Are you having trouble losing weight? You’re feeling so tired and cold all the time. Everyday chores and responsibilities feel more difficult than they should be and it’s draining the joy out of your life. If yes, then check out this article about how to fix low thyroid naturally.
Do You Have Low Thyroid
Chances are that you might have an underactive low thyroid like do about 10% of the population. Up to 60% of people may actually be undiagnosed.
This medical condition is called hypothyroidism and it has many symptoms, such as
- Weight gain[ii]
- Puffy face and water retention
- Cognitive decline[iii]
- Intolerance to cold
- Joint pain, inflammation, constipation[iv]
- Hair loss and dry skin[v][vi]
- Low heart rate and depression[vii]
Sounds horrible and it may become a huge limiting factor to how good you feel on a daily basis.
Hypothyroidism is caused by too low amounts of thyroid hormones in the blood and it usually happens in people who’ve had Hashimoto’s disease, thyroiditis or have had their thyroid removed.
The Conjugative Point in Your Throat
The thyroid gland is located in the front of your throat and it regulates your body’s energy metabolism.
Thyroid cells absorb iodine found in some foods and combine it with the amino acid tyrosine, which is used to create thyroid hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). They are then released into the bloodstream to affect your body temperature, your daily caloric needs, your heart rate and what’s your metabolic rate.
T3 and T4 are regulated by the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland inside your brain.
- When thyroid hormones decrease, the pituitary gland releases thyroid releasing hormone (TRH) to signal the thyroid gland to produce more T3 and T4
- With high levels of T3 and T4 in the blood, the pituitary gland releases less TSH so the thyroid gland could slow down
Most of the thyroid hormones comprise of T4 – nearly 80%. T3 is the active form of T4 and it’s thought to be more potent in regulating energy metabolism. There are also T0, T1, and T2, which act as hormone precursors and byproducts.
How to Fix Low Thyroid Naturally
To know if you have hypothyroidism you can get some blood tests and thyroid scans at the doctor. If you get diagnosed they may put you on some medications but if you feel like you’re suffering from some early symptoms of underactive thyroid, then here’s what you can do instead:
Here’s what you can do to overcome low thyroid without medication:
- Get more iodine – the thyroid needs iodine to produce thyroid hormones. Even small doses of 250 micrograms of iodine a day can help the thyroid [i]. You can get iodine only from diet and rich sources are sea vegetables, algae, wild caught fish, eggs, seaweed, shellfish, iodized salt, and some dairy.
- Vitamin D, Omega 3s, magnesium, and Selenium are also crucial for healthy hormone production. You should aim for about 1000-2000 IU-s of vitamin D3, about 1000-3000 mg-s of omega-3s, 400 mg-s of MG, and 200 mcg-s of selenium a day. Before supplementing, you should take some blood tests to see what micronutrients you’re most deficient of.
- Limit Goitrogenic foods – Goitrogens are compounds that can affect the thyroid gland if consumed in large amounts. Foods high in goitrogens are things like cruciferous vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, kale, and some fruit. However, the benefits of these foods far outweigh the downside. They’d become a problem only if you eat too many raw vegetables. If you cook or steam them lightly then you’ll lower the number of goitrogens in them.
- Tyrosine-rich foods that support the thyroid are pumpkin seeds, beef, poultry, almonds, avocados, eggs, and fish. They also have B12 and selenium. You should aim for organic meats because they’re not injected with antibiotics and other harmful hormones.
- A healthy insulin spike can also help – If you eat some carbohydrates like a sweet potato or rice, then you can boost your metabolic rate. Especially, if you’re eating a low carb diet. Prolonged periods of dieting will slow down your metabolism and doing some carb cycling can be very beneficial.
- Herbs that help the thyroid are ashwagandha, ginseng, holy basil, eleuthero, rhodiola rosea, lion’s mane, dandelion, and chards.
- Eat slightly more calories – dieting and restricting calories for too long will slow down your metabolism and thyroid functioning. Having a diet-break for a few days where you eat slightly above your maintenance can help you to boost your metabolic rate. However, you don’t want to be eating inflammatory foods like processed carbs, pastries, pizzas, or ice cream. Instead, you’d want to be eating more of the thyroid supporting foods we’ve talked about here.
- Increasing your fat intake will also assist your overall endocrine system and hormonal balance. Coconut oil, in particular, contains MCTs that can support the metabolism and give you more energy.
- Bone broth or collagen protein can help to repair a damaged thyroid and speed up the recovery process. It also contains many electrolytes and micronutrients.
What to Avoid With Low Thyroid
Now for the things you don’t want to be doing if you suffer an underreactive thyroid.
- Avoid all gluten – gluten is a common allergen that activates an autoimmune response on the thyroid. People with Hashimotto’s or hypothyroidism tend to be sensitive to gluten as well. Gluten is found everywhere – not just in bread, pasta, and cookies – it’s in almost all packaged foods, sauces, meats, skin care products, and the particles can even float around in the air. So, I’d not spend too much time in front of bakery’s or pastry shops.
- Don’t drink tap water – most tap water contains fluorine and chlorine that inhibit iodine absorption and dampen your pineal gland’s functioning.
- Limit other potential allergens as well such as dairy, nuts, shellfish, eggs, fish, soy, or meat if you are sensitive to these foods. Other things that may promote inflammation are all processed foods like cereals, sodas, sausages, and candies.
- Don’t do intermittent fasting for too long – it’ll lower your thyroid functioning further and can decrease metabolic rate. Definitely, you shouldn’t fast for longer than 24 hours if you have low thyroid. Somewhere between 14 hours is fine.
- Reduce your stress – it’s going to make you feel more drained and exhausted. Don’t start exercising harder or get more stressed out about work but try to relax more and allow your adrenals to recover. You should also avoid stimulants like coffee and sugar because they’ll activate the adrenal glands.
- Avoid Environmental Toxins such as pesticides, mold, BPA found in plastics, isoflavones found in soy, potassium perchlorate, cigarette smoke, and keep your home clean from these toxins. Heat saunas and sweatting can help you to eliminate these toxins from your body.
Do You Have Hypothyroidism or Just Low Thyroid
There’s a fine line between having just a little bit sluggish thyroid and suffering from full out hypothyroidism.
Having a decreased metabolism and lower thyroid hormones itself aren’t innately bad or harmful for your health. It’s just that the quality of your life will be lessened if you’re feeling tired and lethargic all the time. This can lead to obesity and other metabolic diseases.
That’s why, you want to get to the underlying root cause of these issues, which are exercise, nutrition, sleep, mindfulness, and lifestyle. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and it’s so much easier to avoid the bad habits all together rather than try to fix the symptoms with medication and continue to suffer.
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