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. Thyroid Specialist and Holistic Health Expert, Jen Wittman, shares her personal experience along with 10 tips to relieve stress, anxiety, and panic.

(This is one of the most popular articles at Hypothyroid Mom. Looks like there are many of us dealing with this symptom.)

Before you dive into the article, I’m excited to share that Jen is offering a digital download of her book, Amazon #1 New Release, Healing Hashimoto’s Naturally, as an exclusive FREE gift to my Hypothyroid Mom community this week!

Written by Jen Wittman, 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. 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.

Learn more about how you can address anxiety, depression, overwhelm, leaky gut, adrenal health, hormone balance, gluten-free eating and more with this special gift for Hypothyroid Mom friends – free digital download of my popular book, Healing Hashimoto’s Naturally. 

About Jen Wittman

Jen Wittman, CHHC, AADP, is a Certified Holistic Health Expert, Chef, Author & Vitality Coach, who teaches people how to heal thyroid and autoimmune conditions naturally. She’s helped hundreds of people feel great despite thyroid disease.

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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+


  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.


        • Oh Rachael I’m so very sorry you are going through this. You are so sweet. Please join me on my Hypothyroid Mom Facebook page where you’ll meet over 200,000 people all with hypothyroidism. People comment and support one another. It’s really a beautiful group and you’re more than welcome. Also check out for programs that provide discounted or free medications to those with financial needs. Synthroid, Levothyroxine, Armour thyroid, Tirosint, methimazole and propylthiouracil are among the thousands of available medications.

          • Hello there. I can certainly relate to all these comments about HYpothyroidism!! I was diagnosed about two yrs ago and went to an Endocrinologish who wanted to do nothing about the nodule I had in my neck and says “Lets monitor it in six months”. I wasn’t a happy camper- not to mention my own Doctor never recognized I had a Thyroid condition. It wasn’t until going to see a new Dr -actually a Nurse Practicioner and she immediately placed me on Levothyroxine. Now Im skeptical about the 50 mg of Levothyroxine that IM on AND RECENTLY visited the Natural Food store and they recommended dessicated Thyroid- Armour. I have never been able to lose much weight, tired every day, Severe Sinusitis and have had to go on antibiotics for it a lot, have COPD, I do work out at Planet Fitness where I joined about 4 mo ago but not much success with weiht Loss, puffy, watery eyes. I drink Green teas, just finished a Colon Cleanse, I added Kelp to the diet and a Woman’s Multi vitamin from GNC plus Probiotics. Help!!!! What will help me to re gain my health?

          • Hello there. I can certainly relate to all these comments about HYpothyroidism!! I was diagnosed about two yrs ago and went to an Endocrinologish who wanted to do nothing about the nodule I had in my neck and says “Lets monitor it in six months”. I wasn’t a happy camper- not to mention my own Doctor never recognized I had a Thyroid condition. It wasn’t until going to see a new Dr -actually a Nurse Practicioner and she immediately placed me on Levothyroxine. Now Im skeptical about the 50 mg of Levothyroxine that IM on AND RECENTLY visited the Natural Food store and they recommended dessicated Thyroid- Armour. I have never been able to lose much weight, tired every day, Severe Sinusitis and have had to go on antibiotics for it a lot, have COPD, I do work out at Planet Fitness where I joined about 4 mo ago but not much success with weight Loss, puffy, watery eyes. I drink Green teas, just finished a Colon Cleanse, I added Kelp to the diet and a Woman’s Multi vitamin from GNC plus Probiotics. Help!!!! What will help me to re gain my health?

        • ZellinA says:

          I’m going threw this thyroid thing to and I been having panic attacks for the first time in my life and it’s super scary every night my chest gets really tight I went to the e.r 2days ago and the sent me home with hypervonalation syndrome , and I been reading about my symptoms and now know it must be my thyroid

        • Send me a friend request. Melissa Newman. I can relate 100%

      • I am just reading this article and I am on the verge of tears. For the last 8 or 9 years I have been fighting this battle and only in the last 2 years have been diagnosed with hashimotos and not by my family doctor who said I was a mystery and didn’t know what to do with me. I am still struggling, in fact I just left my work gym with such anxiety and feelings of panic. I started t3/t4 in a synthetic form and it hasn’t done anything, in fact I am also adding some of my synthroid to it. I take adrenal support , progesterone cream and tablets, a host of vitamins along with added thyroid support from my naturopathic doctor, along with a gluten free, almost paleo diet. My body does not feel like my own neither does my brain. I am always sore, moody and hate this. I use to be able to run and work out daily now this is a chore, there is no weight loss and my foot always hurts. I hate complaining about this but I feel so hopeless. Will I ever feel normal again? Is there some thing I’m missing or my doctor. Can someone at least point me in some direction. Thanks for reading.

    • My marriage is ending and it is partially because of hashimoto’s and the military’s lack of motivation to figure anything out medically. I am always highly stressed, irritable, and I no longer have any patience and sometimes I feel bipolar. I cannot get the Mil to do any tests for my adrenal or pit. gland. I am getting out so I plan on seeing a much better doctor.

  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:

  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:

  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.

      • 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

  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!

  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).

  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…

    • Pam Denman says:

      I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I went through something similar (emotional breakdown) and it’s taken me years to find the answers. I have Hashimoto’s first off and low-functioning adrenals. I took CORTISOL at a dose of 22 to 30 mgs a day for about a year and it helped tremendously. A nervous breakdown is a sure sign of adrenal insufficiency. I’m currently working on healing a leaky gut, as the proteins it releases can cause a multitude of symptoms. Have also found that a GOOD systemic enzyme taken between meals can destroy many of the proteins that get through the stomach lining and into the body causing autoimmune attack, panic attacks, joint aches, brain fog, fatigue and stomach pain. Of course, this works best when eliminating the foods that cause the attacks like gluten, dairy and sugar. Here’s a great article on enzymes and their importance to the digestive system and the body:
      Also, look into histamine intolerance. Here’s a wonderful article on the subject:
      Systemic Enzymes help here as well.
      Get PLENTY of protein and fat in your diet as these help with mood and anxiety. Amino acids help insure healthy neurotransmitter activity, leading to a more relaxed and positive mood. Fats are also the precursors to cholesterol which makes a whole host of hormones including cortisol! Cannot STRESS enough the importance of healthy fats and protein.
      Please consider reading Julia Ross’ “The Mood Cure.” Found so much helpful information here.
      Please take care and get better!

