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How To Cure Adrenal Fatigue & Hypothyroidism

Updated on August 4, 2011

Many people with hypothyroidism also have adrenal fatigue, which is a condition where the adrenal glands are in a state of exhaustion, which can lead to one or more of the following symptoms:

• Lack of energy
• Sleep difficulties
• Brain fog and inability to concentrate
• Depression
• Sugar and salt cravings
• Decreased sex drive
• Mood swings and irritability
• Muscular weakness
• Digestive problems
• Many other symptoms

Before discussing how to cure adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism, I'd first like to discuss how these two conditions are linked, which will allow you to better understand how to cure these disorders. The truth is that many people develop hypothyroidism due to adrenal problems. So in many cases, the adrenal problems are the first to develop, and this in turn can lead to a hypothyroid condition. However, this doesn't mean that someone first develops “full blown” adrenal fatigue, and then hypothyroidism. It's a little bit more complex than this.

The way the process usually works is that people develop weakened adrenal glands over a period of months and years. How do they develop weak adrenal glands? Well, some of the primary factors that lead to compromised adrenal glands are poor eating habits, lack of sufficient sleep, and/or not doing a good job of handling stress. Let's take a look at how each of these factors can lead to adrenal problems:

Poor Eating Habits: most people eat too many refined food and sugars. When eating a refined food, it causes a spike in the blood sugar levels, which in turn causes a surge in insulin to bring the blood sugar levels down. What then happen is that the blood sugar levels drop down really low, and the adrenal glands will then release cortisol to bring the blood sugar levels back up. So for someone who eats a lot of refined foods on a daily basis, which describes most people, this puts a great deal of stress on the endocrine system, specifically the pancreas and adrenal glands. While over the long haul this can lead to insulin resistance and eventually diabetes, the adrenal glands usually become compromised first. And as I'll show you shortly, there is a good chance this can lead to a thyroid condition.

Insufficient Sleep: As mentioned above, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol, and in a normal circadian pattern, the adrenal glands will secrete more cortisol in the morning, and less in the evening. This makes sense, as the higher cortisol levels in the morning will help provide people with the energy they need to be active, while at night, the cortisol levels will increase to help them fall and stay asleep. There are exceptions to this of course, as a person working a third shift will develop a different pattern. And for the person on rotating shifts, this can cause chaos with the circadian pattern.

But the focus here is the person who works a steady shift, as a person who stays up late watching television, surfing the internet, hanging out with friends, studying, etc., will most likely develop problems with their adrenals. It's quite common for people to stay up past eleven at night, and then only obtain six or seven hours of sleep, and sometimes less than this. While your body can handle this on an occasional basis, if this becomes a regular pattern this will once again affect the cortisol levels, and lead to weakened adrenal glands.

Chronic Stress: Most people deal with a lot of chronic stress on a daily basis, whether it's from work, their relationships, or other sources. This creates a problem because the adrenal glands are designed to handle acute stress situations, but are not able to effectively handle prolonged, chronic stress situations. While it's not feasible to completely eliminate the stress in our lives, most people can do a much better job of managing their stress. And so for most people, learning how to better manage their stress will lead to improved health. On the other hand, if you continue to be stressed out on a daily basis, then this ultimately will lead to weakened adrenal glands, which as you know by now, can lead to many health conditions, including problems with thyroid health.

So How Can Adrenal Problems Lead To A Hypothyroid Condition?

As for how an adrenal problem can lead to the development of hypothyroidism, and eventually turn into severe adrenal fatigue, here is the process: when someone develops weakened adrenal glands, this will put the body in a state of catabolism. What this means is that the body will begin breaking down, which as you can imagine, isn't a good thing. In fact, this process is one of things that ultimately leads to degenerative conditions. With regards to the impact that weak adrenals have on the thyroid gland, when the body is in a catabolic state the thyroid gland will slow down (become hypothyroid) in an attempt to prevent the body from breaking down. So this is one of the primary methods in which someone will develop hypothyroidism.

