Support & Heal Your Thyroid [step 2]
January is Thyroid Awareness month!
As I mentioned in the my previous blog, it’s estimated that 1 in 3 women have a thyroid disorder such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Grave’s Disease or Hashimoto’s.
Men are less likely to have thyroid issues, but I’ve seen my fair share of men struggling with them too.
I’m a thyroid statistic, but I’m grateful to say that within 6 months of being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism, I was in remission and now my thyroid test results couldn’t be more perfect.
Unfortunately, not all women or men have their thyroid properly checked and those who are diagnosed with a thyroid disorder, aren’t always provided the right lab tests or resources to get their thyroid issues under control as quickly as I did, or ever.
Most people who are diagnosed are immediately prescribed thyroid medication, which can provide immediate relief for those who are suffering, but medication is not necessarily a long-term solution and it certainly does not solve the root of the problem.
In fact, medication can become less effective over time as the thyroid continues to deteriorate as a result of the root cause not being addressed, and over-medicating can trigger secondary hypothyroidism.
Medication doesn’t address why you might have low thyroid hormone in the first place, and if you have an autoimmune disorder it doesn’t stop the body from attacking healthy tissue; that’s simply not the mechanism of thyroid medication.
The good news is, there are natural ways to support your thyroid health, to prevent thyroid issues from happening and even reverse an existing thyroid disorder.
I want to help you elevate your thyroid knowledge so you can avoid becoming a thyroid statistic, or so you can heal your thyroid and get back to feeling like yourself again too.
In this 3-part blog series, I’m sharing with you the major steps I took, along with the steps I guide my clients through, to support and heal the thyroid naturally.
In part 1 of this blog series I addressed step #1 – knowing you thyroid numbers.
Knowing your numbers is important for a couple of reasons:
- To understand the type of thyroid imbalance (hypo, hyper, autoimmune) you might have
- How severe your thyroid situation is so you know how much support your thyroid needs
- To get a baseline so you can measure progress with different therapies you might introduce
Progress is only made in what you measure.
This week, I’ll be discussing step #2 of 3…
When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism back in 2016, I immediately felt overwhelmed with a sense of fear and failure.
I was afraid of what my life would look like moving forward – I wondered if I was doomed to a life full of relentless weight gain, hair loss, being constantly cold and tired all of the time.
I felt as if I had failed myself and my body – afterall, I was the “healthiest” person I knew so I questioned where had I gone wrong to cause this. But then I remembered…
…although the statistics for being diagnosed with a thyroid disorder are high, it’s not a death sentence.
The majority of thyroid disorders are a result of your lifestyle choices or factors such as:
- Foods you choose to eat
- Quality and quantity of sleep
- Frequency and intensity of the exercise
- How you deal with stress and emotions
- Toxins you’re exposed to and your body’s capacity to detox them
- Other underlying hormone imbalances, a sluggish liver, poor digestion and an overwhelmed immune system
Which meant I had more control over my thyroid health than my fears lead me to believe, and so do you.
At first the list of contributing factors might seem daunting, make you feel guilty about the choices you have made, or leave you wondering where to even start; BUT the silver lining is that with a little education, the right lab tests and resources, you can step-by-step take back control of your thyroid health.
In this week’s video and blog, I share the 2nd major step I took to boost my thyroid health so I could feel like myself again – medication free, and that has helped others to do the same.
Step #2 – Control What You Can
Despite what you might think, you do have control over the food you put in your body, the sleep you get, the way you move your body, how you deal with stress and emotions and even some of the toxins in your environment – all of which can hinder thyroid function.
Let’s be real though.
It’s impossible to be perfect every minute of every day. So instead of striving for perfection, simply trade it for presence.
Be present and start to notice what is going on in your lifestyle, what might be impacting your thyroid health, and how you can make choices to support your body in the ways it needs it most.
In the realm of thyroid supporting lifestyle choices, here are the top 4 that have made the biggest impacts on my thyroid health and the people I have worked with…
- Eating a modified Autoimmune Paleo Diet for 30-90 days to eliminate the most common inflammatory foods (grains, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes and nightshade vegetables) if you’ve been diagnosed with a thyroid issue, and if not then simply avoid or significantly reduce gluten, dairy, soy and sugar to prevent one.
- Getting high quality sleep from 10pm to 6am to promote a natural cortisol rhythm and balance within all hormones that interact with the thyroid
- Dialing back exercise intensity for a period of time or taking regular rest days to reduce the burden of stress on the body and promote recovery
- Minimizing exposure to endocrine disrupting toxins by drinking, cooking and bathing in filtered water, using non-toxic cleaning supplies, makeup, body and hair care products.
It might be unrealistic to think you could make all of these changes overnight, and I definitely didn’t.
But step-by-step you can start to shift and address the factors that can lead to poor thyroid health. Pick one thing per week, make it a habit, and once it becomes just part of what you do, move onto the next thing on the list that would support your thyroid health.
Knowing your numbers allows you to create a strategic thyroid supporting plan, take empowered action towards your thyroid health goals, track your progress and make course correction as needed.
With the right lab tests and resources, you can make educated and conscious decisions about what lifestyle factors you need to shift in order to feel your best.
And lastly, remember, your thyroid didn’t wake up one day and just decide to stop working. The culmination of lifestyle choices you have made over what could be a long period of time have led to its demise, and so it will take time to heal – have patience.
Stay tuned for part 3 next week to wrap up this blog series so you can support or heal your thyroid and live your fullest life!