  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.

    • Pam Denman says:

      Please look into low cortisol levels for the nausea you’ve been feeling. I had it for over 3 years and the only thing that stopped it was cortisol. Taking T3 several hours before waking propped up the adrenals and stopped the morning nausea altogether. Look at removing things like gluten, dairy and sugar from your diet and add plenty of protein and healthy fats.
      L-Tryptophan has helped me with anxiety and sleeplessness.
      Hope this helps.

    • Please checkout the STTM website

      Perhaps you need to be on Natural desiccated thyroid

  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!

      • Hi Cards, I live in Adelaide S.A. and I would be very grateful if you could pass on the name of the Doctor that you have found who is understanding of Thyroid problems. I am at the end of my tether with doctors who look at me as if I am crazy and not listen to what I am telling them. I leave the surgery with a feeling of disappointment at being dismissed as ‘just another patient with Anxiety issues’. Once that label was applied to me that is all the doctors can see, it follows me around like a millstone. I am now being referred to a psychiatrist!!!!!!! I hope you read this and can help with the info I seek….thank you in anticipation, Jen.

        • Hi Jen, sorry to hear you are going through a hard time. It is awful and I know how frustrating it can be especially when gp does not listen. I understand the whole ‘label thing’ because that’s exactly what happened to me. Not anymore though. Changed gp best thing ever. It is a process to healing but I highly recommend Dr Susan Nugent from the Centre for Health and Wellbeing, Rose Park. She has really helped me feel human again and she is extremely understanding and sympathetic. I hope too, that things will look up for you soon.

          • Thank you very much Cards for sharing. Jen, I’m sorry to hear all you’re going through. I have my fingers crossed for you that this doctor is able to help. All the best.

          • Thank you so much….I do appreciate your help and I will be contacting her.

        • You can order natural desiccated thyroid off the internet from Thailand with no prescription –

  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.

  31. I recently had a baby boy he will be 7 months here soon.I went through a lot 32 hrs of labor and c section. After leaving the hospital I was back in with a infection on my uterus .Not long after I woke up one night feeling ice cold and numb and dizzy , may I add I had no idea what was going on I thought I was having a heart attack. I decided to take a hot shower thinking I was crazy and well I still felt numb, and cold, went back to sleep so I tried and couldn’t 2 hours later I went to the hospital shaking and voice was jittery , I was told it was anxiety. They did xray everything was good I said “I just want to stop shaking” I felt like noone was really listening I ended up going home made a Dr appointment got put on medication which changed a couple times before they found one that helped me sleep and relax! I’m that kind of person who hates taking medicine I thought maybe this is all in my head ?!?!? Anxiety stopped but then my throat felt swollen allllll the time !!! You tell Dr’s” I have anxiety “and that was automatically it a nurse actually didn’t even look at me once i told her I had it ! It took me 5 months of complaining I finally got a ultrasound come to find out my thyroid was inflamed and their was some kind of infection so I asked “should I be on medication to reduce this” nurse said no that they would retest in a few months. It sucks my throats always sore I can barley swallow , I’m thinking on getting another opinion after all I was right 5 months straight when they told me otherwise. All signs tell me it’s more then just a inflammation issue.

    • See if you can see an endocrinologist,explaining your symptoms or get a referral. Hey can do lab work and do ultra sounds to evaluate your thyroid if they see something in the lab results or feeling your thyroid

  32. Candace McCutcheon says:

    It’s difficult for me not to panic, because I have an “unspecified thyroid disease,” that I understand somewhat, but I still am not able to predict what’s going to happen next in terms of my thyroid levels.
    One day I feel great, on top of the world, like I can handle anything. Then another day I’m in pain, down in the dumps, sleeping 12+ hours a day and suffering from respiratory infections, kidney pain and nausea, no doubt from a thyroid hormone deficiency interfering with my liver function, etc.
    Then, I try to take a little extra and I feel much better, but that is sometimes followed by my thyroid getting just a little too high (because it’s like threading a needle to get it right), and I become so agitated and hyper that people have actually asked me if I’m on drugs or if I’m crazy…even doctors!
    My pattern is exactly like all of the other women in my mother’s family – low thyroid at the onset of puberty, followed by lower and lower thyroid with pregnancies and children, then followed by a sudden increase in the thyroid levels at menopause, something I’m still going through at 58.
    I have traced the disease back seven generations in my family, to 1801, and I have even made color-coded charts that I’ve shown to doctors proving my theory. Yet I still have no definitive answer as to what I have. (Well, some doctors and nurses have complimented my work sometimes at least.)
    I have had tests for Hashimoto’s Struma that have come back negative. What I have is a rare (or maybe not-so-rare) thyroid disease that is yet to be named. I want to help other people out there who I know have this same strain of thyroid disease before it possible “gets” me and puts me in an early grave before I’m able to figure out exactly what it is.
    I have found distant relatives in my family tree on who have the same pattern of symptoms that I have described, the same symptoms that left my mother and cousin with brain damage and that literally killed both my grandmother and great-grandmother at menopause.
    How can I get a handle on this disease before it either kills me or worse yet – leaves me with some type of irreversible damage – brain damage from levels that are too high; or kidney, liver or respiratory infections from levels that are too low?
    Well, at least I can say, it’s never a dull moment in my life – I never know what’s going to happen next in terms of my thyroid levels.
    By the way – I love your breathing exercises. As a voice teacher, musician and vocalist, I use breathing exercises all the time and the exercises really do help. I breathe in slowly to the count of eight, hold my breath to the count of eight and exhale slowly to the count of eight. It does help a little.

