Hypothyroidism and Anxiety: What You Can Do To Beat It

Hypothyroidism and Anxiety: What You Can Do To Deal with This Common Symptom

Because hypothyroidism and anxiety are intrinsically linked. However not often covered elsewhere on the web. So I want to bring you some facts and then some suggestions of what you can do to deal with anxiety which maybe running your life.

If you think this sounds reasonable then please allow me to continue…

Anxiety was one of the symptoms I suffered from before being diagnosed with low thyroid function. I was confusedhypothyroidism and anxiety at first because I had no idea why I was anxious all the time. In general I’m a laid back but at the time I started to worry about everything…

My partner at the time used to joke “I am sure there is a woman down the road you haven’t worried about yet!”

However behind the jokes there were real concerns because at times my heart was racing too. My partner used to work away a lot. We had been together for years and knew each other inside out. I trusted him complicity but when I first showed signs of anxiety my mind was in overdrive…hypothyroidism and anxiety it’s not fun!

I would wonder where he was and who he was talking to…which isn’t me. I just wanted to feel normal again. I was thinking “What is wrong me!”

Well now I know and I want to share with you what I found out about hypothyroidism and anxiety…

So let’s find out what is going on and why are hypothyroidism and anxiety linked.

Hypothyroidism and Anxiety: Why Have I Become More Anxious Now I Have Low Thyroid Function?

As we have spoken about on this site before; your adrenals, thyroid and gut are all linked. Your adrenal glands are part of your sympathetic nervous system and secrete hormones such as norepinephrine, cortisol and epinephrine.

These hormones are crucial because they regulate your stress response. Thus vital to your capacity to handle stress. The issue is your adrenal glands are severely affected when you become stressed.

So explaining why hypothyroidism and anxiety are linked is very much a chicken and egg scenario.

Figuring out whether your malfunctioning thyroid affects your adrenals…

OR if it’s your adrenals which are working poorly and your thyroid suffering as a result isn’t always easy.

However what I can tell you is…

Stress greatly affects your adrenal gland! And that’s related to the health of your thyroid.

When it comes to your thyroid…

The manner in which our adrenal glands react has far reaching importance to you overall health, well-being, tiredness and stress levels.

Hypothyroidism and Anxiety: What Affects Your Adrenal Glands?

The quick answer is A LOT, but apart from the recognizable day-to-day stressors which most of us know about. The adrenal gland produces more stress hormones when:

  • Your blood sugar isn’t regulated
  • You have a leaky gut
  • You have food intolerances (such a dairy)
  • There are toxins or infections within your body
  • You’re inflamed and under autoimmune attack

All of the above factors will affect your adrenals…

So that’s why I recommend a holistic approach where possible. You cannot look at one factor without considering the others and adrenal stress could be the most significant of them all.

Hypothyroidism and Anxiety: Why Is Adrenal Stress Important?

When you are suffering with adrenal stress it leads to symptoms such as:adrenal glands endocrine system

  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Mood Swings
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Sugar cravings
  • Caffeine cravings
  • Irritability

Adrenal stress affects how your hormones are used by your cells. It lessens the conversion of T4 to T3. This leads to:

  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Weakens immune barriers
  • Promotes the autoimmune response
  • Upsets the interactions between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal glands.

This affects how you respond to:

  • Stress and trauma
  • Your digestion
  • Immune system
  • Sex drive
  • Mood
  • Energy levels
  • Temperature

Hypothyroidism and aAnxiety: How Does Adrenal Stress Lead To Anxiety And Panic Attacks?

When you are suffering adrenal stress it feeds into your sympathetic nervous system which triggers your fight-or-flight response. What does this mean?

Well everyday actions you usually took for granted such as:

  • Waiting in line at the grocery store
  • Taking your kids to soccer practice
  • Dealing with a bill online

Can all lead to you going into “survival mode” which shows as a panic attack.

So in your body, your stress is being triggered. So as we explained this puts stress on your adrenals which then signals to your sympathetic nervous system it is on “red alert” and so you start to freak out.

Unfortunately stress creates more stress, so even when you’re trying to be “normal” it can be extremely difficult to manage your emotions and how your react to everyday situations. When your adrenals and thyroid are out of sync it creates the ideal conditions for panic attacks and that’s just adding to the list of “(un!)fun things” thyroid  disorder creates.

So now we understand what is going on our next logical step is…

What can we do to make our problems more manageable? So we can control our emotional state and get on with our everyday lives…

7 Tips To Release Stress, Panic and Anxiousness When They Make An Appearance

I am going to start with an old trick my Grandma taught me….

Hypothyroidism and Anxiety Tip #1: The Power Of Epsom Salts

My grandma swore by this tip…It has been passed down my family for generations and now I would like to share it with you…

What you do is pour 2 cups of Epsom Salts in a warm bath and get in. The reason being is it will raise your levels of magnesium in your body and have a soothing and calming effect on your mind thus relaxing your nervous system, lowering your cortisol levels and reducing the panic going on in your brain.

