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Dr Soria

Why Am I So Tired?

Thyroid related fatigue and adrenal fatigue are two common conditions that can greatly impact a person’s energy levels and overall well-being. As a naturopathic doctor, it is important to understand the differences between these two types of fatigue in order to provide the most effective treatments for each individual.

Thyroid related fatigue is often caused by an imbalance in thyroid hormones, specifically hypothyroidism where the thyroid gland is underactive. This can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, constipation, hair loss, joint pain, and brain fog.

Adrenal fatigue, on the other hand, is a condition where the adrenal glands are not functioning optimally, usually due to chronic stress or illnesses such as COVID.

Individuals suffering from adrenal fatigue may or may not display visible signs of illness, but they often experience feelings of fatigue and a lack of energy that is not relieved by sleep. When the body is under stress, the immune system becomes activated. The adrenal glands, which are situated above the kidneys, respond to stress by releasing hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones play a crucial role in the body’s fight or flight response, leading to an increase in blood pressure and heart rate.

When experiencing chronic stress such as mental/emotional trauma or a severe illness, the adrenal glands become exhausted due to the continuous release of cortisol, which leads to the onset of adrenal fatigue.

One key difference between thyroid related fatigue and adrenal fatigue is the root cause of the issue. Thyroid related fatigue is typically a result of an issue with the thyroid gland itself, whereas adrenal fatigue is often a result of prolonged stress on the body. This is important to understand because it will dictate the treatment approach for each condition.

For thyroid related fatigue, treatment may involve optimizing thyroid hormone levels through medications or supplements, as well as addressing any underlying causes such as nutrient deficiencies or autoimmune issues.

Adrenal fatigue, on the other hand, may require a different approach. Treatment for adrenal fatigue often involves lifestyle changes to reduce stress levels, such as incorporating mindfulness practices, optimizing sleep, and incorporating relaxation techniques. Additionally, supporting the adrenal glands with adaptogenic herbs like rhodiola and/or ashwagandha can help to restore balance.

Understanding the differences between thyroid related fatigue and adrenal fatigue is crucial for providing personalized and effective treatment plans for patients. By addressing the root cause of each condition and implementing targeted interventions, doctors can help patients regain their energy and vitality.

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