What Does The Thyroid Do
As part of the body’s endocrine system, the thyroid secretes hormones that help regulate energy levels and metabolism. Normally, the thyroid regulates various functions by releasing steady levels of thyroid hormones.
Problems with this gland, however, can result in a thyroid imbalance that can affect the body in various ways. Thyroid imbalances can also contribute to mood problems such as depression and anxiety.
Thyroid Problems And Dementia Risk
Several researchers have questioned whether hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism increases the risk for dementia to develop. Research on this question includes the following:
In short, while the research doesn’t all agree, several studies indicate that major cognitive problems are not likely to develop with hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. They also conclude that minor cognitive problems associated with thyroid functioning are often temporary.
Thus, if major cognitive decline is present, the healthcare provider should conduct a comprehensive assessment to determine what other medical conditions may be affecting your functioning.
Should I Get Tested For A Thyroid Problem
Yes! If youve been suspecting that small, subtle symptoms you have might be connected to something bigger, do get appropriate testing.
For the estimated 28 million women with known energy and metabolism problems due to hypothyroidism, the trouble usually creeps up. Its not a flash flood that takes out your whole house its a dripping faucet that might erode the foundation over time.
Comprehensive testing provides the information needed for a definitive diagnosis before starting any medication or other treatment plan for healing your thyroid. Unnecessary treatment and over-treatment in the integrative and functional medicine practitioners may be as common as missed diagnoses and under-treatment are by conventional doctors.
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Can Thyroid Problems Cause Dizziness
Thyroid hormones participate in a number of processes and functions in our body. Higher or lower production of these hormones is manifested through a wide range of symptoms. That being said, some symptoms of thyroid problems are widely discussed. For example, hair loss and weight gain/loss are often addressed, while symptoms such as dizziness do not get enough attention although its important to get informed and know as much as possible in order to manage your condition successfully. Studies on this subject are scarce, but hopefully, things will change in the near future.
If youre wondering whether thyroid problems can indeed cause lightheadedness, the answer is yes. In fact, both hypo- and hyperthyroidism can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded. How? Lets see.
Lifestyle Remedies For Hyperthyroidism
Its a good idea to watch your iodine intake if youve been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, since high levels of iodine consumption can exacerbate the condition. Look for ways to limit iodine in your diet by restricting your consumption of iodine-rich foods such as fish, seaweed, shrimp, dairy products, and grain products . Definitely check with your doctor before taking any medications or supplements with iodine.
Sodium can also contribute to edema , which is common with Graves disease, so youll also want to watch your salt intake.
While there is no particular hyperthyroidism diet, there are foods which can give you a bit of a boost in your fight with hyperthyroidism. Since some symptoms can sap your energy, you should eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to get a steady supply of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Berries are a smart choice because theyre high in antioxidants, while cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage have compounds called goitrogens that can actually decrease the thyroid hormone produced by your body.
In addition, take steps to reduce stress and relax. Slowing down is key, even if it feels counterintuitive with all the sped up effects of hyperthyroidism. The Graves Disease & Thyroid Foundation recommends practices such as yoga, Tai Chi, self-hypnosis, and meditation.
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Thyroid Status In Patients With Depression
Several thyroid abnormalities have been associated with mood disorders particularly depression. However, the vast majority of patients with depression do not have biochemical evidence of thyroid dysfunction . When thyroid abnormalities exist, they consist mainly of elevated T4 levels, low T3, elevated rT3, blunted TSH response to TRH, positive antithyroid antibodies, and elevated cerebrospinal fluid TRH concentrations. A state of brain hypothyroidism in the setting of systemic euthyroidism has been suggested. This could result from a defect in the thyroid hormone receptor , or in the thyroid hormone transport and uptake into the brain and neuronal cells . Mice with receptor-mediated hypothyroidism caused by a heterozygous mutation in the THR-1 have shown increased depressive behavior responsive to continuous T3 administration . Furthermore, lower levels of CSF TTR have been reported in patients with depression compared to controls resulting in a state of brain hypothyroidism with, nonetheless, normal peripheral thyroid hormones . Mutations in MCT8 have also been recognized to cause isolated brain hypothyroidism by blocking T3 transport into neurons .
