Wait, aren’t thyroid hormones and cortisol supposed to be two separate hormone systems? Isn’t TSH the hormone produced from the thyroid gland and cortisol from adrenal gland? Well yes, that is true, but don’t be surprised when we tell you that the two hormones come not only in contact with each other but have a significant impact on one another. Not sure what you’re reading is right? Let us simplify it for you so that you are able to ensure that both your thyroid and adrenal glands are working as best as they can.
What is Cortisol?
In the simplest of words, cortisol is a hormone that is secreted by the adrenal glands. Known as a steroid hormone, it handles the immune system as well as the metabolism of the body. Cortisol is also responsible for de-stressing the body. It affects the sugar levels of the body, but also impacts memory formation and blood pressure. It is cortisol that helps with the development of the fetus at the time of birthing. Altogether, cortisol is one of the most important hormones of the body, just like TSH.
What is TSH?
TSH or thyroid-stimulating hormone is a hormone that is produced by the hypothalamus. It is with the aid of this hormone that the thyroid gland is able to produce other hormones that help aid the metabolism of the body. If the thyroid gland does not work properly, it can lead to hypo and hyperthyroidism. This occurs when the TSH levels are not regular.
You may right now be thinking is all that related? How are cortisol hormone and thyroid hormones related to each other? Here are some answers for you.
How are the Two Related?
Many study shows how cortisol and thyroid hormones are related to each other. The very basic thing that you need to know is that when you are stressed, the adrenal glands release cortisol. This response prepares the mind, as well as the body for a fight and flight response. What is worrisome though is that this cortisol production in huge amounts can lead to the lowering of the thyroid hormones.
Ever heard of how weight loss is next to impossible for people with hypothyroidism? This is your answer right here. And the solution too on how you can gain noticeable improvements. When the levels of cortisol are high in the body it becomes very difficult for the thyroid gland to work properly. This slows down the metabolic rate, and hence leads to either weight gain or no effect on the person trying to lose weight. Also, remember that because of cortisol, blood sugar levels also increase along with poor digestion and high blood pressure.
But that is not the only negative thing that takes place. When cortisol levels are high in the blood, they are an indication of stress. This in itself has a direct effect on thyroid hormones. To be simple, stress gives rise to the possibility of hypothyroidism.
The problems of continued stress can make things worse. If you are stressed for too long, you can develop a liver condition, along with blood pressure issues, diabetes, and even sexual dysfunction.
Here’s another relation between the presence of excessive cortisol in the blood, with thyroid issues. The thyroid gland produces T4 which needs to be activated by the T3 hormone in order to be able to function in the body. Stress, or presence of cortisol in the body, lowers the conversion rate and slows it down. This means that your thyroid gland would become underactive and would lead to various kinds of issues like tiredness, skin issues, weight gain etc.
Hormonal imbalance, where the worst case scenario is infertility, can also occur because of cortisol affecting the thyroid gland. When the thyroid gland doesn’t function properly, it gives way to disparity of the hormones and they cause issues like PCOS, irregular menstruation cycle, and infertility for some women.
Do you now see how huge an impact cortisol has on the thyroid gland and its hormones? If it is not working properly, a person can experience dozens of health symptoms and even dangerous diseases. This is the reason that if you are suffering from thyroid symptoms, then you need to get your cortisol levels checked. And if stress is the main concern, then be sure to get your TSH levels checked as well. More than likely, you could be a candidate for the DNA UPrint. This test looks at how the different systems of the body are working together and what the cause is. So you can then have the opportunity to feel like yourself again.