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Adrenal and Thyroid Relationship
by Dicken Weatherby, ND

It is often overlooked that there is a strong relationship to the adrenal glands and the thyroid. Often a dysfunction in one will be a direct result of a dysfunction in another.

When diagnosing and treating a suspected thyroid dysfunction always keep in the back of your mind that the main stress on the thyroid may be from the adrenals. Other suspects include liver and kidney dysfunction, and various mineral deficiencies (selenium and iodine), and possibly a deficienciy in -tyrosine.

Increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, produced in the adrenal cortex, frequently results in production of an inactive form of T-3 called reverse T-3. Reverse T-3 binds to thyroid hormone receptors on the cells causing an increase in tissue resistance to T-3. Serum T-3 and T-3 uptake will often be normal coupled with symptoms and physical findings of thyroid hypofunction.

T-3 (triiodothyronine) supplementation may be helpful in ameliorating the patient's subjective complaints, but the correction for the problem should be oriented towards correcting the underlying adrenal dysfunction and normalizing the cortisol rhythm.

You may want to run the urinary adrenal stress tes, a part of our Functional In-Office Urinalysis Panel, which measures for the output of chloride in the urine. Although not diagnostic by itself, I use it as a gateway test to alert me to the severity and longevity of an adrenal situation. I follow this up in patients that have an abborant reading with a salivary measure of 24-hour cortisol and DHEA.

© 2020 Weatherby & Associates, LLC


Dr. Dicken Weatherby is a graduate of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon. He is the co-author of the best-selling book "Blood Chemistry and CBC Analysis- Clinical Laboratory Testing from a Functional Perspective".

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