    • Look up Thierry Hertoghe, MD. Wrote a great book. Not sure if he has a website. Discovered the book years ago. Good luck

  33. For the last 3 and a half years I have been feeling very unwell. I have been seen by 4 doctors at the same medical clinic and they all have told me that I am suffering from an anxiety problem. I have had blood tests done and my TSH is in the “normal” range. I was put on Citalopram for depression , didn’t feel depressed just anxious about feeling unwell, but after three months I wasn’t coping well on it so it was stopped. Three years ago my blood pressure went up, my bad colesterol rose markedly, was diagnosed with Plantar Fascitis, I have pains in my knees, down my shins and in my feet. I feel exhausted all the time, my memory has been affected, I have these awful internal trembling feelings, my hands are burning hot but my feet are freezing. I have hair loss on the front of my head…my hairdresser keeps telling me to get my thyroid checked. I have multiple brown warty type growths on my body, my throat aches and it feels like I have a small swelling on the inside of my throat on swallowing. I have weight gain…especially in my belly region. I had been 65kg for about 15years until 3 years ago and I am now up around 85-90kg. I only eat 3meals a day…one piece of toast in the morning, a salad sandwich for lunch and either a stir fry or chicken/lamb, grilled with salad or hot veg. On occasion I have fresh fruit salad with a little icecream as a treat. I cannot tolerate alcohol any more and have some food intolerances. My skin is very dry, my nails are brittle and have ridges running down them, my hair is dry and dull. I have palpitations, especially when I have just eaten and if I lie on my right side. I have unrelenting tinnitus in both ears and floaters and occasional flashes of light in my eyes. When I go to bed I get so uncomfortably hot that I can’t stand being in my own skin. I have told the doctors these symptoms and more, but I’m told, “you have anxiety, you just have to learn to relax”. I’m desperate, I need answers…..the anxiety diagnosis doesn’t explain away all my symptoms. Sorry this is such a long Tale of Woe.

    • jen, I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with these awful symptoms & not getting any answers. It’s been 6 months since your post & im hoping things have changed for the better. I too have a lot of these same symptoms (I could cut and paste what you wrote and use it for myself) & I ended up getting my thyroid removed. I no longer have the awful choking pain and neck swelling. Unfortunately I am still experiencing anxiety, burning hands and feet, insomnia, light headedness, weight gain, etc. and I cannot seem to get my levels straight. I’m seeing a functional medicine practitioner in 2 days as I strongly suspect adrenal involvement. Have you pursued adrenals?

  34. I got my results from the dr and the TSH was 1.06 and 1.10. I’m on 0.05 mg of levothyroxine. I wanted to be on a lower dose of meds bht my dr wouldn’t hear of it. I weigh exactly the same 165 lbs when i was on 25 mcg levothyroxine. I’ll wake up in the am worried or panicky. The dr told me that i can speak to a counselor.

  35. I think the support of knowing you are not alone and you are not crazy helps…although I dont wish these panic attacks or anxiety on anyone its comforting to know that someone can emphasize with you. I am 29 and have been having anxiety/panic attacks since I was 16. At the time I didnt know what it was and didnt get diagnosed till 19 after I had my 2nd child. I’ve ended up in the ER and constantly at my family doctor. I’ve been tested for thyroid and hormonal problems but never diagnosed although I suspect it because I have symptoms such as weight gain…anxiety…hair loss. ..brittle nails…cold extremities..etc…I just recently got back insurance and am going to try an endocrinologists…I been feeling shitty for over 10 years and am ready to take back control of my life…my anxiety actually became debilitating and limits my life…as a result it’s manifested into other disorders like chlostophobia…and limits where I can drive or where I can go…for example I feel like if something (iE: appointments…jobs…shopping) arent on the first floor I can’t go…it’s really affected my life to the point where I’ve lost jobs and even wouldnt visit friends/family in hospitals…I try to stay as normal as possible for my children but live a high stress life….I feel like I cant even drive down the road unless someone else with a license is with me because when the panic attack happens my head feels real foggy like im going crazy and I forget where im goin (but I really don’t forget) when that happens i feel the flight/fight response kick in and i feel like literally running (of course i never actually do:) ) but it scares me because mental illness runs in my family but so does hashmotos….and one thing I dont like is medication im sure my anxiety could be under control with some meds but I dont like to put chemically engineered stuff in my body. …I usually dont speak out about my issues but as I stated im ready to feel “normal” again whatever that may be:\

  36. I have had bad mood swings and I thought it was peri-menopause and the doctor has tried all kind of serotonin uptake medicines and I cannot take them because they bother my “dry eye syndrome” (which should be fixed after my ENT does surgery on my sinuses to open up my passages again). I am on levothyroxine 88 mcgm and my levels are fine, so I figured everything was fine. I used to go to an endocrinologist for my hypothyroidism but then figured, if my levels are normal, then why bother. I might as well go to my pcp. Could my symptoms be due to my thyroid even though my levels are normal on the med?

  37. LINDAH G SHAW says:


  38. I’ve been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and I an now 46. It’s amazing to me how much things change over the years. I find the biggest change to be the sheer volume of symptoms attributed to the disease. Dr. Yaron Tomer in NYC is one of the best endocrinologists I’ve ever had. He’s understanding of the connection of all the illnesses that go along with this disease. Yet at the same time unnecessary testing wasn’t done. The most important thing to remember with Hashimoto’s is it’s an auto immune disease. This makes you 50% more likely than the general population to develop additional auto immune illnesses. Personally I have lupus (SLE ) psoriatic arthritis, and rosacea. It’s very clear my immune system is malfunction junction!

