Does stress or anxiety affect blood test results? - British thyroid (2023)

Stress/anxiety affects blood test results.


7 answers

Can anyone tell me if severe stress or anxiety can affect thyroid blood tests?

I've suffered from intermittent anxiety and insomnia for a while, particularly as a result of recent blood tests going wrong. Aside from increasing thyroxine by half by 25mcg, nothing else has changed in my life other than the anxiety/stress was quite severe for a few months before and before the tests.

I've asked this question before and haven't received an answer. I'm asking again because I'd really like to know if this could be a factor.

I would appreciate if someone could shed some light on this.

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7 answers


I'm sorry I don't have an answer to your previous question. Anxiety and stress are common with hypothyroidism and (IMO) you may be under dosing and I assume your doctor is keeping your TSH in the "normal" range.

If you can, print out your blood test results at intervals and post a new question for members to comment on if you don't have it handy. I would say if your GP diagnosed you based on TSH only, he wouldn't have asked for a free T3 blood test. If we have low T3 levels, it can mean that 1) we are not getting enough hormones or 2) we are not converting Levo into enough T3.

T3 is the powerhouse of our metabolism, needed in our billions of receptor cells (do GPs know?) for us to function normally.

If you haven't had thyroid hormone blood tests recently, order a new one and ask for a free T4 and T3 (probably not, if so it may be worth having a private FT3).

When you do a blood test, do you do it as soon as possible and later?

Thanks for the answer. I had blood tests and they are:

August 2014

Freedom T3 3.8 (4.0 - 6.8)

Free T4 18.6 (12.0 - 22.0)

TSH value 1.8 (0.27 - 4.20)

February 2015

Free T4 25.3 (12.00 - 22.00)

TSH 0,55 (0,27 - 4,20) !

The family doctor did not do a T3.

Vitamin D2: <7 nm

Vitamin D3: 131nmo

Serum-Vitamin D: 131 nmo (25,00 120,00) !

Fertility: 123ug (13.00 - 150)

Calcium: 2.54mm (2.20 - 2.60)

When my last blood tests were done I had had a lot of stress/anxiety and insomnia for about 3 months and had not slept the night before the tests. The only difference between the previous and the last test was that I had increased my thyroxine by half a 25mcg tablet, so I have a hard time believing that this explains the large discrepancy between the two blood tests. Except, I think, for the difficult time I went through (and partly still going through) up until the last exam. I might be wrong. I don't know.

The problem is that my symptoms are disappearing, albeit slowly. My hair loss has slowed down and is now increasing although I still have dry skin, cold and congestion but not as much as before. Otherwise I'm fine, no brain fog or tiredness.

I now have tinnitus and I know it's a result of stress/anxiety and my doctor put me on an anti-anxiety/depressant medication that I'm on but I really don't like it.

My doctor has scheduled an endo appointment so I'm imagining they will do more blood work and I'm trying to manage my anxiety etc. in other ways.

I understand your point about not taking Levo before the test and I didn't last time. I take it early in the morning and it was late in the morning when I took the test. I am very grateful that you listened to me and I am very sorry that it has continued like this.

chalAdministratoras answer toMisha

I am not medically qualified and have an underactive thyroid. Looking at the results of his initial blood tests, his T3 was below range, showing that he was either taking an insufficient amount of levothyroxine or was not converting T4 (Levo) to T3 adequately. T3 is the main active thyroid hormone that allows us to function normally (when we have enough of it). It's not good below the range, which is probably why you weren't feeling good. Raised his levo by a measly half of a 25mcg pill, almost useless I think. The fact that your earlier test showed a low T3 should have been more generous. It's certainly not the cost of the pill but I think I wanted to treat him according to his blood work and try to keep his TSH in range.

T3 is the active hormone and our brain contains most of the T3 receptor cells.


Mishaas answer tochal

Thanks for the information I read. It's really interesting and informative. I will print these articles and show them to my doctor. Btw it wasn't my doctor who increased my dose, I did but not trusting I just increased it a little. They told me it could be one of those non-converters, in which case it would make sense to add T3 to my T4. My problem is I know I won't get it from my doctor so looks like I'll have to do it privately.

What I've just realized is that between my first and last blood tests I made significant dietary changes and added supplements as well. I eat healthier: high-protein, gluten-free foods, lots of fruits and vegetables with nuts and seeds, and some dairy products like goat yogurt and plant-based milk.

When I was first diagnosed with hash, my doctor gave me the impression that it would be an easy and straightforward process, but it wasn't.

Thank you again for your help and you have been really very supportive.

chalAdministratoras answer toMisha

Many said they felt a lot better without gluten. Haven't tried it yet because I'm lucky enough to feel good so far. Good luck with your next step.

Iodipodiaas answer toMisha

I find it inexcusable that your doctor didn't test your T3 when it was very low last time. If you still have symptoms even though your T4 is high and TSH is fine, there's a good chance you're not converting. Anxiety is debilitating, as is insomnia. I hope you take the T3 test and get some relief, x is worth following

Mishaas answer toIodipodia

Thanks for your comment. As I read more and more about this condition and the attitude of the healthcare system, it's unbelievable. Leaves me speechless. One might think that we are still in the 19th century, not in the 21st century.

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