Are you showing symptoms of being hypothyroid? Learn how you can improve your symptoms – naturally.
Most general practitioners refuse to entertain the notion that you can be hypothyroid if your blood test results are within the normal range.
But what if something is going on causing your body to behave as though it is hypothyroid?
In addition, what if there are simple changes you can make that provide you with enormous relief from these symptoms?
Wouldn’t it be worth a shot to try to get to the bottom of your fatigue, weight gain and foggy confusion?
You’ll never know if you don’t take action.
In this post, we show you what to do.
What the thyroid does
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck. It uses iodine to produce two very important hormones for your metabolism. These hormones are Triiodothyronine, also known as T3 and Tetraiodothyronine, also called thyroxine or T4.
Essentially, the T3 and T4 hormones increase the basal metabolic rate. So you can understand that anything causing dysfunction with the thyroid can have a profound impact on your weight, health and well-being.
The thyroid performs other functions that are crucial to survival including:
- brain and nerve function and development
- heart rate
- skin maintenance
- temperature regulation
The thyroid has been dubbed the “master controller of hormones” and problems with this gland can impact seemingly unrelated areas of the body.
Therefore, hypothyroid-like symptoms are sometimes overlooked or even dismissed because the symptoms can be caused by so many other conditions and don’t necessarily tie together with a nice bow.
There is a multitude of symptoms that can appear when you are hypothyroid including:
- Inability to lose weight
- Hair loss/thinning hair
- Sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Brittle fingernails with or without ridging
- Puffy face and fluid retention
- Elevated cholesterol/ triglycerides
- Tired after a full night’s sleep
- Heavier/irregular menstrual periods
- Enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
- Brain fog, difficulty concentrating and impaired memory
- Muscle aches
The difficulty is that not everyone experiences all of these symptoms. In addition, these symptoms can very well be caused by a multitude of other conditions.
Run through the list and see how many you experience on a regular basis.
When to go to the Doctor
While we aim to educate and help people take proactive control of their health, we also believe that you need to know your numbers.
If you show many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism, your first step is to get a full checkup by your general practitioner.
Explain your symptoms, be honest about any medications and supplements you are taking, and ask to have your blood tested for all the common culprits for your symptoms, including thyroid hormones.
In other words, be open to the idea that it’s entirely possible that you have a diagnosable condition that can be remedied with medication.
For example, if you suffer from extreme fatigue, weakness and brain fog, you might not have a thyroid issue at all. These symptoms could be caused by iron-deficiency anaemia which is easy to test for.
Our point is that it’s best to start with getting your medical professional to review your blood test results. If something comes up, work with them to find the appropriate treatment plan.
Your tests might reveal no issues but with some lifestyle tweaks, you can ensure your thyroid is getting the best support to function optimally.
Above all, it’s time to take control and assist it.
My results are normal, now what?
Do you experience a multitude of hypothyroid symptoms but have blood test results in the normal range? If so, don’t despair, you are not alone.
Your blood results might very well be within the normal range for your thyroid markers. This does not mean that you are imagining your symptoms or that you can’t take steps to improve the way you feel.
Natural ways to improve your thyroid functioning
If you want to ensure that your thyroid is given the best support possible, then we recommend making these changes.
You don’t have to go cold-turkey but rather work these changes into your life gradually.
Keep a journal or notebook where you record your symptoms and give yourself enough time to really assess whether these changes made you feel better both mentally and physically.
Cut down on:
- Strictly avoid ALL gluten (see this post for more info).
- Cut down on sugar in all forms (including “healthy” sugar like honey).
- Avoid processed foods loaded with preservatives and additives.
- Eat your cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower & kale) steamed or lightly boiled to deactivate the goitrogens (substances that disrupt the production of thyroid hormones by interfering with iodine uptake in the thyroid gland).
- Avoid legumes such as peanuts, alfalfa, peas, chickpeas, lentils and soybeans (also contain goitrogens).
- Fresh, whole foods in an abundance of colour
- Magnesium: essential for T4 production. Foods rich in magnesium include spinach, quinoa, almonds, cashews, dark chocolate and avocado.
- Vitamin A: regulates thyroid hormone metabolism. Found in sweet potato, kale, squash, carrots, liver, salmon, butter, cheese and eggs.
- Vitamin B6: essential for the thyroid to utilise iodine. Found in pork, chicken, fish, brown rice, eggs, potatoes and bananas.
- Relaxation: stress itself could be causing many of your hypothyroid symptoms! Make sure to take time to relax and do things that bring you joy. We wrote an entire article with some great ways to practice self-care.
- Live natural: where possible, avoid chemicals and opt for organic and natural foods, cleaning products and body products.
We empathise if you are struggling with the effects of hypothyroid symptoms. But we hope that we’ve shown that you can have a measure of control over some of these symptoms just by avoiding certain things and increasing others.
By adopting the action steps above, you are taking positive action to improve your health and wellness, irrespective of whether you have thyroid issues or not.
Try them out and let us know in the comments if any of these steps lead you to feel more vibrant, motivated and energised.
You might also enjoy:
- Beginner’s Guide to The Keto Diet
- Fabulous Fats: Boost your Body and Your Brain with Healthy Fats
- Easy Ways to Lower Your Sugar Intake