Is Your Stress Affecting Your Thyroid Function?
About 1 in 50 women and about 1 in 1,000 men develop hypothyroidism at some point in their life.
EVER WONDERED WHY IT TENDS TO AFFECT WOMEN MORE THAN MEN??
Thyroid and stress have a strong relation. Women of modern day undergo a lot of stress due to the multiple roles they have to play.
Women bear the brunt and the resulting burnout leads to a host of illnesses one of them being Thyroid disorders.
So, how does stress affect thyroid function?
Any kind of stress prompts the brain to release CRH (corticotrophin-releasing hormone). This hormone tells the pituitary gland to release thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), which in turn, sends a message to the adrenal glands to make cortisol.
But both cortisol and CRH can inhibit TSH and the conversion of T4 to T3 (our most active thyroid hormone).
Because every cell in the body uses T3 for healthy function, the decrease in T3 can lead to symptoms like –
• Cold intolerance
• Weight gain
• Memory loss
• Poor concentration
• Hair loss
If you’ve been experiencing chronic stress over the time, the resulting adrenal imbalance, whether overactive or eventually underactive has also been inhibiting your thyroid function.
This inhibition of your thyroid and hormone receptors often takes place quietly behind the scenes for months or years without causing overt symptoms. And this is why so many women are caught off-guard when they are diagnosed with a thyroid disorder. They think everything has been going fine and all of the sudden, they feel horrible.
The fact is, if you’ve been experiencing chronic stress over the time, the resulting adrenal imbalance, whether overactive or eventually underactive has also been inhibiting your thyroid function.
Some patients can even remain in what we call subclinical hypothyroidism, where their thyroid hormone levels are still within the standard normal ranges, even while they’re experiencing symptoms of low thyroid.
Image Credit: AARP
This article was authored by Dr. Bhavi Mody for Oowomaniya.