Thyroiditis 101: Lithium Treatment for Bipolar Disease
Physicians should be attentive to both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism when managing patients receiving lithium for bipolar disorder.
The patient can present with symptoms of hyperthyroidism, including jitteriness, irregular menstruation, hair loss, diarrhea, and weight loss.The thyroid gland may be enlarged, and but thyroid antibodies are usually negative. A radioactive iodine uptake is low. Treatment may require steroids, Antithyroid drugs or even surgery.
Lithium hypothyroidism is well-known and has an incidence of 30%, while thyrotoxicosis associated with lithium use is rare.Physicians should be well aware of this rare but severe side effect.