Underactive thyroid causes weight gain, depression, painful periods.
Symptom Quiz & Video
For detailed Underactive Thyroid help watch the video above and/or read below. Here is the link for additional help.
Correcting Underactive Thyroid
Looking for an overactive thyroid Instead?
Symptoms are Vague
While many symptoms of hypothyroidism are vague and tend to be similar to other imbalances (for example, underactive thyroid symptoms resemble many symptoms of anemia), low body temperature almost always indicates sluggish thyroid function.
Q u i z !
Which of These 41 Underactive Thyroid Warning Symptoms Do You Actually Have?
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1. Steps to Take
for a Thyroid Deficiency
- take a flax oil capsule (3 x daily with meals)
- Sea vegetables are one of the best sources of the minerals (including iodine) and B vitamins essential for a healthy thyroid. Since they are a food-source supplement, their nutrients are more easily assimilated than those from a pill. They can be chopped in the food processor or blender and sprinkled over food, or added to soup after it is cooked. So try to eat sea vegetables such as:
- bladder wrack
- sea palm
- Some foods that are particularly good for thyroid/adrenal health:
- seafood (especially cold water fish)
- sea vegetables (listed above)
- legumes such as black beans and lentils
- raw pumpkin seeds
- brown rice
- fresh figs
- Some foods block iodine because they contain a substance called goitrogens which blocks the absorption of iodine in the the body and, when eaten raw, can suppress thyroid function. Since cooking deactivates the goitrogens, it's best to eat these foods lightly steamed. Goitrogen foods are foods such as:
- Brussels sprouts
- cassava root
- Thyroid activity may also be slowed down by too much:
- Many over-the-counter diet pills can cause thyroid imbalance if taken for too long a time.
- A sluggish thyroid is a common and often overlooked cause of weight gain, especially among women.
- There are a number of things you can do to help boost a sluggish metabolism, due to poor thyroid function:
- When you are exposed to varying temperatures, your thyroid is exercised because it has to work to maintain your body's metabolic rate.
- Some doctors believe that the typical modern temperature environment (ie, constant 72 degree) we live in deprives the thyroid of exercise and contributes to the causes of a sluggish thyroid.
- Consider stimulating your thyroid by getting out to enjoy the winter weather and sleep with your window open year round, even when it is cold outside (within reason)
- Early morning exercise can boost circulation, metabolism and promote deep sleep.
- Early morning sunlight is also very beneficial -- a daily walk is ideal.
- Even your liver depends on a steady supply of oxygen to function well.
The thyroid gland consists of two lobes at the base of the front of your neck. It secretes hormones that control your metabolism. Therefore it controls all the processes that result in your growth, energy production and waste elimination.
Thyroid Controls Physical
and Mental Growth
Note that the thyroid gland controls both physical and mental growth. In fact, it is involved in almost every body function and it is important to correct any imbalance.
Replacement Hormones (HRT)?
Opinion is divided as to whether to treat people who have a mild thyroid imbalance with replacement hormones. Even if you do require replacement hormones, there are still a number of things you can do to help restore thyroid function and alleviate some of the symptoms.
A thyroid gland that is underactive results in hypothyroidism, a hormonal imbalance which may have dozens of symptoms. The symptoms are very different from an OVERactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
Symptoms Could be
If you've take our nutritional quiz, you have many of the symptoms of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), but a number of the symptoms you have checked could also relate to other imbalances.
Blood Test is Definitive
A blood test from your doctor will more accurately measure your thyroid's health. However, mild forms of hypothyroidism (the most common) can go undetected by a blood test, and yet even mild hypothyroidism should be treated.
Get Your Thyroid Iodine from Food
While your thyroid needs iodine to produce hormones, it's best to get it from food sources. Too much iodine can actually suppress thyroid function.
But If You're On Meds, Ask
Doctor About Iodine Food
If you are taking a prescription synthetic thyroid hormone, you should ask your doctor about the advisability of eating foods very high in iodine.
