Thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), Hashimoto’s or Graves’ are very common and are on the rise. Millions of people have no idea they have them, but it is so important to find out what’s going on, as your thyroid is linked with every system in the body! If your thyroid isn’t working optimally, then neither are you. The most common of these thyroid conditions is hypothyroidism.
Here are 10 signs of an underactive thyroid -
- Weight gain or inability to lose weight
- Muscle, joint pain
- Hormone imbalances, PMS, low sex drive, irregular periods, infertility
- Needing to take a nap every day and fatigue, even after sleeping 8-10 hours a night
- Swollen neck
- Poor memory and concentration
- Brittle nails, hair loss and dry/cracking skin
- Cold hands and feet, even when others are hot
- Depression, anxiety, mood swings
Ways to improve thyroid function -
- Get tested! If you go to the GP they will only test TSH, if that comes back out of range, they may test T4. However I find it very useful (actually, essential), to also test for - free T3, reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies to really see what is going on.
- Eliminate gluten especially if you have Hashimoto’s.
- Reduce stress and support the adrenal glands. The adrenals and thyroid work together and too much stress can reduce production of the active thyroid hormone, T3. I recommend just 10 min of meditation/deep breathing, lying with your legs elevated, restorative yoga and nutrients/herbs to support the adrenals.
- Increase iodine rich foods....seaweeds! You can get seaweeds in more and more places now. Nori (which is the seaweed used in sushi) can be bought in most supermarkets. You can add this to smoothies, sprinkle on salads or use as a wrap.
- Sleep! Aim for 8-10 hours a night. Make sure this is a priority.
- Test for any heavy metals. These can cause an increase of the hormone rT3, therefore reducing the active hormone T3.
- Use a good water filter.
- Don't overdo intense exercise.
- Test for food intolerances and heal your gut. Start consuming fermented foods and taking high strength probiotics.
- Take a good quality, food state multi nutrient with active B vitamins, zinc, selenium and vitamin D.
- Consume foods rich in tyrosine such as nuts, seeds, eggs, wild fish and organic chicken.
If you have a number of the symptoms above, try to introduce some of these nutrition and lifestyle recommendations. If you would like to find out more and possible get tested, please contact me by filling out the form below.