Stress Causes Hypothyroid Symptoms

I recently held a class about the thyroid and realized sharing this information might help more people find the cause of their hypothyroid symptoms and resolve them more quickly.

In a healthy thyroid, the thyroid mostly makes a hormone called T4.  T4 converts to T3,  the most potent, active thyroid hormone.  When someone is under stress, the body will often convert T4 to  Reverse T3 (RT3).  RT3 is an inactive substitute for T3.  When RT3 levels are high, we know stress is the cause for hypothyroid symptoms which requires temporary treatment to resolve.  Here is a brief schematic to help simplify.

Normal function   T4 ——> T3  (active hormone)

Under stress  T4 ——> RT3  (inactive hormone, leading to hypothyroid symptoms)

There are many symptoms of hypothyroidism, some  include fatigue, hair loss, weight gain, depression, brittle nails, insomnia, headaches, high cholesterol, acne, allergies  and even carpal tunnel syndrome.

Lab testing for the thyroid often includes T4, sometimes T3 but rarely RT3.  Having all 3 lab tests done can reveal the cause of symptoms and direct the physician to use a temporary treatment of supplements or T3 that may resolve the issue without long-term use of medication.


January 09 2013 08:04 am | Healthy Tip Of The Week

Comments are closed.

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Julie Wilson, unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Julie Wilson and her community. Dr. Wilson encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.