Through my health journey, I have looked into all the factors that could be affecting my not-so-perfect digestion, and recently, I discovered I have a slightly under-active thyroid, a.k.a hypothyroidism. It’s crazy because I had to figure this out on my own, through my constant quest for answers, since my doctors never suspected I had thryroid issues.
Unfortunately, thyroid dysfunctions are VERY common, and often go un-diagnosed. Like in my case, doctors most often will only check for TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) which can be completely normal, yet if your body is not properly converting T4 (inactive form of the thyroid hormone) into T3 (active form), you will experience hypothyroidism. Also, many people have thyroid antibodies that lead to an auto-immune disease called Hashimoto’s, which also leads to hypothyroidism.
They thyroid gland may be small, but it has an enormous impact on our body – affecting our metabolism, our internal temperature, mental clarity, and more. It’s also connected to your other hormones, so often times if you have any hormonal imbalance, the “missing link” to balancing your hormones is making sure you have a properly functioning thyroid.
So first, what are the signs that your thyroid could be under-active?
- Cold hands and feet
- Dry skin and scalp
- Constantly tired even after sleeping 8 hours a day
- Trouble losing weight
- Mood swings and/or you get easily stressed
- Hormonal imbalances, including irregular or missing periods, strong PMS and cramping, low sex drive, and infertility
- Brain fog, difficulty concentrating and/or poor memory
- Slow heart rate
- Hair loss
If you have symptoms of hypothyroidism, I suggest getting a full thryroid panel with your doctor (testing for Total T4, Free T4, Total T3, Free T3, Reverse T3, and Thyroid antibodies). The good news is that there are lots of things (from nutrition to lifestyle) that can help a lot. And even if you need to take medication, these tips will help support your thyroid to naturally function better.
Here are 10 things you can start doing now to improve your under-active thyroid:
- In your DAILY DIET make an effort to include more foods rich in: Iodine (sea vegetables), Zinc (meat, seafood, seeds), Selenium (Brazil nuts, seafood, seeds, pork), Iron (red meat, liver, oysters, eggs, leafy greens, beans), Vitamin D (eggs, seafood) and B-vitamins (meat, eggs, nuts, leafy greens, avocados).
- Cut out processed foods filled with unhealthy sodium, fats, preservatives and other additives – I can’t emphasize that enough.
- Get a good water filter to reduce the fluoride and chlorine from your water.
- Be careful with mercury levels. Remove any amalgam cavity fillings (if you still have these!), and be careful with high-mercury fish such as Tuna, Swordfish and Shark.
- Remove gluten from your diet.
- Get 8-9 hours of sleep every night.
- Take a good quality multivitamin with plenty of B vitamins, vitamin D, zinc, selenium and iron
- Relieve stress! Find ways to manage your stress and make an effort to relax on a regular basis. This is probably THE most important factor! Read my blog for more tips here.
- Limit your intake of raw cruciferous veggies, a.k.a. goitrogenic foods such as kale, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collard greens, bok choy, and more. Try cooking these foods to reduce their effect on the thyroid.
- Reduce exposure to toxins in your household cleaning products, body care and cosmetics – switch to natural DIY products using vinegar, baking soda, essential oils, and foods, and consider organic cosmetics.
If you want more info on supporting your thyroid and other hormones, improving your digestion, and achieving a healthy and balanced life, send me a message!
Love and Natural Healing,