Stress & Thyroid

Life got ya feelin’ down?  It might just be your adrenal glands. Turns out, modern life is not so friendly to these little balls of stress (hormones), and the accumulated stressors of everyday life in the twenty-first century can have major consequences for your adrenals and your thyroid.

In fact, when it comes to your thyroid and your adrenal glands, you can’t look at one without the other, and adrenal stress could possibly be the most important component in healing yourself.

Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue generally develops over a period of years usually due to chronic stress and poor eating habits. Stress to our body comes in many forms. It can appear due to a traumatic event, every day unhappiness, an assault of environmental toxins or a poor diet.

Beyond the obvious daily stressors in our lives, the adrenal glands pump out more stress hormones when your blood sugar isn’t regulated, your gut is leaky, you have food sensitivities (such as gluten), toxins and infections are present, or you are inflamed and under an autoimmune attack.

In response to chronic stress, our system creates a constant secretion of cortisol, which can weaken the adrenal glands and eventually lead to adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue creates a host of symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, insomnia, mood swings, sugar and caffeine cravings, irritability and dizziness. It also affects how your hormones are used by your cells, reduces the conversion of T4 to T3, weakens immune barriers, causes hormonal imbalances, promotes the autoimmune response and disrupts the interactions between the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands. This affects how you react to stress or trauma, your temperature, digestion, immune system, mood, libido and energy. In fact, weak adrenal glands can mimic symptoms of thyroid disease—whether you actually have thyroid disease or not.

You can support your adrenal glands by making sure you’re getting enough B12, betatine, folate, selenium and sulphur.

When the adrenal glands are weakened, the body is put in a destructive state where it begins to break down. Since the thyroid gland controls the metabolism of the body, the gland will slow itself down in order to hinder this destruction. As a result, a hypothyroid condition will usually manifest in the body. The disheartening part is that it doesn’t take a severe case of adrenal fatigue to wreak havoc on the thyroid gland.

Starbucks is Your Enemy

Often times, the initial adrenal fatigue is what actually caused your thyroid to malfunction. If you don’t address adrenal fatigue, that limits your opportunity of restoring the health of your thyroid. This is why cutting out coffee and caffeine is crucial to healing your thyroid.

By starting with a cup of coffee in the morning, you are setting yourself up for a roller coaster of highs and lows throughout the day. From the first sip, the caffeine in coffee enters your bloodstream through the lining of your mouth, throat, and stomach. It begins to affect the central nervous and stimulates your adrenal glands to produce adrenalin. This puts your body in a “fight-or-flight” mode. When you’re in a “fight-or-flight” state, you’re taxing your adrenals, you’re actually in a perpetual state of alert. This actually puts your body in a state of stress.

For thyroid sufferers especially, even having one cup of coffee in the morning can have long-term consequences for your adrenal health and the body’s ability to repair itself. If you don’t know, here’s why adrenal health is crucial to thyroid healing.

Can’t give up the flavor of your morning Joe? Try one of my two favorites Dandy Blend & Bueno Coffee Supplement. Their aroma and flavor are much like coffee. Dandy Blend also has the added benefit of being a liver cleanser and they are both gluten-free. You can drink them iced or hot and turn it into a black coffee, cappuccino or even a chai latte. It’s a staple at our house. These products are a little hard to find so I just order them online. Want a decadent “coffee” treat? Mix 1 tbsp of Dandy Blend, hot water, coconut milk (to your liking) and stir. Sometimes I add cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla bean to make it a warm, comforting blend.

De-stress on a daily basis

This is one of the most overlooked aspects of healing, but it’s absolutely crucial. When you’re stressed, you are sending a continuous stream of cortisol into the body which as we learned above, is a major no-no for your thyroid and for things like weight loss. It’s imperative that you build in time for you to just breathe and relax each and every day. Your body deserves it and you do too!

How can you work some serious de-stressing time into your daily and weekly routines? Share one idea in the comments below to inspire others and get some inspiration if you need it!

For more tips on reducing stress and thyroid disease, check out my article for HypothyroidMom – Are you having a hypothyroid freakout? 10 ways to push the reset button.

I also provide a ton of resources on healing your thyroid naturally, including:

  • Our totally free Thyroid Healing Type Assessment, Report and Coaching Sessions
  • Right here on my blog, where I talk about what’s worked best for me and my clients, as well as the latest research and resources I come across.  You can subscribe to get new blog posts delivered right to your email by signing up on the righthand side of the page.
  • My book, Healing Hashimoto’s Naturally — part memoir, part instruction manual for how I personally healed my Hashimoto’s disease.
  • My exclusive free 6 Thyroid Myths That Can Keep You From Healing workshop — with info on the comprehensive Thyroid Fix in 6 program, which walks you through, step-by-step, the exact actions you need to take to heal your thyroid and get your life back! We’ve seen hundreds of participants in the Thyroid Fix in 6 avoid, decrease, or even eliminate the need need for thyroid medications.
  • The incredible Your Best Thyroid Life Video Bundle, in which I personally invited 27 of the world’s top health experts to share their best tips for living with and healing thyroid disease.

Jen Wittman Thyroid CoachJen Wittman is a Certified Holistic Health Expert, Chef, Author & Vitality Coach, who teaches women how to reverse thyroid and autoimmune conditions naturally. She’s helped hundreds of women decrease (or even eliminate) their thyroid medications and has helped others stay off thyroid medication entirely.

Through her free Thyroid Healing Type Assessment, Jen teaches easy and simple steps to thyroid healing that can fit into your busy day. She also provides print outs to bring to your next doctor’s appointment so you can get the support and respect you deserve.