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Article

The HPA Connection to Cortisol and Adrenaline

Wednesday, June 8th 2022 10:00am 9 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Too many people in our modern, hectic world remain stuck in survival mode. But this condition can impact the health of your thyroid. This occurs through an adrenal-thyroid connection. What triggers survival mode? Chronic stress.

Stress comes from life events and environmental toxin exposures, which our world has an excessive abundance of. Let’s take a deeper look at how stress impacts your thyroid gland, which influences metabolism, weight, mood, and hormones. You have a variety of natural support options to minimize or eliminate that influence for greater overall well-being.

The HPA Axis: your internal alert system

Stress or any threat to your well-being causes your brain to jump into high alert, which activates an area of your brain designed to protect you from danger. It rapidly mobilizes the energy you need to escape, evade, or overpower the immediate danger. Essentially, your flight, fight, or freeze mechanism goes into high gear.

Your internal alarm system is activated by two areas of your brain: the amygdala and the hypothalamus. If danger is perceived, a message goes to your Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis (HPA Axis). The HPA Axis works to trigger a release of adrenaline and cortisol, which puts you into the fight, flight, or freeze mode and prepares your body to deal with possible injury, inflammation, infection, hemorrhage, and shock.

It’s a necessary reaction when danger truly confronts us. However, modern life has created so much stress, that our bodies remain in chronic stress activation much of the time. These life events can include:

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