The Surprising Ways Thyroid Hormones Affect Your Mood

Struggling with mood swings, poor concentration, memory loss, sleep difficulties, anxiety, even depression?

Did you know it could indicate thyroid dysfunction as mood disturbances and cognitive impairment are commonly associated with thyroid disorders?

Studies also show a higher prevalence of hypothyroidism has been found in patients with major depressive disorders (MDD).

The reason?

The thyroid hormones are highly active within the brain. Even a slight drop in thyroid hormone activity is associated with mood changes and cognitive impairment.

It’s why hypothyroidism not only causes physical symptoms it can take a serious toll on your mental and emotional wellbeing.

How Thyroid Hormones Affect Your Mood

Here’s what you need to know about how your thyroid affects your mood.

Hyperthyroidism and Mood

An overactive thyroid is most often associated with anxiety. The nervous system is over stimulated and is therefore associated with a racing heart racing, trembling, irritability, mood swings, and restless sleep.

Hypothyroidism and Mood

Conversely, an underactive thyroid is associated with severe fatigue, irritability and mood disturbances. It’s also associated with memory lapses, poor concentration, and brain fog.

The Thyroid-Depression Link

It’s widely accepted the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction can masquerade as depression and anxiety. In fact, research shows the incidence of depression is far higher in those diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

It’s the reason why thyroid experts call on routine thyroid screening for individuals presenting with depression.

The two main warning signs of depression?

Feeling sad most of the time, and a loss of interest in activities that once gave pleasure, or a sense of purpose.

For some individuals, thyroid dysfunction can lead to serious depression, and debilitating psychiatric disorders. Therefore, any concerns should be discussed with a doctor, or an Endocrinologist who specializes in dealing with thyroid disease.

As you can imagine, you should get your thyroid thoroughly checked. If your doctor or endocrinologist diagnoses a thyroid disorder they will likely prescribe thyroid hormone replacement as an adjunct to antidepressant therapy.

Best Strategies For Treating Hypothyroidism Naturally

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way. Treating an underlying thyroid disorder can make a BIG difference to how you feel.

Counselling, nutritional supplements, herbal remedies, exercise and stress management techniques are effective options to consider.

But keep in mind, we all have unique needs so always check with your healthcare practitioner about a tailored treatment protocol. They can guide you on making informed decisions to ensure you are taking the right supplements and following the most effective treatment strategy.

If you are facing challenges relating to COVID-19 restrictions I discuss strategies here: Important Link Between Hypothyroidism and Emotional Symptoms

The Link Between Hypothyroidism and Depression

With stress levels at an all-time high depression is a growing problem.

Did you know there’s a well established link between hypothyroidism and depression? You can read more on this important topic here: The Important Link Between Hypothyroidism and Depression

Note: Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. If you need professional help please contact one of these organisations listed below or speak to your GP.

Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
Lifeline 13 11 44
Children’s Helpline 1800 55 1800


The British Thyroid Association. Psychological Symptoms and Thyroid Disorders. Revised 2015.

Loh HH, Lim LL, Yee A, Loh HS. Association between subclinical hypothyroidism and depression: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Psychiatry. 2019;19(1):12. Published 2019 Jan 8.

Tang R, Wang J, Yang L, et al. Subclinical Hypothyroidism and Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2019;10:340. Published 2019 Jun 4.

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