Are you having a hypothyroid freak out? 10 ways to push the reset button

Are you having a hypothyroid freak out? 10 ways to push the reset button

So many Hypothyroid Mom readers write to me about anxiety and panic attacks, yet doctors have never considered taking a closer look at their thyroid, adrenal, and gut health. Shocking really. Jen Wittman, creator of Thyroid Loving Care, shares her personal experience along with 10 tips to relieve stress, anxiety, and panic.

Written by Jen Wittman, Founder of Thyroid Loving Care

I remember lying on the bed wanting to crawl out of my skin. As I stared up at the ceiling, waves of panic overtook me…but I wasn’t sure why. Prior to becoming hypothyroid, I could handle any stress…every stress really. Whatever came my way, I was able to deflect, like Wonder Woman with her magic bracelets. Really, stress was no problem. I actually thrived on it. I piled it on, never really feeling it…or so I thought.

Then I had my baby. After that, everything changed. My moods were like a tsunami crashing the shore. At first you’re sitting on the beach, enjoying a peaceful sea and in the next moment a tidal wave of anger, sadness, panic would topple me destroying everything in its path. I thought this was just hormones and the intense sleep deprivation of new motherhood but eventually, I learned it was my thyroid – powerful and completely out-of-whack.

Why am I so much more anxious since becoming hypothyroid?

This question has a tricky answer. As we now know, the adrenals, thyroid and your gut are inextricably linked. The adrenal glands, part of the sympathetic nervous system, secrete hormones including cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones are important as they regulate the stress response and our ability to handle stress. The problem is that the adrenal glands are the glands most negatively affected when we are stressed.

So it’s a chicken and egg scenario as to whether a malfunctioning thyroid affects your adrenals or if your adrenals are taxed and that affects your thyroid. What we know is that stress greatly affects the adrenal glands, and that is directly related to the health of your thyroid. When it comes to your thyroid, the ways in which our adrenal glands respond has far reaching consequences.

What affects the adrenal glands?

Well, it’s more than you think. Beyond the obvious daily stressors in our lives, the adrenal glands pump out more stress hormones when your blood sugar isn’t regulated, your gut is leaky, you have food sensitivities (such as gluten), toxins and infections are present, or you are inflamed and under an autoimmune attack. All of these factors can affect your adrenal glands which is why it is important to take a holistic approach to healing. You can’t look at one without the other and adrenal stress could possibly be the most important component.

Why this is important

Adrenal stress creates a host of symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, insomnia, mood swings, sugar and caffeine cravings, irritability and dizziness. It also affects how your hormones are used by your cells, reduces the conversion of T4 to T3, weakens immune barriers, causes hormonal imbalances, promotes the autoimmune response and disrupts the interactions between the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands. This affects how you react to stress or trauma, your temperature, digestion, immune system, mood, libido and energy.

How does this play into your anxiety and panic attacks?

Adrenal stress feeds into your sympathetic nervous system which mobilizes your fight-or-flight response. So, something simple like sitting in traffic, standing in line somewhere, getting the kids out the door, or completing a general task will suddenly put you in survival mode and manifest itself as an anxiety attack. What’s happening is that stress gets triggered and that stresses your adrenals which signals your sympathetic nervous system that it’s “high alert” time and that spirals into your personal freak out. Stress begets stress – this is why even when you’re trying to be a “normal” person, you may have trouble managing your emotions and reactions to situations. When your thyroid and adrenals are out-of-whack, it creates a recipe for panic soup – and that’s not tasty.

Tips for relieving stress, anxiety and panic when it rears its ugly head

1. Breathe

You knew this one would be first! But it’s true, you’ve got to stop yourself and start breathing. If you do one thing, it’s this…take a moment to breathe. Panic attacks can be accompanied by hyperventilation. Before I was diagnosed, I had what I now know was a panic attack. I started hyperventilating which I’d never done before and soon enough, I was seeing white light and yelling out to my husband to call an ambulance. I thought I was dying…for real. I’m not one for hospitals or ambulances but was begging for help not knowing if I was taking my last breaths. Experiencing something so unfamiliar was terrifying.

As I started to reverse my Hashimoto’s, I learned that the moment I felt anxiety or stress, I should become very present and focus on my breath. I love Dr. Weil’s Breathing Technique. I use it whenever I can remember to but if I don’t remember, I always go to my standby – taking a deep breath for 5 counts, holding for 3 counts and exhaling for as long as I can. Then I repeat. Deep breathing changes things on a physiological level.

