Cortisol and Hashimoto’s: A Simple Breakdown


What is Cortisol?

Cortisol is your body’s main stress hormone. Cortisol is made in your adrenal glands and it often part of the cascade of hormones talked about in adrenal fatigue. This hormone works in your brain to to determine the fight-or-flight responses. Cortisol tells your body how to use carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Cortisol can help keep inflammation (HELLO!) down and regulate your blood sugar and blood pressure. Cortisol also has a HUGE impact on your sleep cycle. Cortisol is also helpful because it allots energy to stressors and then restores balance afterwards, if you’ve got correct amounts.

What does Cortisol have to do with Hashimoto’s?

1. Cortisol lowers TSH, telling your body to decrease thyroid hormone production.

2. Cortisol increases the conversion of T4 to reverse T3 (the inactive form of T3) and inhibits the conversion of T4 to active T3.

Why is this bad?

Most #HashiGirls don’t have enough thyroid hormone circulating (this is why we take meds), so lowering TSH tells our body we don’t need the thyroid hormone it is currently putting out. And then the amount of T3 we do have is being converted to an inactive form!

How to Lower Cortisol

1. Get more sleep.

2. Eat whole foods.

3. De-stress not distress.

4. Incorporate adaptogens.

5. Use essential oils.

6. Take walks outside.

7. Positive self-talk.

Lowering your cortisol levels can increase your TSH levels if they were being suppressed by stress, allowing you body to make more thyroid hormone. It can also keep your body from getting confused and turning too much of your T3 (active form) into reverse T3 (inactive form).