The Connection Between Hashimoto’s disease And Anxiety
Anxiety is extremely common for those woman who have Hashimotos disease. Do you experience bouts of inward trembling, shakes, heart palpitations, Insomnia or an overwhelming sensation of fear that just comes over you?
Suffering from anxiety and Panic Attacks can make you feel like you are being held captive in a place where worry and fear consume your every thought.
Anti-anxiety medicines are often prescribed by traditional medical doctors ,but science is now discovering that there are many things that can be done naturally to overcome anxiety and panic attacks.
Unfortunately, for too many woman, traditional doctors don’t check for Hashimoto’s and when they do, the treatment only includes the addition of an anti anxiety medication. While this may help get you through a crutch, it doesn’t address the Root cause of the anxiety.
Research suggests a strong association between Hashimoto’s disease and an increased risk of depression or anxiety disorders. Hashimoto’s disease and anxiety disorders are so closely associated that researchers suggest people diagnosed with either condition receive screening for the other.
Causes of Anxiety
While some triggers of anxiety are psychological, others may be physiological or brought about by the excess use of stimulants like coffee, weight loss pills that contain amphetamines, energy drinks or even energy boosting supplements. Major and sometimes even minor life events can lead to occasional panic attacks and these include studying for an exam or given one, going for an interview, emotional distress, physical illness and more.
When the attacks have an obvious trigger, you can practically disregard them as you know that when the situation is over, the anxiety will also subside. At times, the reasons for anxiety can be complex but at other times it can be managed by simple changes to diet and lifestyle. Some of the causes of anxiety that are physiological in nature are:
Let’s see how each of these affects anxiety.
What is Hashimoto’s disease?
Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks healthy tissues and cells of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is vital because it produces hormones like T3 and T34 that control how your body uses energy. Thyroid hormones help regulate your body’s metabolic functions. In fact every cell in the body has thyroid receptors which is why there is a long list of thyroid symptoms.
Hashimoto’s disease, also known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, causes swelling and inflammation of the thyroid gland. White blood cells are a part of the immune system, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis causes large amounts of white blood cells to build up in the thyroid. The build-up of white blood cells damages the thyroid and affects thyroid hormone production.
Can you develop anxiety when you have Hashimoto’s disease?
Hashimoto’s disease is a slowly progressing autoimmune condition, in the very early stages there are no noticeable signs or symptoms. Many times even when suspected, your doctor may screen your Thyroid and if your TSH is normal, further testing for Hashimotos is never done. As the disease progresses, thyroid hormone production starts to decline and your TSH levels may rise. Studies show a higher prevalence of anxiety and depression among patients with hypothyroidism.
Hashimoto’s disease because of the damage to the thyroid gland, it can affect your mood, memory and mental health, often causing anxiety or depression. People who have hypothyroidism are two to 4 times as likely to develop an anxiety disorder when compared to healthy individuals. Moral of the story here is that if you suffer with anxiety, you should be tested for Hashimotos.
GAD and Anxiety
The brain produces a few important chemical neurotransmitter when we talk about anxiety. The two you should be familiar with are Glutamic Acid and GABA. Where Glutamic Acid (glutamate) is like the gas pedal in a car, GABA is like the brakes.
The conversion of Glutamic Acid to Glutamate happens thanks to an enzyme called GAD. This enzyme is critical at putting on the brakes within our bodies. In some people this enzyme, GAD is attacked by the immune system. When this happens, GABA production comes to a grinding halt. Not enough braking and too much gas triggers anxiety attacks as the brain simply does not calm down. In fact, GAD autoimmunity may also be a factor in OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), vertigo, motion sickness and facial tics, apart from causing other symptoms.
If you have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease you are more prone to GAD autoimmunity. In this case adopting a gluten free diet can help a great deal in curbing anxiety. In fact those who suffer from Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism often have undiagnosed gluten sensitivity.
The Role of Gluten in Anxiety Disorders
Do you know that apart from other problems that it may be responsible for, gluten intolerance may also be a factor in anxiety disorders? Inflammation that is part of auto-immune disorders is often triggered by gluten when a person is intolerant towards gluten. Without being aware of it, a bowl of cereal or a piece of bread or toast may actually cause anxiety in a person who is gluten sensitive.
As people who have Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism are often gluten intolerant, they are even more prone to anxiety attacks particularly if they don’t know that they are sensitive to gluten. What is worse is that sometimes even dairy and eggs can cause flare-ups of auto-immune problems. If you find yourself constantly anxious, you can try eliminating foods that can trigger this kind of response.
Blood Sugar Can Also Worsen Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism
While high blood sugar impacts people who suffer from diabetes, having a diet rich in sugar can cause sugar imbalances in the blood of people who do not have diabetes. That is because a high carbohydrate diet or high sugar at times spikes the glucose level in the blood. And glucose high also results in a fast crash after sometime, leading to a craving for more sugar.
This up and down swing can result in irritability, mood disorders, lack of concentration, depression and, of course, anxiety.
If you must have carbohydrates, have them in limited quantity and avoid refined carbohydrates and sweet beverages and desserts along with your meals. These may make you feel good for a short time, but worse later. It always better to have your insulin levels at a balance to avoid anxiety, especially if you suffer from Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
Want to learn more about How to Heal Your Anxiety Naturally? You can watch Dr Hagmeyers video Titled “5 steps to Naturally Overcoming Anxiety”
What you Should Remember About this Article
Research suggests a strong association between Hashimoto’s disease and an increased risk of depression or anxiety disorders.Hashimoto’s disease and anxiety disorders are associated closely enough that researchers suggest people diagnosed with either condition receive screening for the other. This type of testing can lead to to better outcome for treatment.
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