Are you feeling tired and rundown?
Do you feel like you have to push yourself through each day?
Can’t find the motivation to do things?
Could it be that your thyroid is not functionally optimally…
The thyroid is an organ that sits in the front of your neck, just above your collar bones. Your thyroid create thyroid hormones that influence your metabolism. I call the thyroid the ‘drummer’. In a band the drummer keeps the beat that the band needs to play to. The thyroid creates the metabolism beat that the body works to. Thyroid hormones influence not only your metabolism of foods, but also your heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, muscle strength, body temperature, sex hormones and breathing rate.
Nutritional imbalances, toxins and stress impact upon the functioning of the thyroid. This can flow onto the rest of the body and leave you feeling tired, fatigued, foggy thought, weight gain and low libido.
The thyroid needs nutrients such as Iodine, Selenium, Tyrosine and Zinc to help manufacture and activation of the thyroid hormones. Many of these nutrients are deficient in the diet of many Western Cultures.
Iodine is a mineral needed for the thyroid hormones and brain function. Good sources come from seaweeds, seafoods, and sea salt. Even though Australia is surrounded by sea, seafoods are not eaten enough to get the Iodine needed for the thyroid.
Selenium is a mineral that is important not only for the thyroid, but also liver detoxification and in antioxidant nutrients. Soils in Australia are deficient in Selenium as is New Zealand, China and some parts of the USA. Therefore, foods that are grown in these regions are low in Selenium content. A good source of Selenium is Brazil nuts. Just two to three nuts per day can help to replete your levels.
Zinc is a mineral that is important in many chemical reactions of the body. Zinc is utilised in over 300 reactions of the body, including energy production. The current Western lifestyle creates a demand for zinc. Foods that contain zinc include pepitas, sunflower seeds, beans, lean meat and seafood.
Tyrosine is an amino acid that our body can produce from another amino acid called phenylalanine. It can also be found in chicken, turkey, almonds, pepitas, sesame seeds, tahini, avocado, bananas, eggs, yoghurt and fish. This amino acid is essential for the production of thyroid hormones. But it is also used in other areas of the body such as the brain chemical called dopamine (helps movement, attention, motivation and pleasure) and hormone called norepinephrine (helps alertness, learning, sleep and mood).
If you are low in these nutrients, you can see how it can leave you feeling tired and fatigued. But stress also plays a role in how the thyroid functions. Stress impacts on the adrenals and then the thyroid needs to increase the metabolism of the body to help with the extra demands. This is when the nutritional levels of the body play a major role. If you do not have enough of these nutrients, then the thyroid will struggle to continue to manufacture and activate these vital hormones. You are left feeling depleted, tired and unmotivated.
The function of the thyroid can also be affected by autoimmune disease. These conditions are known as Hashimoto’s and Grave’s disease. This is where the immune system has begun to attack the thyroid gland and thyroid hormones. Hashimoto’s disease is more common than Grave’s disease and is when the thyroid becomes underactive.
Symptoms of underactive thyroid include:
- Ongoing fatigue
- Easy weight gain
- Flaky or dry skin
- Dry brittle nails and hair
- Excessive hair loss
- Puffy hands and feet
- Slow reflexes
- Low mood
- Poor memory
- Low libido
- Heavy periods and/or more frequent periods
- Sensitive to cold temperatures
- Constipation or sluggish bowels.
- Slow reflexes
- Weakness of muscles and limbs
If you have 8 or more of these symptoms, then your thyroid may be contributing to your fatigue. Thyroid function testing is important to assess the state of the thyroid but look for a practitioner with experience in thyroid conditions as general blood testing of Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH) alone will not identify thyroid dysfunction.
Identifying if your thyroid is causing your fatigue is the first step to regaining your energy. The next step is to help re-establish the balance in this vital organ. If you are looking for help with this make an appointment.
Looking forward to seeing you fabulous and full of energy.
Have a fabulous day.