Dr Hagmeyer Explains The Thyroid Connection To Depression

Thyroid Levels Depression and Your Serotonin Levels

Hi Im Dr Hagmeyer and one of the most commonly overlooked areas when we talk about thyroid function and performance is the role serotonin plays.

If you suffer with thyroid problems you might be all too familiar with anxiety and depression.

In fact the most common medication men and woman are put on after thyroid medication is an antidepressant or antianxiety medications.

I want to be very clear that these medication DON’T fix your problem, but rather serve as a band-aid and what you might not know, is that if you are taking antidepressants realize that none of the antidepressant medications actually raise the quantity of the neurotransmitter that the medication is targeting. They only allow the neurotransmitter to remain in the synaptic cleft for a longer period of time.

Here is an illustration of what I’m talking about, you can see the Neurotransmitters (little yellow dots) and the synaptic cleft is the space between the nerves. Antidepressants only allow the Neurotransmitters to stay in this space longer. They have no effect on the quantity of Neurotransmitters produced by the nerve.

When a person has low thyroid hormones not just a low TSH but low T3 levels, low T4 levels, there are a number of things that happen

#1 The Serotonin receptor sites become less sensitive to Serotonin– meaning they don’t respond
#2 There is a decrease in the number of serotonin receptor sites- if there is less receptor sites, there is less places that serotonin can bind to and consequently lower serotonin levels. Also, less serotonin is then produced in the brain and in the other tissues of the body.


Studies show that if you continue to have low Thyroid levels year after year, permanent neuro degeneration of serotonergic neurons in the frontal cortex occurs (that’s your brain).

Some of the symptoms you might be experiencing indicating you have Neuro Degeneration of the Brain may include:

  • Feeling overwhelmed with ideas to manage,
  • Feeling of inner rage, feeling of paranoia not enjoying life,
  • Lack enthusiasm,
  • Loss of interest in friendships,
  • Feeling of  anger,
  • Difficulty falling into a restful state of sleep.

Again these are all classic Symptoms that the frontal cortex of your brain and the Serotonergic pathways are shutting down.

Traditional medicine typically prescribes SSRI for these kinds of symptoms- medications like Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexipro and too many others to list.

Here’s a study showing the effects of Low Thyroid or hypothyroidism on the Serotonin pathways of the brain.

If you do suffer from these symptoms, you are probably wondering is it too late?, and if not, what can be done to support my brain and consequently my thyroid.

#1 there are many natural compounds that can actually increase the quantity of serotonin. Remember medications can’t do this, they only keep the NT around in synaptic cleft for a longer period of time.

#2 Supporting NT and brain requires understanding what the nerve needs metabolically as well as neurologically.

 Some of the things that I consider include

  • Supporting circulation and blood flow to the brain
  • Supplements that will help with the uptake of NT into the synaptic cleft
  • Supporting amino acid precursors- certain amino acids such 5HTP, or SAMe can help increase the quantity of these Neurotransmitters
  • Nutritional cofactors that are needed to make the Neurotransmitter- things like B6,B12,magnesium, niacin
  • blood sugar stability
  • reducing Inflammation
  • supporting optimal Gut health

In closing today’s video, it is important to understand that every case of Thyroid disease is different.

1. We all have a different biochemistry, different genetic makeup, different genetic mutations of certain enzyme pathways, we eat a different diet etc. etc- so who ever you work with- needs to take this all into consideration.

2. Thyroid disease requires investigation- you cant think that you going to fix your problem with simply taking thyroid replacement. I don’t care if we are talking about synthetic or natural or compounded- This is an outdated approach going back to the 1950’s. The body is extremely complex and there are many aspects of health that go above and beyond medication that need to be taken into consideration

3. There is no cookie cutter approach that I would be able to suggest for you not knowing any of these areas of your health. So if you email, realize I am unable to offer any guidance in this area.

4. And lastly in some cases of Hypothyroidism, permanent neurodegeneration from years of mismanaged silent hypothyroidism is a possibility. So I hate to leave on a note like this so I am going to end today’s video by saying the sooner you start doing something the better.

5. I’m Dr Hagmeyer and I hope today’s video helps you really understand why addressing thyroid disease requires a doctor who is going to partner with you in your health journey.

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