Updated: Jun 3
Thyroid issues are on the rise and something I'm seeing more often with clients that I work with. The thyroid makes the hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). These hormones help regulate your metabolism, body weight, energy levels, body temperature, menstrual cycles, heart rate, and so much more. When your thyroid is sluggish, everything can feel off.
Signs Of An Underactive Thyroid:
Weight gain or stubborn weight
Cold hands and feet
Hair loss or thinning hair, brittle nails
Achy muscles and joints
Painful periods and PMS
When it comes to thyroid issues you need to keep in mind that many other systems in the body affect how we produce and use thyroid hormones:
Excess cortisol from the adrenals can lower thyroid function
The liver does as well as it helps convert T4 to T3 (our active thyroid hormone) and plays a key role in affecting metabolism
The gut bacteria also help convert T4 to T3. Gut bacteria also exerts influence on the HPT axis (hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid) which is the main signalling pathway for the production of thyroid hormones
Excess insulin adversely affects thyroid function again by influencing the HPT axis
As you can see it's all interconnected so when dealing with thyroid issues the liver, adrenals, pancreas, and gut also need to be supported.
Think You May Have A Thyroid Disorder?
If you are struggling with any of the symptoms related to an underactive thyroid the first place to start is to get a complete thyroid panel done. Here is what to discuss with your doctor.
TSH: Thyroid-stimulating hormone (sends the signal to your thyroid to release thyroid hormone). This one is the most common test run by doctors and while it is a helpful indicator of thyroid issues it doesn't give you the full picture.
FreeT4: The inactive form of your thyroid hormone.
Free T3: The active form of your thyroid hormone (T4 gets converted to T3)
Reverse T3: Stops the conversion of T4 to T3
TPO and Thyroglobulin Antibodies- Indicates autoimmune activity. This will determine if your thyroid dysfunction is coming from your immune system.
If it is determined that you do in fact have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) then medication and thyroid management with a health care provider is necessary. However, there is also plenty that can be done with nutrition and lifestyle to support optimal thyroid function and improve symptoms.
Tips To Support Your Thyroid
Eat thyroid foods such as sea vegetables like nori, kelp, or dulse, seafood, and coconut oil.
Eat liver-friendly foods such as kale, broccoli, garlic, onions, apples, beets, lemon, limes, berries and Jerusalem artichokes, and regular artichokes.
Consume plenty of fibre, probiotic and prebiotic foods to feed the gut and help it function at its best.
Eat well-balanced meals with protein, fibre, and healthy fats to keep blood sugar stable and support your thyroid.
Need some help with how to add all these foods to your weekly meals? You can grab the 3 Day Happy Hormone Meal Plan filled with all the essential nutrients
Reduce stress and support the adrenals. Developing a routine that can reduce stress and allow for proper relaxation is important.
Adaptogens such as maca root powder and schizandra powder can be worked into recipes. Ashwagandha, holy basil, or licorice tea can all be consumed throughout the day. Check out this blog where I share 4 Adaptogens For Hormonal Harmony
Lowering stress will also help prevent blood sugar from swinging up and down and prevent high insulin.
Eating small meals throughout the day as well as consuming many foods good for the gut, adrenals, and liver will all play a role in keeping blood sugar stable.
Ditch the toxins. From your skincare to home care products we are exposed to dozens of toxic chemicals every day and they can impact your hormones and thyroid function. You can read more on how hidden chemicals in your home impact your hormones here.
If you have questions or need some support with navigating your thyroid symptoms book a free hormone clarity call and we can figure out a plan together