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Thyroid health is something that I am always looking for new information on. When it comes to thyroid health, it’s important to understand that we are all unique, so what works for one person may not work for another, but this article is a great starting point for your own health investigation.
If you’re suffering from thyroid disease, then one of my favorite resources is the Thyroid Sessions from my trusted affiliate partner, Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness. This compilation of thyroid health information from leading health experts has changed the lives of thousands of people (myself included).
I also have a wide range of thyroid health posts on this site that are a great starting place for anyone with thyroid disease.
Today’s article is brought to you with permission of Dr. Mercola and I found it important to share because I know so many people (both personally and through this site) who are struggling with thyroid problems. Fatigue is one of the main symptoms that almost everyone can agree on. This article can help you determine if the fatigue you are experiencing is thyroid related or perhaps something else.
If you’re looking for more info on how to heal your thyroid through alternative methods, I highly recommend the upcoming Thyroid Sessions Online Summit (affiliate link). It launches May 4th and will provide you with all of the information your doctor didn’t tell you about your thyroid problems. The hand-picked team of functional medical doctors, naturopaths, nutritionists, and health experts reveal how you can regain your energy, lose excess body fat, and heal your thyroid NATURALLY through real food, lifestyle changes, and getting the lab testing you need. Learn more and register for free here. I’ll be watching daily and I hope you’ll take advantage of the free information as well.
Now, on to Dr. Mercola’s article:
By Dr. Mercola
How Do You Know if You Have Thyroid-Related Fatigue?
Not all fatigue or tiredness is due to thyroid malfunction, so how do you tell the difference?
Thyroid-related fatigue begins to appear when you cannot sustain energy long enough, especially when compared to a past level of fitness or ability. If your thyroid foundation is weak, sustaining energy output is difficult. You will notice you just don’t seem to have the energy to do the things you used to be able to do.
Some of the key symptoms of thyroid fatigue include:
- Feeling like you don’t have the energy to exercise, and typically not exercising on a consistent basis.
- A heavy or tired head, especially in the afternoon, as your head is a very sensitive indicator of thyroid hormone status.
- Falling asleep as soon as you sit down and don’t have to do anything.
If you wake up energized, maintain decent energy throughout the day, are able to maintain mental alertness/sharpness, have energy as needed to meet demands, and your muscles feel fit, you do not have thyroid-related fatigue. However, the more you do not feel like this, the greater chance there is a thyroid-related problem.
Dr. Mercola’s Comments
Your thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland that produces hormones that influence essentially every organ, tissue and cell in your body. Thyroid disease, if left untreated, can lead to heart disease, infertility, muscle weakness, osteoporosis and, in extreme cases, coma or death — yet it’s estimated that half of the cases in the United States remain undiagnosed.
Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) affects some 80 percent of people with thyroid disease. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, forgetfulness, depression, constipation, and changes in weight and appetite.
How do You Know if Your Thyroid is Not Working Properly?
Your body will likely let you know, and fatigue is the most common sign, followed by depression and muscle weakness. Along with the symptoms above, signs of an underactive thyroid also include:
- Difficulty losing weight despite proper diet and exercise
- Sensitivity to cold
- Dry, rough or scaly skin, and dry, tangled hair
- Hair loss, particularly from the outer part of your eyebrows
- Brittle nails
The most common conventional way physicians diagnose hypothyroidism is with a thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) test that is elevated beyond the normal reference range.
The range for acceptable thyroid function is between 0.3 and 3.04. In my experience, most adults with levels over 3 have hypothyroidism, and many with levels from 1.5 to 3.0 seem to benefit from thyroid support.
Be Wary of Using Hormones to Treat Hypothyroidism
Nearly every conventional medical doctor will use synthetic thyroid to treat the symptoms of underactive thyroid.
Unfortunately, in my experience, this will not help the bulk of people who are suffering with these symptoms, and to understand why you need to know a bit more about the role of your thyroid and how it functions.
Your thyroid produces several hormones, of which two are key: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones help oxygen get into cells, and make your thyroid the master gland of metabolism.
However, most people can’t effectively convert the pure T4 in the synthetic thyroid preparations to T3. A natural thyroid hormone may be a better bet and I encourage all patients taking synthetic thyroid prescriptions like Synthroid to find a natural medical doctor and switch to Armour thyroid. Clearly this doesn’t work for everyone, just most in my experience.
