What is adrenal gland fatigue, you ask?
Updated: Mar 21, 2022
Speaking of adrenal glands and fatigue...you were thinking about it, weren't you?
Day 11: Cortisol and your stress response
Your adrenal glands are responsible for releasing cortisol when your body is feeling stressed. Notice how I said "when your body" is feeling stressed. This is because your body can feel stressed despite you claiming to be "over the moon" that you are having a grandchild. Your body perceives the same level of stress whether it is positive, such as a wedding or negative, such as a funeral.
Your thyroid is the co-captain in this partnership. During high levels of stress, the thyroid slows down to conserve energy by decreasing metabolism. This shows up by decreasing other blood markers like T3, T4, and increasing levels of reverse T3. This is a sign your thyroid is not converting T4 to T3, which is absolutely necessary for proper thyroid function. Symptoms like fatigue, weight gain, poor sleep, dependence on caffeine or strong urges to go for high sugary items may be a result. Anxiety and depression might creep up as a possible explanation; but, before jumping to that conclusion, checking your thyroid health first is a good first step as hypothyroidism becomes more common with age.
There are also conditions associated with the thyroid that are genetic, like Hashimoto's Thyroiditis or Grave's disease. For the purpose of this post, I won't go into those other than to say they exist; and, knowing your family history and your thyroid baseline health is very important for healthy aging.
What can you do from a food stance? Hopefully you have a good idea of what I'm going to say by now. Generally speaking, make sure you are incorporating all food groups throughout your day. Choose complex or whole grain carbohydrate choices spread evenly throughout the day, preventing insulin to spike, which will help blood glucose ready and steady all day, decreasing inflammation and stress on the body.
Other important minerals involved in thyroid health are iodine, zinc, copper, and selenium, which are found in plant-based foods like nuts and spinach. Looking for a really easy change you can make today? Swap your pink Himalayan salt with the old fashioned ionized salt for a better source of iodine. Just make sure you are using any type of salt in moderation! And, don't forget, click on the link below and let's take a look at how to get to the next level of optimal health and wellness.
Jen Pfeilfer, MS, APD
Dr. Thomas R. Schneider, Medical Director