Types Of Thyroid Imbalances
There are a number of different conditions that affect the thyroid, but two of the most common problems are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
- Hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid, happens when the body does not produce enough thyroid hormones. It tends to affect women more frequently than men. It can occur at any age, but it also tends to be more common in adults over the age of 60.
- Hyperthyroidism, also known as an overactive thyroid, happens when the body produces too much thyroid hormone. Many people who have an overactive thyroid experience some type of anxiety symptoms. However, research also suggests that depression is also very common, affecting as many as 69% of people with hyperthyroidism.
Other types of thyroid disorders and problems include Hashimoto’s disease, Graves’ disease, goiter, and thyroid nodules.
Anxiety Disorders Are Linked To Inflamed Thyroid Glands
Although antianxiety medications target the nervous system, one new study suggests that anxiety disorders may stem more from the endocrine system.
Most people have brief periods of anxiety from time to time, such as when they experience stressful situations in which the outcome is unknown.
For many individuals, however, anxiety is an acute, frequent, and persistent emotional state that adversely affects quality of life. In fact, experts estimate that anxiety disorders affect around 264 million people worldwide.
Antianxiety medications, which typically target the central nervous system, can be helpful, but they often fail to provide permanent relief.
Now, a new study suggests that anxiety disorders may stem, at least in part, from malfunctions in the bodys endocrine system.
The results demonstrate that inflammation of the thyroid gland is associated with anxiety disorders, suggesting new avenues of treatment.
The researchers presented their findings at the European and International Conference on Obesity in September 2020. Juliya Onofriichuk, from Kyiv City Clinical Hospital in Ukraine, led the research.
She explains: These findings indicate that the endocrine system may play an important role in anxiety. Doctors should also consider the thyroid gland and the rest of the endocrine system, as well as the nervous system, when examining with anxiety.
T4 and T3 help produce and regulate the hormones adrenaline and dopamine.
When To See A Gp
See a GP if you have symptoms of an overactive thyroid.
They’ll ask about your symptoms and if they think you might have a thyroid problem, they can arrange for a blood test to check how well your thyroid is working.
If the blood test shows that you have an overactive thyroid, you may be referred for further tests to identify the cause.
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What Are Early Warning Signs Of Thyroid Problems
If youâve been feeling off for the past few months without knowing why, you may be experiencing a hormone imbalance tied to thyroid issues. Below are some of the most common symptoms that could be linked to thyroid dysfunction.
Some of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism may include:
- Weight gain, even without changes in your diet or activity level
- Mood changes, including depression or anxiety
- Chronic hoarse voice
- Thinning hair or hair loss
- Heavy or irregular periods
Common symptoms of hyperthyroidism may include:
- Unintentional weight loss, even without dietary changes
- Rapid heartbeat
- Irregular heartbeat and a pounding heart
- Increased appetite
- Mood changes, including nervousness, anxiety, and irritability
- Hand and finger tremors
- Changes in your menstrual cycle
- New or worsened heat sensitivity
- More frequent bowel movements
Thyroid Conditions Affect Your Mental Health
Studies have shown that patients who have psychiatric disorders like anxiety and depression also have abnormal levels of hormones on their thyroid tests. When your body underproduces certain thyroid hormones, you can feel sluggish and depressed.
When your body overproduces thyroid hormones and your metabolism rapidly increases, you can become irritable, hyperactive, and even manic. You may also begin to experience symptoms of anxiety.
Pregnant women can also experience postpartum thyroid disease, which is a condition that comes temporarily after a woman has given birth. Postpartum thyroid disease can lower your thyroids production of hormones, causing postpartum depression as well.
Take charge of both your mental and physical health and to make an appointment today.
