Today, in the article below and in the podcast, I’m talking about the similarities and differences between thyroid and adrenal problems, and give you tools to help you figure out which might be affecting you.
Is It Your Adrenals? Thyroid? Or Both?
You’re tired. You’re stressed out and overwhelmed. You’ve been noticing you have some brain fog – your thinking, memory, and focus just aren’t as clear as you feel they should be. Your hormones are out of whack, and maybe you’ve gained some weight, seemingly out of nowhere, and no matter how much you diet and exercise, you can’t drop that weight – especially around your middle. You’ve read about the adrenal glands and thyroid, and know that imbalances in either can cause these exact symptoms. You’re wondering if you have a problem in one, the other, or both. Fatigue, weight gain, poor sleep, brain fog and more are common symptoms of both hypothyroid and adrenal depletion which raises the question for many women: How do I know which I have? Is it my thyroid? Adrenals? Or both.
This question is answered in depth in my new book, The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution. I wrote this book not because I intended to focus my practice so much on endocrinology, but just because I’ve heard the struggles and the needs of women across so many life cycles: stories of miscarriage, heavy and painful periods, PCOS, sleep problems, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, heart disease, and more – and their relationship to the thyroid and adrenal glands – or more accurately, the whole stress response system.
When I started to take a deep dive into what connects all of these women who experience what we call the western cluster, I discovered that along with the millions of women who have been diagnosed with a slow functioning thyroid or Hashimoto’s, even more are undiagnosed or under diagnosed or misdiagnosed. A lot of women are living in survival overdrive. So how do you know? There are two simple answers: your symptom picture and the right testing.
The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution
For more on the Root Causes of poor thyroid function and how to heal them, check out my book.
Differentiating Adrenal and Hypothyroid Symptoms
Because your adrenal glands and your thyroid both contribute to your body’s ability to regulate energy and metabolism, your hormones, and cognitive function (memory and focus), the symptoms can be quite similar when you’re experiencing adrenal imbalances, especially adrenal depletion, and hypothyroidism. However, there are also some differentiating symptoms. Because they are on a continuum, you can also have adrenal overdrive and adrenal depletion at the same time, usually one being more predominant than the other.
The table below, though not an exhaustive list of all of the symptoms of adrenal and thyroid problems, helps to clarify the main similarities and differences, and will help you to sort out your symptoms at a glance.
You can also click here for my FREE Adrenal/Thyroid Mini Quiz, previews to the comprehensive ones you’ll find in the book, but enough to get you started on your healing journey. These will be available here for FREE for a limited time as a preview to the The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution which comes out in January, 2017, at which time you’ll find the comprehensive versions in the book.
Getting the Right Testing for You
When it comes to thyroid health, my motto is “test, don’t guess.” For the tests you need to assess thyroid health and find out if you have Hashimoto’s, head over here.
The Adrenal-Thyroid Connection
The adrenal and thyroid glands are intimately connected – when your stress response system is chronically activated, it tells your thyroid to slow down to conserve energy. So it wouldn’t be surprising if you score high in both systems if you have thyroid symptoms. To learn more about the adrenal-thyroid connection in depth, read this article. Cortisol testing can be done with a 24 -hour salivary cortisol test – however, it is not necessary – if you have symptoms, you can actually begin to support and nourish your adrenal health with increased rest, improving your sleep, and using natural support in the form of adaptogens and other supplements to support adrenal health.
- What are the adrenals, thyroid, and what do they do
- What happens when the stress response system is always on
- How to know if you have an adrenal or thyroid problem
- The difference between adrenal overdrive and adrenal exhaustion
- What do the symptoms of thyroid look like
- Why it’s important to test for thyroid problems
- The kind of transformations that I want to help people have
- What adrenal and thyroid problems make us do
- How we have the potential for a health revolution
- Click here to receive my FREE adrenal and thyroid questionnaires
- Read my blog post about the adrenal thyroid connection
- Learn more about thyroid testing and why your tests could come back normal even if you have a thyroid problem
- Read about healing your adrenals, adaptogen herbs, and herbs for stress
- Give yourself permission to pause
- Read about medical bias towards women, and Maya Dusenbery’s article Is Medical Gender Bias Killing Young Women?
- Learn more about how I got started in medicine