Why Test Your Adrenals For Your Thyroid
If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I’m an avid advocate for using Functional Medicine as a means to providing safe, effective, lasting solutions to chronic illness and disease.
However, I consider the educational aspects of my work equally rewarding and important.
Long story short, I love sharing findings that could potentially turn someone’s life around which brings me to the topic of today’s blog post,
Why Test Your Adrenals For Your Thyroid
Let’s jump right in!
The Adrenal Gland and its function in the body
Before delving into why it might be crucial to look closely at the Adrenal Gland when a patient is dealing with symptoms (allegedly) associated with the Thyroid, a brief introduction of the organ is in order.
In short, the Adrenal Glands are minor, triangular-shaped glands that are located on top of both kidneys. Their job is essentially to produce hormones that regulate and support our metabolism, immune system and blood pressure.
In addition, one of its most important jobs by far is to regulate stress inside the body by producing a hormone you might have heard of before, namely cortisol.
Cortisol is a steroid hormone considered as nature’s built-in alarm system which helps us rid the body of excess stress. In other words, cortisol curbs functions that would be nonessential or harmful in a fight-or-flight situation.
In our modern society where various stressors are more common than not, it’s more important than ever that the Adrenal Gland and its corresponding release of cortisol functions properly and in synergy.
Now that you’re more acquainted with the Adrenal Gland and what it does, let’s proceed to why it might be important to look at it when dealing with the Thyroid
Why the Adrenal Gland matters when dealing with the Thyroid
When evaluating someone presenting symptoms such as weight gain, sleep issues, brain fog and/or fatigue - all of which are considered classic Thyroid symptoms - a common approach is running standard tests.
Within the field of traditional medicine, these tests normally comprise blood work such as TSH, T4 etc. where the amount of thyroid stimulating hormone as well as T4 hormone in the blood is measured.
However, there are other alternative means available to us that can provide fundamental key insights as to what’s really going on, and that we might miss out on by focusing disproportionately on standard Thyroid tests.
One of the common areas we should indeed be looking closer at is the Adrenal Gland.
We’ve already explained what it is and what it does.
Now let’s take a minute to explain how it relates to the Thyroid
Modern society presents us with a range of different stressors, oftentimes on a daily if not regular basis. Stressors can be caused by everything from family life, work and finances to important world events at large (political events, viruses etc.).
When the Adrenal Gland functions adequately, cortisol is released to help our body with - and respond to stressful situations.
So far, so good right? Cortisol seems like one of those Godsend magical hormones that makes everything better!
Well, not entirely… ever heard of “Too much of a good thing?”
Symptoms of cortisol overload
Cortisol isn’t all good.
In fact, in overload (after too much stress for too long time) it can run havoc in the body and cause various debilitating issues such as
- Weight gain
- Brain dysfunction
- Sleep issues
- High blood pressure.
- Skin changes
- Muscle weakness.
- Mood swings (anxiety, depression or irritability)
Mind you, many of these symptoms coincide with those associated with the Thyroid.
This is why a condition perceived as being associated with the Thyroid could merely be a cover up for what’s really messing with your body - the Adrenal Gland.
You might be running test after test year after year where your Thyroid hormones look good… great in fact.
Your doctor might (in good faith, but still) be dismissing you time and again, constantly reassuring you that you and your Thyroid are OK.
All while the Adrenal Gland is entirely disregarded and overlooked as a relevant area in the body that merits a comprehensive evaluation each time a Thyroid Patient is involved.
No two men are alike.
Each and everyone of us is unique.
So why then is modern medical care so one-dimensional in its way of evaluating, diagnosing and treating patients?
This is a question I ask myself daily.
I’ve found it to be a great reminder to always look beyond standard tests and one-size-fits-all solutions.
My team and I work hard to see each patient that walks into our office, to hear his or her story and to ultimately provide a customized solution to the condition that he or she might be dealing with.
If you have a gut feeling that something is inherently wrong, you should trust your instinct!
If you sense that something is amiss yet all your Thyroid tests come out fine, it’s a strong indicator that you and/or your medical practitioner should be focusing your efforts on looking into other areas such as the Adrenal Gland.
I encourage you to reach out to our office today to schedule a full comprehensive evaluation aimed at uncovering what the issue behind your ailment really is.
If there’s anything I can do for you - please know that I’m but a phone call away.