I just want to rant about this, because I know that a lot of other people have a similar experience: doctors who are "slackers." They don't really read your chart. They don't take your symptoms seriously. They push pharmaceutical drugs at you or tell you that you worry too much instead of testing you for simple vitamin or mineral deficiencies -- which can cause SO MANY problems, corrected by a series of vitamin pills or amino acids, not expensive and potentially hurtful pharma drugs.
I will say that some people DO have serious problems and probably should take pharma drugs...but IMO they should be tested first for the usual comprehensive blood tests, as well as vitamin, mineral, and thyroid problems. If all those things are normal, then pharma should come into play. But so many doctors just jump into prescribing pharma because it's the easy way out. "Take some Prozac and stop worrying..." Uugh!!!!
I'm a 50-year-old woman with thyroid disease. I kept telling all my doctors that I just didn't feel right. I was depressed but SSRIs just didn't agree with me and I didn't want to take any more of them. I was just dealing with my mild chronic depression on a day-to-day basis "unmedicated". My body ached and I wasn't sleeping well. I was also twitching in my sleep.I was foggy-headed at times and had trouble concentrating and "finding the right words." I am very intelligent and used to be very mentally sharp. I felt like I was 50 going on 90.
I already knew that I had auto-immune thyroid disease and had been taking Synthoid for years; my TSH was stable between 1.0 and 2.0
But nobody ever tested me for B-12 deficiency. A simple checkbox on a lab slip, totally ignored.
Turns out, yes I am deficient in B-12. I might have been deficient for years and not known it. I have been suffering for years and simple vitamin pill could have helped me!
B-12 deficiency causes depression and a host of other problems. People with auto-immune thyroid disease are PRONE to B-12 deficiency, yet my Endocrinologist NEVER mentioned this to me and NEVER got me tested for it. None of my other doctors ever mentioned it to me. I found out about it myself and insisted on the test. I had to argue with my doctor that I should be tested for it!
I also took it upon myself to get sleep study done and was found to have moderate sleep apnea. Since starting CPAP therapy at night, the leg twitching has stopped. But I had to pursue the sleep study myself and convince my doctor to send me to the lab to get it done. She never even considered sleep apnea as a possible problem for me, even though I told her that I was tired all the time and wasn't sleeping well and twitching at night. And let me tell you, she is supposed to be a great doctor, affiliated with a very prestigious university!
I will give my endocrinologist credit for one thing: she told me that psych colleagues of hers recommend high-EPA fish oil as treatment for depression. I started taking this (the brand is Omega Brite) and within a few weeks I felt markedly better, although the depression wasn't totally gone. I started taking about 8 capsules per day and then after a few months reduced it to 4 capsules. You can find high-EPA fish oil in many health food stores; there are many good brands. Make sure it is molecularly distilled and pure. I get the Omega Brite brand online, but you can probably get good results with any good brand you find at a health food store (not the cheap stuff you find in drugstores, which is often useless).
Anyway, I've been taking sublingual methl-B-12 for a few days and my mood and concentration level are much better. I am beginning to feel like my old sharp self again.
So, this is a wake-up call to everyone: take charge of your own health! First and foremost, get tested for vitamin and mineral deficiencies. It is no skin off the doctor's nose to check an additional box on a lab slip. It could make all the difference for you and save you from needlessly taking pharma drugs that have nasty side effects.
Depression and some forms of mental illness are often due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, especially for people in alcohol or drug recovery (which isn't me....it's just something I learned in my research).
A good book to read is The Mood Cure. Lots of good info in there about vitamins and amino acids.
If you have depression or mood problems, get your thyroid tested (including thyroid antibodies). Also get your Vitamin D and Vitamin B-12 levels tested. Consider taking a high-EPA fish oil (if you get manic be careful not to take too much because apparently high-EPA fish oil can cause mania in some bipolar people). If none of that works, see a naturopath and ask about amino acid supplements.
Best of luck to everyone. Be your own health advocate!
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