  39. I have just had a whole battery of blood tests done and I see my doctor in a couple of days. One of those tests is the Thyroid Function Test. Can someone please let me know what the levels should be (the numbers of the ‘normal range’). I am going to ask the doctor for a print out of my results…..there has to be a reason why I am feeling so awful other than anxiety!!!!! Thanks, Jen

    • Well, here I am again with NO answers. All my blood tests came back NORMAL. Everything is working so well I should be happy with those results says my doctor. I am happy with the results but unhappy that I still don’t know why I feel so unwell. I asked my doctor if she could include the thyroid antibody test but it isn’t a routine test so I would have to pay for it myself something that I am not able to do at this time. I am now trolling the Internet to find a psychiatrist who consults near my home (as I don’t drive) so that when I go back to the doctor tomorrow I have names (and costs…as I am on a pension) of psychiatrists so my doc can write out a referral. I also have to do this to find a rheumatologist as well as a dermatologist so I am actively seeking help for my symptoms but not what is driving those symptoms. I just have to hope that someone asks the question of WHY I have all these symptoms and maybe this will all get sorted out……. I’m exhausted. Jen.

      • Hi Jen, Normal doesn’t make your blood tests ‘optimal’. The normal ranges are very broad. Here in this article you’ll see a chart of the recommended labs and optimal ranges by thyroid advocate Mary Shomon.

        Here too is a list of resources to help you locate an open-minded doctor. We are more than our lab tests.

        • Dear Dana,
          Thank you for your reply. I am disillusioned that the doctors don’t ask the question ‘WHY’…..why these symptoms are occurring, why the FULL range of thyroid tests aren’t routinely available, why so many people are still suffering from disabling symptoms in this medically enlightened age and why are so many people being diagnosed with ANXIETY disorders based on glaringly obvious physical symptoms attributed to Thyroid Disfunction. I am still in there battling through my days but also coming up against brick walls with the medical fraternity who just aren’t looking at the big picture. So I’m back to the doctor today to get my referrals to a Psychiatrist, a Dermatoligist and a Rheumatologist. Wish me luck…..I think I’m going to need it. I’m on the Medical Merry-Go-Round. Jen.

          • Well, I found out today that the Thyroid Function Test I had done last weekend only came back with results for TSH. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement.
            In July 13 my TSH was 1.1, in Oct 13 it was 1.4, in April 14 it was 1.1, my latest test was 2.8. In July 13 FreeT3..4.6 pmo1/L and FreeT4..13 pmo1/L. In April 14 FreeT4 was 16 pmo1/L. What does this mean? I know that it means that I was not listened to when I asked for all the tests to be done that have been recommended by Dana. I also feel that I am back to square one….again and being told that I have an anxiety disorder and psychosomatic symptoms………what do you have to do to be taken seriously. Jen

  40. I’ve been taking thyroid since I was 11 years old. My aunt noticed (an RN) that neck looked a little swollen and I was gaining weight in the summer. I am now 46 years old and have no thyroid left due to Hashimotos. I has a goiter as well and at first they thought I had cancer but when the surgery was dine(1979) it was revealed to be Hashimotos. One thing that may be important to remember that I only found out about three years ago was to take thyroid on an empty stomach. Which could very well explain why I was on as much as 4 milligrams of thyroid. I have only recently found out much of what is listed here. Anxiety along with the autoimmune disorder I have (as well as a sibling) is probably why my psoriasis has exploded recently, which is one of several autoimmunes I seem to have. As I can not afford meds like Enbrel and Amivive it is important for me to try to reduce that stress level. As far as foods go I can’t do it!! I love to eat what I love to eat and that includes just about anything fried. (That includes mountain oysters and alligator tail!!) The hardest part for me is remembering to actually take my meds!! Lucky my amazing wife helps me in this area as well as many others!!

    • Hi Justin, It is good to hear from you. You make an important point about taking your thyroid meds on an empty stomach. The dietary changes are hard for me too. I’ve been on a journey to go gluten-free and while it hasn’t been easy it’s been worth trying. Happy to hear you have a supportive wife because it’s so important to have supportive people in our lives.

  41. Much appreciation for this helpful article and fabulous sharing venue. I’d encourage NOT breaking the strictness of the thyroid diet, as suggested in the paragraph about eating the adrenal-promoting liver recipe from Italy by putting it on Gluten Free Bread. Just want to encourage steadfastness of mind and action. My health has made me not tempted by mainstream concepts like “cheating”. Who would be cheated? Sending blessings and strength to everyone.

  42. I found out last Friday that the Thyroid Function Test I had done the previous week only came back with results for TSH, no other Thyroid test was done. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement.
    In July 13 my TSH was 1.1, in Oct 13 it was 1.4, in April 14 it was 1.1, my latest test was 2.8. In July 13 FreeT3 4.6 pmo1/L and FreeT4 13 pmo1/L. In April 14 FreeT4 was 16 pmo1/L. What does this rise in TSH mean? I do know that it means that I was not listened to when I asked for all the tests to be done that have been recommended by Dana. I also know that I feel that I am back to square one….again and being told that I have an anxiety disorder and psychosomatic symptoms………what do you have to do to be taken seriously. Jen

  43. Ed Arnold says:

    #2 (support your adrenals with food) does not mention the importance of blood protein level to feeling well. The human digestive system isn’t very efficient with protein digestion even when normal, and HypoT patients who have gut destruction (e.g. from celiac which triggers Hashi’s) can have Total Blood Protein (TBP) below the lab normal range of 6.2<TBP<8.3 g/dl. As I've learned from my doc, vigorous patients usually have TBP in the upper half of the lab normal range. If your gut is so damaged that you cannot bring your TBP up using protein foods, use the trick many athletes use: take a blend of the 9 essential amino acids in free form. This treatment snapped me out of middle insomnia, and degeneration of muscle and connective tissue in my back and right arm. Keep in mind, too, that a good level of T3 during the sleep hours is essential to synthesis of proteins and neurotransmitters; taking a small (5-10mcg) dose of T3 during those hours functions as a side-effect-free sleeping pill for me.

