Thyroid

A paper from the Journal of Thyroid Research explains, “Patients with thyroid disorders are more prone to develop depressive symptoms and conversely depression may be accompanied by various subtle thyroid abnormalities.”

Those with depression tend to have faulty hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axes. (The HPT and HPA are two axes that regulate pathways for thyroid hormones.) One study noted that outpatients with major depression had marginally excessive TSH levels.

When treating depression, consider opting for patient-centered care that reflects on both your emotions and the state of your body systems. That said, a functional medicine practitioner should analyze thyroid-related lab tests, as depression could be a symptom of hyper- or hypothyroidism.

At the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre, our healthcare providers would consider your individuality (lifestyle factors, environmental factors, genetics, nutritional deficiencies, etc.) and physiology to address depression. Functional medicine lab tests are part of our evidence-based approach to wellness, so we would suggest a thyroid panel to see if thyroid hormones are wonky. Based on these lab tests, we could build a comprehensive treatment plan to target both thyroid and depression with Western medicine or natural treatments.

Are you suffering from high stress levels, anxiety, and depression? The Toronto Functional Medicine Centre can support you with patient-centered care.  Our functional medicine approaches in treatment could provide you with chronic pain relief, an energy boost, improved sleep quality, and a fresh outlook on life.

Achieving Optimal Health at the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre

Our private practice is currently accepting new patients to access allopathic treatments and natural treatment options, as well as functional medicine testing.

At the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre, our integrative and functional medicine team embraces collaborative approaches to wellness. We celebrate individuality by treating each patient as a unique entity with a personalized approach. This allows us to enforce a valuable clinical experience and address health issues, such as hormonal health, brain function, oxidative stress, postmenopausal health, and chronic symptoms.

Customized treatment plans may include different modalities, including intravenous therapy, bio-identical hormone therapy for hormone imbalances, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Western medicine and naturopathic medicine.

How can integrative thyroid therapies lift your mood? Discover your potential at the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre. Click here to contact us for a session on functional medicine in Toronto.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.

References:

Brouwer, J. P., Appelhof, B. C., Hoogendijk, W. J. G., Huyser, J., Endert, E., Zuketto, C., Schene, A. H., Tijssen, J. G. P., Van Dyck, R., Wiersinga, W. M., & Fliers, E. (2005). Thyroid and adrenal axis in major depression: a controlled study in outpatients, European Journal of Endocrinology eur j endocrinol, 152(2), 185-191. Retrieved Jun 11, 2022, from https://eje.bioscientifica.com/view/journals/eje/152/2/1520185.xml

Depression and thyroid illness” by Lawrence C. Wood, MD, FACP, for the Thyroid Foundation of Canada, reviewed 2000, viewed on June 10, 2022. 

Atsushi Fukao, Junta Takamatsu, Takeshi Arishima, Mika Tanaka, Toshio Kawai, Yasuki Okamoto, Akira Miyauchi, Akihisa Imagawa, Graves’ disease and mental disorders, Journal of Clinical & Translational Endocrinology, Volume 19, 2020, 100207, ISSN 2214-6237, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcte.2019.100207.

Hage, Mirella P, and Sami T Azar. “The Link between Thyroid Function and Depression.” Journal of thyroid research vol. 2012 (2012): 590648. doi:10.1155/2012/590648

Helmreich DL, Parfitt DB, Lu XY, Akil H, Watson SJ. Relation between the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis during repeated stress. Neuroendocrinology. 2005 ;81(3):183-192. DOI: 10.1159/000087001. PMID: 16020927.

Jucevičiūtė, Neringa, Žilaitienė, Birutė, Aniulienė, Rosita and Vanagienė, Virginija. “The link between thyroid autoimmunity, depression and bipolar disorder” Open Medicine, vol. 14, no. 1, 2019, pp. 52-58. https://doi.org/10.1515/med-2019-0008

Marian, G et al. “Hyperthyroidism–cause of depression and psychosis: a case report.” Journal of medicine and life vol. 2,4 (2009): 440-2.