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Re: Lithium ed_uk

Posted by barbaracat on March 23, 2005, at 11:59:17

In reply to Re: Lithium barbaracat, posted by ed_uk on March 23, 2005, at 6:32:44

> In the European ICD-10 we just call it bipolar affective disorder, there is no I or II :-)

**I think we're up to Bipolar V in the US. Seems like splitting hairs but it does seem useful to distinguish cases that of mania that were brought on primarily by SSRIs (I think that's BP-IV) from genetic or other biochemistry.

> >my thyroid has a hard time remaining stable...
> I wonder if a dose reduction would help this? - Especially since your level is only 0.3. Has your thyroid condition become easier to manage when you've reduced the dose previously?

**I'm not sure about 'easier to manage' but my TSH is affected by lowering/increasing the dose. At this point, I assume that my thyroid is toast anyway, has been problematic for a long time. Reducing or eliminating lithium is not going to restore healthy thyroid function and I'm resigned to needing thyroid hormone forever.

What is interesting is that I had some tests done late last year and earlier in this year that showed my TSH to be hovering around 8.0 and my reproductive hormones to be almost nil. I was seeing a clueless 'holistic' doctor who basically took tests but did nothing about them. I hit a wall of stressful events early February and crashed and had to be hospitalized for 10 days in the psych unit.

Since then, I've seen a very savvy OB/GYN who specializes in hormones and has increased my thyroid and changed it from the natural one I was taking to Synthroid and Cytomel. I resisted because I was brainwashed on the 'natural is better', but the synthetic T4/T3 is more consistent with less jaggy T3/T2 spiking.

She's put me on SUBLINGUAL bioidentical sex hormones and it has made all the difference. I had been on bioidentical hormones all the time but they were apparently not being adequately absorbed (transdermally). She said my cortisol levels were quite low indicating my adrenal function was exhausted.

This hormonal support has been crucial to all the other things working and getting in sync. My digestion and elimination has improved (thyroid). My fibromyalgia symptoms (fatigue, muscle pain, insomnia) have cleared up (fibro symptoms are EXACTLY the same as hypothyroid symptoms and some schools of thought believe it's an malfunction in cellular mitochondria and an inability to uptake T3). Thyroid has been the big player, but the total endocrine hormonal balance is necessary and all interrelated. Menopause can be a bitch, but doesn't have to be. And it doesn't matter what age or sex you are. Hormonal imbalance happens.

My new doc said "I can't believe you're up and walking about with levels like these". No wonder everything was so difficult. I was depleted. I try to stress on this board how important it is to get a baseline full hormone panel and go from there. So few doctors test for this - a thyroid panel is about as far as they go and you're lucky if you get that. Vitamin D deficienty is another one that's receiving alot of attention for mood disorders. I'm awaiting my prescription for high dose Vitamin D and looking forward to seeing how it goes.

So once my cellular sparkplugs are firing like they should and my energy and stamina and ability to manage stress are in good shape, I may be able to reduce the lithium. Lithium augments the other neurotransmitters and smooths electrical impulses - but so do the endocrine hormones! Lithium may have been keeping me together while my other hormones were non-functioning.

Why all the hormonal malfunction is what I ask myself and what to do about it. Stress, of course, early life stress damage to the HPA-axis. So that's my focus now - what heals, supports limbic structures. Can the hippocampus be regenerated? Is that really the problem?

> >Are you a health professional?
> No, I'm a pharmacy student atm.
> >a fellow sufferer...
> Yes: anxiety, OCD, depression etc.
**Pharmacy - how interesting! Right there on the cutting edge of new developments. It's poignant how so many of us are in these specialized fields because of the need to understand our own condition. I go to the my pharmacies and usually look into the eyes of the pharmacist and sure enough, I recognize someone who's been through it.

If you don't mind my asking, is there anything that's helping you with your symptoms? I realize that that combo of OCD, anxiety and depression are tricky to manage. How are you doing with it? - Barbara




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