View Full Version : Can a thyroid problem cause symptoms that meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD?


Pikachu
02-26-12, 05:18 PM
I'm talking all the symptoms of ADHD.

Here's the deal. I'm 21. Recently, I had a blood analysis and it showed that I have a little overactive thyroid. My doc said that it's probably nothing though. Anyway, I have a feeling that I may have had this overactive thyroid since I was a little kid, but I don't know for sure.

Lets just say that I have had a subclinical overactive thyroid since I was a toddler. What are the chances that this can cause an ADHD misdiagnosis because the overactive thyroid gland causes all the symptoms of ADHD?

FYI, this took me like 25 minutes to complete. Man, I get so caught with small details and planning difficulties.:(

TheChemicals
02-26-12, 05:58 PM
yes. I checked my thyroid before taking any medications for adhd. Thyroid problems can result in fatigue, severe procrastination, Brain fog, poor focus, and depression. Your primary care physician can check it out for you very quickly and with near certainty

trishcan
02-26-12, 06:19 PM
yes. I checked my thyroid before taking any medications for adhd. Thyroid problems can result in fatigue, severe procrastination, Brain fog, poor focus, and depression. Your primary care physician can check it out for you very quickly and with near certainty
What you describe is hypothyroidism, isn't it? I feel like hyperthyroidism could present with similar symptoms, but there would be numerous other physical symptoms that don't overlap with ADHD whatsoever.

bizarre101
02-26-12, 11:22 PM
What you describe is hypothyroidism, isn't it? I feel like hyperthyroidism could present with similar symptoms, but there would be numerous other physical symptoms that don't overlap with ADHD whatsoever.

i would appreciate if you could name a few...

(...just what you remember, no research or so...)

trishcan
02-26-12, 11:41 PM
i would appreciate if you could name a few...

(...just what you remember, no research or so...)
Well, according to some random search result on Google, the following:


Palpitations
Heat intolerance
Nervousness
Insomnia
Breathlessness
Increased bowel movements
Light or absent menstrual periods
Fatigue
Fast heart rate
Trembling hands
Weight loss
Muscle weakness
Warm moist skin
Hair loss
Staring gaze

None of that really sounds like ADHD to me.

bizarre101
02-27-12, 12:07 AM
Well, according to some random search result on Google, the following:


Palpitations
Heat intolerance
Nervousness
Insomnia
Breathlessness
Increased bowel movements
Light or absent menstrual periods
Fatigue
Fast heart rate
Trembling hands
Weight loss
Muscle weakness
Warm moist skin
Hair loss
Staring gaze

None of that really sounds like ADHD to me.

they sound a bit like the side effects some adhds get when on meds...?

none of them has to be present, when there is a thyroid problem..
none of them would rule out an adhd-diagnosis...

these are "thyroid"-symptoms which can occur, but they don't have to and some can be caused e.g. by iron-deficiency...

bizarre101
02-27-12, 12:12 AM
another question...

which symptoms does ADHD have, that are "exclusive" to it...

(means, they are MOSTLY not present in thyroid-conditions)


there must be more than to say:
"If you don't have hair loss, but concentration/motivation problems, then its adhd"

ADDisme2010
02-27-12, 02:24 AM
I also have an over-active thyroid (graves disease). Mine goes into remission at times, but has become active several times in the past few years. (Not subclinical...needing PTU or Methimazole to bring the TSH levels higher). I can tell you that my ADHD is MUCH worse when the thyroid levels are abnormal. I have a very difficult time concentrating, I am extremely hyper, my mouth has absolutely no filter as I am much more irritable, I get so unfocussed that I am unsafe (ex: getting lost driving in the car in my own neighborhood). The answer is yes an over active thyroid can worsen ADHD, and cause symptoms that mimic ADD. However, in my case...it is both, I had ADHD symptoms long before the Graves Disease presented itself. Other symptoms of an over-active thyroid can be:

Weight loss, sudden and without trying to lose weight. (ex: weight loss of 8 pounds in a week, without dieting)
Slight hand tremors
Hyperactive (can't sit still, like an energizer bunny at times)
Increase in anxiety levels
Elevated Blood Pressure and Heartrate (this is NOT always present, contrary to popular belief...in my case, my B/P is fine even when extremely overactive)
Skin problems (ezema, to breaking out in daily hives...skin is the largest organ and can often be a sign that the immune system is overactive and attacking the body.)
Hair loss
Excessive sweating
Slight or even absent menstrual cycle
Muscle weakness and being worn down (eventually) Climbing stairs becomes both a chore and Painful in the leg muscles.
Muscle wasting or loss, primarily in the upper thigh muscles, and biceps and triceps.

