Can Thyroid Problems be Caused by the Adrenal Glands?
Answered by: Susan Eagles Question from: Beatrice
Posted on: February 2, 2004

I went to a thyroid specialist and he took a blood test and said it looks like I am underactive. I should start taking preventive medicine. Then I went to a nutritionist-holistic healer. She said that it was not my thyroid but my adrenal gland. She gave me adrenal support natural homeopathic medicine. She said I should rub it on my chest a few times a day. What do you feel about this? How would she know that it isn’t a thyroid problem but a adrenal gland problem? What should I do?

It is difficult to determine the cause of thyroid problems. Thyroid function affects the metabolism, causing symptoms throughout the body. The body’s hormonal system is a complicated chemistry of feedback mechanisms (one hormone stimulates or inhibits another hormone) that are affected by many factors. This makes it difficult to determine the root cause of what may appear to be a thyroid problem. In many cases, doctors have put women on thyroid hormone medication unnecessarily. The thyroid hormone drug inhibits the natural production of thyroid hormone, so usually once the drug is started, it must be continued for life. Natural practitioners try to determine the root cause of the problem before recommending thyroid hormone.

The adrenal gland produces the "fight or flight" hormones and is commonly fatigued by excess stress. Under stress, the body changes the relative amounts of production of the different types of thyroid hormones. So thyroid tests will show abnormal thyroid hormone production, but the cause is stress. This type of abnormal thyroid test result can often be helped with adrenal support as well as support in any lifestyle changes necessary to reduce stress.

Some drugs affect thyroid hormone production, so will give an abnormal test result.

The diet has a very important affect on thyroid hormones. Soy and the brassica vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, kale etc.) inhibit thryroid function. A diet that is high in sugar, fried foods, white flour products and junk foods causes an increase in the production of insulin, which decreases the conversion of one thyroid hormone (T4) to the active thyroid hormone (T3). So another very common natural therapy for symptoms of underactive thyroid is diet change. (for more information on this therapy, please see , choose Q&A from the menu, and search for "syndrome X").

There are, of course, genuine cases of hypothyroid that can only be helped by thyroid medication. I suggest that you consult with your doctor about the period of time that it is safe for you to try natural methods. If the homeopathic adrenal gland approach does not work for you, then look for an well trained natural practitioner who is experienced in dealing with thyroid problems using natural methods.

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