... problems due to lithium, best case senerio for my thyroid is to lower or go off lithium, but not so much for my bipolar. My question actually is, knowing the lithium goes after thyroid and kidney's what is one's life expectency taking lithium? can't take lithium and expect to live to be elderly or middle age without serious consequenses from lithium... correct?
Hi irishdawg - I've got bipolar I (you don't mention whether you have I or II), and was on lithium for quite a while when I was your age. I am now 58, and about 14 yrs ago I decided to find another medicine, since my thyroid was also tweaked & I was getting tardive dyskinesia (tremors). There are so many decent, good or better medications out there now for bipolar, that I personally don't think its worth damaging your body with the lithium. Granted, it can be a very efficient med. for dealing with the disorder, but its so hard on your kidneys, heart, and other organs. They may find that the other meds. aren't much better, but I've been on Trileptal & Seroquel now for about 14 very stable years. I feel great & look better than many my age or younger (not very humble! ha,), or so I've been told. I feel like I've got at least another 20-25 years! Sure, there is the occasional bad day, but I know others have that, as well.
Also, remember that you've been quite young on this med., but as you get older, your body just doesn't hold up as well as it does when younger, naturally, and it breaks down faster. Just sayin' that after 20 years on lithium, you may want to check with the Dr. about what other options are available. Then, at least you can make an educated decision about what you want to do. It may take a while to find the right combo, but its well worth the trouble, IMO. While Lithium may not shorten your life span drastically, its no fun having to be on dialysis, having non-functioning organs & having heart problems, etc. I've watched my folks deteriorate, and I think I'd rather have a shorter, healthier life than a longer, non-healthy life. Just my input. You may want to get lots of other opinions, too... Good luck! --Scottish lass.
- Lithium Information for Consumers
- Lithium Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Lithium (detailed)
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