Thyroid Disorders and Anxiety

By Sumit |
|5 min read

Are you struggling with anxiety? If you are, you might want to get your thyroid checked. Many people don't realize it, but disorders related to your thyroid and anxiety are connected. Your thyroid produces hormones that affect your heart rate, metabolic rate, and body temperature.

Thyroid disorders can induce severe anxiety in some people. Read this article to find out how this is possible and what you can do to reduce your anxiety.

How Do Thyroid Disorders Cause Anxiety

As mentioned earlier, the hormones produced by your thyroid are essential in maintaining your body's functions. But it doesn't say anything about affecting your emotions. So, how can thyroid problems cause anxiety? Read on to find out.

1. Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism refers to an overactive thyroid. It's a condition where your thyroid produces too much hormones, throwing the hormone level off balance. Here are some common symptoms of hyperthyroidism:

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • Mood swings

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Fatigue

  • Trembling

  • Excessive sweating

  • Weight loss

If you notice, most of those symptoms match up perfectly with anxiety symptoms. So, it's very easy for your body to develop anxiety as well. Moreover, hyperthyroidism can also cause mental problems, including short-term memory problems and difficulty concentrating. This can worsen your anxiety symptoms even further.

2. Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is the exact opposite of hyperthyroidism; it's when your thyroid doesn't produce enough hormones. Watch out for these tell-tale signs of hypothyroidism:

  • Fatigue

  • Constantly feeling cold

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Trembling

  • Mood swings

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Weight gain

Thyroid hormone deficiency is associated with cognitive and emotional disturbances, including anxiety. Again, some of the symptoms overlap with anxiety symptoms. So, it's very common for hypothyroidism sufferers to feel anxious, as well.

3. Other thyroid disorder symptoms that may cause anxiety

Thyroid disorders can cause a myriad of other physical problems. For many people, changes in appearance can damage their confidence, making them even more anxious.

  • Hair loss

Hair follicles and their growth cycle are regulated by thyroid hormones. Too much or too little thyroid hormones in your system can cause your hair to fall out and become dry and brittle. Losing hair prematurely can be a source of anxiety for many people.

  • Weight fluctuation

Thyroid disorders can cause someone to lose or gain weight significantly in a short period of time. This drastic change can lead to stress and anxiety.

  • Skin problems

Thyroid hormone imbalance can mess up the appearance of your skin. One of the most common symptoms of thyroid disorder is dry and flaky skin. Some people may even get rashes and itch all over their bodies. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it can cause people to lose confidence and become anxious.

Treatments for Anxiety Caused by Thyroid Diseases

So, after learning how thyroid disorders can cause anxiety, you may be wondering how you can deal with it. Here are some treatments for thyroid-related anxiety that you can try.

1. Medical treatments

If you suspect that you might be having problems with your thyroid, the first thing you need to do is to get medical help. Then, you can discuss treatment options with your doctor. Here are some common medical treatments you can consider.

  • Medications

If you're suffering from hyperthyroidism, your doctor may prescribe some anti-thyroid medications, such as methimazole, to balance out your hormone levels. Other than that, your doctor may also prescribe you with anti-anxiety medicines or antidepressants to help with your mental health.

  • Hormone therapy

If you suffer from hypothyroidism, your doctor may suggest hormone therapy. You simply need to take a daily synthetic hormone pill, levothyroxine, to bring your hormone levels up to normal. Note that it's recommended to take the pills at the same time each day.

  • Surgery

Your doctor may suggest getting surgery if your condition is very persistent. You may get a section or all of your thyroid glands removed. Then, you'll be prescribed other medications to help you heal and balance out your hormone levels.

2. At-home remedies

Aside from visiting the doctor, you should also develop healthy habits. Living healthily can help you manage your thyroid issues and reduce your anxiety level. Here are some tips to follow.

  • Exercise regularly

When you exercise, your body releases dopamine, which helps you feel relaxed and happy. Exercising has been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety. It can also improve thyroid functions. Try to exercise at least 30 minutes each day.

  • Relax and get enough rest

Being relaxed and getting enough rest can help reduce anxiety levels. You can try to learn relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation. Also, don't forget to get at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.

  • Maintain a healthy diet

Lastly, maintaining a healthy diet has been scientifically proven to alleviate many illnesses, including thyroid problems and even anxiety. Consult your doctor and figure out what kind of diet would work best for you. But in general, increase your water intake to stay hydrated and consider including these foods in your diet:

  • Eggs

  • Fish

  • Meat

  • Dairy products

  • Potatoes

  • Bananas

  • Citrus fruits

  • Berries

  • Tomatoes

  • Rice

  • Buckwheat

  • Quinoa

Takeaway Message

Thyroid and anxiety issues go hand in hand. If you believe that this may be an issue for you, don't hesitate to consult your doctor. Remember to take medications for your anxiety and thyroid disorders as prescribed. Don't forget to maintain healthy habits as well. Good luck!



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