    • Lou Greaves says:

      I was very interested in your post regarding degeneration of muscle. I was so fit having been in the TA and been very sporty, I was physically very strong. I am now 58 and just after having two children close together I started getting awful back aches, and I became weaker and weaker. I couldn’t even lift the children. I went to the doctor and was told I should expect it at my age. I continued to get weaker and weaker and now 16 years later my back, arms, legs have just got flab and hardly any muscle. I was finally diagnosed with hypothyroid 18 months ago but I am so depressed now, my muscles have vanished and I look 30 years older. My doctor kept telling me to lose weight to help my joints so I was hardly eating anything, I was getting so fat. I had a heart attack last year just after being diagnosed with hypoT and since then I have only eaten the best food I can, no sugar, gluten or potatoes except sweet pots, and kept off pies etc. You mentioned amino acids and T3 before bedtime, I wonder if I do have a damaged gut as I was on aspirin for a year, I have taken myself off it due to intestinal and digestive problems which have cleared up. I do take natural blood thinners instead. But I wonder if it has left me with absorption problems. My doctor or doctors are hopeless, never test me for anything. They make me feel like a hypochondriac. I just want to build my muscles up again and take up sport. What amino acids could I take or anything else to help?

    • Where would one find free form amino acids? Also, I just started taking t3 in 2.5 mg segments and my god, it makes me incredibly irritable, I don’t think I can do it anymore. Would this affect one’s sleep, as it’s suppose to give you energy?

  44. I have just read through some of the other subjects on the Hypothyroid Mom site and came across this interesting notation. Heavy Metal as one of the things to be aware of that can affect the thyroid. As a 9month old baby I was given teething Powders that were loaded up with Mercury. As a result I ended up with Acrodynia (Pink Disease) or Mercury Poisoning. This was in 1948 and nobody knew how to treat me so I was sent home with my Mum and she was told to “care for me as best she could”. Many babies died because of this disease as there was no known treatment at that time. I have had many problems/illnesses over the years. I had one child then a miscarriage and a whole lot of trouble carrying to term (but I did) my last 2 pregnancies. At age 30 I was told that I had had a ‘mild stroke’ in the left temporal lobe although that was a subjective diagnosis….8months later I had a grand mal seisure (continue to have 2-3 seizures per year) and was diagnosed with Epilepsy but had ‘atypical’ results on the many EEGs that I had. About 6months after my first grand mal I had a Hysterectomy as I was having extremely heavy periods (over 10years duration) lasting 10days or so and getting them every two weeks. As I had already been diagnosed as having had a stroke I couldn’t take hormone therapy or the Pill. Since then I have had many obscure symptoms, bad aches and pains, migraines, skin allergies, dry hair, skin and eyes, food intolerances, bad sinus infections, teeth clenching, tinnitus, fluctuating weight, high colesterol and over the last 4 years high blood pressure. I have been struggling for about 4 years with “not feeling well and not feeling like Me” and having an ever growing list of symptoms. My blood tests have all come back normal so as far as the Doctor is concerned then I am normal and all my symptoms are psychosomatic and anxiety. I see a Psychiatrist in 10days. I wonder if a lot of my problems have stemmed from the initial Mercury Poisoning. I wonder if someone can enlighten me please. Sorry this has been such an Epic post. Kindest regards…..Jen

  45. Very informative article. I plan on taking what I have learned to my appointment tomorrow. I haven’t been diagnosed with hypothyroidism yet, but feel something like that may be coming. My recent blood test showed that my thyroid was underperforming and the Dr. has requested we chat about that. However it was barely not on the “normal” scale. My blood test was done while on 40mg of Prednisone to help a severe attack of dermatitis that had swelled my face shut. I have been having this kind of think happen for nearly 2 years and wonder what else I should be asking my Dr. to look at. She did not want to do a blood test. I feel like I should have another one done once the effects of Prednisone have left my system. Do you know how long that takes? I was on a tapering dose started with 40 mg for 3 days, 30 for 3 days, 20 for 2 days and 10 for 3 days. Today was my final day, and I would like to schedule more blood work at my appointment tomorrow or any other test that should be done. I’m ready to be healthy and also ready to not look like the village freak.

  46. Hi, have you heard this before? I am Hypothyroid as well as having autoimmune thyroiditis and have had both since 1994 when slipping into a coma, I had been overloaded with iodine through a medical procedure (x7) that [they say] effected my thyroid 17 years earlier. Today I am on 200mcg 6 days a week one day free [only way found to regulate, [past 13 years, prior to that started out 50 then slowly increased to current 200] To my question: the past week my neck [thyroid area] has been trembling, ‘wrong word’, vibrating not sure how to describe it, it seems to come and go. I have been for the past 3 months taking daily [iherb] B12, [5,000 mg] Mag [400mg twice a day] D3 [20,000 IU] and Iron Bisglycinate [50mg daily] as all were below the lowest level. Is there a relationship between the two, my thoughts are as my levels return to an acceptable level my thyroid [if any left that is] is trying to kick start itself ???? Or is it something else, hope you can share your thoughts. Thank you…..Derek

  47. Hello,
    I just recently had my thyroid checked after having a very bad panic attack. Requested the test to be done because I felt really detached from reality and read some of the symptoms online and they were exactly how I was feeling.
    I got my tests results back and my gynecologist said they were normal”. But I still don’t feel normal I still have this pain in my neck and I’m having theses same symptoms.
    I don’t know what to do, what tests should I ask for .

