Does Your Thyroid Health Affect Your Mood?
By Louise O’Connor
The thyroid hormones are widely distributed in the brain and for good reason. These hormones play a critical role to help regulate your mood and keep your memory sharp.
However the connection between thyroid health and changes in mood is not always established, this is despite the fact that when your thyroid is below par it’s common to experience mood fluctuations.
For some individuals they can even feel as though their life is out of control; they feel apathetic, stressed out and are experiencing mild to severe mood swings.
Ongoing scientific research validates the connection between thyroid health and mood disturbances. The thyroid hormones do indeed influence your mood. Safeguarding your thyroid health may therefore be the key to help naturally lift your mood.
Is It ‘All In Your Head’?
The thyroid hormones play a key role in neurotransmitter production. These potent ‘feel good’ substances are naturally produced by your body to help regulate your mood and behaviour.
The most prominent neurotransmitters include serotonin and noradrenaline. When these neurotransmitters are in balance life feels good and you have an optimistic outlook.
Your Feel Good Brain Chemicals
Alterations in serotonin levels within the brain can have a direct effect on your mood and when levels drop it’s possible to feel less than happy, even down in the dumps. That’s because serotonin is the crucial ‘happy’ neurotransmitter. It also plays a controlling role to assist learning and restorative sleep.
Has Life Lost It’s Romance?
An interesting study conducted by Oxford University found that serotonin influences the perception of intimacy and romance. When researchers lowered serotonin activity in healthy volunteers and showed them photographs of couples the volunteers with lower serotonin activity rated the couples as less romantic than the volunteers with normal serotonin activity.
Noradrenaline is produced by the adrenal glands, the small glands situated on top of each kidney. These glands are important to survival as they produce both noradrenaline and cortisol; the critical ‘fight or flight’ hormones that help your body take charge in stressful situations.
The Thyroid-Adrenal Connection
Prolonged physical and psychological stress can take a toll on the adrenal glands. They become overworked and eventually they struggle to keep up with the demands of day-to-day life.
Often the first warning signs that the adrenals are reaching breaking point are feelings of ongoing fatigue and a noticeably reduced ability to handle stress. You may remember a time when tense situations did not bother you. Now small things irritate you, and the slightest bit of stress leaves you feeling flat and worn out.
From my clinical experience adrenal fatigue frequently leads to an exhausted thyroid as these two glands are inextricably linked. In fact, the symptoms of adrenal fatigue closely resemble the symptoms of a sluggish thyroid.
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