When you’re under a profound amount of stress, physical or mental, for prolonged periods of time, you may begin to suffer from a condition known as adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is what happens when your adrenal glands, the little glands sitting on top of your kidneys that control your flight or fight response, are unable to keep up and manage all the stress hormones you’re putting out.
Instead of having a full-blown adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease), many people just sit in this middle ground where their adrenal glands aren’t working to normal standards, but their symptoms aren’t quite so bad to be considered truly “serious.”
Because of this, millions of people around the world deal with adrenal fatigue every single day, and the overwhelming majority of them have no idea what this condition is or what they can do to alleviate it.
But your adrenal gland may not be the only one that’s necessarily suffering.
Many doctors and naturopaths believe that there is a link between adrenal fatigue and your thyroid function. Often, the two go hand in hand. In fact, some doctors believe that adrenal stress could actually be causing thyroid problems in the first place.
Confusing Adrenal Fatigue and Hypothyroidism
First, it’s worth noting that many people (including doctors!) confuse thyroid problems with adrenal fatigue. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which your thyroid fails to produce enough of the thyroid hormone for normal function. Some of the primary symptoms of hypothyroidism are becoming overly tired, forgetfulness, depression, feeling cold, dry skin, and constipation.
Many of these symptoms are similar to symptoms of adrenal fatigue, which means the two conditions are frequently confused. In part, this has to do, too, with many doctors’ reluctance to diagnose people with adrenal fatigue since, in many medical communities, it is not recognized as a true syndrome. In other cases, doctors do not know enough about adrenal fatigue to feel comfortable discussing it with their patients, while hypothyroidism is well documented and has been accepted in the medical community for years.
This can lead to many people being diagnosed with hypothyroidism when they are truly suffering from adrenal fatigue.
But beside that, the diagnosis may not really be that far off. In fact, a lot of the time, hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue strike at the same time.
How your thyroid and your adrenals work together.
It’s extremely common that people with hypothyroidism additionally suffer from weakened adrenal glands. As with most systems in our bodies, both the thyroid and your adrenals work together to supply essential hormones through your body. When you are having thyroid issues already and your adrenal glands are not producing the right levels of hormones to regulate your stress and anxiety, it can make the problem so much worse. On the flip side, adrenal fatigue can make thyroid problems come to a head.
Treatments become harder.
Typically, when people go to the doctor and seem to have hypothyroidism, they are put on a thyroid hormone alone to alleviate the problem. Sometimes, instead of making the problem go away, it actually makes the symptoms worse.
That’s because these people are not suffering just from low thyroid function. They likely have adrenal fatigue as well.
It has been recently shown that people who have low thyroid function and are unresponsive to most thyroid therapies are likely suffering from adrenal fatigue on top of their thyroid problems. When your adrenal glands are already under a lot of stress, they have an even more difficult time managing the metabolic stimulation from your thyroid medications.
But you have to treat them, and both of them, or you’re only going to make problems worse. For example, if you only try to manage your adrenal fatigue, you may notice an improvement in adrenal symptoms but much, much worse thyroid problems (like weight gain, fluid retention, depression, and the like). On the other side, if you keep trying to address your thyroid problem but not your adrenals, you’ll just experience more of the adrenal fatigue symptoms!
So, what do you do?
Best Method for Treating your Thyroid AND Your Adrenal Fatigue
When someone is suffering from both adrenal fatigue AND thyroid depletion, it’s recommended to address your adrenal function before you try to fix your thyroid. This is due to the reasons I’ve talked about above – that thyroid medications can actually put even MORE stress on your adrenal glands!
You can treat your adrenals in several ways, from reducing the stress in your life to sleeping more and improving your diet, but for quicker results, start to take adrenal support supplements. The best adrenal support supplements can boost your adrenal health and make it easier for your body to then tolerate your thyroid supports.
For the best results, you want to make sure you have an adrenal support supplement that has the following ingredients:
- Holy Basil
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
One of the best adrenal support supplements on the market is FlexNatural’s Adrenal Support. You can find it on Amazon.
If you have been diagnosed with thyroid problems but your thyroid support therapy and medications don’t seem to be working, it’s likely that you have adrenal fatigue as well. By tackling both of these issues at the same time, you can greatly increase your quality of life and see a relief in all symptoms, not just one set of them!