Many symptoms of hypothyroidism can occur with disorders of other conditions – few symptoms are specific solely to the thyroid. This can make it challenging when treating hypothyroidism and can also give patients unrealistic expectations to the treatment of hypothyroidism. Levothyroxine is the main treatment for hypothyroidism and, indeed, most symptoms that are caused by hypothyroidism resolve once the thyroid hormone levels return to the normal range on levothyroxine. However, there are patients who still complain of some residual hypothyroid symptoms even after achieving normal thyroid hormone levels.
One such symptom is depression, as it is well known that some patients with hypothyroidism may experience depressive symptoms. Depression is more common in older adults in general and they are more prone to develop depression as the result of hypothyroidism. Prior studies have not shown a beneficial effect on mood after starting levothyroxine in depressed older individuals with subclinical hypothyroidism. The current study examined older hypothyroid patients with depressive symptoms who were already on levothyroxine. They examined the effect of increasing the levothyroxine dose on their depressed mood.
THE FULL ARTICLE TITLE
Moon JH et al 2020 Effect of increased levothyroxine dose on depressive mood in older adults undergoing thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Clin Endocrinol. Epub 2020 Apr 13. PMID: 32282957.
SUMMARY OF THE STUDY
This study was conducted in South Korea. A total of 30 hypothyroid patients (21 women and 9 men) were included in the study. Their average age was 74 year old. Their daily dose of levothyroxine ranged from 25 to 100 mcg (average 59 mcg).