Cause of Weight Gain
Your quiz answers indicate a possible thyroid imbalance -- a very common hormonal imbalance, especially among 40+ women, and a common cause of unexplained weight gain.
Many experts believe that if people with slightly low thyroid hormone made an effort to correct any nutritional imbalances as well as supplementing with other important nutrients, they might avoid being on the synthetic hormone, at least until much later in life.
Underarm Temperature Test
Be sure to try the self test described on this page. It's a very good indicator of thyroid function and sometimes detects a mild imbalance which might not show up on the blood test.
Thyroid Weakens As You Age
The thyroid gland tends to weaken with age. However, a nutritionally sound diet will help keep your thyroid healthy.
May Correct with
A mild imbalance may correct itself with diet changes and supplements, but if your underarm temperature is consistently low, you should tell your doctor.
2. More Steps to Take for a Thyroid Deficiency
- Glandular imbalances, such as thyroid imbalance, are often accompanied by blood sugar problems which make weight loss difficult.
- Slow-burning complex carbohydrates which are also high in fiber will help to stabilize blood sugar levels. Foods such as:
- whole grains
- brown rice
- legumes, etc.
- Try to eat 5-6 servings (half cup each) of fresh vegetables daily, Especially vegetables such as:
- Brussels sprouts
- winter squash
- leafy greens (they can be steamed, raw, stir-fried and in soups, casseroles, pastas, etc.) - such as:
- beet greens
- salad greens
- Eat brown rice often
- Eat some whole grain foods (small portions of whole grains if you are trying to lose weight) such as:
- These foods are, in a sense, fat-burning foods since they raise metabolism by burning 25% of their calories before storing calories, unlike fats and sugars which burn only about 2% of their calories before storing them.
- Following a hypoglycemia diet, which is designed to stabilize blood sugar levels, is one of the best ways to help rebalance thyroid and adrenal glands.
- Blood sugar swings and food cravings are also likely your undoing when trying to follow a healthy diet and lose weight, so you might want to do some more reading about blood sugar disturbances and try following a diet for hypoglycemia for 2 to 3 months.
- If it's the right diet for you, you will feel better and begin to lose weight naturally.
- In a few months (if you follow the diet carefully) your blood sugar levels will have stabilized and you can vary the diet more while still sticking to the basic guidelines.
- This is a very healthy diet which includes plenty of nutrient-dense foods. It's not a weight-loss diet, but a diet to help get your body back in balance -- and as this happens you will lose weight and have more energy.
- Look for a book in your health food store, as they are likely to carry one that includes menus with lots of vegetables.
- If you eat fruit, eat it first thing in the morning and wait 20 to 30 minutes before eating the rest of your breakfast.
- If you eat fruit (raw) during the day, eat it only between meals or on an empty stomach -- never with or right after a meal, as it interferes with digestion.
- Don't skip meals, especially breakfast, as it slows down metabolism.
- Try to take in most of your calories earlier in the day, and keep your evening meal light.
- It's best not to eat after about 8 in the evening.
- There are some very effective, safe herbal compounds which can help rebalance glands, boost metabolism and speed up weight loss, but I think they should be prescribed by a naturopath or other holistic doctor.
The Underarm Temperature
Test for Underactive Thyroid
A simple method for testing thyroid function:
- place an old-fashioned analog thermometer (not a digital thermometer) under your arm for ten minutes before getting out of bed in the morning
- Shake down the thermometer the night before and leave it beside your bed do that you will not move around before taking your temperature.
- Normal body temperature ranges for this test are between 97.8F (36.6 Celcius) and 98.2F (36.8 Celcius).
- A reading below 97.8F (36.6 Celcius) may indicate an underactive thyroid.
- A reading above 98.2F (36.8 Celcius) may indicate an overactive thyroid.
- Do the test four of five times in a row for accuracy.
- If you are menstruating do not take your temperature on the first day of your period.
- The underarm temperature test can often detect a mild (sub-clinical) imbalance which might not show up on a blood test.