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Why Does Hyperthyroidism Cause A Change In Mood
The cause is sometimes abnormal thyroid hormone levels. Rapid changes in thyroid hormone levels, in particular, can unsettle your emotions. With hyperthyroidism especially, rapid and effective control of the thyroid levels is essential to stabilise the mood, and it is important to make sure that the thyroid levels remain stable.
Hashimotos Hypothyroidism And Anxiety
If you are suffering from Hashimotos hypothyroidism and more particularly, when you dont know you have this disorder, your immune system is not in balance, since Hashimotos hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disorder. Because your metabolic system undergoes changes due to this, you can experience symptoms of anxiety, palpitations and even insomnia. However, proper management and treatment of Hashimotos hypothyroidism can help with anxiety attacks.
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What Emotion Is Tied To Thyroid
The Thyroid and the Mind and Emotions People with an overactive thyroid may exhibit marked anxiety and tension, emotional lability, impatience and irritability, distractible overactivity, exaggerated sensitivity to noise, and fluctuating depression with sadness and problems with sleep and the appetite.
Mental Health Disorder Or Heart Problem
If you and your healthcare provider cannot find a thyroid-related reason for your symptoms, you may, in fact, have a panic or anxiety disorder. You may also have some type of heart condition. In these cases, you should be further evaluated by a heart specialist and/or a psychiatrist.
Besides heart problems or an anxiety disorder, other causes of panic attacks include:
The Thyroid Gland And You
The symptoms someone has may feel like a panic attack, but it could actually be the symptoms of having an overactive thyroid gland. If the body produces too much thyroid hormone, it can cause the heart to work harder, creating symptoms that often feel like a panic attack, according to Verywell Health.
If someone with hyperthyroidism symptoms is correctly treated with antithyroid medications, the panic-like feelings and heart symptoms diminish.
If the symptoms do not go away, call your doctor. The same symptoms being experienced can also be caused by a prolapsed mitral heart valve. The heart valve irregularity is more common in thyroid patients and may produce symptoms that are similar to panic disorder, such as a pounding heart feeling, fast heartbeat, palpitations, panic attacks, dizziness, shortness of breath, and other symptoms, as noted by the thyroid patient website Thyroid-Info.
If the sudden and recurring feelings of intense anxiety and panic are still disrupting your life, reach out to a mental health facility, like Vista Pines Health. Licensed clinicians are available to offer assistance.
Written by: Rebecca Bryan
How To Relieve Anxiety When Its Linked To Hashimotos
If you are suffering from anxiety, the good news is that there are things you can do. As I mentioned before, getting the proper testing done is important. Whenever I meet with patients, I run a thorough thyroid panel to uncover cases of Hashimotos that may not even show up on standard blood work. Its essential to do the investigative work to really determine what may be causing your symptoms.
If Hashimotos is at the root of the anxiety, here are a couple of things you can do to feel better:
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Neuropsychiatric Manifestations Of Thyroid Disorders
Primary thyroid disorders including both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism may be accompanied by various neuropsychiatric manifestations ranging from mild depression and anxiety to overt psychosis.
Dysphoria, anxiety, irritability, emotional lability, and impairment in concentration constitute the classical neuropsychiatric symptoms occurring in hyperthyroidism or thyrotoxicosis. However, elderly patients may present in a state mimicking a depressive disorder with apathy, lethargy, and pseudodementia . Anxiety disorders have been found to occur in approximately 60% of hyperthyroid patients while depressive disorders occurred in 31 to 69% .
According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, The diagnosis of subclinical or clinical hypothyroidism must be considered in every patient with depression . Indeed, among the various neuropsychiatric manifestations of thyroid disorders, depression remains the most common .
Feeling Anxious Or Depressed It Could Be Your Thyroid
Your thyroid, the butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the front and center of your neck, is actually responsible for both your mental and physical health. In addition to affecting your weight, making you feel tired and sluggish, and throwing your hormones out of whack, a thyroid disorder can also make you experience depression and anxiety.
