Have you heard about terms like adrenal burnout and slow thyroid?
These are the two organs that can take a big hit when we're working out too much and not resting enough. Today, I'm going to share with you, in a very simple way, how this happens.
You know that I like 90s hip hop, right? I'm singing in my head, Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself right now as I'm typing this. Ok, ok, I know Ice Cube wasn't necessarily talking about overtraining, adrenals and thyroid but there's a good reason to check yoself if you're doing a lot of HIIT training or long workouts – especially chronic cardio! Because these things can throw these two organs out of balance.
What Happens To Our Adrenals and Thyroid When We're Overtraining
Here are two things that are very easy to wreck if we don't check ourselves: our ADRENALS and THYROID. Here's how:
When we're working out, our adrenals secrete cortisol, a hormone that helps us handle the stress we're putting our bodies under. That's what adrenals are supposed to do.
But if we don't rest enough and work out too much, our adrenals work non stop and our cortisol becomes chronically elevated. Over time, that starts affecting our thyroid. As the stress hormone production goes up, thyroid hormone production tends to slow down which shows as low the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) when you get tested. But why is this important to know?
What Happens When Our Adrenals and Thyroid Are Off Balance
This adrenal-thyroid dysfunction will cause several “fun” things… that no one wants, but many of us, go-hard-or-go-home-gymgoers experience.
💪Muscle breakdown. Instead of building muscle which is usually our goal, we're breaking it down
🍪Increased cravings. Instead of getting the cravings “under control”, they start occupying our minds non-stop
🧠Brain fog. Are you reading the same chapter over and over again but don't remember what it was about?
👙Abdominal fat. That can be present in even in otherwise slender women if their cortisol is too high and thyroid is underregulating
💃Low sex drive. That's just plain boring, isn't it?
🩸Period problems, including missing periods. And that's bad for your health, especially if it goes on for years and years.
What If Your TSH Looks “Normal”?
As you now know, our adrenals may be under a huge stress, while our thyroid may be down regulating. But, many times TSH (thyroid stimuating hormone) looks “normal” but we continue to feel like crap. The problem can be deeper: we may not convert the T4 to T3 which is the usable form of the thyroid hormone. Chronically elevated cortisol can slow that conversion down.
What Can You Do About All This?
That's why, when we find that we have problems with thyroid, the first thing to do is to start reducing our stress wherever we can – and that means also reducing exercise stress if it's been too much. Sleep, eat nourishing foods, meditate and take deep breaths!
Have you had problems with your thyroid, because of overtraining?
I have been through severe overtraining and loss of period myself (I didn't have my period for 10 years), but I recovered from all this. It happens through eating nourishing foods, balancing exercise, and changing your mindset. Get in touch if you're ready to take the next step and fully heal! I'm happy to help.