But even when using natural thyroid preparations there are concerns.
You see, once you remain on a thyroid hormone for a period of years, your thyroid will tend to become progressively less functional. In time, it will probably stop producing any functional hormones whatsoever, which could condemn you to taking thyroid hormone for the rest of your life.
Natural Methods to Restore Your Thyroid
The first and most basic step you can take is to clean up your diet. This means reducing your intake of processed and refined foods, while following a nutrition plan that is right for your nutritional type.
You can also:
1. Make sure you’re getting enough selenium and iodine, which provide the raw materials for your thyroid gland to work better.
2. Get plenty of omega-3 fats from high quality sources like krill oil. A variety of studies and physiological principles suggest that omega-3 fat in doses of 3-5 grams per day would be helpful in restoring thyroid function.
3. Get a sound night’s sleep, in complete darkness.
4. Address your emotional stress. The vast majority of people’s thyroid glands become impaired as a result of weak adrenal glands. The thyroid gland tries to compensate for this and eventually just gives up and stops working.
Well, adrenal impairment is frequently due to emotional stress, and unless you have these previous emotional challenges resolved, there is little likelihood of recovering your thyroid function without hormonal replacement.
Supporting the Thyroid & Adrenals Through Herbs
When it comes to supporting the adrenals and thyroid (because they are very closely linked), caffeine may not be your best friend. While those with sluggish adrenal glands tend to feel run down and in need of a regular pick-me-up (like coffee and other caffeinated beverages), in the long run, caffeine can do more harm than good while you are healing. I go into the “whys” around caffeine and your adrenals in this detailed post here. In addition to the caffeine, there are other constituents, molds, and mycotoxins that can show up in coffee that some people find they react to.
When I was diagnosed with autoimmune disease and adrenal fatigue, one of the first things that had to go was coffee. To be honest, I never drank coffee because of the caffeine. I drank coffee for the taste and aroma, as well as the emotional experience I felt to my morning cup of joe. For me, it was a ritual that I looked forward to every day (and sometimes multiple times a day). Whether I was brewing it at home or going to my local coffee shops, the experience was one that I clung to tightly.
But, when I was faced with new health struggles, I knew I had to do whatever I could to support my body and give it the tools it needed to heal. Giving up coffee and caffeine was one step in this direction.
And it sucked.
I turned to the coffee substitutes on the market in a desperate attempt to recreate the ritual I had grown so fond of, but nothing ever tasted the way I wanted it to. Nothing ever gave me that same experience that my cup of “real” coffee did. I knew there had to be something better, but I simply could not find it on my health food store’s shelves.
Necessity is the mother of invention so that is why I created my own coffee substitutes. They were made with organic, sustainably harvested herbs with zero grains, zero gluten, and zero caffeine. Just herbs. Herbs that not only tasted delicious but supported my body’s function, like liver detox, bile production, digestion, etc. In my mind, if I can get something to not only taste amazing but do amazing things for my body, then it’s a no brainer!
I sold these pre-made blends on Etsy for awhile and the demand was more than I could keep up with. People literally LOVED these blends and were stunned at how much like coffee they actually tasted. Customers who had been dealing with a variety of chronic illnesses had given up coffee to heal their bodies, but like me were deeply missing their morning cup of joe ritual.
After careful consideration and work with some highly experienced advisors, I decided to stop selling the pre-made blends and instead share my proprietary recipes in the form of an eBook. That way I could arm people with the knowledge and recipes they needed to make their own caffeine-free, gluten-free, grain-free blends in the comfort of their own home.
That is why I created the best-selling DIY Herbal Coffees eBook: A Complete Guide To Making Delicious Herbal Coffees to Support Healing & Stress Relief. Now in its second edition, this ebook features all of my proprietary herbal blend recipes to you can craft a homemade herbal cup of “coffee” at home.
In addition, you get a ton of researched information about coffee’s impact on the health of those dealing with issues like adrenal fatigue, blood sugar dysregulation, autoimmune disease, thyroid disease, and any other chronic illness.
Lastly, you get access to your own personal coffee shop. I show you how to recreate your favorite coffee shop drinks and pastries with wholesome, nourishing real food ingredients. No junk here.
This book truly is a comprehensive guide to supporting your health, reducing your stress, and bringing a little something special back into your healing journey. You can learn more and download your own copy of this revolutionary wellness guide here, or simply click on the image below.