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The Connection Between Stress And Thyroid

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

According to WHO, health is not merely about being free from disease. It is rather a balanced state where you need to factor in your physical, mental and social well-being. Hence, it is important to maintain a balance among these to be truly healthy.

Relation Between Stress and Health

Stress is the body’s natural response to dangerous or harmful situations. In moderate amounts, stress is not entirely bad. It could fuel your body’s flight or fight response, which has helped human beings survive and sustain over centuries. However, excessive stress can significantly impair your mental and physical health.Unfortunately, stress (sometimes caused by insignificant stressors) has managed to become an integral part of our lives with chronic stress emerging as a growing cause of concern. According to the American Psychological Association, about 75% of adults have experienced moderate to high levels of stress in the past month and about 50% of these have reported that the occurrence and intensity of stress have increased in the past year. These figures indicate that stress has emerged as a major health concern on a global scale.Many individuals may be aware of the commonly occurring negative impacts that stress has on our bodies. These include:
  • Tension Headaches and Stomach Aches
  • Increased Chronic Depression or Intermittent Depression (Dysthymia)
  • Heartburn or Acidity
  • Insomnia
  • Shortness of Breath
  • The weakening of the Immune System
  • Greater Risk of Heart Attack
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Muscle Tension
  • Decreased Sex Drive
However, in this article, we will focus on exploring how stress affects your thyroid. Read on to know the linkages between stress and thyroid.

Link Between Stress and Thyroid

The thyroid gland is located at the base of your neck. It produces the hormone ‘thyroid’ which regulates the body’s energy usage. The thyroid also helps in protein synthesis and could be secreted as a response to other hormones.The thyroid gland normally works in parallel with the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are located atop each kidney. Normally, stressful situations trigger the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Cortisols increase bodily functions and decreases the body’s metabolism, which collectively helps in combating stress.However, Cortisols suppress the functioning of the pituitary gland, which is responsible for releasing the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). With the ebb in TSH, the thyroid gland becomes inactive, leading to a condition known as hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is characterized by a massive decrease in the levels of triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). Further, the body is unable to convert T4 into T3, which results in increased levels of reverse T3.Read More: 10 Effects of Stress on The BodySymptoms of hypothyroidism include:
  • Fatigue
  • Weight Gain
  • Inability to regulate body temperature, especially a heightened sensitivity to cold
  • Muscular weakness
  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Puffiness, especially of the face
While stress, by itself, cannot impede the functioning of the thyroid, it can aggravate the condition even more if you are suffering from autoimmune conditions like Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.Also Read: Sea Moss: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & More!

Tips for Dealing with Stress and Hypothyroidism

Now that we know about the decrease in thyroid levels due to stress, here are a few tips that will help you deal with stress and hypothyroidism more effectively:

Concluding Thoughts

Prevention is always better than cure. Now that you know the relationship between stress and the thyroid, you can regulate stress to maintain the health of your thyroid gland. While completely getting rid of stress is impossible, you can easily handle stress more effectively. With better stress management, you will notice a remarkable improvement in your health on the whole.Also Read: Thyroid and Depression – The ConnectionDisclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.


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