I had a goiter and was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at age 15. I also started having frequent panic attacks around that age- however I had symptoms of anxiety well before that. I am wondering if there is a correlation between hypothyroidism and anxiety.
When I was in my early 20’s I was given the diagnosis Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I wasn’t given an explanation for what it was, and I never really thought about it much back then.
I’ve had to get my blood levels checked every 3 months for my doctor to determine how much Synthroid I need. As an adult, I always felt there was some sort of connection between the thyroid and anxiety. I’ve asked doctor after doctor after doctor about it over the years but no one ever confirmed that there was a possible link. Some said no.
Recently my sister was also diagnosed with hypothyroid. It does tend to run in families. She had the amazing good fortune to see a chiropractor who was very knowledgeable about the thyroid and he shared a lot of things with her, which she then shared with me. (She saw the chiropractor for a back problem, their conversation about hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s was just a coincidence).
As I am getting older I have been experiencing a lot of symptoms that, according to this doctor, are part and parcel of Hashimotos thyroiditis. Here are all the symptoms I could find:
- Fatigue and sluggishness
- Brain fog Sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Puffy face
- Hoarse voice
- Elevated cholesterol
- Unexplained weight gain
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness, especially in the shoulders and hips
- Pain and stiffness in the joints and swelling in the knees or the small joints in the hands and feet
- Muscle weakness, especially in the lower extremities
- Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding
- Depression and anxiety
- Heart palpitations
I don’t have all of them. My main symptoms are anxiety, panic attacks, palpitations, cold intolerance, and muscle aches.
Evidently I am not the only one who wonders about hypothyroidism and anxiety:
I have hashi’s hypo, and have always struggled with anxiety, panic, and depression. It has gotten much worse in the past few years. However, i was on synthroid for the past 9 years, and have just…
Yeah the more hypo i get the more anxiety and panic attacks i have. Oh yeah and around that time of the month i start to freak out about everything…it really has an effect on my anxiety level.
Mtate, are you taking synthroid? I was on synthroid for the past 10 years and for the past 2 years I have had terrible anxiety, it started out like you describe, then the past 6 months it was worse…
I also was diagnosed 10 years ago and never had an issue with anxiety until about 18 months ago. Now it is out of control much of the time. I do think the anxiety is related to hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism Support Group Discussion Source
My sister’s doctor recommended a book to her and I bought it too on Amazon: Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal.
It has over 100 five star reviews. The author recommends a gluten free diet to alleviate a lot of the symptoms that go along with hypothyroidism. I wouldn’t even want to try this diet if it weren’t’ for the fact that my sister has only been gluten free for 7 days and already has seen some of her symptoms disappear (chronic sinusitis, morning headaches, and constipation).
So I began a gluten free diet yesterday. I am neither a scientist nor a researcher, but you can bet as I start on my gluten free diet, I will be watching my anxiety symptoms like a hawk. I will let you know if there is any effect on my anxiety as I treat my hypothyroidism with a gluten free diet.
Does anyone else suffer from hypothyroidism and anxiety? What you are doing about it?
I wish you peace,
ps. If you enjoyed this post, be sure you are signed up for my newsletter.