Autoimmune inflammation in the thyroid may be associated with a heightened risk of developing an anxiety disorder, new research suggests.
Conducted by the European Society of Endocrinology, a research team there probed the thyroid function of 29 men and 27 women in their 30s, all of which met the criteria for an anxiety disorder, including the exhibition of panic attacks.
The thyroid function and hormone levels were studied using ultrasounds. In the thyroid gland, the following hormones are produced: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), essential in regulating bodily functions.
The new findings showed that anxiety was correlated with inflammation of the thyroid glands, with results of examination testing positive for antibodies directed against the thyroid.
According to the research team, the implementation of ibuprofen and thyroxine for a span of two weeks led to a decrease in thyroid inflammation and subsequently a reduction in anxiety.
The new findings suggest that thyroid inflammation should be taken into consideration for future research exploring the development of anxiety disorders, as the thyroid function may play a more crucial role than previously believed.
The study’s results were presented at e-ECE 2020.