The adrenal glands make a hormone called "cortisol". They sit atop your kidneys and they are your stress glands. They make a lot of hormones for your body in addition to cortisol, such as aldosterone and androgens. Your adrenal glands are vital for optimal health. When your adrenal glands are not working, it causes high levels of cortisol in your system, and this is why you still have thyroid symptoms, even when your other lab tests may be normal. Cortisol is one of the main factors that regulate your blood sugar level, not insulin. Everybody thinks it's insulin, but it's actually cortisol. When cortisol is released by your adrenal glands, it's accompanied by cytokines.  

For info on the Adrenal Stress Index Test click here

The Adrenal Glands

Cytokines suppress the ability of your pituitary gland, and your hypothalamus, to make TSH, or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. So your adrenal glands make cortisol in response to a stress, whether it's physical, chemical, or emotional stress. And cortisol is released, the cytokines come out along with it and suppress your pituitary. There are common causes of elevated cortisol, some of them being chronic stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, or hidden gut infections, such as parasites. You'd be surprised how many people have parasitic infections. Other causes of elevated levels of cortisol included blood sugar disregulation, high or low blood sugar, hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, and diabetes.

 

You need to make sure that your blood sugar level is stable. And you need to understand that, when you have these problems, when your blood sugar level is going up or down so are your cortisol levels, which means your cytokines are going up and down, which means your pituitary isn't working properly and you're not making enough TSH, or thyroid hormones. So you start having thyroid symptoms such as fatigue, hair loss, cold hands and feet, insomnia, inability to lose weight, and depression.

 

Don't forget, there are several types of blood sugar problems-- not just diabetes, but also hypoglycemia, low blood sugar, and insulin resistance. Hypoglycemia is a blood sugar level of 85 or lower. Insulin resistance is a fasting blood sugar of 100-126. Diabetes is a fasting blood sugar of 127 or higher.

 

So be aware, if your stress levels are high, your adrenal glands are going to pump hard, and cortisol levels are going to increase, and it will cause your pituitary not to function properly, which will cause decreased amounts of thyroid-stimulating hormone. High cortisol will sabotage your attempt to combat your thyroid problem.

      Dr. Steve Alukonis DC, DABCO    

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