No definitive evidence for a connection between autoimmune thyroid diseases and stress in women.

  Vol. 37 (3) 2016 Neuro endocrinology letters Journal Article   2016; 37(3): 155-162 PubMed PMID:  27618605    Citation  Keywords:  Female, Humans, Stress, Psychological:complications, Thyroiditis, Autoimmune:epidemiology,.   

: The purpose of this literature review was to examine the available clinical studies performed during the last 15 years to identify if there is a causal relationship between the onset and course of autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITDs) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis/sympathetic-adrenomedullary system (SAM) (dys)function in women. Using the PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus databases, a comprehensive search was performed, and 14 articles were finally identified. The majority of selected studies suggested a causal connection between Graves' Disease (GD) and stress, as well as between Hashimoto Thyroiditis (HT), with its variant postpartum thyroiditis, and stress. However, due to heterogeneity in the protocols, mainly based on the theoretical side effects of stress on the immune-neuroendocrine system, and the different modalities used to establish the impact of stress on individuals, no definitive conclusions could be reached to explain the mechanisms by which stress contributes to the onset of AITDs in women and to determine whether stress management could help in modifying the course of AITDs.

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