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  49. Sitting here trying to relax myself this morning, hoping I am not having a heart attack I did a am doing a little web searching and came across this awesome article. The alarm clock did not ring and I woke up ten minutes short of the time my daughter needed to be in school. As I quickly fumbled around looking for my shoes, wallet and car keys the dreadful panic set in. To be honest some days I just hate having to live this way………
    I have suffered from anxiety my entire life. Everything and anything set me into panic mode but I learned to just work things around it. I was also much younger those days. To me anxiety was just a way of life. I was always stressed out over everything. I use to look at the other mothers with their young children so peaceful and enjoying their shopping together in the supermarket while I was a bundle of nerves trying to juggle my shopping list, my kids in tow, the long lines etc. . Mornings were sheer madness trying to get everyone together. My kids ( I have seven of them ages 15 – 34 now) simply told everyone their mom was ” crazy”. I wonder today if I had thyroid disease back then as well. Even my husband tells everyone when asked ” how do you deal with her?”…..” I LOVE her to pieces, I don’t know why she is just so crazy but I ADORE her “. Thank God at least he sent me a man who can understand my moods.
    Five years ago the panic attacks/anxiety became really bad. I have always been under stress. To tell the truth I function that way. As I write my daughters Sweet 16 is less than a month away. I am in the early stages of preparations and she said to me to me the other day ” Mom how are you going to get everything done in such a short time?” and I said to her ” the way I always do. I am like a ship and go full steam ahead “. I seem to enjoy stress at times because when things are normal I feel so lost but anyway………….The panic attacks were so bad I could not sit through my church service anymore. My heart would race, my muscles started to spasm with such intensity, my under arms would sweat as if I had run a marathon, the soles of my feet would get really hot even if I was just wearing flip flops, I feel weird as if I was floating. I started with my primary doctor who has known crazy me for 15 years and he is also a cardiologist. A full cardio work up determined the ticker was fine. Next a full neuro work up without any specific findings except that the neurologist said ” I have seen millions of MRI’s in my lifetime and I have never seen one like yours, I actually could see the spasms of all your muscles”. That amused him but its not as amusing when you are the one who feels it. I went to specialist after specialist and everything was normal, including my thyroid levels. Finally my primary care said to me with such sadness ” I think you need to see a shrink”. I thought to myself ” GREAT now I am really going crazy “. I purchased every medical self help book I could find, I spent hours researching symptoms online, I made my family nuts. I could hardly eat and after seeing a gastroenterologist he told me that my gallbladder had to come out. I scheduled my surgery and afterwards I felt worse. I told my surgeon about an article I had read in regards to the type of clips they used to suture and how it caused panic attacks and he sent me to a shrink.
    At the time my carpal tunnel was so bad my primary suggested Lyrica. I tried one pill and I will regret that day for the rest of my life. I spent the entire weekend back and forth to ER’s with my pressure rising like a roller coaster, my heart rate up and down, sweating underarms and I could not control my bowels but the worst part is I felt as if I was literally burning alive from the inside out. I kept telling the ER docs I was burning and they were ready to send me to the psych ward because the could not see any redness or feel any warmth on my body. Now I was beginning to think I was crazy too. As the days passed it subsided but not fully. I could not sleep because every time I laid my body in a flat position I heard this thumping inside. Some days it was horrid as if a rattle snake was trapped in my body, other days I could swear I heard my heart beating. I would sit in bed and cry myself to sleep. I was tired of going to ER’s and all the doctors would tell me my symptoms were in my head but then one day I started a conversation with a radiology tech and as I shared my symptoms she told me her almost similar story minus the burning. She said she felt tremors inside but no one could see them. Tears came to my eyes. For the first time I realized I was not nuts. Something was very wrong inside of me. She had been diagnosed with thyroid disease so I headed to an endocrinologist. I met the sweetest guy, highly recommended and the first visit you waited 8 hours to see him, yes 8 hours, every other visit was only 4. At first he took me seriously , after almost a year of visits he found me comical. He kept reassuring me my thyroid levels were normal.
    Nothing changed. There were good days and there were bad ones. I kept gaining weight and was miserable, my menstrual cycle was come and go. My GYN kept telling me it was early menopause because I was 9 when my cycle first began. Some months it was faint and the other months I laid in bed bleeding so much I could barely move. I have always been an active person and I even lifted weights with 13 inch biceps. I feel as if I went to sleep at seven years ago normal and woke up insane.
    One day I was in Barnes & Nobles. My daughter needed a book for school and there I was again , skimming through books in the self help section. I always say God put me there for all the nights I fell asleep crying in prayer. As I read through a specific book I found EVERY symptom I ever had. It was called ” Female Brain Gone Insane ” by Mia Lunden. I not only purchased the book but I read it on one day. I wrote to Mia and THANKED her for writing that book. All my years of doctors and research and testing and thinking I was crazy………I was not the only crazy one …. Then the most amazing thing happened. Mia wrote back to me and she kept writing. My emotional pain touched her heart in such a way she even asked for my number and called me. She told me to go back to my ENDO and ask for a thyroid ultrasound which I did. My endo told me ” NO way” there was no reason for it my blood levels were normal. I tortured him so much he finally agreed just to humor me and three days after the test he called me into his office. He told me I needed a biopsy of my thyroid. While that is not a good sign I was all smiles. FINALLY I might find out what was wrong with me. I went back to that radiology tech and asked her what pathalogist she had used and I set up an apppintment with him. I will never forget him. He was a really funny guy. His office was really outdated but Iiked his bedside manner. I laid down on the examining table and he looked at his sonography machine as he explained the biopsy procedure. He then said to me ” Oh you have Hashimoto’s, you did not tell me “. I said ” HashiWHAT?” He said I had thyroid disease and I asked him ” how do you know ?” my levels are normal. He said ” a lot of people have normal levels for years and still have hashimoto’s ” . He could tell by the shape of my thyroid. When I got up off that table after my biopsy I gave him a BIG hug. At first he seemed surprise. For all you know I had thyroid cancer LOL and I was hugging this doctor I had just met. I was so happy that finally someone knew what was wrong with me and I was not going crazy. I rushed back to my endo who apologized profusely as did every other doctor I had seen for years. I must have been the happiest hashimoto patient they had ever seen. My endo still wanted to repeat my blood work and this time my levels were insane. He could not understand how he had missed this. He put me on Synthroid which really did not help much. My hair started to fall out and my skin dried up. I wanted to cry. Finally he said to me ” we are going to try Armour Thyroid and it saved my life. Everyday I felt better and better, my hair grew back in, most of my symptoms were gone and the ones that remained subsided. I still got panic attacks but not magnified, just the norm I was used to my entire life.
    My med’s were adjusted up and down according to my blood levels until I literally learned to adjust them myself. There are still bad days and good days. I go through times when I am in full panic mode as this morning but now that I know what is happening to me, the fear is gone so it makes it easier. There are days where that alarm clock ringing does not bother me at all. I do however still get a slight burning sensation when I eat certain foods like broccoli and spinach so I avoid them at all cost. I occasionally tremor ( internally ) at night but I realize its days when I am really tired that it happens the most. I read an article by a thyroid patient years ago who was also a doctor. He said your thyroid gets inflamed so what do you do when there is an inflammation? You take an anti inflammatory so those nights I pop two motions and honestly it stops. At almost 53 ( fully menopausal) I feel 99 percent back to normal which is good. I do worry as I age about having to take med’s because even something like Benadryl sends my body into panic mode so I live med’s free, except for a low dose blood pressure med my primary has me on for years now but I just try to focus on the here and now. I learned to eat healthy along the way though its still hard to lose weight. I am the only chunky person who does not eat unhealthy food. I do however notice that when I eat lets say Chinese food or deep fried garlic knots from the local pizzeria ( once in a blue , my thyroid goes on the fritz and I am still trying to figure out why).
    Now I am trying to figure out my 15 year old who was diagnosed at 11 with Hashimoto’s but after years on 25 MG of Synthroid they took her off because her levels are normal and for the past three months she is also suffering from panic attacks. She just had blood work and is going for a sonogram soon . In the meantime I am teaching her how to relax when panic strikes. Its a sad way to live and it hurts me so much that she is going through the same thing.
    I am very grateful for web sites like yours that are truly helpful. Its nice to know I am not alone in this battle. Thank You…….

