Exploring the Link Between Stress and Thyroid Function

Exploring Between

and Health

Stress has been linked to a variety of physical and mental health issues, including thyroid function and health. Stress can cause hormonal fluctuations that can disrupt thyroid hormone production and cause symptoms of an underactive or overactive thyroid. The following explores the link between stress and thyroid health and outlines steps for managing stress to improve thyroid health.

What Is Stress?

Stress is the body’s response to physical, mental, or emotional demands. When we are under stress, our bodies release a hormone called cortisol. Long-term exposure to cortisol can interfere with thyroid hormone production, leading to an imbalance in thyroid function.

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What is the Link Between Stress and Thyroid Health?

When the body is under stress, it produces higher levels of cortisol which can affect the production of thyroid hormone. This creates an imbalance, resulting in symptoms of an overactive or underactive thyroid. Common symptoms of an overactive thyroid include weight loss, rapid heart rate, tremors, anxiety, nervousness, and hyperactivity. Symptoms of an underactive thyroid include tiredness, weight gain, dry skin, constipation, depression, and low energy levels.

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How Can Stress be Managed to Improve Thyroid Health?

Managing stress levels is essential in order to improve thyroid health. Here are some tips for managing stress:

  • Deep Breathing: Deep, slow breaths can help to slow down the heart rate and reduce anxiety.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise can help to reduce stress levels and lower cortisol levels.
  • Relaxation techniques: There are several techniques that can be used to induce relaxation, such as yoga, tai chi, and mindfulness meditation.
  • Talking to someone: Talking to a friend or family member can be a great way to reduce stress levels.
  • Getting enough sleep: Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night to help your body cope with stress.


Stress is linked to a range of physical and mental health issues, including thyroid health. Stress can disrupt thyroid hormone production, resulting in an imbalance and a range of symptoms. While it’s not always possible to avoid stress, it can be managed with tools such as deep breathing, exercise, relaxation techniques, talking to someone, and getting enough sleep.