Being the thyroid is part of the endocrine system (the hormone producing glands in our body) when it isn’t functioning properly, or the hormones it is producing aren’t being properly used within the body, it can throw off any of the other glands in the endocrine system. They all rely on a checks and balances type of approach, where one gland will look for a specific hormone in the blood stream and based on how much or how little it finds it will secrete hormones to cause other glands in your body to do the same thing it just did. It can be a wonderful cycle if all is working well, or a vicious cycle when it isn’t all working well.
Part of the endocrine system that is often in need of support by those with Hashimoto’s or even just hypothyroidism, are the adrenal glands. They are two little roughly triangular shaped glands that sit atop your kidneys. They help the body regulate all sorts of things, from blood sugar, to stress response (how well we handle stress, the fight or flight response, even the ability to lift a car of a body in an extreme situation all have to do with adrenal hormones), and they even play a part in our libido. When these little glands or overworked or exhausted it can cause a lot of different symptoms.
- Difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep
- Exhausted by mid-afternooon yet wide awake in the middle of the night
- Craving sugar, caffeine or even cigarettes
- Blurred vision
- Feeling light headed or shaky if a meal is missed
- Feeling dizzy when standing from a sitting or lying down position
- Very sensitive to cold
And that is just a partial list!
In the world of herbs there is something called an “Adaptogen”. Adaptogens help the body to deal with stress and normalize the response. Whether the adrenals are overactive or underactive, an adaptogenic herb can be beneficial to the body. Some adaptogenic herbs that are known for their support of the adrenal glands include:
- Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng)
- Panax ginsengs (the first part of the botanical name will be “Panax”
- Holy Basil Leaf
Of the above list, I am currently taking all but the Holy Basil Leaf, and I must say that I have definitely noticed an increase in my energy levels, and a decrease in my stress levels! Have you tried any of these?