    • Thank you for your post. It made me sit here & cry. Days after my 35th birthday I started experiencing horrible symptoms – more than the typical “anxiety symptoms”that I had grown up with since my teenage years. Doctors told me I was crazy or just stressed out. All of my labs were normal. One doctor prescribed a psychiatrist & told me to get a grip. Yet I was severely symptomatic and scared I might die. Fast forward two & a half years and I ended up having a doctor listen to me and I had my very diseased thyroid removed. Still trying to feel good a few months post TT and find the right levels. Today is a bad day. Reading your post makes me feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m thankful you shared.

    • I occasionally tremor ( internally ) at night but I realize its days when I am really tired that it happens the most. I read an article by a thyroid patient years ago who was also a doctor. He said your thyroid gets inflamed so what do you do when there is an inflammation? You take an anti inflammatory so those nights I pop two motions and honestly it stops. THIS HAPPENED TO ME FOR A YEAR OR MORE AND I, TOO, TOOK AN ANTIINFLAMMATORY. WHEN I HAD MY MEDS ADJUSTED, I NO LONGER HAD THE TREMBLING @NIGHT. IT FELT AS THOUGH A LOW DOSE OF ELECTRICITY WAS RUNNING THROUGH MY BODY WHEN I WENT TO BED. WHAT ARE YOU FREE T3&FREET4 LEVELS?

  50. Hi guys,

    I’ve had Hypothyroid since I was born, so often find it difficult to distinguish whats normal and whats thyroid related (fatigue from work/exercise or thyroid related). I’m now 26 and really only just beginning to figure out that things like anxiety I’ve always suffered with isn’t just worrying, it’s a symptom. That underlying stress and pressure is always there, even now as I type, but it’s a great help to know what it is and how to go about helping sort it. I rarely have panic attacks, but purely because I’m constantly anxious so very little outside sources make me more anxious than I already am day to day! It’s good to know there is a fix, and I’m not slowly losing the plot. 🙂

    Good luck everyone, from a swimmer, the breathing one works a treat. 🙂


    • I was also born with it (and so was my 6 year old son). I find painting and craft (I sew a lot) helps me unwind best as it allows me to focus entirely on the work and not on me. Unfortunately, I swim like a brick.

  51. Govind says:

    My age is 59(male), for last six months taking Thyronorm 75 fir my hypothyroid. Please advise; can a month long mental or emotional stress affect the tsh lab test results; if so does it elevate tsh or lowers.

    Thank you, would appreciate your reply

  52. Genine Mackey says:

    I have had Hashimotos for 17yrs now and have been on Synthroid the whole time. About 6 months ago my levels started acting up & have had all different doses prescribed. I also have just gotten divorced and am going through menopause. So my stress/anxiety/depression are through the roof!! I feel like I’m going insane. I ache all over now, I have this rage where I feel like I’m having an out of body experience, I’m starting to forget everything, hating everyone. I’m not myself at all. All of the sudden I have so many more symptoms and I have no idea why.

  53. Suzanne says:

    Hi. I had my thyroid removed in 2007 as I had a multinodular goitre. Before that I had been on 50mcg of thyroxine as I had an underactive thyroid. I had all the symptoms, tired, hair loss, constipated, dry skin, weight gain. After the op and 12 months of sorting the right dose out I finally started to feel ok. Now though 8 years later I still have symptoms, weight gain is the main one and find it extremely hard to lose it and tiredness. I normally take myself off to the doctors when I am feeling tired and my hair starts falling out and they test my iron levels and thyroid. This last time though it all came back ok but I have been having other symptoms. They tested me for lupus but that came back negative. I had to have a hip replacement in 2011 and I will need the other one done soon. I have terrible arthritis and they seem to think it is related to the autoimmune disease. I am a 43yo woman who feels like I am 70. It is an invisible disease….I hate complaining but nobody knows how I truly feel.

