A study linking thyroiditis and anxiety disorders


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A study linking thyroiditis and anxiety disorders, Tuesday, 8 September 2020, 10:36 am

A recent study reported that patients with autoimmune thyroiditis may have a higher risk of developing anxiety.

And a team of researchers at Kiev City Hospital in Ukraine concluded that people with high levels of anxiety may also be more likely to suffer from inflammation in the thyroid gland that can be reduced by taking steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen.

These results suggest that thyroid function may play an important role in the development of anxiety disorders, and that thyroiditis should be investigated as a primary factor in mental disorders, such as anxiety.
At present, up to 35% of young people (25-60 years) in developed countries suffer from anxiety disorder, and anxiety can have a severe impact on people’s quality of life and their ability to work and socialize, and anti-anxiety medications do not always have a lasting effect. Current investigations for anxiety disorders usually focus on abnormalities in the nervous system and do not take into account the role of the endocrine system.

Research indicates that the thyroid gland produces thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which are needed to regulate heart, muscle and digestive functions, as well as brain growth and bone protection. Autoimmune inflammation occurs in the thyroid gland when our bodies mistakenly produce antibodies that attack the gland. And cause damage.

The current study demonstrates that anxiety disorder can be associated with thyroid dysfunction, so it is important to understand how this may contribute to anxiety so that patients can be treated more effectively.

Dr. Julia Onofretchuk of Kiev City Hospital in Ukraine investigated thyroid function in 29 men (average age 33.9) and 27 women (average age 31.7) with diagnosed anxiety who were experiencing panic attacks. Thyroid ultrasound assessed thyroid function. Thyroid gland, and thyroid hormone levels were measured.

The anxious patients showed signs of inflammation in their thyroid glands, but their functions were not affected, with all thyroid hormone levels within the normal range, despite their slightly elevated levels, and they were also tested positive for antibodies directed against the thyroid gland, and the treatment was performed for 14 days using Ibuprofen and thyroxine reduce thyroid inflammation, normalize thyroid hormone levels, and reduce their anxiety scores.

“These results indicate that the endocrine system may play an important role in anxiety, so doctors should also consider the thyroid gland and the rest of the endocrine system as well as the nervous system when examining patients with anxiety,” said Dr. Onofretchuk.

This knowledge can help patients with anxiety receive more effective treatment that improves thyroid function and can have a positive long-term impact on their mental health.

However, sex and adrenal hormones were not taken into account in this study, which could also have a dangerous effect on anxiety levels.


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