LIthium and t hyroid question

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by MidwestMom, Sep 1, 2007.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My son was on Lithium for three years. During those years he was hungry all the time and gained a ton of weight, but idiot psychiatrist, who misdiagnosed him, never told me to check his thyroid. I feel really dumb because I know it can cause thyroid problems. He has been off all medications now for four years, but, since the Lithium, he has never stopped being hungry ALL THE TIME. He is five four and a half and 170 pounds, and a neverending garbage can for food. He is always hungry. I'm asking for a thyroid test. Just wondering. If he quit Lithium could he be having thyroid problems from when he was taking it?
  2. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Hypothyroidism doesn't make you hungry. It slows your metabolism, amkes you tired and lethargic and causes weight gain that way.

    Hypothyroidism related to lithium may or may not be permenant, depends on the person.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks. No, he's always hungry and overeats. Guess it's probably not that.
  4. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    It could be both. How's his energy level?

    Carb craving? Or anything?
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My difficult child is still taking Levothyroxine for thyroid problems he developed from taking Lithium. He has been off Lithium for two years. There is a possibility he won't need to be on it forever-in fact we need to take him in for a blood draw soon to see if it is still needed.
  6. susiequte

    susiequte New Member

    I was on Lithium umpteen years ago and have had to take thyroid medications ever since. I have to get my TSH checked frequently (about 3-4 times a year). I had it checked last November and was doing ok until May when I got pregnant. For the past 3 months I've had to be on a higher dosage-but we finally got it back in check last week. Your son sounds like a typical teenager, but it's worth keeping and eye on the thyroid level just in case.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks, all. Does he seem tired? He was such a hyper kid that he got diagnosed with ADHD, but now he's kind of a couch potato. I have to force him to exercise at all, but he doesn't actually sleep too much. He craves nothing EXCEPT carbs. It's horrible. It's as bad as when he was taking Depakote and Risperdal. He's still always hungry. I don't know if it's a habit from "those days" but it seems extreme.
  8. Janna

    Janna New Member


    Dylan's thyroid issues started from the Lithium. His TSH was an incredible 107, very, very high.

    Our psychiatrist did a microbody check with the rest of the bloodwork when he first checked his thyroid. From what I understood (in non-doctor terms) the microbody check would tell us if Dylan would have eventually had a thyroid issue later in life, with or without the Lithium. The microbody check came back positive. So, basically, the Lithium sparked it, but it would have been a problem at some point anyway.

    Dylan did not seem overly hungry when the thyroid issue sparked, however, he was very lazy. I couldn't get him off the sofa, couldn't get him out to play, ride his bike, none of that. Once we got his TSH level down to normal (treating him with Synthroid), his energy levels went back up. Keep in mind, Dylan's no athlete, but at least he has a desire to go outside and do things now, whereas before he didn't.

    My normal 15 year old is an eater. I can tell when he's going to sprout again, because as soon as dinner is over he's looking in the cupboards. He's a huge carb eater too. And he doesn't have a thyroid issue.

    You could just ask the family doctor to do a simple blood draw for the thyroid. Think you need to fast before (or maybe that was for the Lithium, I dunno). Anyway ~ couldn't hurt to check.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You don't know how funny it is that he would have to fast. It would never happen. He'd sneak something even at 3am. Ah, well. I can try. Thanks, Janna. I"m definitely going to get this kid a thyroid test. Thanks to everyone else too.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Good luck. Either way, a test is due.
  11. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    When I have my yearly blood draws done for TSH level, I don't fast. I think there is one where you are suppose to fast, but it's not the one normally ordered. I have been asked when I last ate. I don't know if that's for a reason or just a routine question the lab asks all patients.
  12. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Yeah, Sara's right, and I went back and asked SO for you MWM, because he gets checked, too. He doesn't have to fast. Must be the Lithium level Dylan has to fast for.

    Have to laugh at the fasting with Lucas. Hard with Dylan, too. Usually what I do is, we have dinner and snack, then that's it, and I run him into the outpatient lab at 7 AM. Then I just bring Pop Tarts and water or something for after.

    Lemme know how the test comes out when you're done with it.