Because over 20 million Americans experience thyroid disease, we at the offices of Terry Baker, MD in Idaho Falls, Idaho, want to make sure that youre aware of the importance of testing for a thyroid condition. So, weve composed this helpful guide to articulate on why you may want to get your thyroid checked if youre feeling symptoms of depression or anxiety.
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What Are The Serious Complications Of Hyperthyroidism
People with advanced and severe hyperthyroidism face a ramshackle of problems, some of them life-threatening. The good news is many patients do not reach this level of severity.
Complications can include:
- Graves ophthalmopathy, also known as thyroid eye disease . A new drug, teprotumumab , was approved by the FDA in 2020 to treat thyroid eye disease.
- Irregular heartbeat, which can lead to stroke, heart failure, blood clots, and other heart problems
- Thyroid storm
- Pregnancy complications, including high blood pressure during pregnancy, miscarriage, low birth weight, and premature birth
- Bone loss and osteoporosis
The longer you have an overactive thyroid and go without treatment, the greater the risk of lifelong complications, even after treatment. As over 60% of people with thyroid disease go undiagnosed, its important to listen to your body before reversible symptoms like weight loss and insomnia progress to serious or life-threatening issues.
What To Do When Youre Dizzy
Dizziness tends to come unannounced or suddenly. You may be working or doing something and suddenly start feeling unsteady and weak. As seen throughout this post, having a thyroid-related disorder can, indeed, contribute to dizziness. The question is what to do when this happens? You need to sit or lie down immediately to lower your chances of falling down, especially if you also have vertigo. In cases of vertigo, the most useful thing to do is to lie down in a dark, quiet place and close your eyes.
If you experience dizziness quite often, there are many ways to make these episodes more tolerable, lower their intensity, or even prevent them. These tips will help you handle lightheadedness in a more effective manner:
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Muscle Aches And Trouble Swallowing
Muscle aches throughout the body are sometimes associated with abnormal thyroid levels. If your muscle aches have recently onset without any other obvious causes, a thyroid disorder is one likely cause. Rarely, muscle breakdown can also occur. If you find that you are unable to build toned muscle, reach out to your physician.
On a similar vein, because the thyroid is located in the neck, the neck muscles are usually the first to experience these symptoms. This includes the muscles associated with swallowing. If you are struggling to swallow, this could be another signs of thyroid problems.
Thyroid Disease & Anxiety
If youre feeling completely overwhelmed and always anxious, its time to get your thyroid checked. As a Functional Medicine Practitioner, one of the first tests I run when someone tells me they deal with chronic anxiety is a complete thyroid panel.
Having excess thyroid hormone such as in the case of Graves disease can also cause anxiety. What many people dont know is that this can also occur with Hashimotos.
When dealing with Hashimotos Thyroiditis, your immune system is attacking the thyroid gland. When your thyroid gland is under attack, thyroid hormones can spill over into the bloodstream triggering anxiety and even heart palpitations.
Its also important to understand that every single cell in the body has receptors for thyroid hormones, and without proper thyroid function many systems in your body suffer. Not only that, but thyroid hormones act directly on the brain among many other body systems which makes sense as to how it can affect anxiety levels.
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Can Stress Affect Your Tsh Level
Some research has found inflammatory cytokines, which are released into the body during a stress response, can reduce levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone . When you have a thyroid illness or imbalance, you’re more likely to have inflammation in the body, which can lead to other diseases and health problems.
Overview Of Thyroid Hormone Metabolism In The Brain
The hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis is a complex interplay between several factors: thyroid hormones, deiodinase enzymes, transporter proteins, and receptors. An understanding of the interactions of these factors may contribute to better elucidate the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders as well as the response to psychiatric treatment.
Thus, the HPT axis includes complex pathways and impairment in its components has been linked in some studies to behavioral changes as will be further pointed out.
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