If you can’t slow your breathing down, it’s time to get the ol’ paper bag out to slow your breathing. Hold it over your mouth and progressively start slowing your breath so you can begin deep breathing. You’ll want to do this for several minutes until you notice yourself calming down and coming back to earth.

2. Support your adrenals with food

There are many things you can do to support your adrenals through diet.

a. Stabilize your blood sugar:

i. eat starchy vegetables instead of grains and glutinous foods like pasta and breads

ii. eat a spoonful of coconut oil, coconut butter or a handful of nuts (that have been soaked) to keep blood sugar level

iii. minimize your sugar intake to fruits and starchy vegetables and eliminate sodas, processed snacks, high-fructose corn syrup, refined sugars and sugar substitutes

b. Avoid stimulants such as coffee and chocolate (I know, not fun but I promise it will help!)

c. Avoid alcohol (again, not a super fun suggestion but alcohol can actually put additional stress on the adrenals and affect your mood – not in the fun, party kind of way!)

d. Add eggs, soaked nuts, seeds, dark leafy greens and organ meats to your diet (if these foods are well tolerated). Note – dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, chard, and collards are ok but they have goitrogenic properties especially when eaten raw so take care not to eat them in large amounts. Cooking and steaming reduces the goitrogenic effect.

I was introduced to eating organ meats while I lived in Italy and honestly, they can be delicious! – here’s a dish I ate regularly in Italy. It’s a great snack for you and supports your adrenals. You can spread this on homemade crackers, celery or when I do it, I bend my grain-free policy and eat it on a piece of Udi’s Gluten Free toast.

3. Flex your muscles

A wonderful technique for easing yourself during a high-stress time or panic attack is to use progressive muscle relaxation. This not only helps you concentrate so you can slow your breathing, it diverts your attention from the trigger and helps your muscles relax. What you do is go from head to toe, starting with the muscles in your face, then on to your arms, hands, stomach, yo’ booty, thighs, calves and feet. You’ll tense each muscle group for 10 seconds and then release.

4. Smile, laugh and have fun

If you’re at home when you start freaking out, I highly recommend throwing on your favorite funny movie. The act of cueing up the movie will require focus that will help you calm down. The laughter that comes from it will release happy hormones to help you get out of your head and back in your smile. If that doesn’t work, call your inappropriate friend or colleague and have them dish out something funny – you know they will.

5. Try Holy Basil

Holy Basil or Tulsi as it is also known is a plant used in Ayurvedic medicine as an adaptogen to modulate the stress response and support the adrenals. You can find tinctures of Holy Basil at health food stores, homeopathic pharmacies and some grocery stores including Whole Foods. Holy Basil is a potent herb so you’ll want to try a few drops in a small glass of water first to see how it goes and use up to the maximum amount suggested on the bottle if it is well tolerated. I use it for stress and as a sleep aid when necessary.

Panax ginseng, Siberian ginseng and Ashwagandha can be used as well but should be taken only under the supervision of an experienced herbalist or trained practitioner.

6. Write it out!

One of the best things I ever did to help reverse this disease is to learn how to write. One of the best things suggested by my darling osteopath was to use journaling to get out of my head. I NEVER considered writing in a journal for anything really. I never liked to write and wasn’t particularly good at it. I gave him my best raised eyebrow and bewildered look and told him that I didn’t know where to start. That’s when he pointed me to Write To Be You. This course changed my life and is the reason I am even able to be writing you today.

When anxiety creeps in, start writing. You can grab any ol’ piece of paper, keep a “panic diary” or use your journal. Acknowledge your anxiety and write out how you are feeling, what you are afraid of, what you believe is triggering the stress. If nothing comes to mind, check out Rory’s Write To Be You blog archives which are full of simple writing prompts. I go through them whenever something stressful is living in my body which needs to get out. So grab your pen – you’re going to thank me for this.

7. Push the “panic button” on your stereo

Turn that bad boy on – it’s time to sing and dance out the crazy talk in your head! Now this can go two ways – you can put on your favorite relaxation play list or you can put on those songs that make you wanna belt it out and shake your booty. Either way, you’ll be doing yourself a great favor. Music has been shown time and time again to positively affect moods and reduce stress. You’ll know when the mood is ripe to choose this option to chill.

