Tired or exhausted most of the time? Let’s look at the some of differences between Hypothyroidism (low functioning Thyroid Gland) and Adrenal Fatigue. Adrenal Fatigue symptoms can resemble low Thyroid function and can also suppress Thyroid function through the complex HPA Axis (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis). Therefore people with Fatigue can show symptoms of low Thyroid function (Hypothyroidism) but the main difference is that in Adrenal Fatigue the Circadian Rhythms (physical, mental and behavioural changes that roughly follow a 24 hour cycle responding mainly to light and darkness) are disrupted with energy crashes during the day and disturbed sleep patterns and it is extremely important to treat the underlying imbalances to the HPA Axis before treating the low thyroid activity.
Both share symptoms such as low energy, cold hands, low body temperature and sluggish digestion. There is a strong link between the Thyroid and the Adrenal glands – both glands are involved in energy production – and this link is usually referred to as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-thyroid axis.
For more in depth information go to Adrenal Fatigue Focus.
The advice is to address the Adrenal fatigue with Stress reduction, Blood Sugar control and healing Gut dysfunction (see previous post) while also ensuring that the Thyroid has optimal nutrition, which is:-
- Tyrosine – made in the body from good quality proteins (approx 30g a day) and sufficient Vitamin B6. Tyrosine supports neurotransmitters in the brain and is a precursor to Thyroxine and pituitary and Adrenal gland hormones. Lack of tyrosine causes low body temperature and low blood pressure. Good sources in the diet are meat, dairy products, eggs, almonds, avocados and bananas. Do not take tyrosine as a supplement if you suffer from migraine, are on MAOIs antidepressants or are pregnant.
- Selenium – a trace mineral essential to all bodily functions. Taking anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce the bodies supply. Low levels can contribute to autoimmune problems such as psoriasis and Thyroid disease. the following foods provide selenium: brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, fish(tuna, sardines, salmon etc.) Shellfish, meat, eggs, mushrooms, grains (wheatgerm, barley, brown rice and oats) and onions.
- Zinc – a very important trace element. Can be found in mushrooms, meat, offal, nuts, seeds, oysters, eggs and wholegrain products.(organic where possible)
- Iodine – found in fish and seafood, seaweed products, fresh pineapple, Celtic sea salt and Spirulina. It is possible to absorb it through the skin therefore if you paint a two inch square on your inner thigh every couple of days until there is still an amount remaining after 48 hours then stop for a while. Lugol’s iodine is also a preparation that can be taken by mouth when added to water. For more information visit Regenerative Nutrition. If you are already taking Thyroxine then you may need to get your levels tested more often and have the dose adjusted.
- Reduce toxic overload, heavy metal toxicity and follow the Detox Diet detailed in other Millenniumhealth Posts.