The Link Between Your Thyroid And Adrenal Glands
Thyroid problems are one of the most common conditions we treat at our clinics. They are especially common in women. They are a big cause of fatigue and inability to lose weight.
Thyroid problems can develop at any age, but they are especially common in women who have recently given birth and women who have recently gone through menopause. The hormonal shifts at this time are a trigger for abnormal thyroid function.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the most common cause of an under active thyroid gland. The usual treatment is prescription thyroid hormone – either synthetic hormones known as levothyroxine (eg. Synthroid), or natural porcine thyroid hormones (commonly referred to as Armor).
The problem is, many people with a thyroid condition are already taking one of these medications but they continue to suffer with symptoms of an under active thyroid gland. That is, they are still tired, depressed, suffer with fluid retention and can’t lose weight. What causes these ongoing symptoms? Sometimes the answer is adrenal gland dysfunction. Fixing the adrenal glands is sometimes the key to overcoming thyroid symptoms.
Your thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped organ at the front of your neck. It performs many essential functions related to growth, metabolism, body temperature, hormonal control (including menstrual cycle regulation), and mood. Your adrenal glands are two tiny triangular glands sitting on top of your kidneys. They control your stress response, immune function, blood pressure, blood sugar and your reproductive hormones.
If you experience prolonged chronic stress, your adrenal glands tell your body to conserve energy. Your metabolism slows down, you feel tired and want to sleep more and may experience more food cravings. Your thyroid gland function slows down, too. It’s like a warning system that tries to force your body to get more rest and sleep. Chronically over worked adrenal glands have a major negative impact on your immunity – over time this increases your risk of developing chronic inflammation and autoimmunity. These factors can lead to an eventual development of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which causes autoimmune hypothyroidism and is responsible for around 90 percent of all thyroid dysfunction in the USA.
When you are experiencing chronic stress, your immune cells release chemicals called inflammatory cytokines. Some examples include IL-1 beta, IL-6 and TNF-alpha. These chemicals have the unfortunate side effect of down regulating the production of the thyroid hormones TSH, T3, and T4. They make your thyroid less sensitive to TSH and decrease the conversion of the inactive form of the thyroid hormone T4 to the active form, T3. Chronic inflammation can make the thyroid hormone receptors on your cells less sensitive to active thyroid hormones. This means your thyroid hormones can’t do their job properly. This is called thyroid hormone resistance.
Reducing stress and improving the health of your adrenal glands can help improve thyroid health
Here are my tips
- Try to get adequate sleep. People with adrenal fatigue often have poor quality sleep, but your adrenal glands will greatly benefit if you can be in bed before 10:30pm. The hours before midnight are much more restorative to your body. Magnesium is a great tool to promote a deeper and more restful sleep.
- If you have low levels of cortisol (typical with adrenal gland exhaustion, and can be measured in a blood test), you may benefit from taking Adrenal Natural glandular capsules. They contain natural glandular material derived from government-inspected, range-fed animals, raised in New Zealand and Australia. This provides your body with natural adrenal gland hormones that help to relieve the symptoms of exhaustion and low stamina. It is important to take this in the morning.
- Try to reduce the stress in your life or find more effective ways of dealing with it. Massage, meditation, yoga, dancing classes, facials, counseling, reading or going for a bike ride can all be healthy ways to unwind.
- Many people with a thyroid condition are low in the nutrients required for the production of thyroid hormones. Being low in these nutrients can result in fatigue, low mood and impaired concentration. These nutrients are found in Thyroid Health capsules.
- Make sure you eat enough protein and healthy fats. These two nutrients will help to keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day, thereby reducing energy slumps caused by a blood sugar crash.
- You may benefit from a tyrosine supplement. Tyrosine is an amino acid that your body uses to manufacture adrenalin and noradrenalin. It helps you to emotionally cope with stress more effectively and even helps mood and concentration.
- Most of the vitamin C in your body is stored in your adrenal glands. Most people do not consume enough fresh vegetables and fruit to get sufficient vitamin C in their diet. Your adrenal glands will struggle to function unless you consume enough vitamin C. If you have adrenal exhaustion you will need at least 1000mg of vitamin C daily.
The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.