The thyroid is a little gland below the adam’s apple that controls metabolism, energy usage, weight, sleep, breathing, heart rate, temperature, and much more. Women are more prone to thyroid conditions, especially during times of hormonal change. Fatigue, weight gain, constipation, chills, dry skin, thinning hair, brittle nails, and fertility problems are typical of deficient thyroid function.
Hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid, is more common than hyperthyroidism, an overactive thyroid, as hypothyroidism is caused by deficiencies, stress, and a sedentary lifestyle while hyperthyroidism is caused mainly by disease. Both cause plenty of problems and may require the guidance of a medical professional.
Unfortunately, many physicians dismiss minor hypothyroidism as simple fatigue or lack of sleep. For those who find themselves being told their problems are in their head or not bad enough to need medication, there’s plenty of hope to be found in natural ways that any good doctor won’t have any problems with.
Your body needs a good mix of vitamins and minerals to produce hormones. You want to get enough vitamin A from good carotenoid sources like carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato, and cantaloupe. If you already have an iodine deficiency, you will want to avoid cruciferous vegetables. These can slow down the thyroid and include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, and bok choy.
Stress hormones interact with thyroid hormone absorption. Consistent stress depletes the body of hormone ingredients, slows down body function, and increases fatigue. Pick up meditation, breathing techniques, exercise, yoga, or tai chi.
Regular exercise boosts circulation which helps distribute thyroid hormones throughout the body. Stay active during the day too. Try to get up fairly often, stretch, and move around so your blood and lymph fluid keep flowing.
Refined sugars and starches found in processed foods and sweets impair circulation, metabolism, and weight control. Avoid them as much as possible.
Many plastics leach toxins into your food. Try to use glass as much as you can. Many of these toxins mimic estrogen and interfere with the thyroid.
Iodine is a trace mineral needed in fairly small amounts, but it is crucial to the proper function of the thyroid. Iodized salt isn’t the healthiest. You are better off including more sea vegetables into your diet and using more natural pink sea salt that is full of minerals. You can also get some iodine from mushrooms and garlic.
Iron is key to circulation and healthy blood flow. People with hypothyroidism often also have low iron levels. Dark green vegetables, sweet potatoes, and peas are a good source of iron.
Adaptogens are herbs that help the body cope with stress and combat fatigue. Ginseng, ashwagandha, and guggul are a few to look into.
Selenium is another mineral that is important to a healthy thyroid. Brazil nuts are one of the richest sources for selenium in the vegetable world. Sunflower seeds, grains, mushrooms, and onions are also a pretty good place to find selenium.
Apart from selenium and iron, the thyroid enjoys some help from zinc, chromium, and copper. Nuts, grains, and seeds are a good way to get plenty of the trace minerals your body is looking for.
Oxidative stress is a real problem for more than just your thyroid. Keep free radicals from damaging cells, enzymes, hormones, tissues, glands, and organs with plenty of antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables. The more variety in your antioxidants, the better.
Talk to your doctor about your concerns and have yourself tested for thyroid problems and any deficiencies that could be contributing to your fatigue, weight gain, and other problems. Once you know more of what you are missing, you can make a better plan of attack to improve your system and your life.
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