Book Review: "The Female Brain Gone Insane" by Mia Lundin
Written by Carol Petersen, RPh, CNP - Women's International Pharmacy

How many women have felt like her world was falling apart at some stage in her life? Assailed by symptoms such as anxiety,
 depression, sleep disturbances, irritability, weeping, brain fog and loss of focus and concentration, she seeks help from her trusted medical practitioner. Traditional medicine offers her symptomatic relief with pharmaceutical chemicals such as anti-depressants, anti-anxiety agents and sleep aids. Side effects from these medications sometimes lead to the addition of more medications.  When this option fails, the medical practitioner, at a loss, may tell her, "It's all in your head." This roller coaster of symptoms can make any woman think she is going insane. 

This happened to Mia Lundin, nurse practitioner, author of "The Female Brain Gone Insane," after she gave birth to her second child. Although resistant, she did turn to antidepressants for a time. Prior to using antidepressants, she noticed an injection of progesterone dramatically relieved her symptoms for a few days. Ultimately, her curiosity about hormones, sparked by the benefit she experienced with progesterone, led her to a 20 year clinical practice using bioidentical sex, adrenal and thyroid hormones along with amino acids to help with neurotransmitter production in the brain.

Neurotransmitters are made in the body from amino acids obtained by digesting proteins in the diet. Neurotransmitter balance is a key component of brain function. There are over 50 known neurotransmitters, but those we understand the best are serotonin, GABA, norepinephrine (or noradrenaline) and dopamine. The first two have calming effects and the second two are excitatory. Neurotransmitters do not operate alone. They are greatly influenced by sex, thyroid and adrenal hormones.
 

Is There a Connection Between Thyroid Dysfunction and Mental Illness? 
Written by Kathy Lynch, PharmD - Women's International Pharmacy

Pharmacist Corner
Endocrine glands, and the hormones they secrete, significantly affect the central nervous system (CNS). Thyroid hormones in particular are crucial to the formation and function of the CNS. T4, the inactive thyroid hormone, is secreted by the thyroid gland and transported across the blood-brain barrier where it is converted into T3, the active thyroid hormone. Adequate thyroid hormone levels are necessary to support both the neurons, which are the structural and functional units of the nervous system, and the glia cells which connect and support the brain and spinal cord.
 
Suboptimal thyroid function can lead to mental disorders like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Hypothyroidism may contribute to apathy, low energy, impaired memory and problems with attention span. Hyperthyroidism may result in mood swings, impatience, irritability and mental decline in the elderly.
 
To make matters worse, medications used to treat mental disorders can adversely affect thyroid function. A comprehensive review of the medical literature concluded that some medications used to treat bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and depression are associated with thyroid function abnormalities.  These include lithium, phenothiazines, and tricyclic antidepressants. Patients using these classes of medications should be monitored for thyroid dysfunction. Patients receiving other types of mental illness drug therapies may also need to be monitored.
 
References:

"Possible role of glial cells in the relationship between thyroid dysfunction and mental disorder" by Mami Noda; Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience; 2015 June; 9(194).
 
"Thyroid adverse effects of psychotropic drugs: a review" by K.R. Bou, S. Richa; Clin Neuropharmacol; 2011 Nov-Dec; 34(6): 248-55.
 
Sincerely,

 

Women's International Pharmacy

 www.womensinternational.com 

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In This Issue
Book Review: "The Female Brain Gone Insane"
Infographic - 9 essential oils for anxiety and stress
Is There a Connection Between Thyroid Dysfunction and Mental Illness?
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