8. Use aromatherapy

Fragrances can have a physiological effect on our moods. Burning incense, lighting a candle or using calming essential oils like lavender or chamomile or grounding essential oils that are spicy and earthy can calm our bodies (slowing heart rate, lowering blood pressure and relaxing muscles). You can mix some lavender drops (or other essential oils) and water and spray on a handkerchief. Lie down and place the handkerchief over your eyes as you rest and focus on your breath. It’s a winning combination.

9. Calgon, take me away! (us old folks remember that)

This is my go-to get over it panic attack remedy. Pour 2 cups of Epsom Salts in a warm bath and get in. This will raise magnesium levels in your body and will have a calming effect on your mind by relaxing the nervous system, lowering cortisol levels and reducing the excitability of the brain. It works EVERY time! And hey, throw a little of that lavender oil in there for some extra relax in your remedy.

10. Take a virtual vacation.

Using guided imagery can be extremely effective in putting the kibosh on panic. Just think of a place or situation in which you feel completely at peace and relaxed. Close your eyes and imagine this place in detail. What does it look like? Who’s with you (if anyone?) What are the sights, sounds and scents surrounding you? Paint a vivid picture in your mind and focus on it. When you notice your breathing and your body relaxing, you can open your eyes.

I have used this technique to great success not only for panic but for anytime I may feel uncomfortable and need to relax. For instance, I had to get an MRI this year and I’m not good with tight spaces. Talk about panic! Anyway, I closed my eyes and pulled out my happy place as they began the MRI. …”I’m walking along the cobblestoned streets of Italy; having left my favorite breakfast bar where I just enjoyed a pastry and a coffee (hey, this is MY dream!) and I hear the man on the corner playing the accordion while I look at the striking Renaissance architecture surrounding me. The beautiful detail in the stone and wood. A smile creeps across my face as I head out on my day’s journey. The sun is shining and…” Oh wait, I drifted away for a second. Now, it’s your turn. Imagine your favorite memory or create a happy scene that you can keep in your back pocket for those challenging days.

Stressing about not stressing?

So now that you know why you’re being challenged by stress and anxiety and why it’s important to mitigate it, you may start to stress about not stressing. This used to happen to me! I was so committed to reversing my Hashimoto’s that I put a ban on stress in my life. Except that life doesn’t work like that. Stress comes and goes but the moment I would perceive it, I’d tried to get a handle on it and control it and then I’d start stressing that I felt stress and that created more stress. Ai ai ai… don’t do this! Don’t let your desire to reduce stress actually create more stress to you and your nervous system. The best thing you can do is to relax about it all. Be aware but be relaxed. You have your tools now. When stress arises, talk to it, give it a little wave and let it pass you by.

About Jen Wittman

Health coach Jen Wittman, CHHC, AADP provides one-of-a-kind, long-lasting health overhauls through Thyroid Loving Care. Jen brings extra helpings of joy and humor to the table and has degrees in culinary arts, psychology, transformational coaching, nutrition, and Italian. She’s worked with everyone – from Emmy-award winning celebrities to power professionals to CEOs of the home (aka “Moms”). Jen spent a year honing her cooking skills in Italy and is passionate about food, family, friends, laughter and helping people live the life of their dreams.

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About Dana Trentini

Who knew that little butterfly-shaped thyroid gland at the base of my neck could affect my life so completely? I founded Hypothyroid Mom in memory of the unborn baby I lost to hypothyroidism. Winner of two 2014 WEGO Health Activist Awards: Health Activist Hero & Best In Show Twitter. *Hypothyroid Mom includes Affiliate links. Connect with me on Google+

Comments

  1. Just diagnosed and I can’t tell you the weight that is beginning to lift from my tired and weary shoulders. I have lived for several years now with a strong and constant undercurrent of stress and anxiety. I have worn my adrenals down. This diagnosis is a big moment for me. I think back on some of my emotional interactions with loved ones that I can’t help know think were tied in to my being sick. I confused a lot of people with my actions, words and emotions. And I most certainly confused myself. I look forward to looking at myself and my future with eyes wide open and a compassionate heart.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      All the best for you Doug. This may be the beginning of a whole new life for you with better health. Low thyroid can devastate our bodies and our mental state. You’re on to better days.

  2. Great article.
    Thanks for informations, and thanks for sharing this article.

  3. Gosh, this hits home right now. My story is very similar, although I have always had issues with anxiety. I recently built the nerve up to finally have an “expert” opinion and was extremely disappointed with their approach.

