Hypothyroidism can present with a whole host of symptoms and affect your body and lifestyle in many ways. Typically, one of the clearest symptoms of an underactive thyroid is fatigue and decreased energy levels.
It may be easy to blame your low energy on other lifestyle factors, such as aging, parenthood, or overwork, but could your thyroid gland actually be the cause? Your thyroid, the butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck, is responsible for producing hormones that regulate your body’s energy use.
When your thyroid hormone production drops, your body processes slow down and change. And the lower your thyroid hormone production drop, the more pronounced your symptoms will become.
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain, and regulates the amount of thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) hormones produced by the thyroid gland.
T4 is the main hormone that is produced and secreted by the thyroid gland. It is mainly inactive (called a storage hormone), and it’s primary function is to transport T3 to the proper organs in your body.
T3 is the active hormone that works at the cellular level to help with the delivery of oxygen and energy to cells, tissues, and glands throughout the body. The body must convert T4 into T3 to be used by cells.
Without enough of these hormones, the body’s metabolism slows down, resulting in low energy levels.
If you feel wiped out, worn down, and low energy, you should talk to your Paloma practitioner. They can work with you to create a tailored plan that goes beyond finding the right medications.
You may also consider the following for an energy boost:
Sweating it out may seem impossible and a little counterintuitive when your energy already feels low, but increasing your physical activity can actually give you more energy. Cardiovascular activities release endorphins that may just be the fatigue fighter you need. Lifting weights is also a healthy way to stay fit and possibly lift your mood.
Load up your body with the good stuff! Nutrient rich foods can benefit your thyroid health and provide the building blocks of thyroid hormones.
For instance, selenium, iron, and zinc help convert T4 into T3. Selenium can also help reduce thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies; and zinc is needed to tell your body to increase production when hormone levels are low.
Nutrient-dense, plant-based foods support the body’s ability to detoxify harmful substances, and omega 3 fats provide cellular membrane integrity. Processed foods and those that contain a large amount of refined sugar can make you feel more sluggish.
If you are always feeling drowsy, caffeine may be your go-to pick me up. But using caffeine as an energy boost and consuming alcohol to later wind down can be a dangerous cycle. These beverages offer short-term results but won’t do much to address the root of your problem and could lead to an unhealthy routine. Instead of masking the issue, talk to your doctor about healthier and more stable alternatives.
Be consistent when taking your thyroid medication. You should take your medication according to your doctor’s instructions; often, the instruction is to take your meds at the same time every day, in the morning, on an empty stomach, one hour prior to eating. You may also want to pay attention to how other medications, vitamins, or supplements interact with your thyroid meds.
The first step, and likely the most vital, when combating thyroid fatigue is working with your doctor or medical professional. Your doctor should be able to check your thyroid levels and either treat you accordingly. After you've sought professional medical help, then you can give the listed suggestions a try to remain feeling energized and healthy!
Find inspiration for a healthy way to support your thyroid