Migraines don’t go away because we put a piece of black tape over the “check engine” light.
You must find and fix the underlying issues in order to become free. This article teaches you where to start and why.
For at least half a century, it has been known that approximately 80% of people who suffer with adrenal fatigue syndrome also have symptoms of low thyroid, such as migraines, fatigue, weakness, hair loss, etc. Adding a thyroid component to already exhausted adrenal glands can worsen your migraines and be quite difficult to correct. Generally, your thyroid helps to strengthen both your adrenal glands and the thyroid at the same time. In order to make a full recovery, or at least gain some relief from those annoying migraine headaches, your thyroid and your adrenal glands need to be treated together.
The thyroid gland, like the adrenals, is sensitive to stress, and what is a common trigger for migraines? Stress! The thyroid is different from the adrenals, however, in that it has one major function, and that is to regulate cellular energy in the body, also referred to as metabolism. The unfortunate part is that testing your thyroid does not always yield “positive” results. Testing this gland has the same disadvantages as testing adrenal glands using regular blood tests.
The normal range of thyroid hormones is exceedingly wide, so marginally low thyroid function tests will seem “normal” to the naked eye, but to a specialist it indicates a real problem. The insurance companies have further complicated the issue of thyroid testing because they will cover testing for just one hormone (usually TSH) rather than testing all of the hormones to get better insight.
Some observations can be done yourself, however, without the need for a blood test. This is not a conclusive or precise measure of diagnosis, but I have used them frequently with my migraine patients to help us determine the cause of their condition. They are valuable clinical indicators that make me believe low thyroid is a problem. These include the following:
- You find that you are having more episodes of migraines than is typically considered “normal” for your condition.
- Your migraine or headache trigger is related to stress levels
- Your morning basal temperature is under 98.2 degrees Fahrenheit orally
- You easily gain weight, even when eating healthy and exercising regularly
- You start to crash at about 9:30 p.m., with no 11 p.m. second wind
- Your stamina does not get better with increased activity. Usually, your capacity will increase with exercise, even in those with adrenal fatigue, but if thyroid is a problem, then endurance is as well
- You have a slower reaction time while driving, operating equipment, or playing sports
- The outside part of your eyebrows are thinner than is considered normal
- Your evening meal does not improve your energy
- You are excessively fatigued during the day and feel sluggish. Those with just adrenal fatigue will wake up around 10 a.m. or around their noon meal. Low thyroid does not offer such a promise
The most common concern for low thyroid function is feeling sluggish throughout the day. If half or more of the above clinical indicators are present, then it is likely your thyroid is malfunctioning. If this is the case, there are several different solutions.
Both glands are regulated in similar ways by the hypothalamus; therefore, it stands to reason that taking a hypothalamus extract may help regulate these glands, especially the thyroid gland. Adrenal gland support can lead to better thyroid functioning as well. Taxed and worn out adrenals can cause trouble for the thyroid, which then has to work harder, and the same is true the other way around. In addition to lifestyle and diet changes, consider taking some vitamins, herbs, and glandular extracts that could help support the adrenal glands.
I cannot iterate enough that these glands are very often worn out because of the body’s burdens, both physical and mental. Stress plays an enormous role in their functioning and our overall well-being. If low thyroid seems to be exacerbating your migraine symptoms, or if you just feel like your thyroid and adrenals are not functioning to their greatest potential, then it is time to consider a treatment option that does not require multiple medications and office visits.
The easiest way to determine what burdens are causing you the most issues is to keep a stress or burden diary. In this diary, you would record how you feel every day and what led to the feeling. For example, if I had a crying episode, which was followed by a headache, I would mark that down in the diary, along with the time of day and any other observations that might be useful. Or, if I spend my days near an industrial area with a lot of pollution, I would mark that down as well.
Once you know the burdens that are causing your discomforts, life will get easier. It will take a bit of research and asking doctors that know alternative medicine, but in the end, you will end up with less migraine episodes and better functioning thyroid and adrenal glands.