The Dr. Lam Show

Adrenal Fatigue VS Low Thyroid Function: What’s Happening With Your Body?

October 22, 2023 Dr. Lam
The Dr. Lam Show
Adrenal Fatigue VS Low Thyroid Function: What’s Happening With Your Body?
Show Notes Transcript

Many people suffer from fatigue from low thyroid function these days. And yet taking medication for this condition doesn’t always help. If you’re still struggling despite thyroid medication, then here’s what you should do next to improve your health.

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Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:

Adrenal Fatigue versus low thyroid function. Are you feeling fatigued, sluggish and struggling with losing weight? Have you been trying to take steps to address your sluggish thyroid but still not helping? Then you have to really think about the adrenal glands. Thyroid dysfunction is fairly common these days, and yet it always is not as simple as what you think with one organ only malfunctioning. What most people don't understand is that hypothyroidism, or low thyroid function can actually be primary or secondary. Primary Hypothyroidism means that low thyroid function comes first in order of development. So when this occurs, it means that the thyroid can't make hormones like T3 and T4, because the gland itself is unhealthy. And this can be caused by a variety of conditions, but the most common is Hashimotos Thyroiditis. And this is a condition where your immune system attacks and destroys its own thyroid gland. With secondary hypothyroidism, the low thyroid function develops as a result of changes in other parts of the body. So if you're undergoing therapy for an underactive thyroid and still have symptoms like fatigue, dry skin, weight gain, low body temperature, then you kind of want to think about secondary hypothyroidism, meaning you're not really getting to the root cause. Secondary hypothyroidism can be linked with the pituitary gland, or the hypothalamus issues or taking certain medications. It's also linked to non-thyroidal illness syndrome, where the TSH levels and the thyroid stimulating hormone levels and the structure of the thyroid gland can actually look normal alongside physical signs of hypothyroidism. And one common one is secondary hypothyroidism. It can also occur as a result of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. This is a little known condition that occurs when chronic stress causes adrenal glands to malfunction. And a lot of the symptoms do overlap with hypothyroidism such as fatigue, unexplained weight gain, cold sensitivity, dry skin, thinning hair, brain fog, slow thinking, low body temperature, and mood instabilities. So because the symptoms and conditions are so similar, it can really be difficult to identify what's truly going on in your body, as low thyroid function is also very common with adrenal fatigue, because adrenal glands and the thyroids are both part of the hormonal circuit. And this means that when the adrenal glands get tired and fatigued, and they become dysfunctional, it can also cause the health of the thyroid gland to degrade. Blood testing can help to identify whether your adrenal hormones are out of balance. But these aren't always guaranteed that you're free from Adrenal imbalance, they can look at your thyroid health. But if you want to see your adrenal testing, saliva tests are a little better, because they can actually measure levels of the free inactive cortisol throughout the day, in addition to DHEA, and the free and active hormones as to how your adrenals are functioning. So whether you have primary or secondary hypothyroidism, you definitely need to still take steps to improve both the thyroid function and the adrenals. And the first step is to test for the root cause. So some blood tests that you can do are the thyroid stimulating hormone, TSH and knowing that there are optimal ranges for these and not just normal ranges that the labs give you. So you can ask your doctor about that. You also want to get tested for T3 and T4. Those are different hormones that your thyroid produces. And also some antibodies like thyroid peroxidase antibodies, thyroid globulin antibodies, as these are the autoimmune antibodies that could cause the Primary Hypothyroidism. In addition, I always like to add on reverse T3 to see where your thyroid is putting the brakes on, because of the reverse T3 is greater than 15. Then I start thinking about adrenal issues in addition to the thyroid. So once that's done, your thyroid hormones have been found to be unbalanced, you can start adopting strategies to improve your thyroid function. And some of those are detoxing your body to get rid of the toxins that affect thyroid health. Maybe improving your iodine intake or reducing your stress and adopting strategies to help you deal with them. Improving gut health is very key. With better diet probiotics, prebiotics, choice supplementing with iron, potassium, zinc, selenium. In addition to the iron or the vitamin B's, E and H are deficient and try eating a high protein diet, increasing your fat intake. And that's what we would recommend for you. And so if you'd like to hear more great tips, make sure you click the subscribe button also like and share so that we can help others know who we are. And if you're suffering from the same issue, we're here for you. We're here to empower you to take control over your health. And if you have any questions about thyroid testing, adrenal testing, just give us a call.