As I mentioned in a previous article, I feel it’s important to look at not just thyroid or adrenal or sex hormones individually.
Remember, adrenals affects thyroid affects sex hormones affects adrenals. They are interactive. All need to be at optimal function.
A good example of this is weight gain.
Can the adrenals cause weight gain? Yes.
Can thyroid cause weight gain? Yes.
Can the sex hormones (hello estrogen) cause weight gain? Yes.
So a lady who is complaining of weight gain and who is hypothyroid, estrogen dominant and adrenally driven and only been given Thyroxine….
How do you think she’s going to feel? Not much lighter, I don’t think.
That’s when she usually end up calling me. And I see people like this every day.
Is thyroid slowing you down?
I see suboptimal thyroid levels often.
I see a lot of patients that have been put on Thyroxine because of an elevated TSH. And they don’t feel any better.
And I see positive thyroid antibodies, or a condition called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, in a least 40-50%.
And if a patient’s thyroid antibodies are positive I will always want to see their cortisol readings.
And if their reverse T3 (which is not active form of thyroid hormone) is elevated I always want to see their cortisol readings.
Or is cortisol slowing you down?
OMG most of us are stressed.
We sit in ridiculous peak hour traffic, we eat ready-made packaged foods (and I use the word ‘food’ loosely), we have deadlines, we have bills to pay, we have difficult people to deal with, we have to do exercise, we have to eat TimTams, we have to have coffee, we have to have vodka, we have to stay up late on the computer…
We don’t sleep and then we get up in the morning and do it again.
We are constantly on.
Plus if you might add blood sugar swings, gut dysfunction, food intolerances (such as gluten), chronic infections, environmental toxins, autoimmune problems and inflammation….
All which cause the adrenals to pump out more stress hormones.
But I’ve noticed that my patients often don’t see themselves as stressed.
I think this is because all this ‘busyness’ becomes your ‘normal’.
You may not associate your symptoms with ‘stress’ and don’t necessarily understand the implications on your hormones and your long term health.
If you are feeling worn out, moody and have weight gain, could that mean you’re stressed, or are you hypothyroid?
These are symptoms of both stress and hypothyroidism.
And these things can feed each other—stress can aggravate hypothyroidism, and you can be stressed because of the hypothyroidism symptoms.
And what about estrogen?
And then there’s the part estrogen plays with thyroid and adrenals.
Prolonged cortisol elevations reduce the liver’s ability to clear excess estrogens from the blood. Excess estrogen increases levels of thyroid binding globulin (TBG) and when TBG levels are high, thyroid hormones drop.
Excess estrogen from the contraceptive pill or estrogen replacement will also increase TBG.
Also constipation can reduce hormone clearance and cause elevations in estrogen.
So I like to test your sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone) as often you may not realise some of your symptoms are related to your sex hormones.
Did you know that elevated estrogen in women and low testosterone (and sometimes elevated oestrogen) in men can affect weight gain or low mood?
And I’ll definitely want to look at hormones, adrenals and thyroid in people that say they are depressed. Often patients are exhausted and/or progesterone insufficient and do not necessarily have a mental condition.
Many women think premenstrual symptoms are ‘normal’. I say just because it may be common, doesn’t mean it’s normal.
Find out how you could be more ‘normal’ and perhaps more the wonder woman you want to be at firstname.lastname@example.org.