Thyroid Anxiety | Science and life

Increased anxiety can be associated with inflammation of the thyroid gland.

About 35% of people in developed countries aged 25–65 years suffer from anxiety disorders – when a person experiences general persistent anxiety that is not associated with certain objects or situations. Usually, the mechanism of such disorders is sought in the brain, and the therapy, accordingly, is designed so that it acts on the brain. But the brain does not exist separately from the whole body. It may be that other organs are contributing to anxiety. And the first in turn here is the endocrine system, which works in close interaction with the nervous system.

The location of the thyroid gland in humans. (Illustration: CLIPAREA / Depositphotos)

In particular, there is evidence that anxiety is associated with abnormalities in the thyroid gland. It synthesizes hormones with a wide spectrum of action that affect metabolism, heart and muscle function, and brain development. In this case, the thyroid gland is sometimes under an autoimmune attack. The immune system begins to synthesize antibodies against the cells of the thyroid gland, inflammation begins in it, which subsequently affects the hormonal background.

Employees at a Kiev hospital showed how inflammation in the thyroid gland can be associated with anxiety. They analyzed the condition of the gland in several dozen men and women aged about 32–34 years, suffering from anxiety disorders; for some, anxiety reached panic attacks. Some had autoimmune inflammation in the thyroid gland, although thyroid hormone levels remained within normal limits. Within two weeks, with the help of thyroxine and the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen, the inflammation in the gland was reduced. At the same time, importantly, patients became less anxious. The authors reported their results at the annual conference of the European Endocrinological Society.

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Of course, not all anxiety is due to the fact that something is wrong with the thyroid gland. However, it is still worth paying attention to: perhaps anti-anxiety drugs would help many people even more if anti-inflammatory drugs were added to them. In the future, the researchers are going to study whether other endocrine organs can be associated with anxiety and dysfunction of the thyroid gland.

Based on materials MedicalXpress

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