Dysfunction of the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid axis has been shown to play a role in the pathophysiology of bipolar disorder. Autoimmune thyroiditis is the most common cause of thyroid function alteration. Thus, auto-immune thyroiditis is likely associated with bipolar disorder. It might influence its course, prognosis and/or management.

I have been taught that when we find one autoimmune condition, we should look for the other two, or more. It may well be that the autoimmune process that is attacking the thyroid is also attacking some part of the hypothalmus. This might possibly show up on one of the Cyrex Labs arrays, but brain chemistry is complex and even more complex when we look at the interaction of brain chemistry and life experience. This study suggests that the immune system as measured by thyroid antibodies, may be connected to serious mental disorders. One connection may be gluten intolerance. There is almost 100% correlation between thyroid antibodies and antibodies to gluten (wheat). But there can be other triggers such as toxic exposure or infection. The take home message: many people with bipolar disorder can be helped, without drugs, but this often requires having a qualified functional medicine practitioner who can find the underlying cause.

Bocchetta et al. Int J Bipolar Disord (2016) 4:5DOI 10.1186/s40345-016-0046-4

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