How Stress Affects Your Thyroid Health

How Stress Affects Your Thyroid Health

Sudden weight gain, constant fatigue, irritability, and poor focus at work are common issues that many women have experienced at some point.

These symptoms can be attributed to various factors, including vitamin deficiency, menstrual cycle fluctuations, thyroid problems, or even menopause. The similarity in symptoms between thyroid issues and menopause often makes it challenging to determine the exact cause without medical tests, leading to increased stress levels.

Coping with stress in today's modern lifestyle is not just difficult but often seems impossible. However, it is important to prioritise rest for our well-being. Failing to find adequate time to rest can result in chronic stress, which directly impacts the thyroid gland.

Chronic stress affects the normal functioning of the thyroid gland. It causes an overproduction of thyroid hormones. This excessive hormone release is an attempt by the body to provide energy to all its cells.

Consequently, sugar and fatty acids are released and transported through the bloodstream to the muscles, preparing the body for a "fight or flight" mode.

Continuous exposure to stress requires the cells to demand more thyroid hormone. This may lead to weight gain and persistent fatigue.

How Do We Maintain Optimal Thyroid Levels?

To maintain a healthy thyroid, it is crucial to take regular breaks from work. These breaks aid in stress reduction.

Exercise does not directly help to control thyroid function, it does play a role in reducing the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Regular exercise boosts dopamine, commonly known as the "happy hormone." Additionally, engaging in activities like yoga and meditation can effectively reduce stress levels, thereby promoting balanced thyroid function. By reducing stress hormones and increasing the production of happy hormones, the thyroid gland can function optimally.

The thyroid gland plays a vital role in overall well-being, as it influences the functioning of various organs. It ensures proper heart function, respiratory system performance, digestion, and brain activity. Consequently, maintaining an appropriate release of thyroid hormones is essential.

An under-active thyroid leads to a decrease in body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Conversely, an overactive thyroid results in increased body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. An imbalance in thyroid hormone levels can cause issues such as slow digestion, depression, and disrupted sleep patterns.

The thyroid gland requires sufficient iodine to function properly. Fish, shellfish, dairy products, eggs, and dried fruits are good sources of iodine. Additionally, common table salt is a readily available and inexpensive source of iodine.

It is recommended that adults consume 150 mcg of iodine daily, which can be achieved by consuming just 5 grams of salt per day.

Statistics reveal that the average salt intake per person is 10 grams, resulting in double the required iodine intake. This not only affects thyroid health but also impacts blood pressure levels.


Stress can significantly impact thyroid health, leading to various physical and emotional symptoms. Prioritising stress management through regular breaks, exercise, and relaxation practices like yoga and meditation can help maintain optimal thyroid function. Additionally, ensuring adequate iodine intake supports proper thyroid gland activity. By taking steps to reduce stress and improve our thyroid health, we can enhance our overall well-being.

Related Articles