People with anxiety problems are usually split into two camps: One side is convinced that they’re nuts; the other thinks that they have major medical problems that will attack their brain, heart, or some other organ they can’t live without.
And you know what? The second camp might be on to something. But don’t freak out. Although there are medical problems that do in fact cause anxiety, they’re not all incurable nightmares.
Most anxious people like to think big in terms of what might be ailing them. You hear anxious people talk a lot about heart attacks, brain cancer, even multiple sclerosis gets tossed around as a possible cause of their anxiety. But there are other, less dramatic, explanations.
A more likely medical cause of anxiety, fatigue, stomach problems, and irritability is hyperthyroidism. The thyroid is a gland in the neck that produces Thyroxine and thyridodine (T4 and T3). Long story short, the thyroid is important because it keeps your body in homeostasis (“balanced” or “stable”).
If the thyroid produces too much (or not enough) hormone then all hell breaks loose. Thyroid problems can lead to many medical issues, including severe anxiety.
So, if you’re the kind of person that has popped pills, seen a shrink, taken up running or gardening, and still feel anxious then you might want to get your thyroid checked by a medical doctor. A simple blood test will tell you if your anxiety problem is really just a hormonal issue.
Not everyone with chronic anxiety has a thyroid problem, but still it’s something to consider getting checked. You might be scared to see a doctor. I get that. You might be too scared to have a check up because of what could be found. I get that too.
But it’s always better to know what is truly going on with you versus playing perpetual head games with yourself.
This is exactly why if you have severe anxiety you need to start whatever treatment plan you have with one single step: A check up. Once you’ve seen a doctor and have been screened for medical problems then you can start working on your real issues.
If you’ve already been screened for “everything” and still can’t find a reason for your anxiety then maybe it’s time to develop a different plan of action . But that’s for another time.