5 Ways Stress Can Worsen Thyroid Problems


Stress is a part of our everyday life only that it comes in different forms. No matter what is the cause of stress in your body, the adrenal glands respond to all of them in a similar way. Here's 5 ways that stress makes things worse.

Stress is a part of our everyday life only that it comes in different forms. It may be caused by lack of sleep, over exercises, eating too much sweet or a fight with your partner, losing a job, driving in traffic and several other forms of psychological and emotional challenges etc. No matter what is the cause of stress in your body, the adrenal glands respond to all of them in a similar way.

How stress causes adrenal fatigue?

The adrenals are twin glands assuming a walnut shape and rests on top of the human kidneys. This glands secrete over 50 hormones, but the most essential ones are DHEA, cortisol and adrenaline that counter the stress levels in our body. These hormones contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which helps during stress. The problem comes when the adrenal gland limits are stretched and reach their limit of secretion of hormones that help to deal with the chronic conditions like thyroid condition. When our adrenal glands cannot keep up with its functions, the effects can be very devastating.

Here are some of the signs of adrenal glands fatigue.

  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Fatigue
  • Poor memory
  • Autoimmune disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Headache, Blurry vision and many more

Adrenal fatigue on Thyroid condition

Thyroid problems go hand in hand with poor adrenal health which is caused by stress experienced more frequently. The following are five ways which adrenal fatigue worsens the thyroid problems;
1. Adrenaline Stress Interferes with the HPA axis: HPA (Hypothalamic-Pituitary Adrenal) axis is a complex network of communication between the adrenal glands, hypothalamus and pituitary glands that help the body regulate things like immune system, temperature, sexuality, mood, digestion, and energy usage, they also regulate reaction to trauma and stress. A number of studies reveal that the chronic adrenaline stress is the one responsible for depressing pituitary and hypothalamic function. Since the two organs directly manufacture thyroid hormone, anything that causes disruption to the HPA axis directly suppresses the Thyroid function.

2. Decreases the conversion of thyroid hormones T3 to T4: The conversion of T4 to T3 is very essential in the synthesis of hormones essential in the thyroid processes. More Thyroid complications are likely to arise when there is failure or reduced conversion of T4 to T3. 93 percent of thyroid gland hormones are mainly T4, and the T4 hormones are inactive in their nature, they have to be changed to T3 to become active and be used by the cells. Adrenaline stress, inflammatory cytokines in nature, interferes with the conversion of T4 to T3 and disrupts the HPA axis.

3. Weaken immune system: The blood-brain barrier, lungs and GI tract are the primary body immune barriers. They prevent the foreign bodies from getting into the brain and bloodstream. Adrenaline stress is known to weaken the immune system and further weaken the barriers and promotes poor regulation of the immune system. When these immune system barriers are breached, some antigens and large proteins pass into the brain or bloodstream where they should not go. If this happens on several occasions, the specific immune system is weakened and the body is not able to protect itself from autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto.

4. Inhibit the absorption of hormone into cells: For the thyroid hormone that circulates in the human blood system to develop a physiological effect, it must first have the receptors activated on the cells. Stress causes fatigue on adrenal gland which in turn inhibits the absorption of thyroid hormones into the body. This worsens the thyroid problems in the body.

5. Adrenaline Stress Leads to Hormonal Imbalance: During the stress response, one of the hormones yielded by the adrenals is the Cortisol. When Cortisol elevations are prolonged due to chronic stress, the liver’s ability to get rid of the excessive estrogen from the blood stream is decreased. Excessive estrogen increases TBG (Thyroid Binding Globulin) levels.

How to reduce adrenal fatigue?

The best way to reduce thyroid problem is to avoid adrenal fatigue which is brought by stress. The following are some of the do’s that can help you reverse this situation. The first thing is to avoid stress potential situation. Other measures include;

  • Avoid sweet
  • Eat food allergen
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine
  • Keep low glycemic snack near you. These include olive, yoghurt, pickles and nuts. Eating small amounts of food for every three hours will help you balance your blood level thus reduces the chances of worsening your thyroid problems

Apart from the above information, there are also some tablets which are stress depressants that can suppress stress levels in your body. Thyroid problems can be controlled if you lead a healthy life style and proper diet and with a good exercise regimen and in the case of any emergency caused due to the thyroid problems, it’s better to apply for an EHIC card for reduction in medical bills.