What is the role of lab tests in the workup of mood disorders during menopause?

Updated: Jan 30, 2019
  • Author: Nita V Bhatt, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Ana Hategan, MD, FRCPC  more...
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Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels should be determined. Monitor patients for hypothyroidism because thyroid disease is an independent risk factor for depression in menopausal women. [9]

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels should also be measured. Because ovarian production of inhibin and estrogen declines during perimenopause (see Ovarian Insufficiency), FSH and, later, LH levels begin to increase. An FSH level higher than 40 IU/L is often used as a marker of menopausal changes. Patients may begin to notice changes before laboratory values reflect the changes.

A hematocrit should be obtained; anemia can be associated with depressive-type symptoms. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scanning is indicated to evaluate bone mineral density (BMD). Depression may be a risk factor for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. A Mental Status Examination (MME) must be performed.

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