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Bipolar Disorder Caused by Hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism is a condition which causes the thyroid to produce excess hormones. This overproduction of hormones causes many hyperthyroid patients to suffer concurrent mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. It has been well established that the thyroid affects mood, and a link between hyperthyroidism and mania has been posited by some evidence.

It has also been suggested that the thyroid condition could be responsible for bipolar disorder, though more research needs to be done in this area. Unlike with other comorbid psychological conditions, when thyroid production has been stabilized, individuals who suffer from bipolar continue to have this psychological condition. This is unusual because hyperthyroid patients who suffer from depression or anxiety tend to experience a reduction of mental symptoms that correlates to the alleviation of physical symptoms. So why do so many more hyperthyroidism patients suffer from bipolar than people with regularly functioning thyroid glands?

New research, however, suggests a strong connection between asthma, hyperthyroidism and bipolar disorder. Li-Yu Hu of the Department of Psychiatry at Yuli Veterans Hospital in Taiwan conducted a study of over 42,00 Taiwanese residents, about half of whom had a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism. These people were far more likely to have bipolar than those without hyperthyroidism. The study lead Hu to believe that inflammation that was actually caused by asthma is linked to bipolar through immune activation. Existing research has already shown asthma to be a risk factor for mental health problems. Women who suffer from hyperthyroidism are particularly vulnerable to mood problems, particularly bipolar, since the production of estrogen is an increased metabolic liability. Alcohol use disorders may also be linked to thyroid overproduction. Although Hu’s study did not pinpoint a specific reason for the increased prevalence of bipolar disorder among hyperthyroidism patients, it does show that “more attention should be focused on female patients, patients with alcohol use disorders, and those with asthma following a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism.”

Read the entire article here: Is Hyperthyroidism a Cause of Bipolar?