Did you know that thyroid disease can be a root cause of anxiety? In fact, most of my anxious clients have thyroid issues.
Having an excess amount of thyroid hormone can make us extremely anxious, irritable and on edge. This is one symptom that is commonly attributed to Graves’ disease but can also happen in Hashimoto’s.
In the early stages of Hashimoto’s, the thyroid is under attack by the immune system. Thyroid cells are broken down, and they release thyroid hormones into the bloodstream. This causes thyroid hormone surges or a transient hyperthyroidism.
I know how awful anxiety can feel, I had anxiety, panic attacks and pyroluria (social anxiety) in my late 30s, together with an underactive thyroid, adrenal issues, gluten sensitivity, heavy metals, low progesterone (I call it my perfect storm!).
I’m excited to share that there is a way out and that you don’t have to feel this way forever. Everyone is different, but two of the things that worked wonders for me and now work for my clients are nutrition and targeted individual amino acids (like GABA and tryptophan).
But are you aware that the amino acids will be effective for addressing low GABA and low serotonin (in their typical quick manner, often providing relief in 5 to 10 minutes) ONLY when thyroid health is optimal (not many people know this!)
And by optimizing your thyroid health, I don’t just mean taking thyroid medications….
Dr. Izabella Wentz, the Thyroid Pharmacist, is a personal friend of mine – we’re both members of Mindshare, a collaboration of like-minded functional medicine practitioners.
I adore Izabella and love how she is connecting all the dots with the research and the feedback she receives from her community. She is trailblazing and always focused on the why of how a condition develops.
She has found that thyroid disease is triggered by a combination of food sensitivities, nutrient depletions, intestinal permeability, chronic infections, toxins and also a faulty stress response.
The thing about thyroid disease, just like anxiety, is that it’s a sign of a bigger imbalance in your body – while thyroid medications and glandulars can certainly help, they do not get to the underlying root cause of the condition, and thyroid conditions, which are usually autoimmune in nature, may progress to other types of autoimmune disorders.
Hashimoto’s, a condition that affects up to 27% of the population in the United States has 5 stages to it. Out of the 90 million or so people that have it, close to 80 million don’t know that they have it. Often, they are in the earlier stages that are missed by conventional tests.
Hashimoto’s is the primary cause of hypothyroidism, accounting for 95% of cases of hypothyroid in the United States. This condition occurs when the immune system recognizes the thyroid gland as foreign invader and launches an attack against it, eventually destroying enough of the thyroid to produce hypothyroidism.
The five stages of Hashimoto’s are:
1) In the first stage, for all intents and purposes, you will just have the genetic predisposition
2) In the second stage, you start developing an autoimmune attack on the thyroid gland – at this stage, you will also have thyroid symptoms (the most common one is anxiety), but the TSH test will still be normal. Only the thyroid antibodies will be elevated at that point, and at this stage people are often misdiagnosed with anxiety or depression
3) The third stage is when the thyroid gland starts to have more damage than it can repair, and begins to fail. More symptoms are seen, but doctors often miss this stage as well because the TSH is only “slightly” elevated according to their reference ranges
4) The fourth stage, we see overt hypothyroidism. At this page a person has had a significant amount of thyroid damage, and their thyroid fully loses its ability to compensate and create thyroid hormone
5) The fifth stage is the scariest, this is when a thyroid condition progresses to another autoimmune condition. The immune system finds another target to attack, and person may end up with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s or even multiple sclerosis.
The only treatment that is offered by conventional medicine is thyroid hormones, which is prescribed in stage 4. When that can help of course, it doesn’t address most people’s symptoms and doesn’t stop the progression of the condition and autoimmunity. There is no conventional treatment for stopping or reversing the progression, but luckily we have functional medicine and nutrition to the rescue!
A shocking thing that Izabella has shared, is that it takes people on average of 10 years to get diagnosed, and this is also the time it takes to get from stage 2 to stage 4 of Hashimoto’s! Izabella was actually misdiagnosed with anxiety and chronic fatigue for almost a decade before she got the Hashimoto’s diagnosis, and many people are told that they have intractable infertility, lifelong anxiety that they are told they will have to “manage” forever or even told they have treatment-resistant depression, or that they are simply overweight and lazy.
I know that many of my clients with anxiety are likely still in the earliest stages of Hashimoto’s, and there is hope that you can eliminate your symptoms, AND you can actually prevent the damage to the thyroid gland if you intervene at this point.
Izabella created the Thyroid Secret documentary series to help you connect the dots of your own thyroid condition, so that you can rebuild your health and eliminate your symptoms (and potentially your health conditions). She shares her latest research in overcoming thyroid disorders, and interviews the top experts who share their best strategies as well.
I was so excited when Izabella asked me to join the Thyroid Secret as an expert – in fact my interview was the very last thing I did in the United States, before I moved to Australia! This topic is so important to me (and so key for my clients and you to know about) that I did the interview in an empty house, with just a few chairs and our almost-packed suitcases, and just a few hours to spare before we got on the plane!
Here are a few pictures (I was ironing my clothes on a spare table in the mostly empty study!):
The Thyroid Secret covers not just the symptoms of thyroid disease (like anxiety) that can masquerade as mental illness, but also the triggers that can cause both conditions, and the solutions and protocols you need to recover your health.
When your thyroid is working as it should be, the amazing amino acids like GABA and tryptophan are truly effective in 5-10 minutes – so you really can say they are amazing! You will see incredible results – anxiety relief right away – and a feeling of hope while you dig deeper for root causes that can take longer to address.
I wrote this blog for everyone using amino acids and not seeing results. And also for everyone with a thyroid condition or if you have unresolved symptoms that could be related to your thyroid.
I do hope you’re already signed up and are enjoying watching, listening and learning as much as I am.
If you haven’t yet signed up you can still join as my guest to view the entire series at no cost (it started March 1). Just use this link to register.
We’ve come together in this Thyroid Secret documentary to give you this information because you deserve to feel on top of the world again!
Got questions or feedback? Your favorite speaker and some takeaways?
Did you find that GABA, tryptophan and other amino acids were more effective once you addressed your thyroid health? If you’re a practitioner do you see this with patients/clients?
Please share in the blog comments below.