Thyroid Problems/coming off lithium

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Question
hello dr. kulkarni, i am finally coming off lithium after being on it for 21 years. i am switching to lamictal. i also have a weight problem too. will my thyroid return to normal if i get off lithium or is there something else involved. is the hypothyroidism reversable once im off lithium or did 21 years of being on lithium damage my thyroid.

Answer
Christopher,
Lithium can affect thyroid function through different mechanisms. Inside thyroid gland it reduces thyroxine synthesis and outside the thyroid gland(i.e. in blood) it prevents conversion of T4-T3.

Since you were on lithium for a very long duration, it would have suppressed thyroid cells from producing thyroxine. So in my opinion, your thyroid can come back to normal functioning. But it will take time.

Lithium induced hypothyroidism is reversible. Since you were on lithium for very long duration, your thyroid may not be able to function completely normal. Some patients continue to be slightly hypothyroid. But you will definitely see some improvement in thyroid function after you stop lithium.

Thanking you!

Thyroid Problems

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Dr.Shrinidhi Kulkarni

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Dont hesitate to ask your health related queries. 24 X 7 ready to provide solutions to your health concerns. All questions are welcome ! Speciallly Endocrinology.

Experience

Working as a Doctor in Primary Health care Centre.

Organizations
KIMS, Bangalore

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MBBS, Intership in Internal Medicine

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