Hypothyroidism and Adrenal Fatigue

Have you heard of the endocrine system? It is an important system of eight organs in your body that produce a variety of hormones that influence every other organ. When the endocrine system under or over produce hormones, your natural body system becomes imbalanced, which can lead to multiple conditions that are annoying in their mildest form, and incapacitating when severe. Two important organs in the endocrine system are the adrenal gland and the thyroid gland.
The thyroid gland releases hormones that control the body's metabolism, and it regulates heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and growth. An underactive thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, and the resulting condition is called hypothyroidism. More than 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, with another 13 million postulated to have undiagnosed thyroid problems.

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism?

Some common symptoms of hypothyroidism include cold hands and feet, fatigue, sluggish metabolism, weight gain, slow pulse, depression, dry skin, dry, brittle, and/or thinning hair, feeling groggy in the morning but more alert at night, constipation, slow speech, PMS and/or painful menstrual cramps, and puffiness in face or ankles. Hypothyroidism may have several causes which can be difficult to elucidate and usually require blood tests to sort out.
Optimal treatment of hypothyroidism may often require an integrative approach combining nutrition, medication, and supplements.

The Adrenal Gland

The other major organ in the endocrine system, the adrenal gland, is sometimes known as the "fight or flight" organ. It controls the body's response to stress. When a threat is perceived, the adrenal gland releases cortisol (in response to adrenaline) in the bloodstream, instantly increasing our heart rate and blood pressure, slowing digestion and other secondary functions and sharpening our senses. Cortisol, the main stress hormone is wonderfully effective in the face of stress. However, so many of us lead chronically stressful lives that exceed the adrenal gland's ability to adjust appropriately to the demands, the adrenal glands can become fatigued and unable to carry out their normal function, and can result in a condition called adrenal fatigue. Some stressors that can lead to adrenal fatigue include depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation, anger and a diet high in sugar. One commonly overlooked cause is chronic infection: parasitic and bacterial infections (such as intestinal infections with Giardia or Helicobacter) or an infected tooth root are often prime culprits in adrenal fatigue.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is difficult to diagnose: it has many broad symptoms and the onset is often slow and insidious. Some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue include weight gain, low libido, lightheadedness when rising from a laying down position, brain fog, lack of energy in the afternoon, needing coffee to get the day started , a higher susceptibility to cold and flu illness are just a few of the vague complaints from patients who suffer from adrenal fatigue. None of these signs by itself can diagnose adrenal fatigue, but taken together, can form a picture of someone under stress.
In addition to the symptoms listed above, adrenal fatigue can affect most organ systems in your body. The stomach and intestines may become less efficient in absorbing nutrients, as the imbalance exacerbates food sensitivities and irritable bowel syndrome, and liver function is reduced. Good nutrients, if not processed properly by the intestines and liver, become toxic, and toxic nutrients circulating in your body can also cause brain fog, skin rashes, and joint pain. What is also interesting is that the adrenal gland and the thyroid gland produce hormones that work together. Imbalanced adrenal function compounds hypothyroidism.
Adrenal Support Formulas can help in this regard. Magnesium, Vitamin B, antioxidants and Omega-3 fish oils have been shown to be effective in treatment of adrenal fatigue, but what is most important is that you work closely with your healthcare professional to identify and balance your hormone levels.
Whether you choose conventional or holistic care, there is no way to safely "fix" your hormones without professional guidance, so speak with your doctor.
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