Jen Wittman, Guest
Thyroid Nation

(Part 4 of 5: Jen Wittman TLC Series)

Free Your Mind And The Rest Will Follow…

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, everyday 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, betaine, folate, selenium, and sulfur.

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.

large6Starbucks 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!

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.

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About the Author

Jen WittmanJen Wittman, CHHC, AADP is a Holistic Health Care Expert and compassionate thyroid/autoimmune coach providing one-of-a-kind, long-lasting healing programs with a heaping dose of joy and humor. Jen has degrees in culinary arts, psychology, transformational coaching, nutrition, and Italian. She spent a year honing her cooking skills in Italy and is passionate about physical rejuvenation, family, laughter and helping people craft the life of their dreams. Support one of our own Thyroid Thrivers and read her story. Jen was also a featured guest speaker on The Thyroid Sessions, Managing Motherhood and Thyroid Disease.

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Questions or anything to add about managing stress? We want your thoughts, please. You might just help someone else in need.