post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-1023,single-format-standard,stockholm-core-1.1,select-child-theme-ver-1.0.0,select-theme-ver-9.3,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,menu-animation-underline,,qode_menu_,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.0.5,vc_responsive

Top 8 Lifestyle Changes to Support Thyroid Health

More and more, I am seeing patients who are struggling with thyroid health. It seems to me that in today’s world, there is a rise in many autoimmune diseases, with the thyroid taking centre stage.

As you may know, thyroid health is a topic that I certainly am passionate about as it is very close to home-with my being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease (A.K.A an autoimmune disease that causes my thyroid to be underactive) at the age of 12.

In my previous blog about thyroid health, “Thyroid Health – The Low Down”, I explained that the thyroid gland can be considered as the body’s silent powerhouse, forming an intricate part of the body’s hormonal network (the endocrine system).

Our thyroid is involved in so many aspects of our lives, be it weight regulation, mood, energy levels, bone health, how thick and shiny our hair grows and so much more. Its obviously crystal clear as to why we would want to focus on supporting this gem of a gland – the butterfly of all butterflies.

Here are some of my top lifestyle tips to help you support your thyroid health.

1 De-stress

Stress affects the body in so many ways, and it seems to knock the thyroid gland quite badly too. High stress levels cause the body to make and release more cortisol from our adrenal glands. High cortisol levels reduce thyroid function.

We can fix this by managing our stress in a few ways. Be organized – organized chaos is better than just chaos. Slot in times in your diary for meditation and breath-work. Use apps such as Calm or Headspace to help you out. This can also help reduce oxidative stress in the body. Breathwork such as Pranayama breathing can also assist with gut health – which itself can be a symptom of poor thyroid function.

Other things on the de-stress list can include acupuncture, yoga and massages.


2 Catch some sunrays.

Not only does vitamin D play an important role in building up your immune system in such autoimmune disorders, but vitamin D plays an important role when it comes to maintaining bone health in thyroid disorders.

Vitamin D helps to maintain a balance in the calcium and phosphorus levels in the body, thus preserving bone health.

Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Graves disease – two of the most common thyroid disorders. Relaxing for a few minutes in the sun will not only help you to de-stress, but it will also help to increase your levels of vitamin D.


3 Eat Mindfully 

Unfortunately, one of the side effects of having an uncontrolled underactive thyroid is weight gain.  The thyroid hormone status correlates with body weight and energy expenditure. When it comes to having an underactive thyroid, there are reduced thyroid hormone levels, which are associated with a reduced metabolic rate characterized by a reduced resting energy expenditure, weight gain and increased cholesterol levels.

Mindful eating allows for well-balanced meals to be enjoyed without overeating or overindulging.


4 Reduce dietary toxins.

Limit dietary and environmental toxins (BPA, pesticides, heavy metals, smoke, caffeine and alcohol) as well as inflammatory causing processed fats and refined sugars. These can trigger autoimmune and inflammatory responses, increasing the stress placed on the thyroid gland.


5 Wholesome, balanced meals.

In order to support thyroid health, there are important nutrients that need to be included in your daily dishes. Food sources high in calcium, vitamin D, selenium, zinc, anti-oxidants and iodine (needed for underactive thyroids, not over-active) should be included in your weekly or daily menu. By the same token, foods that slow down thyroid function are those high in goitrogens. These foods don’t need to be avoided completely, however large quantities in their raw form is not recommended.


6 Get enough sleep.

Having an underactive thyroid can impact your energy levels and leave you feeling very tired. It is important to get enough hours of sleep to ensure your energy levels are up to scratch and that your battery levels are not running on low. In addition to this, sleep plays an important role in weight regulation, cognitive function and brain health, mood, immune function and inflammation.


7 Get moving.

Exercise can complement your treatment plan to support thyroid health. Exercise not only helps increase one’s metabolic rate but it also increases dopamine and serotonin levels, reducing any symptoms of depressions (which can be a possible side effect of an underactive thyroid).

Incorporate both cardio and weight-strength exercises. Weight-strength exercises will help improve bone mass and thus reduce the risk of osteoporosis that comes with an underactive thyroid. Increasing your muscle mass also increases your metabolic rate, assisting with weight management.


8 Optimize thyroid treatment.

Firstly, take note of the ingredients of your breakfast cereal. Are you washing down your thyroid medication with your morning coffee or tea?

Although it may not be a lifestyle change, I feel that I must emphasize the importance of spacing the administration of your thyroid meds and eating.

Some studies advise those who are on thyroid replacement therapy, to wait at least 2 hours after taking their medication before consuming soy products, as it affects their absorption. In addition to this, other minerals such as calcium from dairy products also inhibit the absorption of thyroid medication.

It is important to take your medication in the morning, at least 30 min to an hour before having breakfast.

Secondly, ensure you are seeing an endocrinologist. From personal experience I know what a fine balancing act it can be to keep you on the right dose. It is amazing how small changes in your dose can make a really big difference to the symptoms and to your quality of life.

Nourish yourself to the sunrise.

Written with love ,
Sunrise by HM

Nourished yet? Comment on what I should write about next?

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter below:

    No Comments

    Post a Comment