Like it or not, more and more of us are fighting feeling constantly fatigued. Worse yet, most of us don't know that a few simply dietary 'tweaks' could turn the whole thing around. That's because most of us don't even know we need to take care of our thyroid gland,let alone know how to do it.
If you wonder whether your fatigue results from that top cause, check out the brief list below to see what applies to you, then use the guidelines that follow to develop a dietary action plan.
Your metabolic rate - the rate at which you burn calories is malfunctioning so that you gain weight easily or have a terrible time gaining weight);
The growth rate in your entire body is off, which means your healing time is very slow;
The amount of oxygen you consume is out of whack, so you may feel short of breath, or like a room is too stuffy when others are fine with it;
The speed of chemical reactions is slowed or sped up, so that for example, you digest food very slowly or far too quickly;
You fail to produce the amount of heat you need to keep your body temperature comfortable, so you may be cold all the time, or run hotter than others;
Your autonomic (automatic) nervous system's ability to become aroused when necessary causes you to be slow to react when you need to, or to over-reactive to minor stimuli;
Your ability to become calm after stimulated and aroused is lengthened - in other words, your autonomic nervous system takes a longer time to 'get over' events;
Your calcium doesn't work correctly, so that you're more likely to suffer from stiff muscles and/or muscle cramps.
If you have any of these symptoms, the next thing to do is review your diet to make certain you're getting enough of the nutrients your thyroid needs, and that you're not getting too many of those that can depress thyroid functioning. Here are some areas to consider:
Iodine, because your thyroid can't make its primary hormone, thyroxin, without it. Iodine-rich foods such as kelp and other sea vegetables are good sources.
Selenium, because it activates enzymes that convert thyroid hormones to their active form. Brazil nuts are an excellent source.
Iron, because if you're low thyroid, you may not absorb enough iron.
Enzymes, because they convert your food into forms your body needs and help activate them.
Protein. Every part of your body needs protein. Sources especially good for thyroid health contain the amino acids tyrosine and glutamine. Food sources of tyrosine include almonds, avocados, bananas, dairy, fish, lima beans, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, soy. Food sources of glutamine include kale, celery, carrots, papaya and Brussels sprouts.
Vitamin B complex, especially B12. Both Spirulina and nutritional yeast with no added synthetic B vitamins are good food sources.
Omega-3 fatty acids - they're central to good thyroid function.
Limit goiterogenic' foods - meaning those that depress thyroid function ( they inhibit thyroid peroxidase, the enzyme that adds iodine to the thyroid hormone molecule). The down-stream result of over-consumption is an underactive thyroid. At the top of this list are brassicas from the genus of the mustard family, otherwise known as cruciferous vegetables. Members include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale. To eliminate their negative, goiterogenic activity, either cook them or ferment them Other foods that can depress thyroid function - when consumed in large amounts - include spinach, radishes, sweet potatoes, strawberries, pears, and peaches. The best approach here is simply not to over consume them.
The care and feeding of your thyroid gland is one of the most important skills you can develop, not just to beat fatigue, but to reduce frequent infections, protect your heart, normalize your weight and a myriad of other benefits. So don't underestimate the power of adopting these simple strategies listed above; your health depends on it.
Dr. A L Kennedy, MD works in
Gainesville, Florida is a specialist in Diabetes, Metabolism & Endocrinology and graduated Shands Hospital At University Of Fl. Dr. Kennedy is affiliated with Cleveland Clinic Florida and practicing for 38 years
Dr. Aaron Benjamin, MD works in
Skokie, Illinois is a specialist in Diabetes, Metabolism & Endocrinology. Dr. Benjamin is affiliated with Skokie Hospital, Highland Park Hospital, Glenbrook Hospital, Evanston Hospital
Dr. Aaron R Chidakel, MD works in
Silver Spring, Maryland is a specialist in Diabetes, Metabolism & Endocrinology and graduated Jefferson Medical College Of Thomas Jefferson University, Thomas Jefferson University in 2000. Dr. Chidakel is affiliated with Holy Cross Hospital, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Washington Adventist Hospital and practicing for 20 years
Dr. Abdallah Altarshan, MD works in
Evergreen Park, Illinois is a specialist in Diabetes, Metabolism & Endocrinology and graduated University Of Damascus, Faculty Of Medicine in 1990. Dr. Altarshan is affiliated with Advocate Christ Hospital and Medical Center and practicing for 30 years