1) High Dose Thyroid as a Treatment for BP 2)Seaweed & Bipolar Disorder
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Q:  1) High Dose Thyroid as a Treatment for BP  2)Seaweed & Bipolar Disorder


Is high dose treatment for bipolar disorder done with T4 hormone or T3 hormone or both? 

Second can seaweed consumption which increases iodine levels possibly help bipolar disorder? 

Thank you.

Dear Mr. Bí --
High dose thyroid as a treatment for bipolar disorder: see that link for the full story (the short version of this UCLA strategy is that they are using levothyroxine, T4). 

2.  If a lack of iodine was somehow part of a "thyroid deficiency" of some sort; and if seaweed consumption does indeed increase iodine levels (which I have not investigated), then perhaps indeed seaweed consumption might do something to bipolar disorder.  Unfortunately, as far as I know, no one has really determined what the thyroid problem is in bipolar disorder (that is, what day is high doses that UCLA uses are actually doing, what they are "fixing"). 

However, I have never seen anything to indicate that the problem is a iodine deficiency.  Most of the speculations that I have seen, and investigations, seemed to focus around the brain systems that control thyroid levels (implying that whereas thyroid levels themselves might be normal, somehow the brain is not getting the right signal about what levels are out there; or the levels are normal but not getting where they need to go, including in the brain). In other words, the problem seems not to be with the levels themselves, as might be an issue if iodine was the limiting factor.


Dr. Phelps

Published May, 2009


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