Hypothyroidism and ADD


What does Hypothyroidism have to do with Attention Deficit Disorder (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Predominately Inattentive Type)? Apparently there is some connection. At this point I'm not sure but am concluding that hypothyroidism does aggravate ADD which may have been a subclinical condition which basically means the ADD was not poising any significant problems and was being compensated for adequately. In other words it caused no significant problems and even "medical professionals" and "mental health professionals" could not tell there were any significant problems. The only "symptoms" noted that caused some problems (more an irritation rather than a significant problem)included mind wondering when reading (boring and not too interesting books, interesting books kept my attention better but my mind wondered some), distraction when listening to someone when the TV was on (especially when an action scene was on) and some disorganization when starting a new job (it just seemed to take me longer to get adjusted and accepted than others however once I got adjusted and developed my system my coworkers and supervisors came to respect me. They often commented on how organized and effecient I was. I do have an extremely high work ethic and do work as unto the Lord so consequently I have high standards and expectations. Management comes to love this.) For the most part (except the first few weeks of any new job) these "symptoms" poised no problem as far as I was concerned because many people have commented on having similar experiences.

From my work with ADHD children I have learned that other conditions commonly occure with ADHD. These conditions include depression, learning disabilities, oppositional defient disorder, addiction to drugs and alcohol (later in life), conduct disorder, criminal activities, at higher risk of dropping out of school, and social immaturity. Also there are risk factors that increase the risk of having ADHD which include prematurity, drug/alcohol abuse/addiction of the one of the parents, a parent or relative having ADHD (it's hereditary), being adopted as a child or infant and a parent with an emotional problem that leads to disorganization and poor parenting.

Needless to say at first thought I didn't consider myself having ADD because I never did display any of the classic symptoms as a child except being hard on my toys (as a young child my twin sister & I would play rough and toys sometimes had a short lifespan but other toys lasted for years so this wasn't consistant. I did tend to suffer from depression as a child & unfortunately still have transient symptoms of depression. This I contributed to being rejected by my peers thoughout my childhood and my dad's temper tantrums which would last for up to a week (pouting). This I later learned was depression (he may deny it and just call it having a bad outlook on life). I always thought if I was either accepted by my peers or my dad didn't have the tantrums then I wouldn't have the depression. Actually this may not be so because I inherited the genes for depression.

As a child I had difficulty learning in elementary school. I remember each year school got easier. (Maybe my brain was still developing.) Anyway I use to struggle with reading, writing and spelling. Now I'm ok at reading (just slow partly (or mostly) due to concentration. I often have to reread sections in order to grasp the concepts.), fairly good at writing (or surrounded by a bunch of folks who is worse at writing than I or maybe once you get a certain amount of education it brings the writing level above the average which I think is what happened.) but still not that good of a speller (spelling aphesia which editing or substituting words I can spell for ones I can't figure out at the moment. Hey, it works!). I do try to correct mispelled words but you be the judge by comparing my typos to other website typos. I consider my spelling within the norm of the bell curve again I contribute to my education. (The more you go to school the more professors expect and the more you improve.)



I had some symptoms however I had learned to compensate for most of them as a young child. Most of my problems before the hypothyroidism centered around not having the social etiquecy, vast social tid bits of knowledge, social grace nor charismatic dazzling personality I greatly wished I had since my interests and goals often would benefit from these characteristics. Needless to say this lead to some internal conflicts. I was never bothered so much by my concentration when reading since I had achieved more education than most people expired to. It was basically a self confidence booster since prior to that I always felt inferior in the intelligence factor. (OK, I remember that was a sign of ADD in adults.)

My work with ADHD kids and their families for 7 years lead me to identify some characteristics of ADD which I had but didn't consider my symptoms severe compared to the hyperactive, disruptive kids I often saw. I also saw characteristics in all my coworkers as well. ADD is obviously much more prevalient than what is reported.

As I learn more about ADHD in adults, thinking back on some difficulties I had as a child and even some social inadequacies and emotional trials I have experienced, I'm learning this just might as well been caused by ADHD primarily inattentive type. I never did consider myself as the hyper type. I'm definitely not the impulsive, spontaneous type. Actually I prefer a set routine. Maybe this is a coping and compensation skill I developed as a young child. It does seem to take me a longer time to establish an effective method of doing things (ex. work) but once I do get one establish, people always tell me I'm very organized and efficient.

I am concluding that hypothyroidism does cause a worsening of ADHD symptoms (probably a worsening of any CNS condition that may go unnotice before or that was not significant to bring a quick and accurate diagnosis nor caused symptoms to the degree that it significantly interferred with the person's life. We all have our good days and bad days. We all have days we're happy and outgoing and days we're moody and people would preferred us to stay home. Hypothyroidism apparently brings the symptoms toward the end of the bell curve that it is causing a significant problems in focusing, processing information (a biggie), concentration, distractability, formulating thoughts and pulling information from memory (or even problems making memories).

Good night. Come back soon. I'll add more & how this has improved.


ADD Links


Neuronal Choir Hums in Unison to Rivet Brain's Attention Artical reveals how the brain would normally ignore distrations. The brain neurons perceive both important and unimportant stimulus (information, noises, sites, etc.). Normally the brain neurons which are perceiving the important information will amplify their signal which helps the brain focus on the important information. However apparently with hypothyroidism and many other conditions this process fails and all the information comes in at the same intensity. The brain then is distracted and doesn't focus.

National Attention Deficit Disorder Association Provides information & some research trends in ADHD.

CHADD Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder website. National support & educational group for adults and children with ADHD.

Adult Attention Deficit Disorder Site provides some good information geared to adults with ADHD.

Adult ADD/ADHD Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults Diagnositic criteria. Is this a possible problem? You have to meet at least 11 of the 20 criterias.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults: conceptual and clinical issues Gives overview of ADHD in adults, continuance of symptoms from childhood, comorbid conditions and treatment. Again hypothyroidism is listed as a medical condition which causes similar symptoms.

What's It Like To Have Add? by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D.

About.com on ADHD This site has a lot of good articals & links on ADHD.

Fibromyalgia and attention deficit disorder Patricia shares what she has learned about a potential link between FM and ADHD. It's an interesting link & possible the cognitive problems associated with hypothyroidism is connected. I think maybe there might be an underlying ADD which the hypothyroidism has made worse due to slight hormonal changes which apparently thyroid replacement hormones do not correct.

Glossary: Diagnosis / Differentiation of ADHD from Other Conditions Site lists other conditions which have similar symptoms of ADD including hypothyroidism. Also describes common co-existing problems with ADHD.

National Institute of Health (NIH) Consensus Development Conference on Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder November 1618, 1998 William H. Natcher Conference Center National Institutes of Health ADHD Treatment Alternatives for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Long list of treatment options for people with ADHD and research findings supporting each treatment.

Blue Fountain How foods effect our moods and thinking. Site gives information about nutrition and various conditions such as ADHD, depression, anxiety and PMS.

INTRODUCING SUPPLEMENTS TO YOUR BODY & IMPROVING YOUR DIET Our diet effects our brain's functioning & some dietary supplements can help improve the brain's functioning by giving it a little extra nutrients it needs that may be lacking in the diet.