How Stress Impacts The Thyroid!
Stress can play such a huge role in overall health, but did you know that it can dramatically affect the health of your thyroid?
Something to always keep in mind is that the thyroid and the adrenals go hand in hand. Whenever one is off the other one usually tags along.
So, and I see this all the time where people don't even think about the stress playing a role in their health and what their adrenals are doing to their thyroid and vice versa. And unfortunately it's really common to have similar symptoms with both. So that's why I always say, if you're struggling with one area like your thyroid you are more than likely are struggling with your adrenals and the other way around.
So you address both in the same fashion the same way because symptoms are going to be similar. Chronic stress is one of the biggest reasons why I see a lot of people with a slow thyroid that is not under control. They're taking medication. They might be doing all the other things, like eating healthy, sleeping good, working on gut health, but their stress is through the roof. And this can be one of those things where it can actually be the deal breaker where it is the thing that can set their thyroid over the edge. And if they could just get their stress handled a little bit better and under control a little bit better it could be the thing that would actually help toward their efforts with their thyroid health further along forward.
So that's why I really wanted to shed some light on this. Chronic stress will disrupt your HPA axis, that is your hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal axis. This always ends up leading to burnout. When you have this disruption of that axis, you end up essentially leading to burnout. And that basically means that the adrenals are pretty much not going to do what they're supposed to be doing which will eventually affect the thyroid.
So on of the things that I see happen when it comes to this chronic stress cycle is you actually end up getting a decreased production of TSH. TSH is your thyroid stimulating hormone. You need this to actually make your thyroid hormones. If you don't have that it's going to be pretty hard to stimulate, that's why it's called thyroid stimulating hormone. You can't make T3 and T4. So you need to have this thyroid stimulating hormone. It's released from your brain. It's not going to happen when there's chronic stress.
Something else to always keep a mind as well, whenever there's chronic stress they're usually inflammation. I see this all the time. There is some type of inflammatory cycle when you have this chronic stress over and over and over that actually leads to a decrease in sensitivity of your thyroid receptors. So you're not going really utilize the thyroid hormone the way that you should.
And something else to also consider is excess cortisol, which that's going happen when you're under a lot of stress, you're going to release a ton of cortisol. You're supposed to release cortisol with stress, but again if this is excess and it's chronic and it happens over and over, you're going to actually get a decrease in your thyroid hormones, in T3 T4. One of the ways that you actually get a really big decrease in T3 is a lot of times that cortisol will actually cause a decrease in conversion. So you're not getting that inactive T4 over to active T3. You only make 20% T3, so you have to convert T4 to T3. So it's going to be really hard to get that conversion when you're stressed out all the time because you actually revert backwards. That's one of the markers that I do suggest to have checked on a thyroid panel is reverse T3. And that's one of the reasons why because we want to see are you taking that conversion that you're supposed to be taking from T4 to T3 or are you reverting that backwards?
So what can you do about it? There are a lot of ways that you can decrease stress. It essentially it has to be something that works for you. If you don't like meditation and you're trying to do meditation to decrease your stress it's probably not going to work. It has to be something that you enjoy. I personally love meditation. Journaling is a great way too. Breath work is a really good way to decrease stress as well.
Sleep is gonna be very important. Make sure you're getting enough rest and downtime and sleep is gonna be crucial. Eating will be crucial as well. It can create a vicious cycle where you're eating bad foods over and over it will create a stress response in your body. So eating foods that are more nutritious for you and healthier and not inflammatory foods that will help decrease that response as well.
And then your mindset. If you're constantly thinking about how stressed out you are and you can't get out of that rut with it....it just creates a bad cycle. You stress yourself out more because you keep thinking about it. So you really have to find what is going to work for you and what is your stress management that is going to help you.
What is one of your favorite stress management ways?
If you need help with that, then please reach out to me.
You can also grab my FREE guide on The Secret to Reading Your Thyroid Blood Test right here.