Can lithium therapy cause hyperthyroidism?

By Edward Stampf Jr. from Greenwood, SC on January 09, 2006
Category: Lithium carbonate

I am not bipolar. I was misdiagnosed as being bipolar because my father was severly manic-depressive. I suffered with panic disorder for 25 years. When I became a patient of a new psychiatrist 6 years ago, he diagnosed me as bipolar and began a lithium regime.
I became much worse as the years went by and ultimately became agoraphobic. Now after a miserable existance for at least 5 years, I tapered off the lithium and for the past 6 months have taken 0mg per day.
I am now suffering numerous physical disorders. My feet are grossly swollen for the last 4 to 6 weeks. I began losing weight during this same time frame. I have lost 45 to 50 pounds and now weigh 133 lbs. I weighed 175 to 180 lbs only 6 months ago!
My heart rate(pulse) seldom if ever drops below 100. Most of the time my pulse is between 110 and 120 bpm.
Very recenctly I was diagnosed (after an ambulance trip to the ’ER’) as having an hyperactive thyroid gland.
All of the above problems began within a few months of being Li free.
I am quite sure that there is a distinct correlation between being off Li and all the ensueing physical disorders.
While I am a Ph.D chemist with a fundamental knowledge of brain chemistry, I am not a MD or Psychiatrist. I can only make an educated guess that the 2 are interelated.
Any information would be most appreciated and I hope any other readers will benefit from my dilemma and your information.
E.J. Stampf Jr. Ph.D
Submitted: 01/09/06

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