Thyroid & Adrenal Wellness


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Problems with your thyroid gland often mimic adrenal gland issues, so much so that it’s often difficult to diagnose where the problem originates. At her integrative medicine practice in Irvine, California, Dr. Shirley L. Wang considers thyroid and adrenal wellness as a system, promoting the health of each of these vital glands. If you’re chronically fatigued, feeling cold when others aren’t, or having trouble losing weight, call or click to make an appointment today.

Adrenal Wellness and Thyroid Wellness Q & A

What do the adrenal glands do?

When you’re faced with a stressful situation, your fight-or-flight response is controlled by the adrenals — they share their name with adrenaline, one of the hormones that they secrete. In fact, they’re the source of many of the important hormones needed by the systems of your body. Besides adrenaline, these hormones include:

  • Cortisol: a stress response hormone
  • Estrogen: the principal female sex hormone
  • DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone): an intermediate hormone that assists in the creation of other hormones
  • Pregnenolone: another intermediate building-block hormone
  • Progesterone: a sex hormone essential to the menstrual cycle and pregnancy
  • Testosterone: the principal male sex hormone

What does the thyroid gland do?

Part of your endocrine system, your thyroid regulates your body’s metabolic rate along with several other functions including bone maintenance and brain development; it also oversees your digestive and heart functions. The thyroid can both over and under-produce hormones, conditions known as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism respectively.

What issues do adrenal and thyroid glands create?

Both glands can cause chronic fatigue, and sometimes it’s difficult to diagnose which glands create the problem. Since your thyroid acts as an energy regulator, when you have hypothyroidism, your thyroid doesn’t stimulate your metabolism adequately and you feel fatigued as a result.

When you’re under a constant level of stress, your adrenal glands affect your autoimmune system, permitting an inflammatory response throughout your body. Low adrenal function can aggravate thyroid function, magnifying the effects of hypothyroidism.

How are adrenal and thyroid problems treated?

First, accurate diagnosis is critical, since treatment for one condition may not present an improvement and may make symptoms worse. This is typical when you’re given thyroid supplements alone but also have an adrenal gland issue.

Interactions between hormones secreted by both the thyroid and adrenals are often as important as the hormones themselves. Adrenal hormones affect the way thyroid hormones interact with your body.

Dr. Wang carefully assesses your symptoms and body chemistry to devise a suitable treatment that’s appropriate for your condition. For adrenal gland disorders, Dr. Wang frequently recommends:

  • Natural herbal adaptogenic support
  • Bioidentical cortisol replacement
  • Anxiety and stress management

Thyroid wellness may require treatment alone or in combination with adrenal therapy. Dr. Wang may suggest replacement of thyroid hormone T-4, hormone T-3, or a combination of both.

If you suspect a problem with your thyroid or adrenal glands, call Dr. Wang for an accurate diagnosis and treatment, or book an appointment online.