6 Every Day Things You’re Doing That’s Affecting Your Thyroid (Number 3 will Surprise You)

You noticed that you were feeling tired all the time, unable to lose weight or exercise. You weren't sleeping well even though you felt absolutely fatigued. You finally decided to go to the doctor and get an answer to what's been happening to you.

Hypothyroidism also called low thyroid function.

Did you know that there are things that you are doing daily that's affecting your thyroid and contributing to low thyroid function?

Check out this list to see how your daily activities are contributing to lowered thyroid function.

1. Chronic Stress

Everyone knows that long-term stress isn't good for you but very few know why. Stress works in a number of different ways to wreak havoc on your body including exacerbating or contributing too low thyroid function. How? Well there's something called the HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis.

This basically means that there is a strong network and feedback system connecting your brain and your body, specifically your hypothalamus, a region of your brain that controls your autonomic nervous system, your pituitary, the "master" gland attached to the base of your brain that controls other hormone glands in your body (like your adrenals), and your adrenal glands which secrete hormones like epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol.

When you are under a huge amount of stress, your HPA axis is activated and cortisol, a multifunctional stress hormone, is released into your body. Now cortisol isn't all bad, you need this hormone for a lot of different actions in the body like reducing inflammation and acting on blood sugar levels, but too much cortisol is like a calling card for low thyroid function.


Because too much cortisol, which is normally anti-inflammatory, is related to an increase in inflammation in the body through inflammation causing molecules called inflammatory cytokines [1]. Increased inflammation and oxidative stress go hand in hand. Both are linked to decreased conversion of T4 to T3 [2].

T3 is the biologically active form of thyroid hormone while T4 is the more widely available storage form.

Research shows that cortisol is also related to an elevation in TSH [3]. TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone, is secreted by the pituitary gland when thyroid hormones T3 and T4 are low. TSH's job is to, well, stimulate the thyroid to produce more T4 and by extension, the powerful T3.

Higher TSH means that the body isn't producing enough thyroid hormone (T4 and T3) to function properly.

So what does all of this mean?

It means that by decreasing stress and regulating cortisol, you can reduce your chances of harming your thyroid.

2. Eating Gluten

In the past few years, gluten has become a sort of villain in many fields of medicine (other than conventional medicine, e.g. your run-of-the-mill MD). That's because gluten has been linked to all kinds of disorders from fibromyalgia [4] to schizophrenia [5].

But did you know that gluten is also linked to thyroid dysfunction, specifically autoimmune or Hashimoto's thyroiditis [