Hypothyroidism: Can It Affect Your Nervous System?

If you suffer from low thyroid, or hypothyroidism, you may worry about numerous things, including how to manage your condition. Hypothyroidism has the potential to aggravate or affect multiple systems in your body, including your nervous system. Learn how hypothyroidism affects your body's nervous system below.

Can Hypothyroidism Really Affect Your Nervous System?

Although the thyroid is very important to your endocrine system, the gland plays many important roles throughout your body. The gland produces several unique hormones that help control your body's metabolism and temperature. The thyroid gland even plays a crucial role in the cognitive development of children.

In addition to the functions mentioned above, the thyroid gland also works with your peripheral nervous system to keep you healthy. Your peripheral nervous system consists of various complex tissues, including your brain, nerve cells, and spinal column or bones. The gland helps your nervous system convey critical messages throughout your body. If your thyroid malfunctions, it can interfere with how your nervous system operates

Several things can occur if your nervous system doesn't function well, including nervousness, anxiety, and pain. Some people develop peripheral nephropathy, or nerve damage. The condition causes numbness and tingling in your fingers, toes, and other extremities. If either conditions go untreated, it can change your quality of life over time.

Can You Protect Your Nervous System From Hypothyroidism?

If possible, ask your regular doctor to refer you to a neurology specialist for further care. A neurologist can examine your peripheral nervous system to see if your hypothyroidism affected it in some way. If a specialist finds something wrong with your nervous system, they can take the appropriate steps to overcome it.

A neurologist may work with your regular physician to treat your condition. Your regular doctor can treat your thyroid with various hypothyroidism medications, and a neurologist can treat your nerve problems with therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs, and medicated pain patches. 

Some neurology doctors use transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation (TENS) to treat nerve problems. TENS "wakes up" or stimulates your nerves, which improves the functions in your body. There may be other treatments you qualify for, including nerve blocks and pain inhibitors. The exact treatment needed to improve your condition may depend on the neurologist you see for care.

If you want to learn more about hypothyroidism's effects on your peripheral nervous system, contact a neurologist, such as at North Texas Neuroscience Center PA . A neurologist can help you understand more about your health now.