THE HEART OF THE MATTER
a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA) 

Week: 617.2

Guest: Dr. Jack Baskin, President, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Orlando, FL

Topic: Thyroid problems and depression

Host/Producer: Steve Girard

NEMA: Thyroid hormone controls the metabolism of all our cells, and those of us who don't produce enough can feel tired and listless...but endocrinologist Dr. Jack Baskin wants you to know low thyroid can result in depression...

BASKIN: Well, it's a connection we've realized for years...and one of the things our organization, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists wants to emphasize is that thyroid problems frequently present as depression.

Depression is a symptom, just like fever is a symptom, and there are various causes for depression. Now, some of these causes should be treated with antidepressants. Others might be better to try to find a cause for the depression, and treat that. And because people who are low thyroid frequently have depression....oftentimes it's their primary complaint....it's something that needs to be thought about, and easily ruled out with a simple blood test...perhaps before putting patients on long term anti-depressant medications.

It would be much easier to correct a patient's thyroid condition than it would be to put a person on a chemical that would change them.

NEMA: The good news is that low thyroid is easily treated, and if it is the cause of your depression, you may avoid having to take anti-depressants. Talk with your doctor. I'm Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.