A properly functioning thyroid is essential to your overall health. If your thyroid is working overtime it’s known as hyperthyroidism; if it’s underactive, it’s known as hypothyroidism. These two thyroid disorders can affect way more than just your metabolism: they can be the cause of fatigue, weight gain, depression, sensitivity to cold, muscle or joint aches, difficulty concentrating, poor memory, brittle hair and nails, hair loss, shortness of breath, PMS, chronic yeast infections, low libido, insomnia, and infertility.
Your thyroid works parallel with your adrenals, the glands that are directly affected by how you handle stress. The adrenals secrete some of the body’s most important hormones including: pregnenolone, adrenaline, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and cortisol. Low adrenal function can make it hard to prevent and treat chronic disease and also make thyroid issues worse.
Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to naturally support your thyroid health.
Be sure to get enough iodine.
Iodine is essential for the production of thyroid hormones. An iodine deficiency can lead to an enlargement of the thyroid and hypothyroidism. Seaweed is very high in iodine and can be found in a variety of Japanese dishes. Cranberries, strawberries and navy beans are also great sources of iodine.
Increase your vitamin A intake.
A vitamin A deficiency affects the production of hormones. You can easily increase your vitamin A intake by eating more carrots, eggs and dark green veggies.
Working out increases the supply of oxygen to your thyroid. It also helps you cope with anxiety and stress and manage your weight. If you are dealing with fatigue due to hypothyroidism, it’s best to start out slow and gradually increase the difficulty and duration of your workouts.
Eat organic whenever possible.
The nonprofit group Beyond Pesticides claims that 60 percent of pesticides used today have been proven to affect the thyroid gland’s production of hormones. Choose organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible to avoid consuming pesticides, especially with strawberries and apples since those tend to hold the highest amounts.
Cook with virgin coconut oil.
Coconut oil is great for stimulating metabolism, boosting your energy and supporting hormone production. It’s also has antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties that make it great for immune support. You can easily incorporate coconut oil into your diet by replacing it for oil or butter when cooking.
Consider a natural supplement.
If you find it hard to incorporate the recommended vitamins and minerals into your diet or need extra thyroid support, you can opt for a natural supplement. Thyrodrenal™ by Michael’s Naturopathic Programs nourishes your thyroid gland with essential nutrients required to function at optimal levels.
Be sure to get your thyroid tested regularly, especially if you have a family history of thyroid issues. If you are experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms, be sure to see a doctor to rule out any other conditions that may be the cause.