Many patients with initial stages of thyroid disease are not overweight and do not have major symptoms. Therefore, they often neglect the recommendations for nutrition and stress management in their lives.
How does stress is linked to thyroid function
As a result of that uncontrolled stress, in the initial stages of subclinical adrenal dysfunction, we see an increase in cortisol levels. Cortisol, in turn, increases the production of leptin. Leptin increases the conversion of T4 (the storage form of thyroid hormone) to reverse T3.
High levels of cortisol block a special enzyme, 5-deiodinase, which converts inactive T4 to active T3. At the same time, blood work still shows the normal level of T3, but patients start to experience many symptoms that are associated with hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism can cause a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, constipation, muscle weakness, joint pain, depression, irritability, and memory problems. If left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, mental disorders, and infertility.
Early signs of hypothyroidism:
The thyroid and adrenal glands are interconnected. Many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism overlap with those of an underactive adrenal gland. Elevated cortisol depresses the immune system, which can lead to the development of autoimmune thyroiditis or Graves' disease.
Adrenal dysfunction is almost always one of the provoking factors for the development of thyroid diseases.
The main symptoms of subclinical adrenal dysfunction are:
As you can see, the list is nearly identical.
Testing cortisol is easy and requires several saliva samples, collected throughout the day.
Take home message
Adequate levels of cortisol are required to activate thyroid receptors in the brain and to produce the required amount of TSH in the pituitary gland. Cortisol is also important for a good conversion of T4 to T3. Adequate cortisol levels are important.
Therefore, do not neglect the advice of doctors on lifestyle modification! Reduce stress in every possible way: positive thoughts, meditation, yoga, good sleep. By doing this, you will reduce its effect on the adrenal glands and thereby eliminate many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
What is reverse T3
Have you ever had a reverse T3 test? Reverse T3 forms in patients with a high level of stress, so it can be used as a marker of stress. The cell has two types of thyroid receptors: alpha and beta. Alpha receptors are more active in the brain and heart, and Beta receptors - in the liver, muscles, and fat cells. T3 activates both types of receptors, but reverse T3 only blocks beta receptors. That is why with a high level of reverse T3 we see weight gain, fatigue, and depression.
How test Thyroid
If you are interested in just testing the function of your thyroid, you can order comprehensive thyroid panel
If you want to check your thyroid and adrenal function and insufficiency, apply for a consultation with me and I will be able to guide you through the management of those conditions.