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Jan 23rd 2024

Adrenal Insufficiency and Hypothyroidism

. . . weak adrenals must be treated first Many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism are actually symptoms of low metabolic energy. According to Bruce Rind, MD, low metabolic energy is usually caused by hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, or – most commonly – both. He criticizes most doctors for being quick to treat hypothyroidism but failing to address the adrenals. However, weak adrenals need to be treated first, before supplementary thyroid hormone is given. Rind asks us to think of the thyroid as generating energy while the adrenals need to be able to handle this energy. If the adrenals are weak, any increase in thyroid hormone will further deplete them. Whereas taking supplementary thyroid hormone (T4 and/or T3) may produce a temporary surge in energy and reduction in symptoms, it will sooner or later exhaust any reserves the adrenals may have, and in days, weeks or months, symptoms and low energy will return. On the other hand, it’s also possible that what seems to be hypothyroidism is actually adrenal insufficiency, and by supporting the adrenals, all problems will be resolved. How do we support adrenals? Well, stress, be it the physical stress of illness, overwork or lack of sleep, or emotional and mental stresses of all kinds, depletes the adrenals, so the first task is stress management and reduction. Eating small, frequent, low-glycemic meals that keep blood sugar levels steady is restful for the adrenals. Avoid stimulants (caffeine, diet pills, MSG, etc.) and any allergens. Get the full range of B vitamins, particularly B5 (pantothenic acid), and sip water mixed with powdered vitamin C throughout the day. Vitamin A (in cod liver oil) is needed for the production of adrenal as well as thyroid hormones. Some unrefined sea salt is recommended. The adrenals are responsible for regulating salt in the body, and weakened adrenals often don’t retain enough salt, leading to excessively low blood pressure. Certain herbs, called adaptogens, support adrenal health. Rhodiola rosea, Magnolia and Phellodendron in Beyond Health’s Adrenal Support Formula are adaptogenic herbs that work synergistically to both strengthen and modulate adrenal activity. They help when dealing with high levels of stress or when healing from adrenal exhaustion, and lead to more sustained and reliable energy, more resistance to infections, fewer allergic reactions, better sleep, and a feeling of calm. I suggest taking two capsules with breakfast and one or two more in the afternoon. We also carry Rosavin from Rhodiola rosea, which some people prefer.
Rind B. Low metabolic energy therapies:  Addressing thyroid and adrenal insufficiency. Wise Traditions. Summer 2009:15-25.

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