Thyroid and Adrenal Health

Published on
December 01, 2021

Emily Navas

Have you heard of the HPATG axis? This stands for the Hypothalamic, Pituitary, Adrenal, Thyroid, and Gonadal axis. This encompasses the complexity of interactions within our body with organs and hormones. There are a multitude of interactions in our lives that affect this system, resulting in what we call stress. Stress is not particularly bad, until it becomes chronic, and results in a body that is not able to maintain balance any longer. When we have problems in this system, it is the result of either too much stress or a breakdown in the stress response system. When you experience this breakdown, you may experience:


  • Anxiety or depression
  • Fatigue or brain-fog
  • Poor sleep
  • Impaired resilience to daily activities
  • High or low blood sugars
  • High or low blood pressure or pulse
  • Digestive concerns
  • Poor immune system and autoimmunity
  • Obesity or inability to gain weight


 I specialize in the evaluation and treatment of this axis, primarily in the adrenal and thyroid parts of the axis. There are a few main places that stress will occur, leading to breakdown in these systems:

  • Perceived stress
  • Uncontrolled blood sugars
  • Inflammation
  • Circadian disruption (broken sleep and wake cycle)


The source of the breakdown in the communication and optimization of these hormones is often-times not easy and requires a fair amount of digging. This would require that I look at your history, diet, lifestyle, medications, and anything else that could lead to overwhelming stressors as noted above. Lab and other considerations that may be used to look deeper here include:

  • Food intolerances
  • Gut imbalance
  • Environmental toxins
  • Thyroid function
  • Medications
  • Cortisol levels
  • Diet journal

When it comes to thyroid, it is intimately intertwined with cortisol balance and the axis that we have been talking about. We also know that autoimmune thyroid disease, known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, is the most common cause of a poorly performing thyroid. In my clinic, I always test for the thyroid antibodies. I do this because I treat autoimmune thyroid problems differently than if there are not any antibodies found. When I look at your thyroid function, I like to get a full picture of how you produce, convert, and use the hormones. The thyroid markers that I look at include:

  • TSH
  • T4, total and free
  • T3, total and free
  • T3 uptake
  • Reverse T3
  • Thyroglobulin antibodies
  • TPO antibodies

Treatment of adrenal and thyroid concerns often overlaps. I will take a comprehensive look at your history, symptoms, past treatments, and lab results to create a personalized plan for you. A few of the modalities that we may use to help you include:

  • Dietary recommendations
  • Stress and lifestyle management
  • Targeted supplementation
  • Medications (yes, I am willing to use alternative treatments for your thyroid, which would include Naturethroid, Westhroid, Armour, and others)
  • Low-Dose Naltrexone

If you haven’t found the answers you are looking for and feel that adrenal or thyroid issues are at the root of your problems, then set up your Free Consultation Call to see if we are a good fit. I would love to see if I can help you.

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Emily Navas LAc, Acupuncture & Functional Medicine

415-519-5230This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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