A new study popped into my inbox this last week on how stress management can help improve thyroid outcomes in women with Hashimoto’s Disease – and it’s worth sharing!
Do you ever feel like your thyroid symptoms are worse with stress? Here’s why:
1. Stress can increase cortisol (our primary stress hormone), which can decrease the production and conversion (activation) of our thyroid hormones. It can also make it harder for our cells to take up thyroid hormones.
2. Acute and long term stress can be a trigger for autoimmune conditions: cortisol has a significant effect on your immune system and can increase inflammation. Many people with Hashimoto’s disease report that their condition was either triggered or worsened by stress.
After 8 weeks of stress management, women in the study had improved their thyroid antibody levels as well as their stress, anxiety, and depression levels. They also saw improvements in their other thyroid hormones like TSH and FT3, but these results were less significant. It’s important to note that these changes occurred in only 8 weeks, and I often recommend at least 3 months of any treatment plan to see changes in thyroid hormones.
What I Recommend
1. If you haven’t already, address your stress as part of a complete thyroid treatment plan. No life is stress free, but managing and working through our stress can help.
2. Schedule structured relaxation time into your week. Sorry, TV and scrolling on instagram doesn’t count! Hit a yoga class (restorative yoga 2x/week is my current fav), enjoy an epsom salt bath, or start that book you’ve been meaning to read.
3. If you need more accountability, book in your stress management in the form of a treatment like massage, acupuncture, or IV therapy. Did you know that Rooted now has an Acupuncturist? Make use of those acupuncture benefits or pop by for our “Stress-Free” Adrenal IV.
4. Stress overwhelming your life? We can help. Let’s start with the basics for stress management. We also have many counselors and/or psychologists that we love and refer to often, so ask us for recommendations if you’re feeling stuck.
Don’t let stress leave your thyroid a mess…
Your Thyroid ND
Dr. Katie Rothwell, ND