Has getting through one of the most acrimonious elections in U.S. history been hard on your Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism condition? Fortunately, functional medicine offers some tips to help you rebound from the stress and improve your autoimmune thyroid condition.
The election caused prolonged stress fear, anger, and negativity in many people. These states harmfully impact the body and can exacerbate Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
Here are some ways chronic stress worsens health and Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism:
Increases inflammation. Prolonged stress and negativity can inflame joints, the skin, the brain, the stomach, the respiratory tract, and other areas of the body, leading to myriad symptoms.
Causes anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Many lost sleep and become anxious and depressed during the elections. This is because chronic stress suspends the central nervous system in a heightened state, which erodes health.
Causes stomach and abdominal symptoms. Chronic stress tears up the gut, causing pain, inflammation, and digestive problems.
Muscles tighten. Chronic stress keeps the muscles constantly tense from being in a fight-or-flight state, ready to flee or jump into action.
Imbalances hormones. Stress hormones can seriously imbalance hormones in both women and men. This can result in problems with menstrual cycles, menopause, andropause (male menopause) libido, and brain function.
Leads to brain fog and memory loss. Chronic stress and negativity are inflammatory, which may lead to the brain becoming inflamed too. Symptoms of brain inflammation include brain fog, depression, and memory loss.
Causes immune imbalances. Chronic stress weakens the immune system so that you’re more susceptible to illness and don’t recover as quickly from sickness or injury. Likewise, it can also over stimulate the immune system so that it is hyper zealous. This can flare autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
Promotes high blood pressure and respiratory stress. Chronic stress constricts the blood vessels, raises blood pressure, and inflames respiratory conditions.
Encourage addiction. Chronic stress predisposes people to seek comfort in addictive substances and behaviors.
All of these effects are pro-inflammatory, which make it more difficult to manage Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. Managing chronic stress is vital to managing your autoimmune thyroid disease.
How to buffer election stress when you have Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism
Stress is a normal function essential to survival. The trick learning how to rebound from it, especially when you have Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
Although it’s tempting to pop a Xanax, aim for functional medicine tips that ease anxiety and support your health:
Take adrenal adaptogen supplements. These herbs help mitigate the effects of stress on the body and brain. Adaptogens include ginseng, ashwagandha, holy basil, rhodiola, eleuthero, and pantethine. Ask my office about Adaptocrine, a product that combines all these.
Connect with loved ones. Make time for like-minded friends and family and do something fun. Science has documented the positive health effects of socialization.
Exercise to release feel-good hormones. Exercise floods the body with feel-good hormones that improve health and brain function, making it an excellent strategy in the face of stress. Just don’t overdo it — over exercising stresses and inflames the body.
Root out unidentified causes of stress. Much stress comes from factors we’re not aware of:
- Unstable blood sugar
- Unidentified food sensitivities
- Cemical sensitivities
- Unmanaged autoimmunity
- Leaky gut
- Undiagnosed bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections
Practice positivity. Although it’s important to process negative emotions, at some point it’s important to move on and practice positivity, which science shows is vital to health.
By taking better care of your health and managing how outside events affect you, you have a better chance of successfully managing your Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
How to learn if you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Many patients are not diagnosed with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s until after several years and going through several doctors. It is a demoralizing journey richly illustrated in my book The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, through real-life stories from patients in my practice. Managing Hashimoto’s goes far beyond using thyroid medication as you must work to stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid. For more information on identifying and managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid, contact my office.
About Dr. Josh Redd, Chiropractic Physician — Utah, Arizona, New Mexico functional medicine
Dr. Joshua J. Redd, DC, MS, DABFM, DAAIM, author of The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, is a chiropractic physician and the founder of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center with practices in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. He sees patients from around the world who suffer from challenging thyroid disorders, Hashimoto’s disease, and other autoimmune conditions. In addition to his chiropractic degree, Dr. Redd has a BS in Health and Wellness, a BS in Anatomy, and a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. He speaks across the nation, teaching physicians about functional blood chemistry, low thyroid, Hashimoto’s, and autoimmunity. You can join his Facebook page here.