"If both the thyroid and the adrenals are weak, adrenal repair must precede thyroid repair (see Metabolic Scorecard™ to determine whether problem is adrenal, thyroid, or both). If the adrenals are weak, then even normal thyroid activity places an excessive burden on them. One may begin to feel ‘hypoadrenal’ (coldness, weight loss, dryness, fatigue, insomnia, and/or anxiety) and then the body innately turns down its own thyroid energy production by increasing production of RT3. Conversely, if the adrenals are strong and the thyroid is weak or unable to keep up with the adrenals, one begins to feel ‘hypothyroid’ (heat intolerance, weight gain and fluid retention, tiredness, excessive need to sleep and/or depression). A very common error made by medical practitioners is to focus entirely on the thyroid and ignore the adrenals In a weakened adrenal state, prescribing thyroid medication that contains T4 and/or T3 may produce limited or transient improvement. Subsequent increases of the dose offer little or no benefit as the medication pushes the energy machinery into overdrive. Unfortunately, this higher energy level is unsustainable due to the stress on the adrenals. Eventually the adrenals become fatigued and the symptoms of low energy return. If, however, the adrenals are functioning well, the thyroid hormones can do their job and the result is good metabolic energy.
Another way of looking at this thyroid/adrenal relationship is to think of the thyroid as ‘generating’ the energy while the adrenals need to be able to ‘handle’ the energy. If the thyroid generated energy is excessive for the adrenals’ ability to handle it, the body will down-regulate the thyroid energy as much as it is capable of doing to accommodate what the adrenals can safely handle. Sometimes, in an effort to help the patient feel better, the physician keeps increasing the thyroid dose or even gives a T4/T3 combination like Armour Thyroid or just a T3 support like Cytomel. The problem with this is that it forces the system to function at a higher energy than the adrenals can handle. Initially the adrenals have enough reserve to handle the higher thyroid energy so the patient feels better. When the (adrenal) reserves are exhausted (this can happen in a few days, weeks or months) the patient can develop fatigue, anxiety, bursts of rapid heart beat or the feeling of such bursts (palpitations) or other symptoms of either high thyroid function or of low adrenal function (see the Metabolic Scorecard™). This is the ‘crash and burn’ phase of the thyroid treatment which ignores the adrenals’ capacity to handle the thyroid support. It is often followed by a recommendation for an anti-anxiety or anti-depressant drug.
Adrenal Repair Basics
In general, stress hurts the adrenals. We can define stress as anything which challenges our survival, joy, prosperity, security or stability. It is anything which forces our system to adapt (e.g., change of circumstances, temperature, chemistry as in a sudden change of supplements, medication or even change of diet). Infection, lack of sleep or even lack of love are stressors. The opposite of stress such as joy, sleep and rest, comfort, peace, security, stability, and good nutrition, are examples of things that help the adrenals. Avoid the stressors and seek out those things that help. Eat more proteins (especially amino acids) and fats (not vegetable oils). Limit carbohydrates, especially sugars. Avoid stimulants and physiologically stressful substances such as caffeine, diet pills, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. If you have allergies, avoid the allergens – common allergens are wheat and dairy. Although this may sound surprising, we actually tend to crave foods to which we are allergic. Metabolic activity (the chemical processes and changes going on in our body) represent a stress. At a level that can be handled by the adrenals, this stress is good for us (Eustress) and maintains life. If metabolic activity is too strong for the adrenals (e.g., excessive thyroid stimulation), it is at a level that is unhealthy (Distress) and wears the adrenals down.
Mold is a common serious stress but difficult to avoid. Reduce as much stress as possible. Even ‘good stress’, such as celebration, can sometimes be excessive for the adrenals. Look for opportunities to experience security, joy and optimism. Learn to avoid negative emotions such as fear (e.g. horror movies), anger, etc. Increase rest – get as much sleep as possible and make the timing as regular as possible. Pushing too hard, excessive work or exercise, and any sleep deprivation stresses the adrenals.
Considering a Supplement?
Providing the body with proper support in the form of vitamin supplements is critical to repair. The minimal nutritional requirements for healthier adrenals are:
A healthy whole food diet which is organic, contains an adequate amount of protein and healthy fat (oil is liquid in room temperature while fat is solid in room temperature), adequate fat soluble vitamins, and without anything you are allergic to (e.g., wheat, dairy, or other specific foods you might be allergic to). Sometimes eating right for your blood type becomes the key factor.
B-Complex Vitamins: A very complete B-complex with lots of Vitamin B-5.
Vitamin Cand Antioxidants: The buffered powder form of Vitamin C is often most easily tolerated as part of a drink sipped throughout the day. It is important to take bioflavonoids with Vitamin C as these help recycle and sustain the antioxidant activity.
Amino Acids: Individuals with weak adrenals often cannot digest meat or proteins into amino acids very well. The adrenals thrive on amino acids. As with the Vitamin C, amino acids are best taken as part of a drink sipped throughout the day.
Healthy Fats: Animal fat is the best source of healthy fat but they need to be organic. If dairy or meat, the animal should, if possible, be grass fed if cow or sheep. Eggs are also healthy. Free range hens are the best source.
Unrefined Sea Salt : This helps the adrenals by raising a low blood pressure and assisting the body in retaining water. Plain table salt (sodium chloride) does not contain the same minerals and some people feel poorly with it.
I hope you find the right treatment and balance for your body's needs. Please do read the whole website so that you get a well rounded understanding of their observations. Then consider what others are saying and listen to your body. It ususally resonates [much like a bell does] with those things that may be beneficial.
With best wishes for good findings in your quest for health...