    I’m not on any meds other than my Synthroid. I definitely need to start meditating more and possibly try yoga again.

    Thanks for the article- it was just nice to see that it may not all be in my head after all!

  4. So what do you suggest when I’ve done ALL this for years & now it’s getting worse??

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Robin, thyroid health is a big puzzle with many pieces that should be checked. Get a copy of your lab results to be sure testing has included Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies, Thyroglobulin Antibodies, adrenals, sex hormones, iron/ferritin, D3, B12, iodine, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Also consider gluten-free if you haven’t tried it already.

      Also if you are on a Levothyroxine drug like Synthroid that may be a major part of the problem. Many of us do better on a combo of T4 and T3 meds. Read more about it here:

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/which-is-the-best-thyroid-drug-for-hypothyroidism/

  5. Felicia F says:

    I started having panic attacks while riding in the car with my husband, didn’t know why thought it was a side affect of my medication. Know I understand. Thank You. I use Maca Root powder and it helps a lot.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Hi Felicia, there is a cooked maca root product by Whole World Botanicals. I mention this because Maca is a goitrogen and thought to be avoided by thyroid patients although by cooking it that reduces the goitrogenic effect. I mention this because I plan to try it myself. Here’s an interview by thyroid advocate Mary Shomon about this:

      http://thyroid.about.com/cs/alternativehelp/a/maca.htm

  6. I was diagnosed with graves disease 15 yrs ago, everyday is a challenge for me. I never know how I’m going to feel each day. I’m on levoxyl 125mcg and lately feel tired, ache all over,weight gain, trouble walking, getting up from a chair is painful. When I go for thyroid blood test, the doctor never checks my adrenals, tells me my thyroid levels are fine. I get anxiety and panic attacks so much that I’m beginning to feel very depressed and feel that I hate myself. I’m starting to worry that maybe I have another autoimmune problem. Please help. The pain is awful.

    • Dana Trentini says:

      Nancy, it’s important to get a copy of your lab results to see what tests have been done and your levels. Often times TSH is the only test run but this one test does not give a full picture. Testing should include at minimum Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, thyroid antibodies and ideally also include adrenals, sex hormones and nutrient deficiencies including D3, B12, magnesium, zinc, iron/ferritin and selenium. If your doctor won’t do those additional tests, get a second medical opinion. I personally have issues with my adrenals and testing and treating my adrenals is a major part of my thyroid health.

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-10-resources-to-find-a-great-thyroid-doctor-in-2013/

      • How did you become hypo? When I was diagnosed with Graves I took the radioactive iodine, so since my thyroid is useless as compared to someone whose thyroid still produces something, am I lacking iodine. I have days, mostly Saturday’s, that I’ll wake up and feel like I’m hungover, I don’t drink at all. I don’t understand why that happens. I will speak to my physician and ask for the blood test that you spoke about in your previous reply. Thank you for your help.

  7. Man, I wish I had found you when I was first diagnosed with Hypothyroidism! It has taken me almost two years of medication, constant research, learning to stay positive and eating a nutrient rich diet to get myself in a ‘stable’ condition. Not one health care professional told me about panic/anxiety attacks that go along with this condition. I have never been so scared in my live as I was when i was standing amongst 200 people waiting for a show to start and suddenly I felt so overwhelmed I thought I would either explode or pass out. It scared my partner and I as we didn’t know what was going on, of course I know know because of people like yourself on the web that it comes with the condition. Thank you for being so brave and inspiring! I can see now that I will be gobbling up all your resources!!! Love + Kindess to you
    Natasha

  8. claire hunter says:

    hi, I don’t know what to do have been hypo for 10 years, on thyroxine, my thyroid and adrenals have got worse over the years and have now had to give up work and leisure activities as am so exhausted day to day. have had adrenals tested (ACTH test) was negative but can see I have major adrenal fatigue. my last hope to seeing a private nutritionist who specialises in thyroid and adrenals. doesn’t feel like my thyroid meds are working at all and have been fobbed off by the NHS, they say I have chronic fatigue syndrome. I take loads of supplements vitamins it helps but I am still so exhausted. all thyroid bloods are normal.

  9. Don’t forget to check your iodine levels. Dr Brownstein writes a good book about our nation and the deficiency of iodine in our bodies. It’s a must read! Its changed my life. You may have actually been missed diagnosed with your thyroid. Iodine has changed my life and the way I look at my entire health regime

  10. Thank you so much for your insite! I was first diagnosed with nodular thyroid and put on synthroid. Now they just call it hypothyroid. I was wkndering what “Armour” is and wondering if you know of any success stories while on Armour. T.Y.