PS thyroid levels can change fairly quickly, and if a doc told me I was subclinical for overactive, I would be getting that TSH and Free T4 levels rechecked within the next two weeks (ps, I am also a nurse so I keep a close eye on my labs by having them checked every couple of months.)
Having had graves disease active severely now twice in the past few years, I'd much prefer to spend the money now to get checked than to have to go through being over-active and go on the medications (which by the way, have plenty of risks also)

Amtram
02-27-12, 11:46 AM
The thyroid problems that can exacerbate ADD or cause possibly ADD-like symptoms for the most part are the anxiety, hyperactivity/lethargy, and insomnia. Any of these, alone or in combination, can cause an inability to focus, a reluctance to start difficult tasks or complete tasks that have already been started, and negatively impact memory.

A doctor who is well-versed in ADD would most likely be able to tell from the absence of other ADD symptoms that some other condition was causing these. Thyroid imbalance can cause symptoms at very low levels, and treatment can lessen or eliminate most of them fairly quickly. Plus, the tests are simple and yield a result that's positive or negative for diagnosis.

These symptoms, when associated with ADD, cannot be tested for with anything that quantifies the cause, and will not necessarily respond to treatment with a medication for ADD.

JollyBadger
02-27-12, 12:50 PM
You didn't specify what types of thyroid problems - I was diagnosed with hypothyrodism from the time I was six months old and treated for it my whole life, but I also have ADD (inattentive) which I was not diagnosed with until my early thirties.

Pikachu
02-27-12, 04:00 PM
You didn't specify what types of thyroid problems - I was diagnosed with hypothyrodism from the time I was six months old and treated for it my whole life, but I also have ADD (inattentive) which I was not diagnosed with until my early thirties.

All the doctor told me was that my lab results indicated slight hyperthyroidism. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow to get my second lab results.

When me and my brother were kids, I was diagnosed with ADHD and he was diagnosed with a learning disability. I suspect that I may have had thyroid problems since I was a kid because my heart rate has always been fast and irregular. Even so, doctors said that I was healthy.

I just want to know if I did had a slight thyroid problem as a kid, which doctors chose not to treat, could that have cause an ADHD misdiagnosis?

Pikachu
02-27-12, 04:10 PM
I also have an over-active thyroid (graves disease). Mine goes into remission at times, but has become active several times in the past few years. (Not subclinical...needing PTU or Methimazole to bring the TSH levels higher). I can tell you that my ADHD is MUCH worse when the thyroid levels are abnormal. I have a very difficult time concentrating, I am extremely hyper, my mouth has absolutely no filter as I am much more irritable, I get so unfocussed that I am unsafe (ex: getting lost driving in the car in my own neighborhood). The answer is yes an over active thyroid can worsen ADHD, and cause symptoms that mimic ADD. However, in my case...it is both, I had ADHD symptoms long before the Graves Disease presented itself. Other symptoms of an over-active thyroid can be:

Weight loss, sudden and without trying to lose weight. (ex: weight loss of 8 pounds in a week, without dieting)
Slight hand tremors
Hyperactive (can't sit still, like an energizer bunny at times)
Increase in anxiety levels
Elevated Blood Pressure and Heartrate (this is NOT always present, contrary to popular belief...in my case, my B/P is fine even when extremely overactive)
Skin problems (ezema, to breaking out in daily hives...skin is the largest organ and can often be a sign that the immune system is overactive and attacking the body.)
Hair loss
Excessive sweating
Slight or even absent menstrual cycle
Muscle weakness and being worn down (eventually) Climbing stairs becomes both a chore and Painful in the leg muscles.
Muscle wasting or loss, primarily in the upper thigh muscles, and biceps and triceps.

