6 Easy, Inexpensive Ways to Support Your Thyroid
A lot of factors affect thyroid function, including stress, heavy metal toxicity, poor gut health, nutrient deficiencies, liver congestion and an inflammatory diet. We explore these factors with our clients to help them optimize their thyroid health through personalized nutrition, lifestyle, functional hormone testing and supplementation. But there are ways you can start supporting your thyroid health today that are relatively inexpensive – some are even free!
Curious if your thyroid is imbalanced? Common hypothyroid symptoms include:
- PMS, cramps, amenorrhea (missing periods)
- Weight gain
- Cold hands and feet
- Menopausal issues
- Hair loss
- Dry skin and brittle nails
- Muscle weakness and poor exercise recovery
- Weakened immune function
- Carpal tunnel
Practice Stress Reduction Techniques
I put this one first because we often overlook it! Lowering stress is a key factor to healing the thyroid. When we’re continually stressed, our adrenal glands produce excess amounts of cortisol, which affects how your brain and adrenal glands communicate via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. There are many studies linking stress, HPA-axis dysfunction and adrenal fatigue to autoimmunity, including the most common thyroid condition: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
Here are some ideas to lower stress:
- Use a gratitude journal
- Practice meditation and visualization
- Breath deeply
- Find ways to play everyday
- Sit in nature and ground yourself
Add More Fibre
Fibre helps regulate hormones in many ways. It supports regular bowel movements, which helps clear out waste, toxins and pathogens and promotes a healthy microbiome. It also helps your body eliminate excess hormones, especially estrogens, which we’re getting in much higher amounts these days through our lifestyle and food.
Try Castor Oil Packs
Castor oil packs are an easy, ancient way to promote liver, digestive and hormone health. Use them over the liver, located on the right hand side just under the ribcage for at least 1 hour 3-5x/week for optimal benefits. Women have also seen great results reducing thyroid nodules by using them over the thyroid gland and they can be used on the abdomen to aid constipation. I recommend using organic cotton flannel and organic cold-pressed castor oil in glass jar to ensure you’re not adding to your toxin load. Both are available on Amazon.
Replace Toxic Cleaners with Natural Ones
We really don’t need 15 different types of cleaners for every area of the house, vinegar and essential oils can go a long way! Regular cleaners have chemicals in them that are very disruptive to our hormones.
This one might seem more challenging, but your thyroid will thank you big time! (P.S. we can offer you a meal plan if you need more help in this area.) Sugar fuels gut inflammation, which inhibits active thyroid hormone and allows pathogenic bacteria, yeast and other microorganisms to overgrow, affecting the thyroid. It also negatively impacts liver function. These 2 areas are crucial for thyroid health because inactive thyroid hormone (T4) is converted into active thyroid hormone (T3) in both the liver and the digestive tract. Focusing on mainly eating whole foods and minimizing refined carbohydrates and refined oils will help immensely in reducing inflammation.
I’m going to be covering reasons to say good-bye to gluten also in my next article, so stay tuned!
Include Liver-Loving Foods
Cruciferous vegetables (ideally organic) promote thyroid and I recommend consuming them gently steamed, baked or stir fried for optimal nutrition and digestibility. Foods like broccoli, kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, garlic, onions and turmeric are great for the liver and thyroid.
Choose a few things mentioned to start focusing on this week for better thyroid health!
Registered Holistic Nutritionist™