Doctor Doni

Low Thyroid Function and Stress: What’s the Connection?

Dr. Doni explains the causes and effects of hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s and their connection to stress, and gives advice and hope to those who want to recover. 

underactive thyroid symptoms, low thyroid symptoms, thyroid underactive, thyroid hormone, Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia, Depression

Low thyroid function (hypothyroidism) is one of the most common health issues in the US and when it continues for a long time it increases your risk of:

Unfortunately, it is very often not identified by standard blood work ranges and, when it is identified, the common treatments do not adequately address the issue. This means that millions of men and women are going through life with the symptoms of low thyroid function that could be addressed so they could feel better.

Symptoms of Low Thyroid Function

Here’s what you might be experiencing if you have an underactive thyroid:

If you have some or many of these symptoms, understand that there is a reason you feel this way and there are ways to give your body the help it needs so that you feel better. So, whether you currently take thyroid medication or not, I encourage you to learn more and look further.

Causes of Low Thyroid Function

Here are some of the possible reasons why your thyroid is not functioning well:

Notice how many of these possible causes of an underactive thyroid are directly related to stress in some form or another. Being human, with all the common exposures to stress we experience every day, makes it quite likely that your thyroid might not be functioning optimally.

Thyroid function is a spectrum – your thyroid might be under-functioning just a little bit, or it could be functioning well below what it should be – and for one or all of the above-mentioned reasons.

And yet, when you have a standard blood test to check thyroid function, it is mainly used in standard medical approaches only to identify severe under-functioning. And the standard approach to severe hypothyroidism is to give a synthetic form of T4, the inactive form of the thyroid hormone rather than the active form your body can use.

Yet research shows that:

  1. People who have been taking synthetic T4 long term are likely to still be experiencing low thyroid symptoms.10,11
  2. Women who have even slightly low thyroid function are more likely to experience a miscarriage.12

I encourage you to be an advocate for your health. Ask your doctor to check your thyroid function every year when you have blood work done. They should test the TSH level as well as free T4 and free T3. The TSH should be no more than 2.5 if you don’t take thyroid hormone medications, and if you do take thyroid medication, it should be between 0.5 and 1.5. If you have not been tested for thyroid auto-antibodies then that should be done as well.

And know that there are ways to order these blood tests and pay out of pocket, so don’t feel restricted by what your insurance will cover.

What To Do If You Are Experiencing These Symptoms

If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, and your blood levels are not optimal, then I definitely recommend that you do the following:

I’m happy to help you improve your thyroid function and get to the bottom of what’s causing it to under-function. I understand that it can seem as if you’ve felt this way forever and it can be hard to believe it could ever get better. That is the unfortunate result of a healthcare system that is following protocols instead of preventing health issues.

If you would like to discuss how I can help you, you can request to make an appointment to meet with me either in person or by phone/video call by clicking here.

If you’d like to learn more about the connection between stress and your health, you can download my 35-page ebook – A Guide to Adrenal Recovery – when you sign up to receive my weekly e-newsletter. Be sure to tell me your interests so I know what you’d like me to write about next.

Come on, let’s get you feeling better.

–Dr Doni
31st January 2017


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  2. Nishioka K, Uchida T, Usui C, Tanaka R, Matsushima T, Matsumoto Y, Nakamura I, Nishioka K, Hattori N. High prevalence of anti-TSH receptor antibody in fibromyalgia syndrome. Int J Rheum Dis. 2016 Nov 30. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.12964. [Epub ahead of print]
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