Q: Can Thyroid Problems Cause Anxiety?

Depression - Can Thyroid Problems Cause Anxiety?

Q: Can Thyroid Problems Cause Anxiety?

Thyroid hormones play a critical role in how your brain works. When there is a change in the amount of thyroid hormone in your body, the brain can be affected. This means if you have thyroid problems, it can cause anxiety. 

Anxiety is a common symptom of hyperthyroidism, though it can occur with hypothyroidism as well. Up to 60% of people with thyroid problems may experience anxiety. Because of the role thyroid hormones play in the brain, an increase or decrease in these hormones can contribute to mood swings and neurological disorders. 

Thankfully, proper treatment to address your thyroid problem can reverse these impacts.

Thyroid Hormones And The Brain

Normal functioning of the brain is essential for mood regulation. The brain and body rely on hormones such as dopamine and serotonin to feel calm and stable. 

Thyroid hormones influence both the production and function of these mood regulating hormones in the brain. Thyroid hormones also play a role in the myelination of neurons and communication between different parts of the brain.

When levels of thyroid hormones are altered, neurological symptoms may result.

Potential neurological symptoms of thyroid problems include:

  • Impaired memory
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tremors

If imbalanced thyroid hormones are left untreated, the neurological side effects can worsen. But, getting prompt medical treatment can repair the damage and reduce or reverse the symptoms.

Anxiety and Your Thyroid

Many different factors can cause anxiety. Daily life stressors, lifestyle habits, genetics, and a variety of health conditions can all contribute to the development of anxiety. 

If you are experiencing anxiety, it’s best to check in with your doctor to rule out underlying health conditions, including thyroid dysfunction.  

If testing reveals hyper or hypothyroidism, prompt treatment is essential to your long-term mental health.  Your healthcare team will work with you to balance your thyroid hormones and ensure you feel your best both physically and mentally. 

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