I use this as my go-to method whenever possible and it works! I have added to it over the years and like to add some lavender oil to the mix as I find it helps relax me even more.

Hypothyroidism and Anxiety Tip #2: Smile, Laugh, Dance And Have Fun

Another tip is for me is when you’re at home and you feel yourself starting to freak out. I throw on some music I like and start to dance. You can do the same and watch a movie that makes you laugh. The act of putting on a movie or queuing up your favourite song requires focus and it will help calm your nerves.

The laughter from watching the movie or feeling the beat of your favourite song and just going with the it will release happy hormones. Allowing you to overcome the panic and bring a smile to your face.

Hypothyroidism and Anxiety Tip #3:Take A Vacation Of The Mind

Another way to shift focus away from the rising panic is to “take a mental vacation”. How do you do this?

Well close your eyes and try to imagine one of your favourite vacation spots in detail. For me it is a little cove in Bermuda which I love. What does this place look like? Who is with you (or you can be alone)? What are the sounds, smells and sights around you?

Try and imagine with as much detail as possible, it will take a few moments but, after a while you should feel your breathing coming back to normal and when it does it’s your cue to open your eyes.

Hypothyroidism and Anxiety Tip #4: Stretch & Activate Those Muscles

A simple but effective technique to calm oneself during times of stress or during a panic attack is to practice panic attack hypothyroidismprogressive muscle relaxation. This isn’t to help you concentrate so you can slow your breathing but to distract your attention from the trigger and help your muscles relax.

It is easy enough…

You go from “head-to-toe”, so start with the muscles in your face, then your arms, hands, stomach, on to your bottom/bum, thighs, calves and finally your feet. You need to tense each muscle group for 10 seconds and then release. For more information on what to do you can view a PDF on this subject by clicking here.

Hypothyroidism and Anxiety Tip #5:…And Breathe

So this one should really be first but I often get into the writing zone and well breathing is now at #5…

When you experience the onset of a panic attack (the one thing you must do) take a moment to breathe. When you have a panic attack, as you know I’m sure is it leads to hyperventilation.

Before I was diagnosed, and I experienced what I now know was a panic attack. I would hyperventilate which was all new to me as I’d never experienced them before. Scared and seeing white light I shouted at my partner at the time to call for an ambulance…

I truly though I was dying…scared out of my mind thinking I was experiencing my last few breathes.

When you go through something unfamiliar it can be terrifying right?

Now through experience and knowledge of what is happening I’ve learned to focus on my breathing. If ever a panic attack arises, I recommend Dr. Weil’s Breathing Techniques. I use these whenever I remember too and if I can’t at the time then my back-up is:

  • Take a deep breath for a count if 5.
  • Holding that breathe for a count of three.
  • Exhaling for as long as I can.
  • Repeat this process.

Deep breathing actually changes things on a physiological level. If you can’t slow your breathing down it’s time to bring out a paper bag!

Hold the bag over your mouth and progressively start slowing down your breathing. So you can start deep breathing again. You’ll need to do this for several minutes until you notice yourself calming down and being able to think with more clarity again.

Hypothyroidism and Anxiety Tip #6: Have You Ever Heard Of Holy Basil?

Holy Basil has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine as an adaptogen to temper the stress response and help the adrenals. Holy Basil is potent so we suggest starting with only a few drops in some water at first to see how it affects you.

Please read the directions and never go above the recommend dose if you find you need to use more to have the desired effect. I use Holy Basil myself and it works wonders for me to help me sleep and relieve stress.

Hypothyroidism and Anxiety Tip #17: Write It All Down

One of the reason you’re even reading this is because my best friend saw a psychiatrist and would talk to me about Panic diarywhat was going on. Her psychiatrist suggested she write a journal and she passed this suggestion on to me. I figured it worked for her why not try it myself?

I’d never written before but my friend Clare just told me to write “to be you”. It worked and now I have this blog which I hope will help others including you.

When I start to feel anxious I start to write. I keep what I call a “panic diary”. I write my thoughts down, acknowledge my anxiety and how I am feeling. I look into why I am afraid (being honest with myself) and then think about what may have led me to this mindset and why I am stressed.

If you still don’t know where to begin then I would suggest this blog.

Hypothyroidism and Anxiety: Let’s Wrap This Up Shall We?

Today we have discovered why you’re experiencing stress and anxiety, how it affects your mind and body, why it is important to lessen it…

But I don’t want you to now stress about not being stressed!

The reason I bring this up is it used to happen to me. I was committed to overcome my thyroid disorder so put a ban on stress. In the real world this is simply not possible. Stress simply comes and goes; if you try to get a handle on it and control it you start to stress about being stressed!!!

Through experience I can honestly say “DON’T DO THIS” don’t let you desire to reduce stress lead to more stress to you AND your nervous system…

The best you can do is relax…be aware but be relaxed.

I have given you the tools you need now (7 of them to be precise). When stress rears its ugly head you can talk to it, give it a little hello and let it then pass you by.

Thanks for visiting my site…I hope this helps.

For our next article “The #1 Food That Harms Your Thyroid” click here now >>

 

 

 

 

 

 

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