  11. Allison Cullen says:

    I was diagnosed last year of having a personality disorder, but after reading this, I wonder if I do at all…. am printing this out to show to my doctor… Thank you, I may not be mad at all :)

  12. Sunny Rebel says:

    Hello Hypothyroid Mom, three years ago something happen to me at a shopping centre that stressed me out big time, and since then I have had a anxiety attack when I go there only when I think of the insident. I have been living a stressful lifestyle for a copy of years too lately I lost my beautiful nan on 14:2:13 and my sister is in a mental health hospital dependent and I know this has stressed me out even more. About 4 weeks ago I had a big panic/anxiety attacks that I had to go up the ER I thought I was going crazy anyway they give me some pill (sleeping pill) to take next time I have an attack. I’ve seen two therapist the first said I have depression and the other one said I suffer from high anxiety stress related. My doctor sent me to check for heart attack and thyrid check everything come back good. Anyway when I come across your blog here I’m like yes I do that and yes that make sense. I’m stressing out on stressing out I’m sitting here thinking about it all the time doing breathing excerises the second therapist gave me. I’ve made an appointment with my doctor for tomorrow and can you please tell me what test I need to have please. Thank you for your article I can start helping myself and feel ok that I’m not going crazy in the head. Peace to you and sorry for the long winded story :-)

    • Hi Sunny, Thyroid issues can affect every part of our body including our brain. You can’t imagine how many readers have contacted me suffering from all forms of mental health issues from depression, bipolar to anxiety and panic attacks. While not everything is thyroid related, there is a possibility that your issues are thyroid related. Sadly TSH and Levothyroxine drugs are the focus in mainstream medicine when it comes to thyroid issues that this protocol doesn’t work for all of us. Check this article out for the issues with diagnosis and treatment to be sure you are being properly cared for in terms of your thyroid. All the best to you and happy to have you on my Facebook page too!

      http://hypothyroidmom.com/top-5-reasons-doctors-fail-to-diagnose-hypothyroidism/

  13. Sheri Eshelman says:

    I had a thyroidectomy due to having thyroid cancer in Dec13! I went through the radioactive iodine treatment after they found remaining cancerous thyroid tissue in my neck, lower lung and intestinal tract. I now wait until July for a whole body scan to know whether all the cancer is gone! Stress and worry levels are high. I am on Synthroid 150mc with blood levels normal. My fibromyalgia pain is an all time high which adds to the stress because getting to work, even the part time job of 17 hrs a week is too much! I am bad in bed when I get home! This article has given me some hope for my future health without a thyroid. Many of these articles are for hypo with a thyroid but what about without a thyroid gland? Are there any websites to help me with a guideline for nutrition and diet to follow? I need some help here! My Endo left the practice and the new one cannot see me until July!

  14. I found out that I have hypothyroidism February 25th and was on 50 mcg I was on too high of a dosage now I’m on 25 mcg I started to have panic/ anxiety attacks and sometimes I have chest pains my dr said my heart was fine I am very healthy but when I stress my blood pressure goes up. When I was on 50 mcg I was jittery and dizzy all the time now I’m not. I also have very bad period I never kno when ones gonna come one month or not. I got one this month and I’m sick cramping is really bad! Reading everyone’s comments I’m not the only one my whole family has thyroid issues both of my grandmas had thyroid cancer both had there’s both out. Both aunts hypo and my other grandma hyper. When I first found out that I was hypo I freaked out bc it sounded scary I Thot I was gonna die! Sorry for the long long story! I’m now on all natural anti stress medicine d3 and b12 pills. Thanks for the advice!

  15. Hi!
    I am hoping you can reassure me…i have a thyroid issue going on, i won’t go into the whole history, just that it is getting better, however now my tsh is normal, ft4 is normal, but ft3 is 4.3 (range is 4-7.8). i am still having these weird vibrations, mostly in my legs. they are there pretty much all day, on and off. my endo does not think this is a thyroid symptom, but from what i’ve read on the internet it can be. my leg muscles also feel weak especially after exercise…can you tell me if this could resolve when my ft3 improves (which they are expecting it will do on its own in a couple of months?) thank you! it’s really quite disconcerting. (also had a neurologist appt and he found everything normal, and have had multitude of blood tests, all normal except for the thyroid which was out of range but now in range as mentioned above).
    Lori

  16. So i have this same problem. Is it possible with the right dosage of synthroid or thyroid med and getting my adrenals under control that this anxiety and depression will go away or should look foward to dealing with this for the rest of my life?

