Connection Between Stress and Thyroid

In today’s world, stress has become a common word. It is a mental condition that is spreading rapidly among people. The primary reason for stress is emotional trauma, chronic injury or illness, traumatic event, etc. Stress is of various types, such as chronic stress, acute stress, episodic stress, etc. Especially chronic stress can not only create havoc on the overall health and well-being but also affect the thyroid. Stress and thyroid have some connections. 

The thyroid gland in the human body works in tandem with the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands, which are situated above the kidney, can efficiently handle small stress. However, when someone is suffering from stress, cortisol is released into the body, which enhances various body functions. Stress alone will not cause a thyroid disorder, but it can cause serious complications. The impact of stress on the thyroid tends to occur by slowing down the metabolism of the body. People who suffer from the problem of hypothyroidism wonder if stress could have caused the illness or if stress can cause more complications. Hence, in this article, we will discuss if there is any connection between the thyroid and stress and how stress affects the thyroid.

Stress and Thyroid: Interrelation

There is little evidence available that can assert the fact that stress and thyroid are interlinked. However, the nature of inter-linkage between the stress and thyroid is less clear. In numerous research studies, it has been found that stress causes thyroid, and it is also found that the thyroid can make a person more vulnerable to stress. When suffering from the problems of the thyroid, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, the patient becomes more sensitive to physical and mental stress. This happens due to the fact that excess levels of thyroid hormone tend to affect the way in which the whole body reacts to stress. 

Similarly, stress significantly increases the production of cortisol hormone, which is produced by the adrenal glands. The cortisol inhibits the production of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) from the pituitary gland, thereby leading to the partial suppression of the thyroxine, which is the main hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Stress has the capacity to potentially worsen the conditions of thyroid disease, which in turn can cause more stress. Hence, it has become imperative for people suffering from stress that they should take more care.

Can stress cause an onset of thyroid disease?

Chronic stress tends to play a vital role in the development of numerous diseases, such as autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune thyroid disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Grave’s disease is the most common type of thyroid disease. However, there is no proper evidence that says that stress and thyroid have some connection. But numerous research studies have found something common between them. In a survey, it was found that the stress tends to precede the onset of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Grave’s disease by modulating the immune system of the human body and thereby causing the onset of autoimmune disease in the people who tend to be genetically predisposed. Moreover, in another medical research, it has been found that stress plays a crucial role in the pathophysiology of Grave’s disease.

How to manage stress with a thyroid problem?

Stress management is crucial for everyone, irrespective of whether they are dealing with a health condition or just trying to have good health. However, people with thyroid should take much more precautions and manage the stress with the various stress management techniques. Hence, to help you out manage your stress effectively, below are some of the best ways to manage stress if you are suffering from a problem with your thyroid.

  • Take adequate vitamins

One of the most efficient stress management techniques for people who are suffering from the problem of the thyroid, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, is to take adequate vitamins. There are certain vitamins that tend to act as a powerhouse for stress management. These include the vitamin b-complex, which is a multi-vitamin that comprises vitamin b as well as magnesium. Vitamin b-complex is the most popular stress-busting vitamin. Adequate consumption of the vitamin b-complex improves the symptoms of hypothyroid and also cures thyroid dysfunction.

Also, Read – Foods Rich in Vitamin B-12

  • Get efficient sleep

Another way in which you can beat the stress and get relief from the problems of the thyroid is to get sufficient sleep. For an individual minimum of eight hours of sleep tends to be sufficient to provide the body with some relaxation. Getting adequate sleep is one of the vital aspects of stress management. Though people who are suffering from the problem of thyroid can have some problems while sleeping but prioritizing sleep with other techniques can reduce the symptoms of the thyroid problem.

Also, Read – How Much to Sleep & Tips to Sleep Better

  • Consumption of whole foods

Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, fish, eggs, and whole grains are the most nutritious and comprise numerous benefits for the human body. And getting the appropriate nutrition for the body can effectively help in building resilience and also helps you to cope with stress easily. Therefore, it remains imperative for people with hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism to include whole foods in their diet. Not only whole foods but also include sufficient iodine in their diet to support the thyroid. Some of the effective sources of iodine include seaweed, dairy product, iodized salt, eggs, etc.

  • Exercise regularly

Last but not least, regularly exercising can efficiently enhance the stress tolerance of an individual. Not only this but also one can get other potential health benefits by exercising regularly.

Also, Read – Best Exercises to Improve Mental Health

Hence, no effective evidence is found that can assert that there is some proper link between stress and thyroid. But the research made by numerous medical experts across the globe says that stress has some connection with the thyroid. It can cause complications in the problem of the thyroid, such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. But one can effectively manage stress and thyroid with the above-mentioned stress management techniques.

Written by Jagannadh Ch