Updated: Sep 28
Did you know that Thyroid health and Adrenal Health are connected? Many people are experiencing issues with one of these systems and have not considered how the two are related. Failing to see this can leave you frustrated and not seeing the results you want in your health.
So, just exactly how are these two systems related? This is very simplified, but this is the way I explain it to my clients.... The Adrenals are the short-term game and the Thyroid is the longer-term game. Meaning that in the short-term, your Adrenal system handles stress. It does a GREAT job of dealing with acute stress. It's the fight or flight response that allows us to escape danger and stay safe when we need to either fight for our lives or run away. A cascade of biochemical reactions begin to happen. Blood pressure rises, digestion comes to a halt, blood glucose rises so that energy is made readily available, heart rate goes up. Those are just a few of the things that take place. Great if you need to get away from danger. Terrible to live in that state long term. Unfortunately, that is what is happening to far too many of us. We live in fight or flight mode. No good!
Over time, if we are chronically in fight or flight mode, our bodies begin to realize that they can not keep sustaining that. The demand for energy and resources is too great. So, in it's infinite wisdom, the body begins to slow itself down. Enter the thyroid gland. This regulates metabolism. Nothing will slow a body down faster than slowing down metabolism. In addition, as Adrenal health continues to decline, the Thyroid is not as effective at converting thyroid hormones or with hormone uptake (meaning that they don't get where they need to in order to do their job).
Often, people being treated for Hypothyroidism who still don't feel well on the synthetic form of T4 Thyroid hormone (Synthroid, Levothyroxin) are the ones who also have Adrenal systems out of balance. It isn't until you look at the whole picture do you usually get the results you want.
So, what do you do if this is something that you are struggling with. Begin with the Adrenals and get that system back in order. Here are some things you can do to help with that:
- Establish a routine with a regular bed time before 10 PM (your best sleep is between 10 PM and 2 AM). Shut down technology an hour before bed and do something relaxing like read.
- Eat regularly and eat well. I am a huge fan of Intermittent Fasting, but if you are experiencing Adrenal fatigue, eating regular meals may be the best fit for you until you recover from that. Make sure you focus on whole, unprocessed healthy foods that include plenty of good, healthy fats, moderate amounts of protein and are low in sugar. Lots of vegetables, small amounts of fruits and limited intake of alcohol and caffeine.
- Consider using adaptogen herbs like Ashwaganda, Rhodiola and Ginseng as needed. These can be very helpful while you recover.
- Exercise moderately, but don't over do it. If you are recovering from Adrenal fatigue (which is a fancy way to say too much stress), the last thing you want to do is stress yourself out with your workouts. It's important to move and sweat, but keep it moderate! Walk, do some yoga, pilates or lift weights in a way that makes you feel good, but not over worked.
- Be Patient with yourself. Your health problems didn't develop overnight, so it will most likely take some time and consistency with the right lifestyle changes to make the progress you want. But, it can be done!
- Know when it's time to consult a professional. Sometimes, you can take these suggestions, implement them and get great results. Sometimes you want a "tour guide" to help you order testing that might be needed or offer some help in places you are stuck. If that's you or someone you know, please feel free to reach to me using this link to schedule a FREE Consult to see if we would work well together. Never any obligation and I'm happy to help however I can! We can do this over the phone or in my office if you happen to be in Southwest Missouri :)
Stress is very common and it can cause all kinds of issues. But, it is possible to have victory over it and regain your health!
Many blessings to you!