  17. Soumya Girish says:

    Does sombdy go through..complete emotional breakdown.even the slightest situation makes me suspicious and I get the panic attacks. I dont knw what to do. .I am taking medication. .but my moods are fluctuating. …I am on levothyroxine 25mg.I am a working mother…I can
    not exclude stress frm my work…I was allways an emotional person. .but now its comming out as anger, depression,
    I have so many reasons to be happy…but I am nervous of loosing my life…my
    loved ones.i get agitated of the slightest things…I knw my husband is putting up with all my issues. .my babys sees me shouting my lungs out..but attimes thats the only way I can react.which I repend every second…can smbdy suggest smthing …I dont want to breakdown..spoil my life…

  18. Kyla Young says:

    Wow I’m glad this site exist and I found others who I can relate to. In 2003 before I deployed I was diagnosed with a thyroid problem not having any clue what a thyroid was 11 years later after full thyroidectomy and every dose of synthyroid my life is still a constant swirl of extreme emotions and everything else that is typical with this. Hoping for normal one day.

  19. I was diagnosed as being subclinical hypothyroid late last year as well as having adrenal fatigue. I have had years of chronic exhaustion like feeling especially in the afternoons, foggy brain, dizziness, anxiety just to name a few. Had a major crash the beginning of last year and was told I needed to take antidepressants, so ditched my GP as I knew that there was more to my problem as I felt so physically sick. Initially I began taking only T3 med With the supplements for my adrenals and started to notice a slight improvement in my general health, my energy was slowly improving however, after a blood test the doc put me on a combo of t3 & t4 to which after a few weeks my results did not change so she upped my t3 Liothyronine to 20mcg and Levothyroxine 25mcg. Iam now suffering heart palpitations, extreme exhaustion, nausea etc and feel like absolute CRAP. My muscles and joints ache to the point that it stops me from doing certain activities I love, I’m only 37 but feel 137. Never had the aches and pains. before. Do you have some advice on what to do next? I’m sick of being SICK! Sorry for the long drawn message.

  20. Lila Brown says:

    I went from hyper to hypo through ablation of my gland. Worst mistake of my life.
    One month after- I became so unable to handle daily tasks, emotionally cope, i couldn’t sleep or think. I landed myself in a voluntary 3 day hold in a psychiatric hospital. Weak, swollen, shaking from exhaustion and non-stop crying.
    Once they pumped me full of ativan and mood stabilizers, they took my TSH-which was critically off the charts. And all my endocrinologist could say was “wow-sorry about that”!
    To this day I continue to require ativan on occasion and have been diagnosed with clinical depression. I used to be such a happy, funny gal. So terribly sad…
    I too have been sick and tired of being sick and tired.
    All I can offer is the reminder to listen to your body. Remove all the toxins of your life (including non-supportive people). And realize NONE of this is your fault.

  21. Sarisha says:

    Hi, thanks for the article. I’m 28 and I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism when I was 18. The doctor told me that it could be because of an autoimmune disease but he didn’t specify. I took the meds (eltroxin and later euthyrox) and my blood tests showed that I was fine, but I don’t feel fine, I have extreme difficulties in focusing and even the smallest tasks cause me anxiety. I don’t know if it is my thyroid or not, what tests do I need to do to find out?

  22. Victoria Lawson says:

    Just what I needed to read today, thanks! I started having heart palpitations so hard, then when it ran up so fast, I would worry causing anxiety and then more anxiety trying to get the anxiety down. This reminds me, I’m not the ultimate healer and just breathe! It will be alright :) Dana, you’re awesome!!!!!! Since I’ve joined your page, I’ve learned so much. Thank you :)

  23. Kirsten says:

    Great article. I was unexpectedly diagnosed w/ subclinical hypothyroid a year after the birth of my son, during fertility testing. Looking back, I’ve had the signs for years. The anxiety in particular has been pretty much a constant part of my life since I’ve been an adult, and yet not one doctor had ever tested my thyroid.

