You might be experiencing a bunch of symptoms but don’t know if it’s adrenal fatigue or hypothyroidism because these two conditions share many similarities:
Fatigue, difficulty waking up, foggy memory, feeling cold, depression or anxiety to name a few.
The differences are listed below and you should be able to spot which organ is behind your health issues if you suspect either condition.
Charting menstrual cycles and spotting the problem
I’m a big fan of charting cycles because it gives you so much information about your body and state of health. If you are not doing it yet then get started here!
When you are tracking your basal body temperature you might be able to tell if adrenals or thyroid is the problem.
Adrenal fatigue produces erratic up and down temperatures that fluctuate from day to day. One day might be low, then high the next.
Hypothyroidism will cause low temperatures that usually don’t go over 97.6 F or 36.5 C.
If you have both low and fluctuation, then you might be experiencing both adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism.
Adrenals, ovaries, and thyroid are all linked together
To make things a bit more complicated (the endocrine system is definitely not a very simple one!) it’s possible that you might have both adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism. And even an ovarian dysfunction or another hormone imbalance.
Adrenal glands are regulated through the HPA axis.
Ovarian hormones are regulated through the HPG axis.
And the OAT axis links adrenals, ovaries, and thyroid together.
So what happens in one of the organs, will also affect the others.
When adrenals are not functioning properly, this often leads to thyroid problems and menstrual irregularities.
Also, an underactive thyroid can make adrenal fatigue much worse and ovarian dysfunction such as estrogen dominance can worsen existing hypothyroidism.
It’s a bit like the egg and the chicken. What came first? And when you try to unravel your own health story by tracking symptoms and figuring out what started when, it can really twist your brain in a knot!
Did adrenal fatigue cause your hypothyroidism?
Chronic stress often leads to disrupted sex hormone production in your body and adrenals are the foundation of your body so very often many hormonal issues started there. You can read more about adrenals and hormone imbalance here.
Adrenals are usually the first endocrine gland to be compromised when you are experiencing chronic stress. Next in line is pancreas and that will cause blood sugar imbalance. You might be craving sugary foods and drinks to keep you going.
After that, the thyroid will be affected. Your body is very clever and is doing everything to slow you down (in this case by reducing the metabolic rate set by the thyroid). This will make you feel tired, slow, weak and cold. It will become more and more difficult to just push on. This is your body’s way of making sure you stop and rest as your adrenals have been in override for a while.
At this stage you might visit the doctor as signs of hypothyroidism are becoming apparent. Dry skin, weight gain, intolerance to cold, sluggishness and fatigue being the most common.
Hormonal symptoms such as bad PMS, irregular periods, lumpy breasts and heavy periods can be present as well.
If the hypothyroidism isn’t responding to medication well it’s often because the issue is not the thyroid itself but your ADRENALS.
When you fix the root cause, thyroid and ovaries will usually balance themselves out too. Or at least they will be easier to manage and will respond to treatment better.
Look outside the conventional medicine box to get better
This why I love natural medicine and a holistic approach to health care. It’s so important to understand where the problem is originating from to be able to fix it for good.
You wouldn’t want to stay on medication for the rest of your life if there was an alternative method to try? I know your body has the ability to heal.
I will write more about how to look after your adrenals naturally very soon!