Hormone imbalances can wreak havoc with your body temperature and stress levels. Do you find yourself feeling cold, hot, stressed all the time–or a combination of all three?
Does this sound familiar?
COLD: Do you…
- Sleep in sweatpants, sweatshirts, and socks
- Use multiple blankets and down comforters, but are still cold at night
- Always have cold hands and feet
- Wear lots of layers and still feel cold
HOT: Do you…
- Wake up drenched in sweat
- Have sweat-soaked PJs and sheets in the morning
- Feel uncomfortable wearing sweaters or turtlenecks
- Take off (and put back on…and take off) layers of clothing throughout the day
STRESSED: Do you…
- Feel on edge all the time
- Not seem to be able to wind down
- Snap with little provocation
- Feel an inability to handle stress
Your Hormones Might Be Out of Balance
Let’s talk about your thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands. The hormones from these glands regulate your body temperature and stress response. If they’re off balance, you might be feeling cold, hot, or stressed out.
Let’s break this all down:
- Thyroid: The thyroid regulates your metabolism and other important bodily functions. Here are some examples of potential symptoms that could indicate a thyroid imbalance:
- Weight gain, weight loss, metabolism (how much energy you have–energizer bunny versus the person who can’t get out of bed in the morning.), and being either overheated or cold to the bone.
- Female hormonal issues: irregular or heavy periods and cramping.
- If menopausal, vaginal dryness, low libido, or hot flashes.
- Adrenal: The adrenal glands support the body’s stress (fight or flight) response. Your adrenal glands regulate how your body responds to stress related to family, work, health, finances, world issues, and more. Some examples of potential symptoms that indicate adrenal issues include:
- Bending over to pick something up and becoming dizzy, wired and tired, experiencing an afternoon energy crash (seeking carbs, chocolate, or coffee at this time), low blood pressure, gaining weight around the middle, irritability, and startling easily.
- Pituitary: Located in the brain, the pituitary gland is the master gland for many functions in the body. It tells the thyroid and adrenal glands what to do.
Take a look at the diagram below. The triangle illustrates the relationship between the thyroid, adrenal, and pituitary glands. If one gland is compromised it will affect the other two glands.
It is important to identify where a person is struggling and might need support.
For example, adrenal stress affects the thyroid. When this happens, the thyroid compensates by either speeding up or slowing down. A person whose thyroid is speeding up can look like someone who is losing weight, unexplainably highly energetic, but may have trouble sleeping, difficulty regulating their temperature, and find themselves jittery or anxious.
These symptoms mean the thyroid is trying to help the adrenals, which, in turn, compromises the thyroid. So what happens next? The thyroid asks the pituitary for more help, which then leads the pituitary to be compromised or weakened.
Can you see the vicious cycles that can be created?
Hormone Balancing: Where to Begin
To begin hormone balancing, let’s concentrate on the thyroid.
The thyroid contains receptor sites for specific nutrients that are needed to perform its functions. The primary nutrient needed for optimal thyroid function is iodine.
Fluoride (fluorine), chlorine, and bromine are elements that are similar to iodine and compete with the iodine receptor sites. We are exposed to each of these elements in everyday life, outlined below.
- Fluoride (Fluorine): Toothpaste, mouthwash, and your local water supply. Call your water company to find out if your city or township adds fluoride to your water. Fun fact: Fluoride lowers your IQ.
- Chlorine: Local water supply, laundry bleach, household cleaners, swimming pools.
- Bromine: Sanitation products, carbonated beverages like Mountain Dew, car upholstery, pesticides, plastics, baked goods (bromide is used as a dough conditioner), Gatorade, and more.
With all this chemical exposure, iodine is competing for receptor sites, which can lead to thyroid problems.
What to do:
- Decrease exposure to fluoride, chlorine, and bromine.
- Consider getting a water filter for your home (a whole-house or under-sink filter).
- Use faucet and shower filters when you bathe.
- Purchase a Berkey on-the counter-filter (include the fluoride filter).
- Use fluoride-free toothpaste.
- Decrease use of bleach products.
- Eat iodine-rich foods like seaweed and saltwater fish.
- Consider iodine supplementation. Do your research, as not all iodine supplements are created equal. I love Organically Bound Minerals from Standard Process, which is made from alfalfa and kelp.
Keep in mind that if you are on thyroid medication, taking too much iodine can affect your thyroid–so you will want to discuss this with your healthcare practitioner.
You Deserve to Feel Well!
If you do not feel good, there is always a CAUSE. We tend to normalize our aches, pains, and subtle symptoms. But if you’re experiencing symptoms, then there’s something at the root of them. The good news is, it’s possible to heal.
If you’re ready to shift your health, click here to set up a free 20-minute consultation to see if health coaching or NRT is right for you.
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