    I’m glad you mention giving up caffeine in the article. In addition to synthroid, I’ve found that giving up caffeine has been crucial for my well-being. I’d had heart palpitations prior to my diagnosis that, for an anxious personality, were pretty terrifying. I finally followed my doctor’s suggestion on giving up my beloved coca-cola, and the ensuing disappearance of my heart palpitations has been a relief. I still enjoy limited amounts of chocolate, but not having the caffeine stimulant in my body has worked wonders.

  24. Hypotheriode started after giving birth to my wonderful son. After several months with Thyrax (now Euthyrox) I thought I had things under control again. But then a year after my lovely daughters birth I still wasn’t feeling like my ‘old me’. Moreover, always been skinny, I am starting to become a fat woman (not gaining weight, just a change in my body texture). My ‘levels’ are normal says the doctor, but I am not in control of my moods and these horrible stress-attacks. I feel so sorry for my 2 kids and husband after I have been screaming and yelling to them. Before I got ill, I could handle stress very well. Now, my character has changed and I wonder if I ever can find my old me. I have to do something. Your advice to change my food will be well worth trying. This needs to change.
    Seems like in the USA you have so much more information on this life-influencing disease. Thanks for sharing this information and also very important to me: your personal experience.
    Best of luck and health to you all out there, warm regards from The Netherlands.

  25. Rebecca Ortiz says:

    Hello. I’ve recently been told I have hypothyroid. I have dealt with anxiety for well over 10 years now. Could all this anxiety caused my adrenals to suffer and that cause the hypothyroid? I really hate to take meds of any kind. What can I do to help with all of this. Maybe I’m too new to all of this and don’t know much. Help!

    • Hi Rebecca, it does get better with the correct treatment and support. I too am hypothyroid and only found out last year. I had a simple saliva test to see whether my adrenals were shot and now taking supplements to help in this area. Also I found a doctor that was sympathetic to my cause and had dealt with this area of adrenal fatigue and hypothyroid and have not looked back. My anxiety was fairly bad but since receiving the correct treatment I have been feeling much better compared to last year. I was a very sick women last year. I think the first step is to find an understanding doctor who is well informed with this area in order to be treated correctly. All the best. If you live in Adelaide South Australia I could highly recommend someone!

  26. Claudella Kay Turner says:

    I stopped my thyroid medicine and after a few months I have had several full blown panic attacks and alot if anxiety. Could me being off my meds cause this. Please help I feel like I’m losing my mind

  27. Hi Rebecca, have read your medical issue on this forum and I feel like my daughter who is 15 is suffering the same feelings as you are. Have been to so many doctors and they first thought it was her heart now they are testing for Addison’s disease. Can you Pleaseeeee tell me who you have seen about this and they helped you. I live in Victoria but I would travel to South Australia if I have to so I can help her.

  28. Lou Greaves says:

    Try magnesium for the cramps. I take 400mg magnesium citrate in morning and 200mg in eve. I also have a magnesium spray to use when I do get cramp. My cramps have greatly reduced now.

  29. Bernadette says:

    Thank you sooo much for this! I feel that this entire article spoke to me and my present “panic” fiascos! I get lazy about taking my thyroid meds and my mind and body go into a crazed emotional mess. Then I remember I’m hypothyroid again!! I appreciate all this great advice and will be referencing this post many more times :) I’m going to try holy basil and just ordered some! Thank you again for writing this!! Namaste

  30. Rick Cornish says:

    Hi. I am seriously concerned. I have diagnosed with slight hypothyroid. The doctor put me on the lowest dose of Levothyroxine .25 to start back in April. The dosage was upped to .5 in September. I am having sever anxiety and feel breathless and swallowing is a concern. I feel not a lump but a dry raw feeling in the base of my throat where the throat and chest meet. I am scared to death this is something other than the meds or the hypothyroidism. Does anyone else feel or have this?

    • Hi Rick, I had the same problem and was told it was thrush as a reaction to meds I was taking. The wrong dose of thyroid medication can cause palpitations and jitters. My medication was upped 5 mg and was enough to cause the above so my doc lowered it. See your doctor about your symptoms. With the correct management things should improve. All the best.

Trackbacks

  1. […] For more tips on reducing stress and thyroid disease, check out my article for HypothyroidMom – Are you having a hypothyroid freakout? 10 ways to push the reset button. […]

  2. […] For more tips on reducing stress and thyroid disease, check out my article for HypothyroidMom – Are you having a hypothyroid freakout? 10 ways to push the reset button. […]

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