This is why it is so puzzling that most people with hypothyroidism are put on synthetic or natural thyroid hormone for the rest of their life. Actually, it's not too puzzling, as most endocrinologists and other types of medical doctors are trained to treat most conditions through drugs and surgery. And of course the drug companies are a multi-billion dollar industry, and so their goal isn't to fix anything, as they want people to take drugs for the rest of their life. But hopefully you can understand that if one can fix the weakened adrenal glands, then it is usually possible to cure the hypothyroid condition.

It's a similar situation with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, as the weakened adrenals not only affect the thyroid gland, but also can lead to immune system problems. So once again, when someone with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is just given thyroid hormone to manage the symptoms, and nothing is done to address the autoimmune response and adrenal gland issues, it is a sad situation. Just think about how many people with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis are told to take thyroid hormone for the rest of their life, when many of these people can be helped through a natural treatment protocol.

How Does Severe Adrenal Fatigue Develop?

Before I discuss how to cure hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue, you might wonder how someone develops severe adrenal fatigue. As you can imagine, such a process usually takes many years to develop, although in some cases a traumatic incident can accelerate the process. But in most cases, the adrenal glands become weakened at first, leading to some of the common symptoms described earlier in this article. Then over time, when this condition goes untreated, and the person continues to be subjected to the lifestyle factors that caused the weakened adrenal glands, this state very well may lead to a state of adrenal exhaustion.

Curing Adrenal Fatigue And Hypothyroidism

While many people with adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism can be cured, it usually isn't an easy process. Unfortunately there is no magic pill or supplement you can take that will instantly restore your health back to normal. Since it takes months and years for these conditions to develop, it will usually take some time to restore one's health completely back to normal, whenever this is possible of course. The good news is that upon following a natural treatment protocol it usually doesn't take too long to begin feeling better, as it's not uncommon to experience a significant decrease in symptoms after only a few weeks. But to fully cure someone's condition will take some time.

Many people with adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism attempt to self-treat their condition by eating well and taking nutritional supplements. Besides the risks involved with self treating one's condition, most of the time the person receives less than optimal results, and usually just ends up wasting his or her hard-earned money. This is why it's best to consult with a competent natural endocrine doctor, who will evaluate your condition to determine what the underlying cause is, and then if they feel they can help you, will come up with an individualized treatment plan designed to restore your health back to normal.

In summary, both adrenal fatigue and hypothyroidism can be be cured in many cases, but it will take a good deal of commitment on the part of the individual. Anyone who is looking for a quick cure will be extremely disappointed. On the other hand, those who are willing to take responsibility for their health, and at the same time speak with an expert, will most likely end up receiving excellent results.

For more information on how to treat hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis through natural treatment methods, please visit my facebook fan page, Natural Solutions for Graves Disease and Hashimoto's Thyroiditis at


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    • nancynurse profile image

      Nancy McClintock 2 years ago from Southeast USA

      Thank you .Great Hub

    • Nicole S profile image

      Nicole S Hanson 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Interesting hub, you have a lot of useful information here. I think my issue lies with stress and learning how to cope/manage it.

    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 4 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      This is marvellous, but why do doctors in the UK refuse to recognize or treat adrenal fatigue/insufficiency unless you test positive for Addison's Disease? For years I have been battling with Hypothyroidism and what I believe to be adrenal fatigue since neither Levothyroxine, Liothyronine, or Armour desiccated thyroid ever quite take away the fatigue and brain fog. I am too afraid to self treat as I take a lot of other medications too for various other conditions.

    • butterflystar profile image

      butterflystar 5 years ago from A Place of Success :)

      Great hub :)

    • profile image

      Lyn 5 years ago

      What guide? How do you get it?

    • profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago

      Where can I find the 46 page guide? Thank you.

    • profile image

      Golfgal 6 years ago

      Thank you for the info, great job on the hub. I have been diagnosed with hypothyroid now two years and take 25 mcg a day levothroxine. I still have brai fog, achy joints, no metabolism, weight gain and mood swings. I am currently doing more research on the subject. Thanks for adding to my research.

    • profile image

      Dr. Eric 7 years ago

      Actually Laura, the 46-page guide is free, so I'm not sure what you're talking about.

    • profile image

      laura 7 years ago

      would be nice if you were good people and didn't make us have to pay to get this info!