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Diagnosing hypothyroidism's link to depression

January 11, 2019 - 3:00 am
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KYW’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland, is a relatively common problem. 

The first step to feeling better is getting it diagnosed, because if you have hypothyroidism, you can control your condition with medication. Untreated, an underactive thyroid can have numerous negative effects, including fatigue and cold intolerance.

Although experts don't fully understand why, thyroid disorders and depression are linked. People who have an underactive thyroid are more likely to have depressive symptoms than those who don't. 

There are other issues: Untreated hypothyroidism can affect a woman’s fertility, and women with untreated or poorly controlled hypothyroidism who become pregnant are at greater risk for complications.