In my post on sorting my own adrenal fatigue and fertility I mentioned that in 9 out of 10 hormone imbalance and fertility cases, I need to support the adrenals to some extent.
Life is busy and women live with so much chronic stress that their delicate hormone system is all over the place because the adrenals are in overdrive or exhausted. Women in (peri-)menopause are therefore not coping with this change in life and succumbing under night sweats & hot flushes, while younger women that should easily manage to conceive, stop ovulating and have irregular cycles and nightmare menses. In this post I share:
- How chronic stress leads to adrenal fatigue
- How adrenal fatigue messes with your fertility
- How adrenal fatigue eventually leads to hypothyroidism
- How you can nurture your adrenals and boost your vitality & fertility
Chronic stress sets your adrenals to overdrive and disrupts your hormone balance
Your adrenal glands are two little organs sitting on top of your kidneys. For such little organs, they have a big job; they produce hormones. Many people know that the adrenals produce stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline but they also produce DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone).
DHEA is the precursor for sex hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. That’s why it is sometimes called the ‘mother hormone’.
DHEA in turn is made from the ‘grandmother hormone’ pregnenolone. Here is the problem: if you are under chronic stress, your adrenals will be stealing pregnenolone to produce mostly the stress hormones and skip out on DHEA. This is even a bigger issue for us over 30 as DHEA declines with age anyway.
Chronic stress that reduces DHEA leads to hormone imbalance causing:
- Irregular cycles
- Irregular or no ovulation
- Reduced fertile cervical mucus
- Menstrual related symptoms such as migraines, depression, moodswings, fatigue, cravings, acne, endometriosis, and PCOS.
Just naming a few…
Adrenal fatigue due to chronic stress often underlies hypothyroidism
The “normal” thing to do when you are under stress, is take a break. Sleep more, work less, rest! How many people do you know that actually do this?… that’s what I thought.
Today’s society is all “GO-GO-GO” but if we don’t actively take a break when our adrenals are in overdrive for an extended period of time, our bodies will do it for us.
In fact, our body uses the thyroid to slam the breaks. The thyroid produces hormones to set the metabolic rate for every cell in our body. By slowing down that metabolic rate we become:
and so we are forced to slow down. Clever right?!
The thing is, when you understand how chronic stress leads to adrenal fatigue and then hypothyroidism, the solution is not to (only) treat the problems at the end of the chain and supplement with hormones that your thyroid should be making. The solution is to get your adrenals back on their feet and reduce stress.
You can read how to do that in this post on how to nurture your adrenals.
Stress is not just caused by working too hard and sleeping too little!
There are many things that can put your body under stress and cause your adrenals to fire stress hormones.
Lifestyle stress factors:
- Inadequate diet
- inadequate exercise
- Insufficient sleep
- Lack of relaxation
- Suppressed emotional stress
Other common sources of chronic stress:
- Food sensitivities
- Chronic infections
- Heavy metals
- Environmental toxins
- Radiation exposure
- Regular use of (prescription) drugs
How you can nurture your adrenals and boost your vitality & fertility
Once you know that you need to remove stress and you know which stress factors exist, you can start nurturing your adrenals in three major steps:
- Start resting!
- Feed your adrenals
- Get homeopathic treatment
You can read extensively on these steps in this post on how to nurture your adrenals.
Lifestyle changes can make a big difference but when you suffer with adrenal fatigue or stress-induced hypothyroidism, you will need supplements too.
Homeopathic remedies can help your recover quicker, restore hormone balance, reduce inflammations and address the chronic stress that started it in the first place.
You can now join an international homeopathy study on adrenal fatigue & hypothyroidism that I am conducting with colleagues.