If you’re being plagued with anxiety, it’s vitally important to make sure that it is not being caused by an underlying condition. Therefore, you should make an appointment with your health provider to rule out any unknown conditions before you seek to treat the anxiety. Read on to learn more about anxiety, and one particular condition that can cause it.
There are a plethora of medical conditions that list anxiety as a side effect, and one of the most well-known and commonly connected condition is hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is actually a quite common culprit and one of the first tests that your doctor will run when you tell him or her that you have anxiety is a test to determine its level of functioning. Your thyroid can be found in your lower neck, and it secretes hormones. However, things can go very wrong with this gland, as it can either overproduce or under produce the hormones that your body needs, both with devastating consequences. Hypothyroidism is defined by medical experts as the underproduction of hormones by the thyroid gland. Since an adequate amount of hormones are not sent throughout the body, the metabolism is affected. Hypothyroidism can lead to hair loss, dry skin, fatigue, weight gain, and yes, anxiety. If left untreated, it can also lead to even more severe consequences, such as infertility and heart disease.
How, you may ask, does hypothyroidism lead to anxiety? Well, the underproduction of hormones affects all areas of your body, including your brain. This in turn, can lead to psychological problems such as anxiety and depression. Most doctors, after confirming that you are indeed suffering from hypothyroidism, will place you on hormone replacement therapy to acquire your body’s much-needed balance of hormones. Other treatments include iodine to help naturally treat your condition and a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, fatty fish and other seafood, kelp and yogurt.
While you are implementing these treatments in your life, it’s important to make sure that your regular diet is up to par. To begin with, it’s absolutely vital that you limit the amount of caffeine in your diet. Caffeine is absolutely no good for anxiety sufferers as it can greatly increase you anxiety levels. You don’t want to negate all of the hard work you’ve done to treat your body, only to ruin it with a several-times-a-day coffee habit. Also, remember to eat a well-balanced diet, and if you’re not sure what that is, check out the Center for Disease Control for more information. A good, healthy diet should also include lots of whole grains, vegetables and fruits and a minimal amount of fat and sugar. Don’t forget to get at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise five days a week, as this increase the levels of endorphins, otherwise known as “feel-good” chemicals, in the brain.
If your anxiety remains a perpetual problem, you may want to consider seeing a therapist to inquire about cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is designed to help you dispel negative and unrealistic thoughts and replace them with thoughts that are more realistic. With enough work, you can literally “re-wire” your brain and learn to think in ways that are much more conducive to happiness.
“Hypothyroidism.” Mayo Clinic Staff. <http://www.mayoclinic.com> 12 Nov 2012.