Thyroid and Post-Partum Depression: Why it’s super overlooked, and how diagnosis and treatment of your thyroid can save you from post-partum depression.
Many people don’t know what the thyroid gland is, and it is super important. It is a butterfly (cute!) shaped gland in your neck, and acts like the sun of your body. It is responsible for metabolism, heart rate, body temperature, and making sure cells go at the pace they are supposed to. It regulates countless bodily functions and also plays a role on growth and development.
Symptoms of thyroid disorders vary if it’s being overactive, or more commonly, especially in post-partum, under-active. Overactive hyperthyroidism can cause you to feel anxious, fatigue, or jittery, have insomnia, have a racing heart, and can cause diarrhea. Think of the sun begin too strong, frying things out. With under-active hypothyroidism, you can feel sad, fatigue, sluggish, can’t lose weight, dry skin, and constipated – like the sun is being blocked. If it is underactive is impacts serotonin levels amongst other neurotransmitters, which can often be mistaken for depression, and for those who are post-partum can be mistaken for post-partum mood disorders.
Hmmm… sluggish, can’t lose weight, anxiety, jittery and sadness? Sounds a lot like anxiety and or depression to me!
Thyroid problems can start in pregnancy but often start post-partum if you have never had issues with thyroid before. Why? Well it can be for a multitude of reasons, which can be determined by your provider. But, it is often overlooked because early motherhood (motherhood in general) is so exhausting and women often don’t check in or know what to look for. Also, many providers are often chalking up any perinatal mood disorder to be just that, without taking hormones, neurotransmitter, or nutrient status into consideration, which is super important for getting to the bottom of how you are feeling.
Dr. Noe King