The Adrenal Glands and the Thyroid: Partners in Health

By: | Tags: , | Comments: 0 | August 3rd, 2011

Learn about how the thyrod and adrenal hormones work together to give you energy and good health., As I have discussed before, some patients with hypothyroidism do not regain their energy even when they are taking natural thyroid. I was puzzled by this phenomenon until I learned about Dr. Barnes’s use of natural cortisol and read Dr. Jefferies’ book Safe Uses of Cortisol. Dr. Jefferies had found that adrenal fatigue often occurs in conjunction with hypothyroidism, and that, in the absence of adequate cortisol, thyroid hormone replacement was less effective.

The reason is that when the adrenal glands are weak, even normal thyroid activity is a burden. Adding supplemental thyroid hormone may result in initial improvement in energy levels and other symptoms, but as the adrenal glands become more exhausted, energy production is shut down. The solution is not more thyroid hormone. What is called for is adrenal support with small doses of cortisol.

In my experience, as well as that of Drs. Jefferies and Barnes, low-dose cortisol can make a tremendous difference in the energy and well-being of patients with hypothyroidism. Not only does it improve energy, raise body temperature, and increase resistance to infection, it also helps the body utilize thyroid hormone. Natural cortisol is especially helpful for patients with autoimmune thyroiditis, an extremely common cause of hypothyroidism that I discussed in chapter 6. Like other autoimmune conditions, autoimmune thyroiditis can develop when the adrenal glands are stressed, especially following pregnancy or at menopause. As documented in Dr. Jefferies’ book, natural cortisol actually reduces levels of thyroid antibodies, enhancing the effectiveness of thyroid hormone.

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