Stress And Thyroid Conditions: Relationships And Management

If you suffer from a thyroid condition, stress can often exacerbate the problem. While stress alone is not a direct cause of thyroid issues, it can make the problem worse. Read on to learn about the relationship between stress and your thyroid, and ways you can help to manage it.


When the body is under stress, a hormone called cortisol releases into the bloodstream. This hormone has been known to interfere with the thyroid's ability to produce normal hormones and can make the thyroid work harder, causing it to become taxed and overloaded. Stress can increase the odds of people suffering from conditions like Hashimoto's disease, an autoimmune condition that affects the thyroid. For people suffering from hypothyroidism, undergoing too much stress can aggravate the symptoms. If you've noticed feelings of moodiness or extreme tension, it's a good idea to see your doctor to determine if it is stress alone, or if you may be dealing with hypothyroidism. While stress and thyroid problems are not exclusively related, any stress that your body and mind undergo can make the problem worse.


There are plenty of ways you can help to manage the stress you feel, whether it's mild or overwhelming. Try the following techniques to help you relax and lower your stress levels:

  • Deep breathing and meditation: Practice breathing deeply, and do a bit of meditation. These practices can lower your heart rate and, as studies show, can improve the function of your immune system. Try to take time to do this every day for at least a few minutes either in the morning or before bedtime.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise can help release good hormones like endorphins that can combat thyroid issues. It's also a great way to improve circulation and help you sleep better, which can also reduce stress.
  • Get a good night's sleep: People who get a full eight hours of sleep per night tend to experience lower stress levels. In addition, sleeping helps your body "reset," which can help to regulate your thyroid and keep hormone levels in check.
  • Eat a proper diet: A balanced diet will not only keep your weight at the correct level, which can really help out your thyroid, but it can also give you the energy you need to get through the day, making your stress lessened. Try to eat foods rich in nutrients and fiber and incorporate plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. A good diet is key to maintaining thyroid levels.

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