PS thyroid levels can change fairly quickly, and if a doc told me I was subclinical for overactive, I would be getting that TSH and Free T4 levels rechecked within the next two weeks (ps, I am also a nurse so I keep a close eye on my labs by having them checked every couple of months.)
Having had graves disease active severely now twice in the past few years, I'd much prefer to spend the money now to get checked than to have to go through being over-active and go on the medications (which by the way, have plenty of risks also)

Hi, ADDisme2010,

When I was a kid, doctors told my mom that my fast and irregular heart rate was nothing to worry about. Later, when I was 7, I get diagnosed with ADHD. I also had anxiety all my life.

I want to ask what are the chances that I had a slight thyroid problem which doctors chose not to treat which then lead to an ADHD misdiagnosis?

Pikachu
02-27-12, 04:20 PM
[quote=ADDisme2010;1262493]

My doctor didn't diagnosed the cause of my abnormal thyroid. At first, she said that it wasn't abnormal enough to cause anything. Then a couple of visits later, she wanted to retest me because now she was concerned.

I'm going tomorrow to get my second lab results.

Kaimei
02-27-12, 04:59 PM
I was tested for hyperthyroidism before I got any other testing done. I was looking to treat my insomnia (again). Insomnia, weight loss, anxiety, lack of appetite and restlessness were other contributing factors.

BeaMags
04-30-17, 02:01 PM
Thank you for this thread, I also have been wondering if thyroid issues could have some effect on adhd. I had a total thyroidectomy due to thyroid cancer and since then I have no memory, cant focus and while I can sit for extended periods, I am fidgety. I lose words when I talk and often lose track of what I was saying, veering off subject, rambling ect.

sarahsweets
05-01-17, 09:56 AM
Thank you for this thread, I also have been wondering if thyroid issues could have some effect on adhd. I had a total thyroidectomy due to thyroid cancer and since then I have no memory, cant focus and while I can sit for extended periods, I am fidgety. I lose words when I talk and often lose track of what I was saying, veering off subject, rambling ect.

Do you take daily medication since your thyroid as been removed?
I found this while googling:
Adderall after Thyroidectomy
Customer Question
I had a full thyroidectomy back in 1996 (10 years ago) due to cancer (papilary carcinoma) on my thyroid. Surgery removed my thyroid completely (and a few lymph nodes), and the radioa active iodine treatment afterwards killed all the remaining thyroid tissue in my body. I have been on .3 Syntrhoid daily ever since.

I am considering taking Adderall XR. What are the risks in my situation?

ANSWER:
The coadministration of adderall and synthroid is not a problem, and from my review of the drug I see no potential problems with your health history or these two medications. Adderall, as a type of amphetamines, shouldn't cause you any problems. Make sure, however, that your physician who prescribes the Adderall is fully aware of your health history and all of the medications that you are taking. Adderall can interact with a few other medications (as can many medications), so always give a complete list to your physician.

I hope that this has answered you question. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

jakeahunter
05-01-17, 11:10 AM
Im no expert but your thyroid produces many hormones your body needs. I would definately tell this to your general practioner because it sounds like you may need some medical attention. Your thyroid also helps regulate brain development so it is possible your brain is suffering.

Postulate
05-01-17, 06:59 PM
There's 1,000 explanations to why your car is slow, deflated tires, low engine HP, bad lubrification...who cares...put hydrazine fuel in it and it flies. Lol.

Do you really want to know? How could you possibly solve the 1,000 causes of your ADHD...you can't even starting solving one of them.

fperkins33
05-03-17, 09:44 PM
There's 1,000 explanations to why your car is slow, deflated tires, low engine HP, bad lubrification...who cares...put hydrazine fuel in it and it flies. Lol.

Do you really want to know? How could you possibly solve the 1,000 causes of your ADHD...you can't even starting solving one of them.

I really can't understand what you're saying, or trying to say, here. Differential diagnosis is a process of problem solving, which includes ruling out general medical conditions. Why wouldn't a person want to know, or try to find out, what might or might not be contributing to physical, emotional, or psychic distress?