Nine Ways to Improve Your Thyroid Health

Your thyroid plays a critical role in your body from metabolism to heart function to energy levels and lots more! Learn the many ways you can support this vital body part to improve your health and feel your energetic best!

That tiny little nugget in the front of our neck has a big job.  That thyroid gland helps regulate a lot, and it really is not a stretch to say every cell in our body is affected by thyroid hormones produced by the thyroid. Come see what I mean and find a handy list of things you can do to help it hum along to create your best thyroid health!




Why The Thyroid Gland Is So Important


 The thyroid gland is a conductor of sorts giving cues in the body to do some things like this:
  • It stimulates our cells and controls how much energy is used or not used.
  • It leads the way for virtually all metabolic activity in the body from appetite to nerve function and heart function. 
  • The thyroid affects how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats.
  • It can cause obstacles in getting pregnant or losing weight. 
  • It can affect your digestion, your moods and your energy levels.  

And, the list goes on . . .

So, I think we can agree, That thyroid?  It is critical!

But, that little gem of a workhorse can lose its way and start causing many symptoms like these in hyperthyroidism or these in hypothyroidism. A diagnosis of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism is not so uncommon.  In fact, 20 million Americans alone suffer from issues related to their thyroid.

You can also have autoimmune thyroid issues like I have and that can pose even greater challenges.  I have Hashimoto's meaning my immune system is attacking my thyroid and in my case, making me hypothyroid.  So I must get in there and help my thyroid and support that gland as best I can.  And, like a lot of things, it requires effort, time and discipline. Scan down to learn how!






Tips To Take Care Of Your Thyroid


Because I know thyroid issues affect so many, I have gathered a few general tips to consider to lend a hand to your thyroid.  By no means is this an exhaustive list as each case is so different and there are many differences of opinions on how to treat it the best. Tip number 5 contains some links to books I have found helpful, too.



1.  Knock on a lot of doors.

Find the right doctor. This is crucial. This does not necessarily mean an endocrinologist either.  There are a lot of health practitioners that specialize in thyroid care and may be a better fit for you. Or you may want to create a team that works together to help you treat your thyroid disease the best.  Here are some tips to finding the right health provider for you.



2.  Bond with your team.

Create a good relationship with your medical team.  After you have found the right team, make sure you do what they ask and keep the communication open. Ask questions to make sure you understand why they are asking you to do everything.  When you meet with your doctors, be organized and specific, Tell them what you are doing exactly, Show them your exercise and eating log, bring in your supplements to share.  Let them know exactly how often you are experiencing a symptom. The more "scientific" you are and the less emotional and vague you are, the more serious they will take you and the more ideas they will have to get you better.

Don't miss this:  Have you heard of Concierge Medicine? If not, you will. Let me tell you about it.


3.  Do your homework.

Study what those thyroid blood tests mean, what those medications can do or not do.  Are there alternatives? Don't just rely on your doctor.  Be smart and be able to understand the lingo.  It is your body, your health and your life. Here is some information on thyroid blood tests.

Don't miss this:  Here are some superfoods or nutrient dense food choices that may help support your health.


Your thyroid plays a critical role in your body from metabolism to heart function to energy levels and lots more! Learn the many ways you can support this vital body part to improve your health and feel your energetic best!



4.  The numbers count.

Check your blood levels of thyroid function regularly.  Even when you are feeling well, make sure you get your blood levels of all the thyroid hormones (T4, T3, Free T3, Free T4, TSH, etc.) checked.  It is so much better to catch a slight decrease or increase and react accordingly rather than wait until a big change occurs.  Here is some information you may want to consider about when is the best time to get your thyroid blood levels checked.


5.  Get trendy.

Keep up to date on the latest studies, medications, supplements, etc. Research further:
Make sure to find support groups in your area to learn all you can as well and for helpful doctors in your area.



6.  Dump the antagonists.  

A healthy diet is a must, and not just for your thyroid. For everything! But did you know some foods can aggravate your thyroid? There are many studies pointing to gluten as a possible culprit for the autoimmune link to thyroid issues.  I have begun to eliminate it myself and shared that here.  Sugar can be another problem for many.  And, even those nutrient powerhouse vegetables in the cruciferous family like broccoli, kale, cabbage. Yes, too much of those can be an issue for some.  It might be worth experimenting with your diet for a few months to see if riding yourself or cutting back certain foods affects your blood tests and symptoms.


7.  Put pen to paper.

Keep a symptom log.  There are so many actions you can take to get better.  From switching medications, special diets, exercise programs, supplements, etc.  But you do not know which of them may help you. Your symptoms may change suddenly. I have found it really helpful to write down when I started a new routine, changed medications, etc. to aide me in putting pieces together to improve my symptoms.


8.  Move your body.

Exercise.  Every day is best. But create a routine and keep to it.  This is my biggest challenge and I slip when my life is especially zany.  But if I create a schedule, I find it easier to get going.  You don't have to like it every day but think of the alternative if you don't.  That will motivate you!

Don't miss this:  Follow here for lots of ways for you to find an exercise routine that can help.


9.  Don't give up.

Be patient and forgiving of yourself. Having thyroid issues is challenging and your symptoms can change over time. Just knowing that can be typical for many can help. It wouldn't hurt to reintroduce yourself to tip number one. If you are experiencing frustration over your condition, perhaps that is where you need to restart your focus.

How about you, thyroid sufferers?  Any tips we should add here?  I would love to hear every one of them.  Please contribute in the comments and let's hear about your experiences.



neck: photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ktlindsay/447670993/">kT LindSAy</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>

10 comments:

  1. What great information! I have a dear friend who has wrestled with Hashimoto's recently, and this article is just the sort of resource that can help so many people who aren't even sure where to begin addressing their thyroid problems. Well done, as always!

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  2. Hi Shelley! Hashimoto's is challenging (I know!) but there are lots of resources to help support. I wish your friend well and do hope she is able to improve her condition and feel better very soon!

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  3. Thankful I found this page, dealing with the beginnings of finding out that this may be what is the culprit for my exhaustion. Not to mention that I identify with the list!! I will see my doctor today to discuss my situation, really don't want to go on any meds soooooo I plan to talk about this with him today! Blessings to you!

    A proven scientific research diet & treatment that eliminates your hypothyroidism at the source !

    Read here...

    http://www.southseller.com/hypothyroidism-cure

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish you the best of luck healing and getting more energy. Do pop back and let me know how you are doing.

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  4. Thanks for sharing this value packed and insightful post on how to improve your thyroid at the Bloggers Pit Stop. Sure will help out lots of sufferers.

    Julie Syl _ Pit stop Crew

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    Replies
    1. I really hope it does, Sylvia, and thanks for saying so!

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  5. Food that make from soya bean like soya milk and tofu is another food the thyroid suffers should avoid. Drinks that contain caffeine like coffee and coca are the same. Thanks for sharing this post. It's very useful.

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    1. Great addition. Thank you for adding in here. I love to hear reader's tips!

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  6. I have had my thyroid removed completely and take synthroid each morning for my supplement. My question is does any of the above information concern me, such as the different foods that effect your thyroid?

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    Replies
    1. Hello! I am assuming you are under a doctor's care and close watch. Many of the tips certainly apply as keeping a good and open relationship with your medical team about your symptoms now that you are without a thyroid are really important. You are not producing the many different hormones that a thyroid produces now so various symptoms may or may not occur. A strong healthy diet and exercise program is good for everyone so that is especially important, too. Do find a doctor that will take the time with you to help you feel your best. Some of the books mentioned in the post can help as well. I wish you the very best in your pursuits and do drop back in to let me know how you are doing.

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