You really can’t talk about the adrenals, thyroid or ovaries without the other.
All of these organs are part of the endocrinology system and if any of them are out of balance, it will affect the other organs. For example, cortisol ( from the adrenals) may suppress the thyroid gland actions/functions, in addition to inhibiting estrogen and progesterone balance. What is amazing about the human body is, if one organ needs a little extra help, the other 2 organs will lend a helping hand. However, if we can support the system and prevent any imbalance, that is ideal.
Let’s step back a bit to learn about these organs when they began developing in a child.
The ovaries begin their maturing during the preteen, teen years or puberty. During this developmental stage, it is important to keep as healthy as possible. The body has a great desire to be healthy and will do its best to adapt to any situation or lifestyle, however, if there is stress, trauma, irregular diet during these times, it may be a contributor to future problems when they are in their twenties.
When a baby is born, the adrenal glands are the first to be regulated. It is basically a survival tool of releasing of cortisol, to inform parents when they are wet, cold or hungry. At approximately age 1, these glands are mature.
The thyroid is the gland of emotions. The thyroid gland of a baby allows them to be more aware of people around them who are not their primary caretakers. The thyroid matures during the toddler years.
It is important to consider the developmental stages of these organs as they may give clues on why a woman is having health challenges. If any stress, trauma, irregular diet occurred during these times, it may be a contributing cause to their present issues. The body has a great desire to be healthy and will do its best to adapt to any situation or lifestyle. This is one reason I love being a naturopathic doctor and truly appreciate all of my training in searching deep for the causes.
It is always best to further discuss with your doctor, but a few actionable steps for right now are highlighted below.
Ovaries Health Action Steps
1. The goal is to be aware of your cycles and understand them. Typically most cycles are between 26 and 30 days and using an app to help monitor your cycles is very useful. My girls and I use the iPeriod app to help in tracking, however, there are many options available now. If you are looking for more plus fertility awareness, I suggest Daysy products.
For the overall health of body, I suggest daily hydrotherapy. When you are in your hot shower, always end it with a blast of cold ( try for 30 seconds). It will be invigorating and increase blood circulation giving you an extra needed boost of essential nutrients to cells.
Adrenals Health Action Steps
The adrenals LOVE a routine so get into one! It\’s may not be simple but will make a profound difference in your everyday health.
1. Sleep: Go to bed at the same time every night ( purchasing black out curtains or using a sleep mask will help) and wake up at the same time
2. Eat: Same time, every day
3. Breathe: Breathe in for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds, and breathe out for 5 seconds. Do as many times during the day as possible.
4. Move: Strive for a good 20 minutes of exercise every day. In addition, if you work at a desk, get up every hour. A sedentary lifestyle takes away many years off a life.
Thyroid Health Action Steps
1. Avoid gluten which may interfere with the ability of the thyroid to function properly.
2. Indulge in raw cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cabbage, sea vegetables, and brazil nuts.
3. Relaxing movement – Tai Chi or yoga
4. Dry skin brushing: supports the lymphatic system and stimulates blood flow
- a bath type brush of natural brush fibers works well
- (keep it dry – use it before your shower)
- use in a one-way sweeping motion towards the abdomen.
An important thing to consider when suffering from PMS, ovarian cysts, cortisol lows or highs, or any thyroid problem, is basically looking upstream; ie: meaning is going on or what comes before these organs.
And that is the brain, specifically the hypothalamus. It will receive messages of low adrenal, thyroid or ovary hormone blood levels and in return, will send a message to the pituitary gland, also in the brain, to send a message to the adrenals, thyroid or ovaries, to release hormones. At any level, there could be a problem, therefore, doing a little extra ( medical) detective work is essential to finding the cause.
Know Your Body, Period
One of my favorite HBD curriculums is: Know Your Body, Period. It is designed to empower girls ages 10 and up to understand how their female bodies work: anatomy and physiology, and how to best nourish it. This course is playful yet full of essential information and terminology that will aid girls during the changes that happen during puberty, the superpowers their hormones have, and how to best take care of themselves.