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Stress & Hypothyroidism

White woman with hands covering her face, looking down, visibly distressed

Did you know chronic stress can lead to hypothyroidism? 

One of the main hormones that our body produces during stress, cortisol, can increase TSH levels. 

TSH is also known as thyroid stimulating hormone. 

Healthcare providers will often check TSH when they suspect hypothyroidism. A high TSH is associated with a sluggish thyroid and combined with other labs (like T4, T3 and antibodies), can lead to a diagnosis of hypothyroidism.

TSH is responsible for telling the thyroid to make more thyroid hormone.

So, why does stress increase risk for hypothyroidism?

In a nutshell, stress shuts down your liver’s ability to store sugar (glycogen). Which is absolutely essential for activating thyroid hormone. The less thyroid hormone that is activated, the more signals to your pituitary that the thyroid is not making enough hormone. This leads to an increase in TSH.

The first step to becoming resilient to stress is understanding exactly what happens in your body when you are dealing with any type of stress – whether that’s emotional or physical (i.e. an injury).

Check out my blog post on stress resiliency to learn more about how stress works. I also talk about the number one nutrition tip you can start implementing immediately to reduce your cortisol levels and get on your way to healing your hypothyroidism.

If you’re struggling with hypothyroid symptoms and want to learn how nutrition can help, let’s talk! Schedule a FREE 30-minute call here


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