    • I have hash’s and have been on meds for @least 13yrs-levo only for the first 10 so I can only tell you how I achieved an optimum dose for myself. I will add that only a couple of other blogs I have read posts that doses get changed, sometimes seasonally. When they test your thyroid do they test Free T3 & Free T4 When I had that done, at my request with a new doc who would have ordered it anyway, it was a game changer for me.

  54. Rosi Barreda de Caravedo says:

    I speak spanish !! I will do my best !!
    My problem with Hipotiroidismo is that I dont want to do anything, I only wnat to be in my bed, I am so tired and sleep to much. I cant lose weight and I cry to much !!! and the TSH IS IN 0.06 I take Eutirox 75 mg 9 years ago.

  55. Rosi Barreda de Caravedo says:

    I speak spanish !! I will do my best !!
    My problem with Hipotiroidismo is that I dont want to do anything, I only wnat to be in my bed, I am so tired and sleep to much. I cant lose weight and I cry to much !!! and the TSH IS IN 0.06 I take Eutirox 75 mg 9 years ago. The Dr reduce me 2 days 50 mg eutirox and the others days 75 mg and sunday dont take anything.

  56. Hi, I have been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism for a couple of years now. I am 40 and a Male !! We guys too get stuck with thryoid issues. The best remedy that I have found to destress myself is Yoga. Given that just a couple of days back, we did celebrate the International Yoga Day across 192 countries world wide, I would like to take this opportunity to inform everybody that Yoga (which involves Pranayam, which is a collection of breathing techniques), helps as not only a remedy for thyroid issues but also helps in having a holistic healing approach to a range of issues both physical and emotional.

  57. No, love, you take your thyroxine on time and as instructed and the symptoms will ease (not go). Then you get on with life without being a self absorbed tit. Relying on woo and sugar pils is not going to help. For the record I was born with the condition.

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  59. Coronado says:

    It is sad that so many of us women are going through this.
    I have three wonderful kids and a great job. However, I am constantly depressed and negative thoughts linger through my mind. I wish I could be normal too. I can sit a whole day in saying nothing. I do not feel like talking to anyone not even my kids. I go out every morning to workout to get rid of my anxiety.
    I have recently started writing all that come through my mind during my anxiety attacks and this has made me much relax and happier.

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  61. Dawn Sanders says:

    I only wanted to thank the author of the article. As I recently went through a thyroidectomy within the past year, and not having satisfactory answers to what is happening me. I now understand much more. Or, I should say many suspicions have been confirmed. I was ambulance to the hospital last week. The doctor agreedwith me that many thyroid could be causing my problem. However, he did not totally understand until I explained how many problem I had had for most of my life was shortly cured directly after my thyroid and para thyroid gland removals. However, since then…. Proper tests not being done and an endocrinologist With personal problems and not caring about his patient has nearly killed me. . . . New doctor appointment with a new Endo who isthis also friends with my new gastroenterologist, and the help from your story…. Well just …. May Blessings be bestowed within you. Thank you from my butterfly to yours

  62. lisa gerringer says:

    I am setting here today it’s my 47 th birthday . alone and having a massive panic attack like i just need to jump out of my skin. Because of stomach problems i have not ate much food in over a week. as i know this does no t help. i just don’t think i can keep going on like this i can not get a clear thought in my head. i just find it hard to believe that doctors think this is normal. if it were them they would feel a lot different. so how do we get the help we need our some one to listen.

  63. Look up Thierry Hertoghe, MD. Wrote a great book. Not sure if he has a website. Discovered the book years ago. Good luck

  64. Dana, could you clarify something you wrote? Under step 2, item i says to eat starchy veggies, but item iii says to minimize starchy veggies. Which is it?

    Thanks for another great article!

  65. Your website has helped me tremendously, but unfortunately, after doing everything right and religiously, my numbers have skyrocketed. I am grain, gluten, alcohol fre with only raw cheese and kefir to heal gut.

    You keep mentioned our tests, I’ve had all the right tests, but reading the numbers makes no sense to a non Doctor person. My endo. Does run all the tests I ask her for and I know my TSH tripled, and when I went on t3, I was ready to kill people. I had to stop leaving the house.

    Feeling beyond discouraged that when I excercise like crazy, eat PERFECTLY and do everything right, I get much worse….is it menopause? If so, us women in menaupause are screwed, as this is often the major trigger for hypothyroid.

    What do our numbers tells us other than to get on medication? I want off my medication!

  66. I’m having a very hard time. I’ve been hypo for 16 yrs and when levodyl was taKen off the market I started using letheroxine .75 well it wouldn’t stay level. So my endo put me back on levodyl. I took it for 2 months and retested and the tsh was 1.07 and I felt ok, well 30 days later I start having awful panic and anxiety. Let me say in July before changing meds I had extreme vertigo and was told it was my bppv was back so I got treatment for it. So back to the med change. After the initial 2 month check within 30 days the anxiety, panic, stress, irritability, feeling cold all the time, dizziness started so I had the tsh checked again and it came back 4.71 which is off the chart for me. So I called the endo and sent the result in and now waiting to hear from him. The nurse said he will probably adjust the meds but I’m curious why there not staying level anymore and why I’m anxious and can’t handle anything and am angry and sad all the time. I’ve made zen appt to see my psychologist also. Can anyone help me with what could be causing this. I am such a worrier like my mom. Please help if you can. Thank you


  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. […]

  3. […] I couldn’t imagine myself sitting still for a moment… especially when I was in the throes of a thyroid induced panic attack. But, meditation has become a saving grace and a way to not only calm my nervous system down but […]

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