I work in an extremely high-stress environment, which seems to be the trigger for the physical symptoms of my Graves Disease. There are days when I'm so stressed, that my body reacts with what feels like heightened blood pressure which I feel in my neck. Is there any chance that this is what's happening? Does the thyroid react to stress that quickly?
I not for sure how quickly, but I do think Graves is aggravated by stress. You might consider asking your doc for some "happy" pills...aka anti-depressant/anti-anxiety pills. At the very least talk to you doc about your symptoms.
I doubt that any studies have been done on this as it would be hard to measure, quantify and compare.
Do you have a goitre? Any kind of thyroid enlargement? If you have increased your heart rate by increasing physical activity or when very stressed you have increased blood flow throughout the body right? Maybe this is contributing to the feeling you are experiencing in your neck as the thyroid gland is high vascularised (ie. filled with blood many tiny blood vessels).
Stress is recognised to be bad for people with thyroid disease. If your work is the cause of it and you can't find another way to deal with it differently it may be time to find another job or a new profession. Easier said than done. Sorry not much help.
Stress can have VERY fast acting effects of the body as it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system of which the major neurotransmitter is adrenaline. Adrenaline is very fast acting but also short lived. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the fight or flight response when the body/mind is under stress, illness or threatened.
Psychologically it is recognised that long term stress has ill effect on body and mind.
Listen to your body - it may be trying to tell you something...
Thank you, all, for your advice! Actually, I am looking to make a change in my work-situation, so hopefully I will be in a better place soon.
I do have an enlarged thyroid; however, it seems to have gotten better since I started PTU. I'm afraid I just keep realizing that I need to know more, so I think it's time to schedule another appointment with the endo. I'm happy to hear that it's probably not quite as bad as it feels.
Stress is not good for Graves' (or any other illness). However, in Graves', stress can stir up the antibodies and heighten symptoms. Meaning, stress causes an adrenaline rush, which stimulates the immune system, which sends more Graves' antibodies rushing to the thyroid, which can temporarily "amp up" the thyroid. It can come on fast.
As a GDer myself, I do not handle stress, huge or small. Although it doesn't seem to affect my BB or pulse, but it does feel like thyroid storm and very over whelming.
Make sure that you are eating properly, getting sufficient rest, and getting good recreational exercise and diversions to lessen the stress loads on your body.
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