ThyroidChange Contributor and Founder of Andrea Beaman.com
You would be surprised at how many thyroid conditions naturally resolve themselves once the adrenals have been properly nourished and supported. It’s amazing! Your adrenals live on the endocrine system and they produce estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, cortisone, adrenaline, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. They are located on top of your kidneys and they are an integral part of the immune system and to the functioning of your thyroid.
What Are the Adrenal Glands?
The adrenals are considered the batteries in the human body. They are responsible for our energy levels and endurance, and can keep the body going and going and going. Like that little Energizer Bunny from the television commercials in the 80’s. Uh oh… am I dating myself? If that reference is too old for you, try this one. When you purchase a toy for the kiddies it simply won’t run without the batteries. And, neither will we.
The adrenals also help us recover from disease. It’s imperative that while we’re focusing on healing the thyroid, we fully support our adrenals. If our internal batteries (adrenals) run low, we won’t be able to heal any condition.
Our adrenals also help us cope with everyday stress and survival. We are all exposed to everyday stress, no matter who we are or where we live. There is no guaranteed way to avoid the stresses of life, but there are many ways to deal with them and make life more manageable.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
It’s interesting to note that many of the symptoms of thyroid disease are also symptoms of adrenal fatigue. These include:
- Brain fog
- Low-blood pressure
- Poor immunity
- Hair loss
- Depression and anxiety
- Decreased sex drive
Adrenal fatigue is one of the major contributors to thyroid disease – especially hypothyroid. When the adrenals are exhausted, this naturally slows the body down into a hypothyroid state. The body is conserving energy for survival. It is protecting itself.
The body is perfectly designed and filled with internal wisdom. It does specific things to protect itself and preserve homeostasis and balance. Some of the underlying factors that can contribute to adrenal fatigue and disrupt functioning of the thyroid are:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Recurring illnesses
- Chronic infections
- Constantly on “go” without adequate rest periods
- Sleep deprivation
- High sugar/carbohydrate intake
- Excessive caffeine and stimulants
- High stress (both physical and emotional)
Look Into Nutritional Deficiencies
Number one on the list is nutritional deficiencies. That’s pretty easy to understand. If the physical body isn’t getting what it needs to survive the system starts breaking down. Many female clients have complained of being diagnosed with hypothyroid either during pregnancy or right after having a baby, especially if they are breastfeeding. That’s because the baby takes most of the mother’s nutrition.
If the mother is under-eating or not getting the enough of the right nutrients she will become deficient. Once she becomes deficient the thyroid will naturally slow the body down. The baby, dare I say, is a parasite! It takes from the host (mother) for its survival. Your physical body is smart and does not want to expire before its time so it naturally slows all processes down. The human body is brilliant!
Some of the nutrient dense foods I highly recommend for pregnant women, new moms or anyone suffering from deficiencies, is bone stock and organ meats from both land and water animals: liver specifically.
Pregnant women in indigenous cultures around the world were given liver and other highly nutritious foods to eat while they were pregnant . Scientifically, we know that animal liver contains the highest concentrations of protein, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin D and heme iron, that is more absorbable than the non-heme iron found in plants.
When a pregnant woman goes to the OBGYN she is given a pre-natal vitamin that contain all of those nutrients mentioned above, with an emphasis on iron. It’s to help build the blood and feed the baby.
Many people suffering with thyroid disease also suffer from anemia, B12 and vitamin D deficiencies. A nutrient dense pregnancy-type diet that helps nourish and support the adrenals can aid the thyroid as well. Keep in mind that you do NOT need to eat for two. You just need to eat more nutrient dense foods. I certainly don’t want you gaining weight on a thyroid healing protocol, unless of course you need to.
This doesn’t mean you need to eat a LOT of liver or other organ meats. You don’t. Liver is such a nutrient dense food, that you only need to eat a little bit if you are suffering from nutritional deficiencies.
Andrea Beaman is a regular ThyroidChange contributor, an internationally renowned holistic health coach, natural foods chef, speaker and herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching individuals and health practitioners how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.